How to get rid of dry, flaky skin on your legs

Summer is the season where you ditch the tights, reveal your legs and potentially start questioning whether you were birthed by a lizard.

The dry, rough skin that was easy to ignore in winter is now there blinking at you, displaying cracks like a farmer’s field mid-drought.

I’ve always had fairly dry skin and used to find that a daily slick of body lotion was enough to keep the scales at bay.

However, in recent years I’ve noticed that my legs have been getting thirstier than ex-Love Island contestants commenting on each other’s Instagrams.

Turns out that skin gets drier the older we get – but why?

‘Put simply, the skin gets thinner, natural oil production reduces, the concentration of natural moisturising factors (NMFs) in the skin, such as urea, reduce as we age, and the skin becomes less resilient to what the environment throws at it,’ Dr. Mark J. Hudson-Peacock, Consultant Dermatologist at The Canterbury Skin and Laser Clinic tells

‘The lower legs are particularly prone to these effects, partly due to its thinner quality and reduced production of natural oils there: sebaceous glands are larger and most numerous on the face and upper body, getting less productive the further peripherally one goes down the arms and down the legs in particular.

‘Skin can also look dry because the outer skin cells do not separate so readily anymore.’

Dr Hudson-Peacock reveals there is ‘little evidence’ that drinking more water or ‘taking supplements over and above a good, balanced, healthy diet’ makes any discernible difference to skin hydration.

Luckily, the right skincare regime (yes, regime, it’s that serious) can help us, so here’s a suggestion of where to start.

Pre-shower: Dry body brush

Body brushing is something I thought was reserved for affluent Goop readers. I assumed it a pointless pampering task that paupers like myself needn’t bother with.

So when I started my ‘how to stop my legs looking like the Sahara desert’ research and it cropped up as a ‘must do’, I narrowed my eyes.

There are many articles on the internet heralding dry brushing as a saviour for removing dead cells from the skin’s surface (sounds legit), improving circulation (makes sense), stimulating the nervous system (sure), aiding lymphatic drainage (really?) and getting rid of cellulite (oh come on now).

Heads up that despite many bloggers and body brush peddlers saying otherwise, there is actually no scientific evidence to support that dry brushing is a magic cure for cellulite, or that it ‘detoxifies’ the body via increased drainage of lympathic fluids.

However, the exfoliating properties are believable so I decided to give it a go.

After finding insanely priced body brushes online (it’s a brush! How much can a brush be?!) I settled on the much better value EcoTools dry body brush, £4.99 which is cruelty-free thanks to its synthetic, recycled plastic bristles. (Natural bristles are often made from animal bristles e.g. boar, or from cactus.)

And so began my love affair with dry body brushing.

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