Do you crave flaunting perfectly toned athletic legs or wearing that cute dress tucked away in your closet? Is strawberry skin a major concern that holds you down from wearing your favourite outfits? Then why let this brood set you back? We have the perfect solution to help you overcome your concern. Read on to learn how to get strawberry free, smooth and flawless-looking skin.
WHAT IS STRAWBERRY SKIN AND WHAT ARE ITS CAUSES?
Strawberry skin is essentially those tiny dark spots that resemble the outer layer of a strawberry and are often visible on the epidermis. You can experience them anywhere on your body but they are most commonly spotted on your legs and arms. To give you a brief description, strawberry skin is simply enlarged pores or hair follicles that have trapped oil, dirt, dead skin or bacteria. It is a common cosmetic concern faced by those with dry skin. It is the buildup of dead skin cells that do not shed, form a layer on the surface and surrounding hair follicle blocking the pores. Here are a few reasons that can instigate the development of strawberry skin:
Using an old or blunt razor will prevent you from getting clean and smooth skin as the hair on your skin is tugged, curling it back into the skin and trapping its growth. This gives rise to ingrown hair that looks like strawberry skin.
2. Dead Skin Cells
We shed billions of cells every day on our body. These dead cells are replaced by newer healthier cells allowing the hair to grow from the follicle without any obstruction. But, what happens when the dead cells begin to accumulate on the surface of our skin? The hair gets trapped between the dead skin and the newer cells generated that looks like ingrown hair leading to strawberry skin.
3. Clogged Pores
Open pores are vulnerable to dirt and dust that trap pollutants. When this mixes with the natural sebum produced by our body, the pores plug in the hair follicle leading to clogged pores. You will notice strawberry skin due to oxidation of the open bump that turns black when exposed to air.
The development of fungus and bacteria causes hair follicles to inflame due to irritation. They initially appear as tiny red bumps with white pus that look like pimples. When the hair trapped within the inflammation tries to break through, it forms a red spot that darkens over time leading to strawberry skin.
5. Overly Dry Skin
Dry skin is more prone to tear. This means activities like shaving, friction caused by tight clothes or over-exfoliating using harsh products makes the skin vulnerable to break down the skin barriers, burns and razor cuts. It slows down the speed of repair and can leave the surface looking like strawberry skin.
6. Keratosis Pilaris
This is a skin condition commonly found on your upper arm region and can be experienced by anyone experiencing an excess buildup of Keratin (that is Hair Protein). It looks like tiny bumps on the skin that are caused when Keratin is being blocked by the skin when the hair follicle is growing and does not have an opening to sprout out.
CAN YOU PREVENT STRAWBERRY SKIN? HOW TO GET RID OF IT?
Strawberry skin is not a permanent concern. Even though trying to overcome strawberry skin might seem like a daunting task, taking certain preventive measures and using the right products can help you reduce its appearance tremendously.
1. Avoid Scratching
Due to the dryness associated with strawberry legs, it is natural to feel itchy and want to scratch the area. However, you must avoid doing so as it might lead to hyperpigmentation by breaking down the skin’s barrier and lead to inflammation.
2. Physical Exfoliants
Regular exfoliation can help to alleviate smoothness by getting rid of the dirt and oil clogging your pores leaving you with soft and fresh-looking skin. Avoid harsh exfoliants that can damage the skin’s protective barrier with their synthetic beads by switching to natural scrubs such as the Bliscent Strawberry & Shea Butter Body Polish which works wonders to gently exfoliate and buff away dead skin cells and bacteria. We also recommend the Ozone Signature Body Scrub that contains a plant-derived biodegradable scrub instead of Polyethene beads along with Aloe Vera and Almond oil that provides moisture.
3. Chemical Exfoliants
Acids such as Glycolic or Salicylic Acid work wonders by getting rid of dead skin cell buildup to allow newer skin to grow. Skinpot.Co Hyper Repair Exfoliation Peel contains 5% Glycolic Acid and other AHAs that work to peel away dead skin cells, leaving your skin smoother and brighter.
Dry skin is subject to easy wear and tear that breaks down the skin's protective barrier. Adding moisture will make the skin healthier and reduce vulnerability to strawberry skin. We recommend Arata Moisturising Body Lotion For Dry Skin with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter & Coconut Oil for intensive nourishment that contains Shea, Cocoa, Mango and Kokum Butter, leaving the skin hydrated, moisturised, and supple.
5. Dry Brushing
Another great method to exfoliate your skin without subjecting it to harsh chemicals is to simply rub a brush with natural fibre bristles against your body. This will help to remove dead skin cells and loosen the skin by eliminating the dirt and pollutants trapped in the pores.
6. Follow proper Shaving method
It is common to experience razor burns, ingrown hair and coarse skin after shaving. This in turn leads you right back to experience strawberry skin. In order to prevent this, we have listed some tips and tricks down for you:
- Moisturise your skin before and after shaving.
- Soak your legs/arm in warm water to dampen the skin and open the pores.
- Use a good quality razor.
- Apply a shaving foam or gel before your start.
- Begin by shaving in the direction of your hair using short strokes. After completing a patch shave in the opposite direction.
- Use an after shave cream or lotion to reduce any redness or inflammation.
7. Switch to Waxing or Epilating instead
Waxing removes the hair from its roots that reduces the chance of ingrown hair leaving the skin smooth and soft. Similarly, an epilator too removes the hair from the roots by plucking multiple hair follicles as you move the device.
8. Icing your body
Frozen rollers and other devices are a great way to soothe the skin by reducing inflammation and swelling. The pores contract and skin tightens giving your clear and bump free skin. Try the House of Beauty Ice Roller Filled with Water and Aloe Vera Gel, the ice roller provides the perfect glide while hydrating and calming your face, skin, feet or any body area. It can also helps to shrink pores, revitalise and rejuvenate the skin.
HOW TO GET RID OF STRAWBERRY LEGS:
This is a hair removal technique that aims at reducing hair growth over a period of time by targeting the hair follicle through a highly concentrated beam of light. The heat destructs the follicle without damaging the skin.
This is a long term treatment that reduces hair by passing low electric currents to decompose the follicles.
Depending on your pain threshold and level of concern, if you want to resolve strawberry skin these dermatological treatments are great alternatives to consider. Without the hair follicle, the concern for strawberry legs is completely solved as you permanently get rid of the hair.
WHAT ARE ITS SYMPTOMS?
Most often it is easy to tell when you experience strawberry skin as it resembles the skin of a strawberry but to put it more precisely we have listed below a few noticeable signs of strawberry skin:
- Tiny dotted or pitted appearance on the skin
- Hyperpigmentation of skin
- Darkening of open pores
- Formation of tiny brown or black dots after shaving
- Irritation, inflammation or redness
In case you experience a noticeable increase or prolonged irritation, we recommend you to seek professional advice to ensure that there is no bacteria development or infection.
Strawberry skin is generally not a major cause of concern and can be treated overtime by making simple changes in their skincare routine. Soothing your skin, keeping it hydrated and avoiding abrasive products is a great way to approach this discomforting trouble.