I like my skin. I mean, since it's what God gave me, I should, right? But if there are two things that irk me about it to no end, it's the fact that, even in my mid-40s, I'm still prone to period pimples (SMDH) and, because I naturally have larger pores, I oftentimes have what are known as strawberry legs. If you're wondering what the heck that is, it's those little tiny dark dots that you might notice is on your thighs and legs as well. For years, I used to think that there was nothing that I could do about them—but baby, guess what? Ever since I've applied an anti-strawberry legs regimen to my beauty routine, they've been so much less of an issue.
If you also happen to get strawberry legs and you're ready for that to change, so that yours can look as silky smooth and flawless as possible, here are the seven things that you definitely need to do.
A lot of times, whenever we think about exfoliation, it's pretty much our face that comes to mind. But it really is a good idea to use a body scrub or to dry brush your entire body, at least a couple of times each month. When it comes to your legs, specifically, it's so you can prevent your skin's pores from getting clogged up with dirt, dried sebum or bacteria that can result in ingrown hairs (tea tree oil is great at dislodging those hairs and preventing infections, by the way), comedones (which are basically blackheads) or folliculitis (inflamed hair follicles). If you don't exfoliate, that can definitely cause your pores to expand and small black dots to appear. So, make exfoliating a part of your self-care routine. For tips on how to make a great DIY exfoliant, click here.
2. Shave in the Shower
Aside from the fact that shaving in the shower is easier than putting your legs over your sink, the more water that you allow to run down your thighs and legs before you shave, the easier it will be for your hair follicles there to open up, so that the hair is so much easier to remove.
If you do decide to take the shower route, avoid one that is too hot; that could dry out your skin in the long run. On the other hand, if you'd prefer to shave in the bath, soak for about 10 minutes and then shave. Doing that will give you your closest shave, for sure.
3. Use a Shaving Gel, Cream or Oil
Aside from not exfoliating and using an old razor (which I'll get to in just a sec), one of the worst things that you can do is shave your legs when they are dry (because you'll definitely be asking for a nick or two, if not 10 of 'em) or not applying a "base" to your legs in the form of shaving gel, cream or some type of a light oil (like sweet almond oil) first. This is beneficial because, not only will it help your razor to move along your legs easier, it will also help to keep your legs from drying out too. If you're someone who likes to know exactly what you're putting onto your legs (since everything that we put on our bodies, does go into our pores to some extent), there is a really cool homemade shaving cream recipe right here.
4. Hesitate About Going Against the Grain
Something that I used to do—and yes, it ended up resulting in strawberry legs on one of my thighs—was shaving against the grain when it comes to how my hair actually grows. Although it did give me a much closer shave, it also resulted in a fair amount of ingrown hairs that ended up looking like tiny dark dots. Because a lot of us have hair with a natural curly pattern to it, ingrown hairs are something that we're automatically gonna struggle with. Make it less of an issue by allowing your razor to follow the way your hair grows rather than in the opposite direction. Otherwise, you might end up with a pair of strawberry legs, whether you follow the rest of these tips or not.
5. Replace Your Razors Every 2-3 Weeks
OK, let's talk about your razor for just a moment. I know some people who buy new panties quicker than they swap out their razors and y'all, that is absolutely NOT a good thing. Razors are sharp enough to get right at the base of your hair follicles.
Between that and your pores being open while you're shaving, they are able to remove hair and bacteria that, if you keep using the same blade past its prime, both of these things could actually infect your pores, which could also result in strawberry legs.
So, how often should you replace a disposable razor? If you shave every day, you should replace your razor every 1-2 weeks. Every other day, every 2-3 weeks. If you only shave once a week, getting some new razors (or at least new blades), once a month is cool.
6. Let Your Razor Air Dry
Razors are designed to pick up hairs and oftentimes dead skin cells too, so it's important that you keep them clean. For one thing, you should continually rinse off your razor while you're shaving. That will help you to get a cleaner shave while keeping a lot of "stuff" from collecting onto your blade as well. Once you are done, run your razor under some warm water again. Then, when you're finished, allow it to air dry. If you attempt to dry it off with a towel, you could cause little pieces of lint to get caught in the razor or damage the blade in the process.
7. Apply Aloe Vera or Shea Butter When You’re Done
Once you're finished shaving, it's also important to put something onto your legs that will soothe them and prevent tiny scars from occurring. Aloe vera gel is great because the antioxidants and enzymes, along with vitamins A and C that's in them will help to heal your skin from any nicks while also helping to keep your pores/hair follicles from becoming inflamed. Also, shea butter is bomb because the vitamins and fatty acids in it will deeply moisturize your skin, while the antibacterial properties in it will keep strawberry legs in check (plus, shea butter can help to soften the appearance of any scars you might already have).
You don't have to give your thighs and legs the side-eye, simply because they're not as smooth as you'd like them to be. Now you know the tricks to getting rid of your strawberry legs, so that you can enjoy those shorts and little black dresses on a whole 'nother level now. Enjoy, sis.
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