Strawberry Legs: What Those Tiny Dots Are & How To Get Rid Of Them
If you’ve ever noticed small little dots on your legs and wondered a) what they are and b) how and why are they there, then don’t worry, we’ve got the full scoop. Those tiny dots are often referred to as strawberry legs – pretty cute, we think – and while they’re really nothing to worry about and more common than you think, there are easy ways to prevent them and tons of quick solutions to prevent the appearance of strawberry legs, should you want to.
For the pro 411, we spoke to Karen Young, Founder of body care brand Oui The People, who is well versed on all things strawberry legs. Here’s everything you need to know:
What Are Strawberry Legs?
Strawberry legs are when small dark spots appear on your legs, occurring in a pattern that corresponds with your hair follicles. They often look like tiny little blackheads, which are often mistaken for dirt. The black dots resemble the tiny seeds in strawberries, hence the term strawberry legs.
So what actually are they? Karen Young says, “You can get strawberry legs for several reasons.” First, she confirms that “It can be caused by comedones (blackheads & hair follicles) that contain trapped oil, bacteria, or dead skin cells, ingrown hairs, or it can be keratosis pilaris (KP), which is the result of excess keratin on the surface of the skin creating a blockage.”
Ultimately, there’s no reason to worry or do anything about strawberry legs, and you can simply decide to embrace them. However, should those tiny little dots be something you wish to get rid of, there are multiple things you can do to prevent them, most of which involve upgrading your hair removal habits. Check out Karen’s top tips below.
How to Prevent Strawberry Legs:
1. Always Exfoliate Before Hair Removal
Exfoliating your body is essential if you want to nix or prevent strawberry legs. Karen confirms, “you want to exfoliate 1-2 times per week to prevent clogged pores and reduce inflammation.” Her exfoliator of choice? She prefers chemical exfoliation, adding “Oui The People has an incredible toner, The Big Reveal, $25, which contains poly-hydroxy acid (PHA), a gentle acid that is safe to use anywhere you experience ingrown hairs, as well as gluconolactone to exfoliate and improve tone and texture. It also contains water to soothe sensitive skin and increase hydration.” Overall, she insists that The Big Reveal will give you smoother, brighter skin without the added irritation. We’re in!
If you prefer something a little more mechanical, our new (ish) Yo Glow Detox, $39, is ideal. It combines the power of AHAs, BHAs, detoxifying charcoal, and cellulose to gently buff away dead skin and seriously detox your pores. It’s also super satisfying to rub into your skin, as you can literally feel all the cellulose combine with dead skin and melt away. We’re obsessed. We also like to have a 10-minute soak pre-exfoliation as this helps soften the skin and encourage deeper exfoliation.
2. Use A Sharp Razor
According to Karen, “You also want to make sure you are shaving with a sharp razor, such as Oui’s Rose Gold Safety Razor, $75. Plastic razors use a combination of dull and sharp blades which tug and pull at the hair. This is meant to reduce the chances of you cutting yourself, but it actually increases the chances of irritation and ingrown hairs. Oui’s razor cuts hair right at the surface of the skin for a smoother, irritation-free shave.”
If your legs are prone to strawberry legs, it’s recommended that you shave in the direction of the hair growth and avoid passing over the same area repeatedly to help minimize irritation.
3. Don’t Forget to Moisturize
Hydrating your skin after any hair removal method is imperative if you want to avoid irritation, dryness or strawberry legs. Not only will it ensure your legs are silky smooth, but keeping your skin hydrated will help dead skin cells shed naturally. If you’re in need of a new moisturizer, check out our faves here.
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4. Try Alternative Methods of Hair Removal
If you typically shave but are constantly getting strawberry legs, you could consider using another method of hair removal. Here are the benefits of each:
Waxing: Waxing is a great alternative to shaving as it removes the hair by the root, so the follicle is completely ’emptied.’ Plus, waxed hairs grow back softer and thinner over time, so you don’t have to wax as often. However, some people do experience ingrown hairs with waxing – if that’s the case, the next option is a good solution to both strawberry legs and ingrown hairs!
Laser hair removal: Laser hair removal gets rid of the hair completely, rather than just at the surface, like shaving or waxing. Therefore, it quite literally treats the root of the problem.
Sugaring: You may have seen sugaring on TikTok, as it was trending a few months ago. It’s a great, more eco-friendly method of hair removal that’s also amazing if you’re prone to strawberry legs.
How To Soothe Strawberry Legs
If you’re currently dealing with a case of strawberry legs and they’re itchy or uncomfortable, don’t worry, as there are some easy steps you can do to soothe them. Here are our fave soothing DIY hacks…
Aloe Vera DIY
After soaking your legs in warm water and gently exfoliating the skin, mix together water, pure aloe vera, and 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in a bowl, then gently massage it into your legs. The aloe vera will help soothe and calm irritated skin, while the tea tree oil will decongest clog pores.
You know we love a DIY: they’re cheap, super effective, and fun to do, so naturally, we had to include a DIY leg mask. This mask combines chicken flour, which is a great natural exfoliant, and yogurt, which boasts lactic acid to help dissolve dead skin cells. It’s also enriched with antibacterial and antimicrobial honey, which will work overtime to decrease oil and act as an antifungal.
- ½ cup of chickpea flour
- ½ cup of full-fat yogurt
- 2 tbsp of manuka honey
- Water (add 1 tbsp at a time until the mixture forms a thick paste)
Combine the ingredients in a large bowl and spread the paste on your legs. Make sure to coat the entire leg. We recommend doing this over the tub to avoid mess! Let the mask soak for 10 to 20 minutes, then rinse with warm water.
For more advice, check out our full hair removal guide.
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