A long time ago I accepted the fact that I’ll never have long smooth legs like Demi Moore. At 5’2, I’ve got genetically saggy knees and stocky gams that get bruised easily and are starting to show signs of skin aging. While I don’t have full blown cellulite (yet), the skin on my thighs appears crinkly and thin and I’ve got a few spider veins on the back of my knees, earned from my previous job that had me on my feet 8-10 hours a day. I’m not quite brave enough for sclerotheraphy yet but bring on the compression hosiery!
After all, my desk job now is actually no better for my legs. Prolonged sitting is known in the medical community to be a cause of clots forming in the legs. The link was found in several studies done on healthy young passengers travelling on airplanes who had suffered from things like vision and hearing loss, paralysis down one side of the body, and even a stroke shortly after a long flight.
Wearing compression stockings has long been recommended by foot doctors and skin specialists to prevent the formation of blood clots. According to the Orthotic Group, “Medical gradient compression hosiery promotes better venous flow, which helps to control swelling, varicosities, leg fatigue and other problematic leg conditions”. It’s thought that by compressing the surface veins, arteries and muscles, the circulating blood is forced through narrower channels. This then causes the arterial pressure to increase, which has nowhere but up to go, so this blood returns to the heart. Meaning less blood pools in the legs and feet, yay! (Goodbye swollen ankles!)
I’ll be honest, improving the health of my legs is not the only reason why I’ve been testing out compression tights, I’m vain! I want to smooth out the borderline cottage cheese skin that I have on my thighs and prevent any more veins from popping up on the back of my knees.
That’s why I was excited to try these leggings by Solidea, an Italian-designed line of compression hosiery. Though they look freakishly small and impossible to maneuver into when I took it out of the package (see pic on left), they go on quite easily after the first try. Caveat, I had to email the rep, Larysa, for how to do it. Her reply:
“Some people find it helpful to put them on like pantyhose; stick your thumbs to the bottom of the legging and get the legging over the heel first. Then gently maneuver it up the leg until its above the knee. Then do the same with the other leg. Once the garment is at your knees, it will shimmy up a little bit easier.”
According to Larysa, in order to best see the anti-cellulite benefits, wear them while moving (e.g. working out). “Patients have reported to see an improvement in their cellulite anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks after first time use. This is all dependent on how often you wear them and how much you move in them. There is graduated compression in these garments so every time you wear them, your legs will feel nice and refreshed by the end of the day. Furthermore, the 3D fabric acts as a skin exfoliant, so if you see some white flakes on the inside of the garment after wearing them don’t be alarmed.”
I didn’t see any flakes after removing them, but one thing that did alarm me was the ridges left behind. My legs look like Lays potato chips for about an hour after taking them off. It’s a temporary effect like how you get pillow wrinkles after a night of sleeping on one side of your face for too long.
I’ve been wearing these tights for three weeks now, four days a week, underneath my pants. The Solidea leggings feel like Spanx, but warmer, which is perfect for cooler weather (hey, I’m going to wear tights under my pants anyways, so might as well wear tights with benefits). Despite the rough texture on the inside, the Solidea leggings don’t feel itchy on. And despite them feeling tight, they do stretch and feel comfortable on throughout the day.
Hopefully wearing my new magic pants throughout the winter will result in gorgeous gams by the summer. If not, I’ll make a date with the needle for the veins and some Thermage to tighten my wrinkly knees. Gotta love high-tech beauty!
You can order any of the Solidea designs at DLK on Avenue. They have a large selection of styles.