There’s half of the population who think it’s perfectly acceptable not to wash your legs and the other half of the population who’s right. Ever since the TV show You’re the Worst opened the debate a few seasons ago, it’s something that’s been on my mind. Because, when you get into the shower, chances are you’re not thinking a whole lot about what you’re actually doing in there. The process of washing the body has likely become habit at this point, leaving your mind to wander to far more important things, like the subject of your next novel or the opening pickup line you plan to use the next time someone cute puts their yoga mat down next to yours.
But while your head-to-toe lather may feel robotic (and let’s be honest—we all know which parts are the most important to hit), is it really necessary to go out of your way to scrub down your gams?
The short answer: Yes, of course it is. “Where the legs are exposed, the skin is also exposed, so it’s as important to take care of skin health on the legs as well as the face and other body parts,” says Y. Claire Chang, MD, of Union Square Laser Dermatology. Basically, treat them the exact same way you’d treat the rest of your skin on your body—with a little bit of soap and lots of care.
Dove dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, agrees, calling out the fact that the skin on your legs is still skin, so needs its fair share of love. Her rule of thumb: “Do unto your body as you do unto your face—it’s one of the most important skin commandments.” She suggests washing legs with a gentle cleanser, like Dove Body Wash ($11), which keeps the skin soft and moisture barrier strong, plus exfoliating at least once a week with a body polish like Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Coconut Oil Body Polish ($36) to get rid of any dead skin cells that keep your gams looking anything short of glowy.
And FYI, post-shower leg care is just as important (if not more important) than what you’re doing during your rinse cycle. “Because the legs contain less density of sebaceous glands compared to the face, it is even more important to hydrate them,” explains Dr. Chang. “Use a hydrating cream with ceramides to replenish this natural lipid. It is also important to apply sunscreen regularly to the legs, especially in the summer when they are sun-exposed.” She advises patting your legs dry and applying lotions within three minutes of getting out of the shower for max moisture absorption.
Regular leg lather sessions? Here you come. Debate, over.
If you need a little product inspo for these new and improved “leg days,” check out these shower products we can’t live without. And to make them look glowy and strong, try some of Kate Hudson’s favorite leg exercises for your most glam gams yet.
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