Actress/talk show host Raven-Symone has this problem. She calls them “strawberry legs”—the dark pores that resemble dark dots on the legs. Just like strawberries with tiny spots covering the fruit’s surface, dark pores can be quite noticeable on the legs, especially on light or olive skin tones. The medical term for these pores is open comedones. These are open pores that have excess oil, dirt, and bacteria trapped inside the skin. Once exposed to the air, the oil reacts with oxygen and the pores turn dark or black.
Camouflage makeup is a quick fix, but if you don’t adequately remove the makeup you can end up making the problem worse by clogging the pores or further irritating the skin with chemical ingredients. And who wants to apply and then remove leg makeup every day? There’s also a chance of the makeup getting all over clothing and other things that your legs touch. So what can you do? Here are a few tips to help you get rid of dark pores on the legs.
Women often notice the appearance of dark pores after shaving their legs. Using a dull razor that pulls at the hair, but doesn’t completely remove the follicle, can cause this. The hair follicle opening becomes clogged and blocked with oil and dead skin cells. One thing you can do is to stop shaving. If that’s not a possibility, shave less frequently.
Alternatives to Shaving
While shaving is the quickest, easiest and cheapest method for hair removal, it might be necessary to stop shaving. You can try alternative methods like depilatories, waxing or laser hair removal, but remember these methods have their own set of problems.
Depilatory creams are an easy and an inexpensive option for hair removal. All you have to do is apply the cream to your legs and wait for the formula to break down the hair. We recommend using a formula that includes aloe for sensitive skin.
If you’d like to go the waxing route, we recommend using a kit that is specifically made for waxing your legs, like Parissa Wax Strips. They’re easy to use, especially if you are new to waxing and it’s made for all hair types.
Keep Pores Clean
Reduce the chance of dark pores appearing by regularly exfoliating the skin to get rid of dead skin and blockage from sebum, dirt, and impurities that can get into the pores. These mixtures of ingredients are great to use for exfoliating the skin and help alleviate dark pores on the legs.
- Mix 2 tbsp. of sugar with 4 tbsp. of olive oil.
- Mix 1 tbsp. of baking soda with 1 tsp. of warm water.
- Mix enough salt with buttermilk to make a paste.
- Mix 2 tbsp. of brown sugar, 2 tbsp. aloe vera gel and 1 tsp. lemon juice into a paste.
- Blend equal parts of brown sugar and baking soda with water to make a paste.
Exfoliate with natural, mildly abrasive scrubs. Using a loofah, exfoliating mitt or a towel, gently massage the scrub onto affected areas (or the entire leg) with small circular motions for several minutes, beginning at the ankles and working your way up. Rinse or gentle wipe off with warm water. Splash skin with cold water.
Massage legs with healing oils or lotions with healing ingredients like aloe vera to increase circulation, keep skin moisturized and healthy. Try these other ideas:
- Add pure glycerin to vitamin E oil, almond oil, jojoba, or coconut oil and massage into the legs.
- Peel and mash a cucumber and apply the cucumber juice to affected areas. After a few usages, this will help reduce the color of the dark pores.
- Add a couple of drops of tea tree oil to two tablespoons of olive oil and massage into the area for a few minutes.
- Add a few drops of sandalwood oil to olive oil or coconut oil to massage legs.
- Apply equal parts of lime (or lemon) juice, cucumber juice and rose water to legs.
- Apply egg whites on pores and leave on for several minutes, rinse with cold water
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) aid in the shedding of dead skin for smoother skin and decrease inflammation from razor bumps, improve texture of the skin and decrease discoloration. Glycolic acid was originally derived from sugar cane, hence the use of sugar. Other AHAs are lactic acid (milk) and citric acid (lemons, limes). If you have sensitive skin and are prone to hyperpigmentation speak with a dermatologist who specializes in treating ethnic skin before using glycolic acid and AHAs. Also, avoid abrasive scrubs.
Lime is an astringent and gentler on the skin than lemon. Cucumbers, aloe vera, rosewater and sandalwood oil are good for inflammation. Avocado and olive oil are great emollients. Coconut oil is antibacterial. Salt is a good for exfoliation, but sugar is a gentler exfoliant for sensitive skin. Brown sugar is better for sensitive skin than white granular sugar.