How to Avoid & Prevent Strawberry Skin Once and For All
Your skin may look pretty simple, but it’s a complex ecosystem impacted by changes that are often invisible to the naked eye. Even small clogs in your skin’s pores can lead to visible results. If you have small, dark bumps on your skin that never seem to go away, you might be dealing with strawberry skin. Below, we’ll explore how these little clogs can lead to big headaches – and what you can do to stop them.
What is Strawberry Skin?
Strawberry skin, also known as strawberry legs, has nothing to do with actual fruit – it’s the result of clogged pores. The telltale sign of strawberry skin is dark spots that resemble the seeds on a strawberry’s pitted surface. These spots most commonly appear on the legs, thus the popular moniker “strawberry legs,” but can also show up on your arms, under your arms, and anywhere else you shave.
That’s because strawberry skin isn’t a skin condition. Instead, it usually comes on after shaving or waxing. You may notice brown or black spots on your skin, open pores that look darker than usual, or dotted skin. The lighter your skin, the more visible clogged pores typically are.
What Causes Strawberry Skin?
Waxing or shaving are the most common culprits behind strawberry skin because they expose clogged pores and irritate the skin. However, what looks like strawberry skin can actually be due to an underlying skin condition or infection.
That’s why it’s important to pinpoint the cause of your symptoms – if you experience any pain, swelling, or itching, it might be time to check in with a doctor. Below are some additional factors that might contribute to your strawberry skin.
Dry skin alone doesn’t necessarily cause strawberry skin. But, when your skin is naturally drier, it’s easy to cause irritation. The more you irritate your skin, the higher your chance of developing visible redness and bumpiness. Plus, having dry skin can make conditions like strawberry legs appear more visible.
Your pores are tiny holes that help your skin release the old and bring in the new. As your pores push out excess oil, they sometimes get clogged up by bacteria, dead skin, or dirt. Removing hair on your body exposes those oily plugs to the air, where they combine with oxygen and become darker than usual. Some people naturally produce more oil (sebum) than others, which may put them at an increased risk of clogged pores and acne.
If you use an old, dull razor or shave without shaving cream, you’re likely to damage your skin and cause razor burn. Strawberry skin might develop as a result. Poor shaving habits can also lead to ingrown hairs, which may resemble strawberry skin.
Strawberry skin may not be a skin condition, but it does closely mimic symptoms of keratosis pilaris and folliculitis. Keratosis pilaris, in particular, is easy to mistake for strawberry skin, as it also causes clusters of bumps on the skin. But these bumps are actually clogs made of dead skin cells and keratin, not oil and grime – they usually take on a red color.
Likewise, folliculitis causes irritated, red skin that may look bumpy, but it’s actually caused by infected or inflamed hair follicles, not blackhead-like pore clogs. These conditions usually cause irritation and itchiness that’s notably absent with strawberry skin.
How to Get Rid of Strawberry Skin, Step by Step
Once you’ve identified strawberry skin for what it is, it’s time to plan a targeted attack. Use these tips to get rid of existing strawberry skin quickly and effectively. Don’t forget to speak to a doctor if your symptoms worsen or don’t respond to at-home treatment.
1. Shave Carefully
Since shaving and waxing are some of the most common causes of strawberry skin, treat them with caution. When shaving, make sure you use a moisturizing shaving cream and go in the direction of hair growth, not against the grain. Keep your skin warm and moist to keep your pores open. It’s best to shave in or right after a shower so that your skin is clean and free from excess oil or dead skin.
As you shave, use short, light strokes, and rinse your blade regularly to get rid of build-up. After you’re done, ensure your razor is dried off and stored safely. Don’t leave it in the shower – this can expose the razor to bacterial growth and rusting, neither of which you need on your plate.
2. Exfoliate Regularly
Using gentle chemical exfoliants on a regular basis can help you minimize how much dead skin is sitting on and near your pores. Physical exfoliation is another option, especially if you have oilier skin.
OffCourt’s Exfoliating Body Soap is the perfect fit for the job. It has a medium grit that works wonders for scrubbing away dead skin but is formulated with highly moisturizing ingredients that soothe skin in its wake. Shea butter and olive oil wrap your new, delicate skin in a layer of hydration that kicks strawberry skin to the curb. Our exfoliating body soap is ideal for daily use or for a weekly deep clean, based on your needs.
Exfoliating Body Soap - Coconut Water + Sandalwood
3. Moisturize Dry Skin
Since dry skin can antagonize existing pore clogs and overall predispose you to strawberry skin, it’s time to invest in a quality moisturizer. Something lightweight and breathable is ideal for helping your skin stay hydrated without weighing it down.
Our Lightweight Facial Hydrator is ideal for those with strawberry skin on or near their face, as well as those whose skin is irritated by shaving. Give your skin what it needs to stay healthy without leaving behind a greasy, oily residue. Regularly moisturize the dry areas of your skin, especially after a warm shower, to limit your risk of strawberry legs.
4. Lather Up With Deep Cleansing Products
If you tend to get strawberry skin, you need products that dig deep into your pores. OffCourt makes exfoliation for strawberry skin a breeze with products designed to tackle your skin’s needs from every angle.
Pair our Deep Cleansing Body Wash with our Exfoliating Bar Soap for a routine that works to combat strawberry skin around the clock. Our Deep Cleansing Body Wash is formulated with glycolic and lactic acids, which purge your pores of excess oil and grime with ease. It’s the perfect exfoliating body wash for all skin types, thanks to its gentle formula and skin-friendly ingredients.
Deep Cleansing Body Wash - Fig Leaves + White Musk
How to Prevent Strawberry Skin
The main cause behind your strawberry skin may differ from someone else’s – maybe shaving doesn’t bother your skin unless it’s particularly dry, or maybe your strawberry skin comes and goes.
Understanding your triggers is the best way to prevent future flare-ups of strawberry legs. From there, you can implement tips like those below to treat the underlying causes before they cause problems.
- Practice Good Skin Care. Cleanse your skin regularly and avoid using harsh products that cause irritation. Combat flaky, rough, and dull skin with a regular dry skin care routine that delivers extra moisture.
- Be Gentle. Remember that razor burn and irritation can worsen strawberry skin. Redness and inflammation may make clogged pores more visible, and improper shaving habits overall increase your chances of strawberry legs. Treat your skin with compassion when shaving, waxing, or even drying it off.
- Learn Your Skin’s Needs. If you have oily skin, you might need to exfoliate more often than others. Likewise, if your skin is dry, you might want to use more hydrating products across the board; a moisturizing body wash might be a better choice than a drying bar soap.
Strawberry Skin Won’t Last Forever
Strawberry skin may not be fun to live with, but it’s usually a temporary condition. Some people are simply more likely to get strawberry skin than others, and it may be difficult to prevent it entirely. But moisturizing and exfoliating regularly should help you reduce its appearance and frequency. If you’re concerned about your skin’s health or develop additional symptoms, don’t hesitate to check in with a dermatologist.
OffCourt is here to help you achieve soft, healthy, and happy skin, no matter what life throws your way. Our Deep Cleansing Body Wash offers gentle chemical exfoliation, while our Exfoliating Body Soap deeply scrubs away dead skin and grime that leads to clogs. Incorporate each into your routine to show your strawberry skin who’s boss.