Don’t Fight Dry Legs This Winter


You’re either a hot person or you’re a cold person, and I am always cold. Because of that, I wear tights under my jeans pretty often. And because of that, I’m always super moisturized.

I stumbled on this leg-saving hack by chance. After wearing tights on consecutively cold days, I realized that my legs felt… hydrated. Mind you, my moisturization routine wasn’t anything fancy. It’s just that, usually when I wear jeans in the winter, I get really itchy. I start scratching and I can’t stop (the nubs of my fingers can’t quite satiate the feeling through the thick fabric), and when I take my pants off at night, my legs are red and ashy. But that wasn’t happening on days I’d wear tights. Which is what brought me back to something Emily Ferber once wrote about pajamas. “There’s a secret, silent enemy in the mix of my moisturizing routine: my very cozy, wonderfully roomy, finally-cold-enough-for-them college sweats,” she mused. “[Cotton] is the thirstiest fabric, stealing moisture away all through the night.”

And that’s true—cotton loves the wet stuff. It can absorb up to 27 times its weight in water, way more than any synthetic material or even other natural fibers can. (Even microfiber absorbs only seven times its weight in water.) Denim [checks notes] is also cotton. It’s something I had forgotten, since we as a society have decided that cotton woven into a tight twill pattern deserves a different name, like beef for cow meat or Childish Gambino for Donald Glover when he’s making music. Emily’s rayon and spandex pjs helped retain moisture overnight, so were my nylon and spandex tights acting almost like moisture wicking Saran wrap under my pants during the day? Anecdotally, it seems the answer is yes.

What I do lately is cover myself in a thick layer of moisturizer (this Cocokind one, or the very last farty drops of Ceramidin body) and then immediately roll my legs into cheap tights I don’t remember buying. It doesn’t matter if they’re ugly or if lotion creates weird oily marks on them because no one is going to see them. Immediately after I’m encased, I put on my jeans. All through the day, I am warm. I don’t itch. And then when I peel off the layers at night, my legs are SO soft. It’s kind of like what this silicone mask did for my face, but on a larger scale. Just thought I’d share.

Have a warm and moisturized winter.

—Ali Oshinsky

Photo via ITG





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