There are few things worse than taking the time to flawlessly shave your legs only to have their smooth appearance ruined by “strawberry legs.” If you find yourself victim to those pesky, dark dots sometimes referred to as “strawberry skin,” you’re not alone. This common skin care concern is an annoyance many of us face. But with the proper skin care routine, you can help strawberry legs be an issue of the past. Wondering how to get rid of strawberry legs, or whether it’s possible to get rid of them at all? Below, we’re diving into all the details you need to know, including sharing what causes strawberry legs and offering up skin care tips for making strawberry skin less noticeable.
WHAT CAUSES STRAWBERRY LEGS?
As we started to get into above, the term “strawberry skin” refers to the dotted appearance that can occur on your skin post-shaving. Strawberry legs, in particular, are a common concern. The reason for this slightly silly-sounding name is that those dots can make your legs look almost like the skin of a strawberry and its seeds. But what causes your skin to resemble a strawberry in the first place? There are a few common factors, which we’re digging into below.
Strawberry Skin Factor #1: Dark hair and pale skin. Typically, when people talk about strawberry legs, they aren’t talking about any special type of skin condition. What they’re seeing and referring to is actually just hair that’s visible beneath their skin. This is why you may notice that people who experience strawberry skin typically have dark hair and a pale complexion.
Strawberry Skin Factor #2: Clogged pores. Think clogged pores can only occur on your face? Think again! Your skin has pores all over, including the skin on your legs. Just as excess oil and dead skin cells can clog up your razor blade, per the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), they can also clog the pores on your legs, resulting in more noticeable strawberry skin.
Strawberry Skin Factor #3: Folliculitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, folliculitis is a common skin condition in which hair follicles become inflamed. This skin condition has many forms, some worse than others, but can result in the appearance of strawberry skin. Superficial folliculitis caused by razor bumps or burns is the result of ingrown hairs and may leave behind dark raised scars, also known as keloids, per the Mayo Clinic.
Strawberry Skin Cause #3: Keratosis pilaris. The Mayo Clinic states that keratosis pilaris is a skin condition that creates the appearance of dry, rough patches and tiny bumps, usually on the upper arms, thighs, cheeks, or buttocks. Caused by the buildup of keratin, per the Mayo Clinic, it forms a scaly plug that blocks the opening of the hair follicle, which can leave you with a strawberry skin appearance.
HOW TO GET RID OF STRAWBERRY LEGS
Now that you’re aware of some of the most common factors that can result in strawberry skin, let’s go over ways to help diminish its appearance!
Strawberry Skin Tip #1: Exfoliate. We’re sure you know that exfoliating is an important factor in keeping pores from getting clogged. That being said, be gentle! The Mayo Clinic recommends gently exfoliating with a washcloth or loofah as vigorous scrubbing or removal of hair follicle plugs can irritate the skin and aggravate strawberry legs. If you prefer to use a body scrub, look for one with a formula that will be gentle on your skin, such as a sugar scrub.
Strawberry Skin Tip #2: Shave the right way. Yes, there’s a right and wrong way to shave! The AAD recommends shaving in the direction that your hair grows to help prevent razor bumps and burns. Additionally, you’ll want to wet and soften your skin and hair prior to shaving, as well as use a shaving cream or gel, per the AAD.
Strawberry Skin Tip #3: Moisturize. Post-shaving (and in general) it’s important to keep your legs moisturized just as you would your face!
Editor’s tip: Planning to use a self-tanner? The aforementioned tips hold especially true. Without exfoliating, properly shaving, and moisturizing, your self-tanner could clog your pores, resulting in even more pronounced strawberry legs. No thanks!
Strawberry Skin Tip #4: Try waxing or epilating. If your strawberry skin is due to visible hair, you may benefit from switching from a hair removal method that simply cuts the hair (shaving) to one that pulls the hair out at the root, like waxing or epilating.