This Is the One Body Part You’re Not Paying Attention to but Should Be

Photo: Stocksy/Susana Ramirez
You might have a robust skin-care routine. You know, the kind that includes a 5-step ritual for your face,  the best natural shampoos and conditioners for shiny hair, and supplements for healthy nails, and yet you still might not be paying attention to one very important body part—your legs.

"Your legs can really tell you a lot about your health, your emotions, and your mentality," says Julie Elliott, skin-care expert and founder of luxe natural brand In Fiore. "Legs tend to carry a lot of water retention, and they're also where you can have circulatory problems and issues with lymphatic flow."

"Our legs can really tell us a lot about our health, our emotions, and our mentality."

But they're also a seriously powerful tool. They get you through spin class, boot camp, chair pose, and you can almost liken them to the shocks on a car, since they absorb much of the impact from all of these activities (and you know, from walking down the street, too). If you're anything like me, though, the most TLC you give your legs comes when you finally shave (sigh) or when they're so sore you've got to foam roll them out.

"We shouldn't forget to nourish harder-to-reach areas like the legs," notes Robert Anolik, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist. "Inflammation from dry skin and wear and tear can cause skin barrier breakdown, leading to scaling and itchiness."

The thing is, simply slathering on your typical moisturizer isn't going to necessarily solve all potential leg woes. That's why Elliott concocted the Firmante Elevating Leg Tonic (coincidentally, Hannah Bronfman recently professed her love for it) specifically for your lower half to help boost circulation and help keep the leg skin firm.

Keep reading to learn why your legs need love too—and how you can give it to them.

in fiore leg tonic
Graphic: Abby Maker for Well+Good

Why you should take care of your lower body

Elliott points out that full-body oiling is a common Ayurvedic modality. One of the main reasons to nourish your legs is to connect your mind with one of the hardest working parts of your body. "I wanted a product that would alleviate [certain] conditions and also do something meditative," says Elliott. "When you're working in an oil-based product, it requires the attention of massage—it's a way of reconnecting with yourself."

Not only should the process be relaxing, but it should be stimulating as well. "The leg tonic is multi-functional in the sense that it's working deeply on stimulating blood and lymphatic flow, flushing toxins, and addressing water retention," Elliott explains. "It's also working on tissue laxity and improving the appearance of your skin."

"The leg tonic is multi-functional in the sense that it's working deeply on stimulating blood and lymphatic flow, flushing toxins, and addressing water retention."

The magical ingredients that work these wonders? According to Elliott, it's a botanical blend that includes black spruce, cypress, neroli, and fennel, for starters. "Black spruce is the dominant essential oil in this," says Elliott. "It's grounding, and your legs and feet are what connect you to the ground." Neroli and cypress, on the other hand, purportedly work to increase the firmness of the legs, according to Elliott.

Then there's horse chestnut, which is a lychee-like flowering plant that she says works as a circulatory agent. For stagnation, she added echinacea, fennel, red cover dandelion, and comfrey. "These herbs work synergistically to open up the pathways for moving stagnation," says Elliott. "It's very invigorating and active when you put it on." And to allow your legs to soak it all in, In Fiore uses nourishing carrier oils like grape seed, jojoba, and avocado (which also aid in giving your gams a glow).

"There is evidence that echinacea has been shown to help with healing, which could translate to skin improvement," says Dr. Anolik. "And horse chestnut extract has been shown to possibly help with varicose veins when used topically."

Whether you get a leg tonic or not, it is true that your gams could use some more devotion. "It's good to become really in-tune with your body," says Elliott. Welp, sounds like it's prime time to kick your feet up and give yourself a massage.

Originally posted November 6, 2017, updated October 19, 2018.

Also, here's the one part of your body that you're probably not cleaning correctly. And this is the truth about whether or not you should really be cleaning your vagina.

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