If you dread the so-called strawberry legs, you’re not alone. Unfortunately, having smooth legs isn’t an easy task to attain as depicted by our society. Shaving leaves our legs covered with clogged pores, ingrown hairs or razor burn.
I first started shaving my legs when I was in junior high and these dark pores on legs made my freshly shaven legs look bad.
The result? I refuse to wear my favorite dresses or short simply because of these strawberry legs as they made me extremely self-conscious
That’s the major problem when you shave your legs, you’ll end up with the so-called “Strawberry Legs” that are caused by ingrown hairs or dirt that get trapped in the hair follicles.
What Are Strawberry Legs
Strawberry legs is a colloquial term that basically describe as darkened pores or small bumps that are being trapped in hair follicles. Like an imprisoned grimes of blackheads or “open comedones” filled with dead skin, bacteria & oil. Though these black dots are harmless, their appearance can be bothersome, making you feel conscious and if you have tanned or olive skin, they look more visible.
Causes Of Strawberry Legs
The most common causes of strawberry legs are sweat or sebum build-up clogging the hair follicles.
Also, not cleaning the razor before and after every use with alcohol. Moreover, one of the causes is taking a hot shower, the steam from hot water can open up your pores.
- Enlarged Pores
These enlarged pores or open comedones are caused by too much production of oil or sebum that normally clog the pores by trapping the dead skin and bacteria. Once they are exposed to air through the process of shaving, they magically oxidize and appear darker.
Folliculitis is caused by follicle irritation triggered by shaving and the presence of ingrown hairs. The hair follicles under the skin may have a tough time penetrating back through the skin again after shaving. Hence, creating a blockage that can result in redness, small bumps, irritations as well as dark pores.
- Keratosis Pilaris
Also known as “chicken skin”, keratosis pilaris is when the skin produces too much keratin and blocks hair follicles, causing bumps on the skin to develop.
How To Get Rid Of Strawberry Legs
These dark pores on legs can occur in other parts of the body such as the arms and buttocks but they are mainly found on legs as those are often shaved the most. But the good news is, your existing strawberry legs dilemma can be treated and prevented from happening again once you’ll develop a daily good cleansing routine.
Step Up Your Exfoliation
To help kickstart a lazy complexion that hasn’t been doing well on its own, exfoliation is a must! Regular exfoliation helps remove layers of dead skin which make the hair penetrates through the skin instead of growing back into the skin.
Thus, it helps to get rid of the oil build up, dirt or bacteria that cause ingrown hairs or small bumps.
Body Scrub Recipe :
Here’s one of the recipes I used that helped me get rid of strawberry legs:
- 2 teaspoon of salt or sugar
- 1 teaspoon of coconut oil or few drops of your favorite essential oil
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel (for oil-free moisture)
- juice of half a lemon (acts as a natural disinfectant)
Just mix all the ingredients to form a paste and gently scrub to the affected area using circular motion for 2-3 minutes.
① Take A Hot/Warm Shower Or Soak Legs With Warm Water
- Because the dark spots are simply imprisoned grime, take a hot or warm shower to open up the pores or start by soaking your legs in warm water. The heat expands and opens cells allowing opening the door for escape.
② Exfoliate The Skin
- You can invest in a body scrub or you can create your own sugar scrub using few ingredients. When using the scrub, just be firm and don’t press too hard. We don’t want to irritate our skin but trying to get rid of oil and dirt.
③ Rinse With Cold Water
- After exfoliation, you should rinse your skin with cold water. This process helps to close your pores so dirt and oil don’t get trapped back in. This works by telling your skin it’s cold, so it constricts its pores keeping dirt and oil out.
④ Run Some Ice Cubes
- This is optional but very useful extra step. Put some ice cubes in a ziplock or paper towel and slowly run it along with your arms/legs for 2-3 minutes (repeat the process twice if needed).
- This process will constrict your pores even more so the dirt and oil can’t find its way to get in.
⑤ Apply A Toner
- Once you’re done, the next step is to apply a toner. Applying toner to your skin can restore the natural pH to your skin.
- This means that after opening the cells and getting all the junk out, a toner can counter any remaining irritation and seal up your freshly cleaned pores.
Keep Skin Moisturized
Moisturizing the skin regularly is vital to keep your skin healthy and free from irritation particularly when the skin has been compromised by extreme weather conditions, such as wind and cold.
However, some moisturizer can clog pores due to silicones added as a cheap “fillers” that offer temporary skin-smoothing benefit.
They form a seal on the skin’s surface which can readily trap dirt, oil and dead skin cells within your pores.
Try switching your cream for a watery moisturizing serum to get some humectant-based hydration that won’t clog your pores or make dead skin cling.
Aloe Vera Massage
I love using Aloe vera gel as part of the daily routines. It is a potent moisturizer and contains properties that work against bacteria and fungi which are the great contributor to developing folliculitis, blackheads, dark pores or the dreaded “strawberry legs”.
You can check my homemade recipe here for aloe vera.
The plant is made of 96% water, so it comes out like a juice, which you can then pour into a spray-bottle and spray onto your body, or onto your hair as a moisturizing treatment.
What to Do:
Gently massage the aloe vera gel into the skin for about 5 minutes, no rinse needed.
Ditch Your Loofah
Pay attention to your loofah and make sure to replace it regularly. Due to its layers of netting, loofahs can trap dead skin cells helping them to harbor bacteria, mold, and yeast.
Also, they’re notorious in harboring pathogens that can harm your skin. Hence, all your efforts on exfoliating can be counteracted if you’re putting bacteria and dead skin cells back into your skin.
Buttermilk Bath Soak
If you want to up the ante to a new level of awesomeness, try this buttermilk bath soak. I love a luxurious soak in the bathtub, as this is my “me time” to unwind, relax and collect my thoughts.
This indulgent bath soak will leave you relaxed, with skin so soft and glowing. This is a bath fit for a queen or king because everybody deserves to bathe to spoil oneself.
- 4 cups buttermilk powder
- 8 cups Epsom salts
- 1/2 cup dried chamomile leaves (optional)
- 1/2 cup dried rose petals (optional)
- 1/2 cup dried lavender (optional)
What To Do:
- Place lavender, chamomile and rose petal into a grinder or food processor and grind them to a fine powder.
- Place the ground herbs into a large bowl, add the epsom salt, buttermilk powder and mix well to combine.
- Transfer in a big container for storage. Use 1 or 2 cups of the blend for bath soak.
- You can use your favorite herbs and if they’re not available, you can disregard them and simply use the buttermilk powder and the epsom salts.
Clinical Options For Strawberry Legs
If these home remedies don’t work for you, the best thing to do is to consult your dermatologist for opinions.
If the dark pores on legs are caused by bacterial or fungal folliculitis, a prescription like topical ointment may be the best solution.
If these strawberry legs are caused by keratosis pilaris, your dermatologist may recommend laser hair removal or light chemical peels.