Hide and Prevent Visible Veins

Fast fixes and long-term habit changes to get rid of unflattering veins.

hide visible veins

Photo by: Laflor/Getty Images

There are two types of veins you need to know about. First: varicose veins, which are raised blue, red or flesh-colored lines on your legs. These pop out when a valve in the vein weakens, causing blood to pool. You can thank genetics, says Paul J. Frank, MD, founder and director of The Fifth Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center in New York City: ”These are the bumpy, bulging, sometimes painful veins you see as you get older.” Second: spider veins—clusters of tiny, weblike red and blue veins near the skin’s surface that can form due to aging, exposure to the sun, simple genetics or when estrogen levels are high (think: pregnancy). Depending on the amount of sun damage you have and whether or not you’ve been pregnant or are on birth control, these can turn up at any time, really, but one thing’s for sure: As we get older, our epidermis thins out, so skin becomes more transparent—and thus, veins more apparent.

 

Give legs a glow The darker your skin tone, the less you’ll notice lumps and bumps—like varicose veins, spider veins, stretch marks and cellulite. So try one of these strategies to fake an even glow.

Use body makeup For special events (such as summer weddings), apply a bronzing body lotion to dry skin. It’ll even out skin and minimize spider veins, and your commitment lasts only until your next shower. If the color isn’t a perfect match, go a shade darker (you can mix it with a plain body lotion to lighten as needed). Before you head out the door, press with a paper towel to absorb any excess—but not too hard, or you could leave behind texture marks, advises makeup artist Landy Dean.

Get a flawless self tan For longer-lasting color, makeup artists and dermatologists agree: Use self-tanner to give yourself a glow. Use a scrub to slough off dead skin cells so tanner won’t adhere to dry patches. Then, put on your body lotion and let it dry. If the tanner is a cream, apply it as you would a moisturizer. If it’s a spray, mist it slowly and evenly at arm’s length—or according to the directions on the package. Skip the knees and ankles; products travel up to an inch due to your skin’s natural oils, so avoid these areas, which absorb and darken quickly. Finally, wash your hands - a bronzed palm will give you away!

Change your habits A few simple changes to your everyday behavior can stop veins from spreading—and keep your legs looking younger.

For varicose veins Put your feet up - whether you’re sitting on the couch or at your desk. It will lessen the pressure on these veins and alleviate the often painful throbbing sensation that accompanies it.

For spider veins You may not be able to stop spider veins from appearing, but you can prevent them from spreading. Wear support stockings if you need to sit or stand for long periods of time. This will increase blood flow and relieve the pressure on these delicate veins.

 

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