Those hair removal commercials aren't real, right? Who truly has those impossibly glowy, smooth legs that look awesome in a silky short skirt? Can anyone really sit down and demurely cross their legs (preferably at a corner table in a cutesy European-style café) without feeling a scaly, stubbly, scrape? In a word, yes--with a little prep and tender loving care. Your legs withstand chronic stress from hair removal irritation, seasonal dryness, and the pressure of sitting, standing and walking for long periods of time. Take care of them, and they'll take care of you.

Step 1

Save your hair removal for the end of your shower, and use warm, not hot water. Whether you wax, shave or use creams, the hair is softer and easier to remove after a warm bath or shower (the same is true for tweezing, too). A warm washcloth laid over your legs will also help soften and loosen those hairs.

Step 2

Use a thick, creamy shaving fluid and a sharp blade with a moisturizing strip when you shave. Both will prevent nicks and irritation. Start from the ankles and work your way up. For waxing and cream removal, be sure to use moisturizing formulas.

Step 3

Exfoliate regularly to keep stems silky smooth. If you suffer from ingrown hairs, regular exfoliation will also help keep those pesky bumps at bay. Use a smooth bead exfoliator or something with glycolic acid, both of which will smooth your legs without scratching the skin. Pay special attention to your knees and the soles of your feet, which tend to be the roughest areas. Aim to exfoliate one to three times a week depending on your skin, but scale back if you notice redness.

Step 4

Slather on a bath oil or creamy lotion after washing up, which will help lock in the moisture. Fragrance-free formulas designed for sensitive skin generally cause less irritation than heavily perfumed creams and oils. Pat your legs lightly dry with a towel before you apply, as very wet skin will just dilute your lotion.

Step 5

Apply a self-tanner for legs that look as smooth as they feel. Self tanner will help mask cellulite, uneven tone and veins. Use a sensitive formula to avoid irritation, or try a gradual tanning lotion, which will moisturize your skin and give you a slow-building glow.

Step 6

Put your feet up and avoid crossing your legs whenever possible. This will help maintain healthy circulation in your legs and prevent unsightly swelling.