5 tricks for the smoothest legs ever, according to skincare experts

Skincare peeves like dullness, fine lines, pigmentation can occur anywhere, and if you’re not paying attention to the rest of your body as you are your face, you might be letting these issues go unchecked. If you’re looking for smoother, shinier limbs that look and feel healthy, here’s everything you can do.

1) Use chemical exfoliation on your skin

Paula Begoun, founder, Paula’s Choice Skincare, has a simple rule of thumb. If it’s abrasive, it’s not great. “Whether it’s a hard loofah, harsh scrub, granular powders, salt, sugar, or brushes—if they are abrasive or harsh, they damage. This abrasive effect causes micro tears in the skin’s protective barrier which causes collagen to break down, increases skin discolourations, impedes healing, can increase body acne and keratosis pilaris, and compounds environmental damage,” she says.

Healthy skin cell turnover takes place in the lower layers of skin beyond the surface and for the skin to exfoliate naturally those are the layers that need to be reached and where scrubs and cleansing brushes can’t go,” states Begoun. She prefers well-formulated gentle leave-on exfoliants which are AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids, primarily glycolic acid and lactic acid) and BHA (beta hydroxy acid, which is only salicylic acid). “AHAs and BHAs not only gently exfoliate the skin in a natural way as when we were young, but they also increase hydration, as well as reinforce, strengthen, and soften skin,” Paula says.

Confused between AHAs and BHAs? If pigmentation is your concern, then opt for AHAs and if it’s oily or acne prone skin, try a BHA based product. “Start with a single product, pick the lowest strength you can find and introduce the product gradually,” says Dr Mittal. ““An AHA leave-on exfoliant should contain between 5 per cent and 10 per cent lactic or glycolic acid and a BHA leave-on exfoliant should contain 2 per cent salicylic acid,” says Begoun.

2) Try a gentle scrub

If you like to use a physical exfoliant, pick a soft brush or a very finely milled scrub. Less is more when it comes to scrubbing the skin. “Because your skin is delicate, you should only use body scrubs once or twice per week. To avoid damaging your skin, make sure your body is thoroughly wet and softened with warm water. You can make small, circular motions using your finger to apply a scrub, if you use a brush, make short, light strokes. Exfoliate for about 30 seconds and then rinse off with lukewarm water,” says Dr Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder and medical director at ISAAC Luxe.

If you’re making a scrub at home, sugar or salt are popular ingredients. “Sugar granules are rounder and less abrasive than salt, making them a gentler exfoliant. A natural source of glycolic acid, sugar also speeds up rehydration, keeping skin conditioned and moisturised. For this reason, sugar scrubs are a fantastic pick for dry and dehydrated types,” says Dr Mittal. On the other hand, salt scrubs tend to have grittier particles and are particularly useful in smoothing rough areas like feet and elbows. “Salt also has detoxifying properties—its trace minerals are natural purifiers that draw out pore-clogging toxins and relieve congestion.”

3) Always moisturise after

“It’s very important to not overdo scrubbing as it can damage the skin barrier. Always follow exfoliation with generous amount of moisturiser to keep skin healthy and hydrated,”  confirms Dr Veenu Jindal, consultant dermatologist, Max Multi Speciality Centre, New Delhi. Try to lock in moisture by massaging in a cream with ceramides or lanolin while the skin is still damp, and then apply an oil over it to seal it.

4) Add dry brushing to your routine

Dry brushing exfoliates skin, increases blood circulation and boosts lymphatic drainage. “The lymphatic system is a major part of the body’s immune system. It is made up of organs and lymph nodes, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph throughout the body. Brushing the skin regularly helps stimulate the normal lymph flow within the body and helps the body detoxify itself naturally,” says Dr Gupta. However, Dr Jindal cautions that this technique should be used with caution in sensitive and dry skin types or in patients suffering from conditions such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis.

5) Shave safely

Waxing and laser hair treatments might leave your skin smoother in the long-run, but may not be convenient for all. Dr Gupta says that if you are shaving, exfoliate the skin first so you can prevent in-growns. Using a high-quality razor is super important, as is using a shaving cream that’ll act as a barrier.

What is keratosis pilaris and how you can get rid of it?

Pigmentation and sun damage can be tackled with chemical or physical exfoliation, but that prickly chicken skin? It might be harder to deal with. “Keratosis pilaris is a benign but very stubborn skin disorder of raised, hard, clogged pores, that are often inflamed and usually occur on the upper arms and upper thighs. It can also be itchy and uncomfortable,” says Begoun.

One of the most common mistakes is to try to scrub the tiny bumps away. “When it comes to treating KP, you can’t scrub it away, in fact scrubbing only makes it worse, especially if the scrub or loofah is harsh. This only increases inflammation. which increases inflammation and that is never ever the goal for skincare anywhere on your face or body for any skin problem. The research shows that the absolute best way to treat keratosis pilaris is with a gentle cleanser, and a gentle but effective leave-on 2 per cent BHA exfoliant,” says Dr Jindal. “After washing or bathing, gently pat the skin. While the skin is still moist from bathing, apply a moisturiser that contains lanolin, petroleum jelly or glycerin. These ingredients soothe dry skin and help trap moisture,” says Dr Gupta.

The article was first published in Vogue


  • Aparrna Gupta

    Transitioning from crafting stories for The Asian Age and Bombay Times to setting beauty trends in Verve, Aparrna Gupta’s journey has always revolved around resonant storytelling. Her prowess in content creation is unparalleled, with articles featured in renowned publications like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, L’Officiel India, Lifestyle Asia, Elle, and Femina. She also excels in content ideation, trend identification, mood board creation, and product styling. Her expertise has proven invaluable to homegrown brands, enabling them to authentically connect with their audience.

    View all posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *