Many women, especially women of color, experience strawberry legs from time to time. As the name suggests, strawberry legs are characterized by many unsightly, visibly dark pores – resembling dark dots – on the legs. This guide will show you how to get rid of strawberry legs with over the counter and home remedies, and prevent their recurrence.
What Causes Strawberry Legs?
Medically referred to as “open comedone”, strawberry legs are just open, dark skin pores that result when ingrown hairs, sebum (skin oil), dirt, dead skin cells etc. become lodged in your hair follicles. Once exposed to the air, the oil gets oxidized and darken. This then causes the typical dark, dot-like spots that looks like the ones found on a strawberry fruit, hence the name “strawberry legs”.
Although anyone can suffer from this follicular issue, it tends to be more noticeable in women with darker skin (women of color mostly).
Poor shaving is the most common cause of strawberry legs. This can happen when you use a dull razor that tugs at leg hair but doesn’t pull the hair follicle out completely, for example. As a result, the hair follicle becomes exposed to the air and the sebum in it become oxidized, leading to the formation of dark pores that are characteristic of the condition.
How to Get Rid Of Strawberry Legs Fast with Home Remedies
Strawberry legs (dark pores on the legs) can hinder you from sporting your beautiful legs or getting dressed in a short or biking in the warm summer season. You can apply camouflage makeup to conceal this skin problem every day, but there are as well many home treatment remedies that you can use to cure the dark pores once and for all. Below is a guideline on how to get rid of strawberry legs fast at home:
Exfoliate To Keep the Skin Pores Clean
Exfoliation helps to rid the skin of dead skin cells an dirt and thus help to unclog the skin pores. This can then help to remove strawberry legs, so to speak.
You can either use an over the counter chemical exfoliants with glycolic acid, salicylic acid or lactic acid as the active ingredient to treat strawberry legs or make you own home treatment DIY granular exfoliant, usually a scrub made from a gritty-textured remedy e.g. baking soda, brown sugar etc. brown sugar is preferred over white sugar for its more superior exfoliating action.
Below is how to get rid of strawberry legs with exfoliating natural scrubs
Skin Pore Exfoliation Method 1
- Make a natural homemade scrub by mixing 2 tablespoons each of brown sugar and aloe vera gel with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Blend the ingredients thoroughly to create a paste with fine consistency.
- Apply the scrub on wet legs with the help of a small towel or a loofah in gentle circular motions, concentrating on the areas affected by the “strawberry legs” condition.
- Rinse your legs with warm water and finish off with a splash of cool water.
- [Optional] You may want to finish off by massaging in some coconut oil or glycerin to moisturize the skin.
This method is especially great for people with sensitive skin. For more exfoliating action, you may want to apply the sugar scrub after soaking your legs in a bath tub of warm water for 15 minutes. This helps to open up and thus get rid of dark pores on the legs.
Throwing aloe vera into the mix aids in faster healing of the dark pores since it has rich natural anti-inflammatory properties. As for the lemon juice, it throws in some stringent action for quick treatment of strawberry legs.
- Combine brown sugar and olive oil in the ratio of 1:2 and then work it into the legs as described in method 1.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of warm water, mix them thoroughly and then massage them gently into the skin for a few minutes before rinsing them off with warm water.
- To some buttermilk, ad enough salt to make a scrub that is easy to work, then massage it gently into the areas of the leg affected by dark pores before rinsing off with warm water.
If you cannot do without shaving altogether, then consider the following shaving tips:
- Soak your legs in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes to help soften the skin and open up the pores which then helps to draw out the impurities trapped inside the pores.
- Use clean, sharp razor blades. It is advisable to use razors once but if that is not an option to you, consider running hot water over the razor after shaving with it. Some people use the dishwasher for the same purpose; simple place the razor you want to sterilize on the top rack of the dishwasher in a high-heat cycle and you are good to go.
- Apply coconut oil to your legs before shaving to moisturize the skin and prep it for the shave.
- After applying the shaving cream (an aloe vera based product is particularly good), shave in the direction of hair growth without applying too much pressure or passing the blade over the same area for too long.
- After shaving your legs, splash the work area with cold water, the finish off by applying an aftershave cream or a moisturizing lotion.
- Never use soap in the place of shaving cream as it tends to make the razor less efficient. In the case of emergency, e.g. when shaving cream runs out halfway through, use conditioner (if you really have to) instead of soap.
Cucumber juice has been found to help reduce the appearance of strawberry legs and other parts of the skin. And the best part, it is an all-natural remedy that is free of harmful chemicals and is gentle to use even for people with sensitive skin.
- Peel a cucumber and then mash it to make a smooth paste.
- Apply the paste to the areas of the leg affected by dark pores twice daily, in the morning and evening.
- Repeat this treatment every day until you have attained the desires results.
Mix equal proportions of mashed cucumber, lemon juice, and rosewater to the affected areas of the leg and allow 5-10 minutes for the mixture to work in before rinsing it off with water. Repeat the process frequently until the dark pores get cured.
Moisturizing with natural oils and aloe vera based lotion also helps to increase circulation while promoting the healing of strawberry legs.
Egg white is also touted to fasten the healing of dark pores. As for how to get rid of strawberry legs with the egg white, simply apply the egg white directly on the affected pores, leave it on for 5 minutes or so, and then rinse with cool water.
Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial properties and has been shown to be as effective as 5% benzoyl peroxide in treatment of acne. For open comedones on the legs (strawberry legs), add 2-3 drops of tea tree oil to a2 tablespoons of olive oil and then massage the mixture into the affected areas of the leg.
More Tips to Help Get Rid Of and Prevent Strawberry Legs
- Replace wash clothes, loofahs, and bath mits frequently: This often harbor bacteria and could be a contributing factor to strawberry legs.
- Use soaps with salicylic acid: This will help to exfoliate the skin and prevent the recurrence of those open comedones (dark pores) on the legs.
- Exfoliate your legs a days before shaving.
There you go. You now know how to get rid of strawberry legs. If the problem persists or gets worse, even with the use of the above home remedies, consider talking to your doctor or dermatologist about medical treatment options such as laser hair removal.
About.com: Shaving Tips to Prevent “Strawberry Legs”