Let’s talk about strawberry legs. The nuisance of strawberry legs – also known as keratosis pilaris or chicken spots- is something that plagues many individuals. It is particularly a hindrance when you have more melanin in your skin as it becomes a lot more noticeable, common and a knock to your confidence at times. For a lot of young women of colour, after shaving or removing leg hair, it can be tiresome to spot those dreaded pores and dark circles. Here is a little hack to banish those dark spots from your life.
Strawberry legs are basically a build-up of keratin in pores blocking hair follicles. On lighter skin, it is described as reddish bumps. On darker skin it’s those dots or bumps or the pitted appearance you get, even after a wax; they can sometimes look like ingrown hairs stuck under the skin without any bumps or spots.
Advice online ranges from baking soda, chemical peels, and everyday treatments to time-consuming expensive methods. Yes, exfoliation does work but they’re all rather messy and take a lot of running around, especially with the home methods. However, cost-wise, it isn’t always possible. Buying exfoliants can be costly when all those small things add up.
This brings me to the solution, a dry brush. How does this unassuming brush help with strawberry legs and much more? It can exterminate dead skin cells and clogged pores. It also improves blood flow, circulation, skin texture and most importantly, it gives you that natural glow. There are two types of dry brushes you can use:
- Facial dry brushes – These have softer and more compact bristles and are shaped to fit your face.
- Body dry brushes – These have rougher bristles and can come with long brush handles so it’s easier to reach your back.
My personal recommendation is the Mio body brush which has given me great results. Make sure you check through reviews to see which brush suits you.
A dry brush is used on dry skin in circular motions starting from the ankles sweeping towards your heart, using a bit of pressure. Don’t press down so hard that you rub your skin raw or so light that there is no effect.
It works by exfoliating dry skin cells which is why you should shower afterwards to wash them off and prevent them from staying. At first, it feels uncomfortable when you use it but eventually, you get used to it. You can use it every day or once a week. It’s entirely up to you and your skin, but as a rule of thumb, try to avoid more than three times a week as it can result in irritation and there’s always a balance in using . I find using cream afterwards is helpful especially if you have sensitive skin, as it helps prevent any irritation.
They are a moderately cheap product, and it should be washed with cheap shampoo twice a month to get rid of any dead skin build-up. It also should be replaced when you feel the bristles are starting to wear out, which depends on use and how often you use it. Mine is around 2 years old but still going strong, considering I only use it two to three times a week. If I’m consistent with it, my legs are usually strawberry spot free. It also has the added benefit of preventing ingrown hairs and makes your skin feel super soft.
A word of warning is to use it according to your skin, if you have psoriasis or anything more than mild eczema (I have eczema and sensitive skin which means I moderate how much I use mine), then stay well clear or do a patch test first. Secondly, do not brush too hard; your skin will not thank you if you overdo it and brush it all the time. Use it regularly but according to the needs of your skin. Thirdly, if you get abrasions, you’re either using the product incorrectly or it’s not suitable for your skin. Fourthly, do not use it on open wounds, it is not advised as bacteria could get into your open wounds, which will never be a good thing.
With these tips, you can build greater confidence in your body because at the end of the day, your confidence is for you. Taking out the time to engage in self-care for your body , even if it’s just for a few minutes, is important. It helps you to focus on the needs of your body and mind, as well as build your inner confidence too.