How to get your legs ready for summer – without breaking the bank

·2 min read
<span>Photograph: Commercial Eye/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Commercial Eye/Getty Images

Beneath my elasticated waist trousers (are we ever going back to rigid ones? I pledge NO) are two legs in waiting. My heating is off, my scarves are in storage, and in a matter of days, my winter pins will surely emerge, ready to waft in skirts and sway to Macca at Glastonbury.

Preparations are well under way because, while I barely notice the legs of others, I do feel much nicer knowing that my own – naturally pasty, quite veiny and visibly flaky when left to genetic will – have been upscaled for spring.

Around three weeks ago I switched from my regular body lotion to Palmer’s Retexture & Renew Body Lotion (£6.99). This is a new, reformulated version of the product formerly known as Anti Ageing Formula, and while it stinks every bit as much as its predecessor (this is emphatically not for application on sex nights), it works even better at transforming post-winter limbs. Truly, it took just three or four nights to smooth the surface of my shins quite dramatically, and perhaps only a couple more to all but eradicate the hardened goosebumps on my upper arms (if you’re planning to wear a strapless wedding dress this summer, run – don’t walk – to buy it).

I admire those who remain defiantly milky, but accept that I simply look better with some artificially created colour

There are other lotions that work as well (those by Paula’s Choice, Kopari and Ameliorate are all excellent), but none at this price, the fairness of which positively encourages the lavish daily application required to get skin ship-shape. If you can’t bear the lingering smell of lactic acid, Beauty Kin’s terrific, eco-friendly Exfoliating Body Bar (£11) lathers up and exfoliates in the bath, leaving little residual whiff, only smoother, silkier shins (though I’ll admit I’ve been layering on the body lotion as well).

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There are more versions for other skin types too, including a very good salicylic acid bar for spot-prone bodies. I’m admiring of those who remain defiantly milky year-round, but also accept that I simply look better with some artificially created colour. Easy does it on the faux glow until summer, but a plausibly subtle start would be Garnier’s Summer Body lotion (£6.49), which is hard to beat on performance and price. Applied all over dry skin after showering (you may want to prime very dry areas, like elbows, with a little plain body cream to stop them drinking up too much colour), this moisturises very well, imparting a convincingly restrained glow within a couple of hours.

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