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How To Moisturise
Dry Legs

By Kiehl’s Education Team

Addressing dry skin on your legs can be challenging. Discover the common causes of dry legs and we'll explain how you can achieve softer, smoother skin.

Dry skin is a common concern. It can crop up suddenly (often, at the worst possible time), or it can be constant and unrelenting — particularly if you have a drier skin type. Some everyday habits, like shaving your legs or taking long baths, can also trigger or worsen irritated, dry skin. If you have dry skin on your legs, dry patches or itchy skin, moisturising may help in the short term, but following a dedicated skincare routine is crucial to keeping the skin of your legs nourished. 

Here are some tactics to help you achieve softer, more moisturised, and radiant skin. You will also discover some of Kiehl's best body lotions for dry skin and learn how to use them in your daily body care routine.

What Can Cause Dry Skin on Your Legs?

Dry skin is a skin type that produces less sebum (or oil) than normal or oily skin. There are a number of environmental factors that could cause your skin type to change and become drier. Harsh conditions, extreme temperatures, ageing, certain skin conditions and genetics can all cause oil to become depleted in skin. Other factors that can cause dry skin can include low moisture levels in the air, environmental pollutants, and UV exposure. Additionally, showering with very hot water, hot baths, shaving improperly, or using harsh soaps can strip your skin’s natural moisture or compromise your skin barrier which can also worsen dry skin on legs (and elsewhere). 

To manage dry skin and sensitive skin follow a daily routine that focuses on strengthening and maintaining your skin barrier. Incorporating nourishing moisturisers into your routine particularly in the winter months can also help mitigate some of the uncomfortable side effects of dryness, like itching and flaking. 

Tip #1: Reach For a Non-Stripping Body Wash

When you lather up, do so with a mild body wash that will not strip your skin's natural moisture barrier. We recommend opting for a cleanser made for all skin types, like Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser. This foaming cleanser with aloe vera and glycerin washes away dirt and oil to leave skin feeling clean and comfortable, and is also infused with humectants to help skin maintain moisture and keep skin soft. It is available in three refreshing scents and can be used daily for fresh-feeling skin. 

Kiehl's Expert Tip: If you shave your legs, prep them by washing them first. Moistening your legs can help soften hairs, and once paired with a mild shaving gel or cream to lubricate skin, you’ll be able to enjoy a smooth, even shave. 

Tip #2: Exfoliate to Buff Away Dead, Dry Skin

While you do not necessarily need to exfoliate every day, adding a scrub to your body care routine can help improve the feel of rough, flaky skin on your legs (and elsewhere). It can also make it easier to shave and limit the risk of developing shaving-related skin concerns, like razor burn or bumps (both of which are common problems for those who shave their legs regularly). 

To exfoliate safely, we recommend starting with a mild body scrub, like our Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub. This formula with aloe vera, chamomile, and a blend of crushed apricot seeds helps exfoliate without over-drying the skin. It is suitable for all skin types (even sensitive skin) and can be used daily to help smooth your skin, prevent scaly skin and leave skin primed for moisture. 

For men with dry skin, we recommend our Ultimate Man Body Scrub Soap. This bar soap for all skin types thoroughly cleanses while helping to slough off dead skin cells. It's uniquely formulated for men's skin, which can often be thicker, and can be used daily to help alleviate roughness and energise fatigued skin. 

Kiehl's Expert Tip: Try to limit your showers to under 10 minutes and use lukewarm water instead of hot water whenever possible. Hot water (and central heating) can pull moisture from your skin and can worsen dryness, leaving your skin feeling tight and itchy. 

Tip #3: Apply a Lightweight Moisturiser Every Day

The most effective way to alleviate dryness is to restore your skin's natural moisture and maintain your skin barrier with a body lotion or cream. Try a lightweight lotion, like our cult classic Creme de Corps. This longtime Kiehl's favourite is formulated with nourishing cocoa butter and squalane. It smooths on easily to moisturise dry skin, leaving it feeling softer, smoother, and non-greasy. 

Alternatively, try, Creme De Corps Whipped Body Butter which has a lighter air-whipped texture and is infused with soy milk and honey. For added skin-softening benefits, you can layer your body lotion over a lightweight body oil, like Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil. This unique body oil spray hydrates and nourishes dry skin without leaving behind a greasy or oily residue. It is suitable for all skin types and can be used alone or in combination with other body moisturisers for smoother, more supple skin. 

Kiehl's Expert Tip: For lasting hydration, apply body lotion to your legs immediately after showering while your skin is still damp (and do it every day — not just when your legs feel tight or dry). 


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