Great Summer Legs

The equation is easy: A little subtraction, plus some addition.

legs
Courtesy iStockPhoto

The pool opens Memorial Day weekend, so it’s too late for liposuction to vacuum up your fat or sclerotherapy to zap away your veins. To get optimal results on those treatments, you should shun the sun for a bit, not worship it. But, with advice from Moxie Med Spa owner Ronica Kirwin and Colorado Skin and Vein’s chief of laser surgery, Dr. Dave Verebelyi, and after a visit to Ulta Beauty, we’ve devised a simple equation for beautifying your legs right now.

Subtract

De-fuzz.
Waxing is for anyone and everyone—and Kirwin says half of her customers are men. Moxie uses its own formula of sugar, lemon juice, and water that “removes the hair from the root instead of breaking it off like traditional hard wax.” Tips: Let your hair grow as long as possible pre-waxing, and avoid hot tubs (“cesspools for bacteria,” Kirwin says) for 24 hours after. If your hair is dark, you can try hair removal by laser—more expensive than waxing, but virtually permanent. Just plan to stay out of the sun for 72 hours afterward.

Freeze off the fat.
The exciting news about fat reduction is lasers that use temperature to kill fat cells—immediately. Coolsculpting has no downtime and costs 30 to 40 percent less than lipo. Says Dr. Verebelyi, “We have smaller, swankier hand pieces to get results that are more like lipo now. We can sculpt around knees and the interior thigh, and people love it.”
He also uses Profound. “It’s a skin-tightening device that has a setting to melt fat and tighten the skin in the same area. There’s a 98 percent response rate, which I’ve never seen.” At Moxie, Kirwin says, a European laser system called Cryoskin has blown up her business. “It’s great for instantaneous results,” she says. ”It kills fat cells, so we reduce inches from arms, saddlebags, butts, thighs, chest, back, chin.” The caveats: Coolsculpting is not recommended for those more than 20 pounds over their ideal weight, Profound leaves some bruising and tenderness for a few days, and Cryoskin, the least expensive option, may require multiple sessions.

Zap the brown spots.
Intense pulsed light (IPL) is the traditional treatment, but Dr. Verebelyi likes pico lasers, which work harder for the same pay. “It’s a tattoo removal laser,” he said, “and we’re able to get off a lot of stuff we weren’t able to get off before.”

Add

Put on a tan before your bikini.
Ulta Beauty has a large selection of self-tanners. The new trend: water gel and water mousse tanners, which have no “guide color” to help you see where you’ve applied them. The one I tried dried quickly, had minimal odor, and seemed less likely to stain than traditional self-tanners. Another option: Coola Organic Sunless Tan Firming Lotion. With daily use, green caffeine, seaweed, and pea extract work on your cellulite, while baobab oil moisturizes.

Camouflage.
Dermablend says its Leg and Body Makeup covers spider veins and spots, and resists smudges if used with its setting powder. SPF is 25, but it’s not waterproof like Lancôme’s Teint Idole Ultra Wear (SPF 15).

Protect your assets.
Remember sunscreen—before donning the swimsuit and again every two hours at the pool.