The power of a skin-friendly filter is undeniable (hello, Valencia!), so why not wear one for real? Adding a golden glow to your legs can downplay spider veins.
“A traditional self-tanner can reduce the appearance of imperfections,” says Sophie Evans, a St. Tropez tanning and skin-finishing expert based in New York. “Then go one step further and use a product with a cosmetic tint or concealer, which will hide a spider vein up to 50 percent.”
To achieve the ultimate finish (that is, gams with lasting radiance), Evans encourages prep work.
How to hide spider veins instantly
First, exfoliate and shave eight hours ahead of time. Planning on waxing? Do that 24 hours ahead.
“You have to allow the pores to settle to avoid creating an uneven, pitted look,” says Evans.
Next, use a mineral-oil-free cream to glide past problem areas, which can take on more than their fair share of self-tanner and ruin a seamless glow.
“Don’t moisturize the whole leg – apply to the knees, the whole foot and the back of the heel,” she says. “It will dilute the colour of the self-tanner – think of the moisturizer as water and the self-tanner as paint.”
Use an applicator mitt rather than elbow grease to blend the product and protect your hands.
“Always let the self-tanner sit on top of the skin’s surface so that the ingredients can absorb into the skin at a natural pace,” says Evans. “Overworking it and rubbing it in too much can cause streaks.”
To finish strong and hide spider veins instantly, blend only the excess self-tanner left on the mitt over your feet and ankles and between your toes. Next, use a baby or makeup wipe and clean the nails and cuticles to prevent staining.
Treating spider veins
The bad news is that pregnancy, genes and a job that keeps you on your feet can cause spider veins. And sometimes it just boils down to bad luck, says Dr. Julia Carroll, a dermatologist and founder of Compass Dermatology in Toronto.
But don’t despair: To give spider veins the marching orders, she relies on a combination of sclerotherapy and laser procedures.
“It’s a tried-and-true treatment,” she says. “We start with sclerotherapy because it’s more effective: You get more for less. Using a sugar-salt solution to inject the vein causes irritation in the wall of the blood vessel, and that causes it to clamp down and dissolve.” It’s performed with tiny needles, so you can expect to experience a burning or stinging sensation.
“It’s not the most pleasant thing,” she says. “But most of the time it’s a half-hour treatment. And we’re usually chatting, so patients aren’t in excruciating pain.” Plan for three treatments spaced up to six weeks apart and upkeep every year or two. Each treatment is approximately $250.
Hide spider veins with St. Tropez Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt And Glow Everyday Multi-Active Toning Lotion, $50 at beautyboutique.ca.