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It’s nearly the season to start showing off your legs. Don’t let anything stop you from sliding into a mini – including strawberry skin.
Strawberry skin, often known as strawberry legs because it affects that area of your body the most, is usually the result of shaving. It appears as small dark or red dots that look a lot like strawberry seeds, hence the name.
They’re actually clogged pores, much like a blackhead, only there are quite a few skin conditions that can cause them, meaning you may need to address them in a certain way in order to get rid of them for good.
Strawberry skin, summed up, are open comedones caused by hair follicles or enlarged pores that have been lodged with a mixture of oil, grime, and dead skin.
“The term comes from the dotted or pitted appearance that resembles the skin and seeds of a strawberry,” says dermatologist Sapna Palep. “When the follicle or pore is exposed to air after shaving, it may darken.”
It usually appears on the upper outer arms, lower legs, cheeks and thighs.
Strawberry skin is caused by two main skin conditions.
Folliculitis arises when your hair follicles become clogged with dirt and oil. This usually happens when you haven’t been exfoliating or cleansing your skin properly. You also might get folliculitis from shaving and waxing as both of these hair removal methods open the hair follicles, leaving them vulnerable to infection.
If your dots are accompanied by little red bumps, you may be dealing with keratosis pilaris, aka, KP. KP affects people with dry skin or eczema the most, and happens when excess keratin builds up on your hair follicles. And some people just have to deal with keratosis pilaris thanks to plain old genetics. Luckily, Truly’s KP Treatment Kit can cancel out your keratosis pilaris.
So how can you stop those little red dots from ruining your summer? Let’s find out!
Old or cheap razors may be behind your strawberry skin flareups. The easiest way to deal with it? Get yourself a new one.
“A cheap, low-quality razor usually dulls much more quickly, gets nicks on the edge of the blade, and is often not as sharp to begin with,” says esthetician Ali Tobia. “What all of that means is that you’re more likely to repeat the same razor strokes multiple times, which inflames your skin and makes the clogged pores more visible due to surrounding redness.”
Use a single-blade razor that provides a close shave and a gentle, hydrating shaving cream like Truly’s Coco Cloud Whipped Luxury Shave Butter to keep your skin smooth and dot-free.
That might sound counterproductive, but shaving daily or every other day can help a lot in tackling strawberry skin. That’s because shaving helps to exfoliate, keeping follicles and pores clear.
“When we wait longer between shaving sessions, the hairs are often longer and coarser, thus the skin tends to be more irritated after shaving,” says dermatologist Naissan O. Wesley.
See, when your hair is longer and thicker, you’re forced to drag the razor over your skin repeatedly, which can irritate it and lead to folliculitis. We recommend Truly’s Silky Smooth Shave Set for the perfect shave.
Exfoliating can help slough away dead skin cells and make the strawberry dots a lot less visible. By exfoliating your body on a regular basis, you’ll gradually soften the skin and loosen up the dirt that’s in your pores, preventing it from getting trapped when you shave. Just be careful not to go overboard or scrub too hard, as this can irritate the skin and make it look worse.
Scrub gently with an exfoliator or look for a lotion that contains alpha hydroxy acids like lactic acid or glycolic acid which dissolve excess keratin and clear your pores. Truly’s Blueberry Kush CBD Body Lotion is a great choice, as it contains lactic acid.
Unlike a lot of hydroxy acids, salicylic penetrates deep down into the follicles to keep your pores decongested and clean.
“Salicylic acid can be found in at-home chemical peels, body washes, lotions, and saturated pads,” explains dermatologist Blair Murphy-Rose. “Most acid-containing body washes and lotions can be used one to two times daily.”
Diminish strawberry skin with Truly’s CBD Jelly Anti-Blemish Body Cleanser. It’s formulated with salicylic acid and retinol to unclog pores and promote smooth, clarified skin.
After you’ve exfoliated your skin, always follow up with a gentle, nourishing moisturizer to help dead skin cells shed off naturally. It’ll also soothe your skin and calm any irritation or dryness.
Slather your strawberry skin in Truly’s Unicorn Fruit Whipped Body Butter for a deeply moisturizing effect.
If ingrown hairs and shaving burn are causing your frequent bouts of strawberry skin, perhaps it’s time to do something more permanent about it.
Any type of hair removal can lead to folliculitis and ingrowns, so if your strawberry skin is getting you down, opt for a more permanent form of hair removal like laser treatments which work really work at keeping your skin smooth and bump-free.
“With laser, it usually takes at least 6-8 treatments for long term hair reduction, so with subsequent treatments as the hairs become finer and lessened, folliculitis tends to occur less frequently,” says Dr. Wesley. Sounds good to us!
Strawberry skin can affect anyone, almost anywhere on the body. The good news is, there are ways to soothe your strawberry limbs. Simple changes in your beauty routine like shaving smarter, exfoliating more frequently, and lotioning up more often might be enough to grant you gorgeous, dot-free skin.
If you’ve tried all of these treatments and you’re still dealing with strawberry skin, book an appointment with your dermatologist for an expert treatment plan.
In the meantime, start picking out your cute little summer outfits because that strawberry skin will soon be sliding out of your life for good!