A few years ago, I became very self-conscious about my knees – wrinkles and sagging worthy of a baby elephant. This year, as I ventured into the first warm days without opaque tights, my bare legs made me cringe – blotchy and (horrors) the adjective mottled came to mind. My knees weren’t looking too bad though after a two-year obsession with exfoliation, hydration and exercise. But it was clearly time to take my legs in hand and after a bit of experimentation Bingo! Here’s my regime for Legs 11 (and knees).
Tips for knee wrinkles
The most helpful approach has been glycolic peeling. This has taken my knees from looking as if I earned my living on them (a choice phrase that I am shamelessly stealing from a Truth In Aging community member) – dull, rough, crepey wrinkles – to smooth and glossy. Because the knee skin is thick and tough, I use glycolic concentrations that I wouldn’t dare to use on my face or even décolleté.
My go-to is Arcona Pumpkin Lotion 10% ($35). I use this year-round, typically every other day. In the summer, I use it at night because the glycolic will make the skin extra sun sensitive. Also, very effective is M.A.D Youth Transformation Exfoliating Serum 10% AHA. Since, I am only using these on the knees, the bottles last for ages and ages.
I’ve recently introduced microdermabrasion for my knees (and elbows for that matter). This, along with the glycolic lotions, is definitely speeding things up. And a swipe or two of my new Trophy Skin Rejuvaderm MD ($199 in the shop) or my trusty PMD Personal Microderm ($179) just takes a few seconds.
If you want to eke out a tube of Stemulation’s amazing Relance Body Lotion ($98 in the shop), just use it on your knees. This really is an anti-aging potion and perhaps the only one with human stem cells. For younger skin, even tough old elephant-hide knees, it really moves back the clock.
Tips for sagging knees
The hydrolyzed pepper fruit extract to strengthen and firm skin tissue in the Stemulation Relance mentioned above will help. But if you are really serious about sagging knees then there are two things you can do to plump them up: build some muscle and build some collagen.
You can’t really beat stairs for putting some padding where the sagging starts. Above the knee is a muscle called the VMO (vastus medialis obliquus), part of the quadricep and just above and inside the knee cap. Keeping it strong and toned will take 15 years off your knees. I joined a bootcamp (Warrior Fitness Boot Camp) where classes include climbing 9 flights of stairs multiple times. As I huff, puff, wheeze and groan my way up and down, I think about nice, firm knees (others are probably thinking about their next triathlon, but, hey, this works for me)
Tips for smooth legs
I have found a great solution for my mottled, blotchy legs: Sweetsation Lumi*Essence Body Organic Advanced Brightening Repair Treatment ($48 in the shop). Formulated to treat uneven skin tone with alpha arbutin, niacinamide, milk thistle and much more, it has done wonders for me. The only problem is that I really don’t like the scent – fortunately, my nose isn’t too close to my calves (even for a short-legged Corgi like me).
Another wonderful find is Osmotics Cellulite Control Body Glow CC Cream ($75). I don’t have a lot of cellulite, but this Osmotics cream helps improve the texture of those nubbly bits. Not only do my legs look tauter, but they have a subtle, but attractive glow. This is due to erythrulose, slow-release self tanner that reacts with the amino acids in the first layers of skin (it is not a stain or a dye and that means it is streak-free).
If anyone has some other younger knees and lovely leg solutions, do let us know.