3 leg myths: busted by the experts

With the help of the top experts, we break down 3 common myths about good leg care.

THE MYTH: LOSING WEIGHT WILL BANISH CELLULITE

THE TRUTH: Nothing will actually ‘banish’ cellulite. Cellulite occurs when the connective tissue filaments woven around the fat cells between the skin and tissue beneath pull down on the skin, creating dimples. This can be exacerbated by hormones, lack of exercise, poor circulation and fluid retention (as a result of the first three). But, no amount of cardio or dieting is going to shift it. Losing weight doesn’t get rid of it, and can, in fact, exacerbate the look of it.

Firstly, it’s important to say: there’s nothing wrong with cellulite. We’re nearly all potentially susceptible, regardless of size, shape, age and even lifestyle. But it can be a sign that your lymphatic system could do with a bit of help, and that is something we can do ourselves. What’s important is a combined effort of massage, resistance training to build muscle, and body brushing to help lymph flow freely through fatty areas (like the thighs and buttocks), thereby moving waste through your system and even balancing out the flow of hormones in those areas.

Cellulite can be a sign that your lymphatic system could do with a bit of help

THE EXPERT SAYS: “Massage is a good supplement for the treatment of cellulite,” explains Dr Jean-Marc Chardonneau at Epilium & Skin, “But it must be a deep massage intended to mobilize the muscular masses, I call The Kneading. With the palms of the hand, it is necessary to firmly knead a large part of tissue. The goal is to seize, lift, squeeze, knead the muscle., for a superficial shift of the skin as well as a mobilization of deep fats so it’s possible to eliminate certain blockages and to improve the circulation.” Legology Cellu-Lite Salon Secret For Legs £55 is the perfect oil to reach for when you begin your massage.

THE MYTH: CROSSING YOUR LEGS WILL CAUSE VARICOSE VEINS

THE TRUTH: “If simple pressure from crossing one’s legs really did cause venous problems, then we would all be constantly getting DVT or varicose veins every time we sat down!” says Dr Mark Whiteley, “The veins of the legs are protected from the points of pressure during such movements as sitting, kneeling and crossing legs, so it will not cause varicose veins.”

THE EXPERT SAYS: “The more you exercise, particularly walking, the more the venous pump works and the fewer complications patients get in their legs,” says vascular surgeon Professor Mark Whiteley, “If the veins are working well, regular massaging, leg brushing or vacuum cupping will also help the microcirculation and lymphatic return. If you’ve already got bulging veins around the calf, ankles or thighs, see a consultant to get a clinical diagnosis.” And at home? Legology Lymph-Lite Boom Brush For Body £16 can be used daily to buff and improve legs’ overall health.

 THE MYTH: THE MORE YOU WAX, THE THICKER THE HAIR GROWS

THE TRUTH: “It is proven that each time you wax, your hair becomes finer,” says co-founder of Waxperts, Ellen Kavanagh, “Because when the hair is removed from the root, the hair follicle becomes weaker and distorted. Weakened follicles produce weaker, finer and lighter hair, and eventually no hair.”

THE EXPERT SAYS: “The best way to reduce hair is to get into the habit of waxing every 4-6 weeks because over time, hair regrowth will become minimal,” says co-founder of Waxperts, Trish O’Brien.