Whether you call it strawberry legs, shaving spots, or something else entirely, we all know that trying to get rid of those dark, large pores on our legs is difficult. Where did they come from? What even are they? And why are they so stubbornly visible? Since there are lots of us all asking the very same questions, we decided to find out the facts so you can get to the root of the problem.
Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about pores on your legs, and how to minimize their appearance.
Why Do I Have Strawberry Legs?
First up, what exactly are those dark dots? While some have given them the nickname “strawberry legs," based on the similarities in strawberry seeds and pores on your legs, in medical terms, they’re what’s known as open comedones. In other words, they're dilated hair follicles that are naturally filled with the body’s oils and sebum.
The reason for their dark appearance, however, is that similar to the way in which blackheads can form on your face, these widened pores filled with oils can also attract bacteria and dead skin cells, all of which oxidizes in the open air, and as a result, turns a darker color near the surface of your skin. The comedones (aka hair follicles or pores) are left more “open” following hair removal, which is why your dots are often more visible after shaving or waxing.
How to Get Rid of Dark Pores on Your Legs
It's important to understand that pores and hair follicles are all a natural part of your skin, and are quite necessary to keep everything healthy. However, there are things you can do to minimize the appearance of those dark dots.
One way to treat the area is by exfoliating the skin and removing the buildup of dead cells, sebum, dirt, and impurities, similar to how you would with your face. Avoid abrasive scrubs, and instead use a chemical exfoliator, like glycolic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). These will aid in the shedding of dead cells for smoother skin and decrease inflammation from razor bumps, improve the texture of the skin, and decrease discoloration. Another, gentler AHA is lactic acid, but if you have sensitive skin and are prone to hyperpigmentation use caution and speak with a dermatologist to find the right solution for you.
For a more immediate solution, we interviewed Carly Hobbs on how she helps her clients flaunt flawless skin from head to toe. “You can banish the appearance of pesky pores on your legs by firstly giving them a rinse with cold water—the chill factor encourages them to close,” Hobbs explains.
Meet the Expert
Carly Hobbs is a makeup artist and Sienna X tanning brand ambassador. She is also the author of Supermodel Tips: Beauty and Style Secrets from the World's Top Models and is based in the UK.
Hobbs also suggests applying body makeup to camouflage the appearance. Use a tanning mitt to apply a mixture of two parts lightweight foundation and one part body highlighter. “Close the mitt in your hand to mix all the products together, and then begin to wipe the mixture all over your legs in long sweeping motions," she says. "Pat over patches that need a little more blending, and then leave it all to set for five minutes. Et voilá, you can now strut your non-porey stuff.”
Your Flawless-Legs Shopping List
Now that you know why the pores on your legs are so visible and how to treat them, check out six helpful products to shop for so you can keep the dark spots at bay.
Shop The Look
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Alpha hydroxy acid.
American Academy of Dermatology Association. How to safely exfoliate at home.