“Mommy, why do you have so many boo-boos?” asked my son, looking at me in a pair of shorts.
Good question, kid. Good question.
For as long as I can remember, my legs have been my Achilles’ heel, come summertime. They’re so dry in the winter that the skin is flaky and itchy; no matter how much I lotion it, the solution is superficial at best. And once spring hits, so do the allergies, meaning I can’t live without Claritin, and somehow my skin gets even more irritated.
I try to leave the stems alone and sit on my hands to avoid scratching. Really I do. But somehow, I wind up with welts and dry spots, and the soaring temps are inversely proportional to my ability to wear shorts and minis. This doesn’t make summer much fun.
Visits to the dermatologist always result in the same thing: a prescription for cortisone cream, which reduces inflammation. But we all know that isn’t a long-term answer because it doesn’t get to the root of the problem. My philosophy has always been: The fewer meds, the better — maybe because of a family history with cancer.
So this spring, I decided to figure out how to cure my dry, itchy leg woes without any medical intervention. That meant trying out products that sounded promising to see what would work and make my legs less terrifying in the warm-weather months. Here are my five new go-to’s.
Meant Do-All Wash. The brand’s credo is to simplify your beauty and grooming routine. While I can’t speak for all its offerings, the cleanser does the job. It’s super-subtle in terms of scent and washes your skin without making it feel stripped. Plus, it doesn’t irritate legs when you’re shaving, which for me is a major plus. Speaking of shaving, and perhaps this is obvious to everyone but me, I learned that having fresh, clean blades is key to not making your legs hate you. $31, meantsimply.com
Uma Perfectly Pure Soothing Baby Oil. This is the total MVP product. First off, the ingredients are loud and proud on the box, and shockingly, you can pronounce all of them. This decadent concoction includes essential oils of rose, sandalwood, lavender, chamomile, and avocado. If you slather it on right after showering, it soaks right in and leaves no oily residue. The first night I used it, my legs didn’t itch at all. By day four, the boo-boos were far less noticeable. Now, after a week of using it twice a day (post-morning shower and before bed), my skin doesn’t feel itchy or remotely angry. $79, umaoils.com
Badger Organic Pregnant Belly Oil. I’m neither pregnant nor planning to be anytime soon. Nevertheless, having been there six years ago, I learned that in general, products geared toward expectant moms are cleaner than other stuff on the market. Maybe because when there’s a baby in your tummy, you’re paranoid about anything you ingest or use. And wow, this USDA-certified organic oil goes on clean and smooth, somehow soothes tight skin, and smells like something that came out of your garden. It does feel a little heavier than the Uma oil, so I prefer using this one at night. $20, badgerbalm.com
Natura Bissé C+C Vitamin Scrub. One thing I’ve learned during my little experiment is that dead skin is the enemy of summer sheen. Hence, this baby. The citrus wakes you right up, the acid does its magic, and you feel like you just exfoliated off a layer of crud. I use it once or twice a week, to avoid bugging out my already-sensitive skin. $69, bergdorfgoodman.com
Sisley‑Paris White Ginger Contouring Oil for Legs. So yes, I’m a little vain. I played soccer in high school, do barre twice a week, and have always been told that my legs should be shown off. And Sisley is my undoing. I’m a sucker for the brand’s entire line (try their lipsticks if you want to experience pure color with zero icky aftertaste), and this spray gives me a nice sheen with no staining or greasiness. I won’t vouch for any claims that it helps you look more toned; for me, only workouts do that. But in terms of making skin feel smoother and softer, for sure. $190, nordstrom.com
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