Have you ever looked at your legs or thighs and seen a bunch of small, dark, freckle-like dots peppering your skin?
You’ve might’ve scrubbed, shaved, waxed, and exfoliated in attempts to get a smooth, even appearance on your legs, but no matter what you did, it barely made a difference.
That, my friend, is a common struggle among many black women and it’s called strawberry legs.
In simple terms, strawberry skin is just clogged pores. When the dotted pattern appears on your legs, it’s typically the result of improper shaving practices, folliculitis, dry and dead skin, and keratosis pilaris—all of which are very treatable.
While strawberry legs are a life-long issue for most women, there are a few easy ways to help you reduce the appearance of it and ultimately achieve smoother, more even-toned skin.
Exfoliation is key to reducing the appearance of strawberry legs because it helps remove layers of dry, dead skin which prevents your pores from being clogged.
Regular sugar and salt scrubs are perfect because not only do they help soften your skin, but they keep dirt, oil, and other impurities from clogging your pores.
Exfoliation is also a very useful method to add to your pre-shave regimen because it also makes sure that dead skin doesn’t get trapped in your hair follicles and cause ingrown hairs or folliculitis.
Unlike physical exfoliants that use beads, salt, sugar, or ground coffee to cleanse and smooth skin, chemical exfoliants utilize acids to get the job done; The most common acid being glycolic—an alpha-hydroxy acid derived from sugar cane.
Glycolic acid does everything a physical exfoliant does: it removes layers of dead skin so that cleansers and moisturizers are more effective.
However, the key difference between a physical exfoliant and a chemical one is that physical exfoliants cannot penetrate your skin as a chemical one can.
Glycolic acid has the simplest and smallest structure of all the acids which means it can go deep down and not only remove skin but treat hyperpigmentation as well.
On top of that, glycolic acid increases the production of collagen so it also promotes more youthful-looking skin.
Hydrating and moisturizing regularly.
If you haven’t noticed by now, dry and dead skin are huge culprits in the strawberry legs struggle so you’ll have to make sure you hydrate and moisturize.
No, this doesn’t mean slathering on layers and layers of lotions and butters every chance you get. It actually means that you must hydrate and moisturize with more intention.
While your skin is still damp, you must continue hydrating it with a good-quality lotion or cream, and then seal it all in with a body butter or oil.
If you want to go the extra mile, use products formulated with hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is a powerful humectant that helps enhance the moisture content of your skin by bringing moisture to the surface.
Different hair removal methods.
You would think that because shaving causes so many problems, waxing would be a more beneficial and efficient way to remove hair.
This, however, isn’t exactly the case. Both shaving and waxing present very similar issues when it comes to strawberry legs.
In fact, shaving has a bit of an edge over waxing because there are different methods and materials you can use that are safer and more gentle on the skin, while waxing doesn’t offer much room for versatility in the method.
If you’re looking for long-term hair removal and do not mind temporary discomfort, you may want to invest in an epilator or laser hair removal.
Both of these systems target the hair follicle and could eliminate the issue of strawberry legs altogether.