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How To Moisturize
Dry Legs

By Kiehl’s Education Team

Addressing dry skin on your legs can be challenging. Here, learn common causes of dry legs and 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, moisturizing may help in the short term, but following a dedicated skincare routine is crucial.

Here are some tactics to help you achieve softer, more moisturized, 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 factors that could cause your skin type to change and become drier. Harsh conditions, extreme temperatures, aging 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, poor nutrition, smoking and environmental pollutants, and UV exposure. Additionally, showering with very hot water, shaving improperly, or using harsh soaps that strip your skin’s natural moisture or compromise your skin barrier which can also worsen dry skin on your legs (and elsewhere).

To manage dry skin, you will want to follow a routine that focuses on strengthening and maintaining your skin barrier. Incorporating nourishing moisturizers into your routine can also help mitigate some of the uncomfortable side effects of dryness, like itching and flaking.

 Bath & Shower Liquid Body Cleanser, Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-Foam Body Cleanser and body scrub

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. It is available in four refreshing scents and can be used daily for fresh-feeling skin. (If you are concerned about sustainability, stock up on our one-liter refills, which use 81% less plastic than traditional single-use plastic packaging.)

Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-Foam Body Cleanser

For a more indulgent shower ritual, try Creme de Corps Smoothing Oil-to-Foam Body Cleanser. The lightweight oil cleanser is infused with a nourishing blend of emollients, including Grapeseed Oil and Avocado Oil. It emulsifies with water to create a fine foam that effectively washes away dirt and other impurities, leaving your skin feeling moisturized and supple.

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.

Grapefruit Gently Exfoliating Body Scrub

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 and leave it 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 is uniquely formulated for men's skin, which can often be thicker, and can be used daily to help alleviate roughness and energize 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 can pull moisture from your skin and can worsen dryness, leaving your skin feeling tight and itchy.

applying lotion to leg

Tip #3: Apply a Lightweight Moisturizer Every Day

The most effective way to alleviate dryness is to restore your skin's natural moisture and maintain your skin barrier. Thankfully, you do not need a specific product — any body lotion or cream will work as a leg moisturizer. Try a lightweight lotion, like our cult classic Creme de Corps. This longtime Kiehl's favorite is formulated with nourishing Cocoa Butter and Squalane. It smooths on easily to moisturize dry skin, leaving it feeling softer, smoother, and non-greasy.

Alternatively, try our Creme de Corps Nourishing Dry Body Oil, which contains moisturizing Squalane and Grape Seed Oil, which helps to replenish skin. This lightweight dry body oil nourishes skin with hydration and helps it to achieve a softer, more supple, and smoother texture.

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 moisturizers 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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