What Is Strawberry Skin and How to Treat It
Sometimes, you just want to show off some skin. Maybe you’re trying out a new dress for a date or you’re ready to debut a new bikini at the beach. In those moments, you want your limbs to look as smooth and delectable as butter. But if you’ve noticed a pattern of small dark spots on your legs, it can be hard to feel confident in the skin you’re in. You might be poking at those dark little spots and wondering what is this and how do I get rid of it?
You may be experiencing what’s called strawberry skin. Good news—it’s not dangerous to your health, and it’s something that you can treat from the comfort of your home (phew)!
In this guide, we break down what strawberry skin is, the possible causes, and some tips for strawberry skin treatment.
What Is Strawberry Skin, Exactly?
Strawberry skin refers to tiny darkened spots on your skin, typically found on your legs. These spots get their name from the discoloration that often resembles the seeded exterior of a strawberry.
Each individual spot tends to be a combination of:
Most people attribute the black dots to ingrown hair, but that's not always the case. Once miniscule bits of dirt mingle and develop on your skin, they can create clogs inside your hair follicle or your skin’s pores.
Once air comes into contact with the oil, the combination oxidizes and turns black, giving the appearance of small brown or black dots.
What Causes Strawberry Skin?
While you might have solved the mystery of what those tiny blemishes are, you might be wondering how you got them in the first place. There are a few irritants that increase your odds of ending up with strawberry skin:
- Shaving – Shaving is one of the leading causes of strawberry skin. Using a dull razor, shaving too quickly, or shaving without cream can increase your chances of finding yourself with dark spots.
- Keratosis pilaris – Often found on the thighs, this painless skin condition looks similar to goosebumps and is caused by an excess of keratin and dead skin cells.
- Dry skin – Excessively dry skin can aggravate your epidermis (the outermost layer of your skin). This can increase symptoms related to strawberry skin, such as the noticeably darker pores or skin that appears pitted.
- Folliculitis - Folliculitis occurs when hair follicles are inflamed and infected.
How Do You Treat Strawberry Skin?
The easiest way to treat and prevent strawberry skin? Amping up your shower routine with a few spa-worthy self-care treatments. These simple skincare tricks are things you can easily do the next time you’re ready to hop in the shower.
Step 1: Exfoliate
Exfoliation is the process to remove dead skin from the body. If you’re not already on the exfoliation bandwagon, today is the day to come aboard. Exfoliation can help clear away a layer of dead skin cells, excess oil, and bacteria to help reduce the chances of strawberry skin.
Exfoliation can also:
- Make it easier for your skin to absorb moisture – Remember, strawberry skin loves to crop up on dry skin. Exfoliation moves dead skin cells out of the way, making it easier for your fresh, young cells to absorb water and stay moisturized.
- Unclog pores – What happens when you clear up a clogged pore? Scrubbing away excess oil, grime, and debris can leave you with cleaner follicles. This can help prevent pesky ingrown hairs and razor burn, (both of which can lead to strawberry skin).
- Give you silky smooth skin – Removing old, dry skin can provide you with softer, more even skin that will look oh-so touchable in your favorite sundress.
Exfoliation is an excellent preventative practice for strawberry skin and can make your skin feel so soft and supple. Exfoliation can also serve as a keratosis pilaris treatment. Check out our ExfoliKate™ Resurfacing Body Scrub – a 3-in-1 treatment that acts as a scrub, peel, and a mask – to smooth away dead skin and clogged pores to get your skin back to its glowing glory.
Step 2: Follow-Up With a Cleanser
Cleanser clears away some of the major culprits behind strawberry skin—excess oils and bacteria—while allowing your skin to cling to its current moisture. It can also help remove any of the dead skin cells scrubbed-up by the exfoliant.
Look for a body wash with aloe vera, which contains:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Anti-inflammatory properties (which can be even more beneficial if you’re prone to strawberry skin).
Step 3: When You Shave, Shave Responsibly
After you’ve exfoliated and cleansed, it’s time to grab the razor.
Aside from being the most common form of hair removal, shaving is one of the simplest ways to say sayonara to strawberry skin. However, to keep strawberry fields forever off of your skin, be sure to shave wisely with these tips:
- Use a sharp, fresh razor – An old, dull razor can carry bacteria and make it difficult to shear off hair. Be sure to swap out your razor after 2-3 uses.
- Keep your razor clean – Store it in a clean, dry place (not just your shower caddy) to keep bacteria and rust at bay.
- Use a shaving lotion or shaving cream – Shaving strips a fine layer of skin cells from your body, which can lead to dryness and of course, strawberry skin. A nourishing shaving lotion or cream can help your skin retain its natural moisture barrier while helping ensure a smooth close shave.
Step 4: Moisturize Daily
Towel off, girl, it’s time to finish off your shower spa treatment with a little moisturization.
Applying body lotion daily (and especially right after shaving) to avoid razor burn and retain the shower moisture.
Our Dry Skin Saver soothes dry and rough skin to make it softer, smoother, and healthier. It’s formulated for your face, skin, and lips, so you can give every inch of your body the love it deserves while treating and preventing future instances of strawberry skin.
Give Yourself the Kate Somerville Treatment
Exfoliate, cleanse, shave wisely, and moisturize daily—these steps (plus a little time and consistency) are all it takes to keep strawberry skin at bay and achieve glowy, smooth skin. Soon, the only strawberries you’ll have to think about are the ones submerged in dark chocolate or mixed into a delicious daiquiri.
So turn on your favorite shower playlist, light a scented candle, and enjoy a daily spa ritual in the comfort of your bathroom. Then, get ready to show off those satiny legs wherever you want to flaunt them.
Kate Somerville skin care products are formulated with this self-care vibe in mind. Let our Skin Health Experts help you find the perfect combination of products so you can look and feel your best. Give yourself the gift of skin that’s supple, hydrated, and glowing.
Start the transformation today.
MedicineNet. What Causes Strawberry Skin: 6 Causes. https://www.medicinenet.com/what_causes_strawberry_skin/article.htm
Baylor College of Medicine. Using Aloe Vera Has Multiple Benefits. https://www.bcm.edu/news/benefits-using-aloe-vera
Healthline. What Are the Benefits of Body Scrubs? https://www.healthline.com/health/beauty-skin-care/benefits-of-body-scrubs#benefits