#ELLEBackToBasics: What Are Strawberry Legs & How You Can Deal With Them

Strawberry Legs

Strawberry legs is an umbrella term used for keratosis pilaris, ingrown hair and super dry skin. Medically called open comedones, this is a common problem experienced by a majority of women across the globe. Strawberry legs take their good own time and care to reduce in appearance, if not vanish away completely. So, let us break down the concept for you and how it can be tackled.

What Are Strawberry Legs?

Strawberry Legs

We have often spotted black dot-like spots on our legs which seems to be like dirt. This creates an illusion of strawberry skin which also happens to have black spots all over. But in reality, these spots are clogged pores or a more stark version of blackheads. The hair follicles trap dirt, sebum and dead skin cells along with the budding hairs, once exposed to the air, the oil gets oxidised and darkens. This then causes dark, dot-like spots that look like the ones found on a strawberry fruit, hence the name strawberry legs.

What Are The Causes?

More often than not, shaving is the primary contributor to this concept. The reason being, it does not pluck out the hair from the roots but cuts it off from the skin’s surface. At times, dry skin, clogged pores or a skin condition may also be the cause of open comedones.

But, don’t you worry! There are some simple practices that can help to revive your skin.

1. Shower Optimally

Yes, you’d be surprised to know that you can start treating the situation from your daily showers themselves. Replace your traditional ways of bathing with a loofah or exfoliating soap that offers just the right amount of exfoliation that is well-suited for a daily basis. You can also use a dry brush to mildly exfoliate the skin before stepping into the shower. In this way, you can start unclogging the pores slow and steadily. 

2. Exfoliation is Key


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The most effective method to free your skin from strawberry legs is exfoliation. Physical or chemical, you choose! We swear by both these techniques in equal amounts. Exfoliation must be a part of your weekly skin and body care routine irrespective of your hair removal choices. But, shaving deserves a special mention here since exfoliating before shaving is a prerequisite. Besides a physical exfoliator, you can also use chemical ones like salicylic acid and glycolic acid that aren’t as abrasive but work just as nice. You can take a huge cotton pad and apply these chemical exfoliants to the affected area.

3. Shaving Correctly

With shaving becoming our go-to method of hair removal, we may be inviting dark spots on the legs unknowingly. It is essential to shave correctly in order to prevent this. You must always start by exfoliating (here, we prefer a physical exfoliator) to unclog the pores. Followed by that, do not glide the razor without using shaving cream to smoothen the process. Contrary to popular notions, always shave in the direction of your hair growth which will help you combat hair ingrowth. Do not forget to use a good quality razor that is flexible and has three blades. Lastly, avoid shaving in one area multiple times since this could lead to inflammations.

4. Moisturise!


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This is one of the most underrated steps in any skincare process, but one that can make a world’s difference. Be it your face or your body, moisturising the skin is inevitable. Moisturising helps by keeping the skin hydrated and nourished. As mentioned earlier, dry skin can be one of the causes of strawberry legs, and moisturising eliminates that. Also, dead skin cells are more prone to shed off when the skin is hydrated. Use thick body butter or cream that sits on the skin beautifully.

5. Extra TLC 


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A little TLC for your skin will go a long way; believe us! Pamper your legs unconditionally to observe improvements gradually. You can use a mask on your legs that caters to dry skin or helps in exfoliation. The best mask is the one that we’ve heard about for ages, the gram flour or besan pack. Mix the flour with yoghurt, honey and some aloe vera (for extra soothing) and apply liberally on affected areas. You can also massage some nourishing oil on the area to soften the skin. After hair removal, rub some ice cubes on the skin to avoid inflammation and redness. 

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