Does Shaving Give You 'Strawberry Skin'? Here's How to Get Rid of It for Good

Woman shaving her legWoman shaving her leg

I may not have left the house in six months, but you can bet your bottom dollar I've still been fake tanning most weeks.

Apart from having nothing better to do with my time in 2020, gliding a layer of fake tan on has a profound effect on my mood. I'd go as far to say that fake tan is the unsung hero of this year (at least, to me it is).

But there was one thing that kept getting in the way of my flawless, can't-go-anywhere-to-show-it-off tan...

Strawberry legs.

Sorry, What the Heck Are Strawberry Legs?

Anyone who experiences strawberry legs will likely know exactly what I'm talking about, but just in case you don't, I asked Bondi dermatologist Dr Phil Tong to explain.

"Strawberry skin, or more commonly strawberry legs, refers to the appearance of black spots that resemble the spots seen on the surface of a strawberry," Dr Tong told us on the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast.

"It occurs due to the hair follicles or enlarged pores containing trapped oil, dead skin and bacteria - like the blackheads on the nose, it's the ‘oxidation’ process or exposure to air which causes these spots to darken."

So, where does fake tanning enter the picture?

Well, according to Dr Tong, shaving is a contributory factor to strawberry legs - and what do we often do right after shaving? Yep, we apply fake tan, which can then get trapped in these pores/follicles.

In case you're wondering whether razor rash is the same thing, it's not. Razor rash is a separate concern, although it can lead to strawberry skin. I think I have a mixture of both.

"Razor rash is caused by trauma to the skin from the razor itself (often an old one), or by the products used when shaving," Dr Tong added.

"It's an irritant reaction which generally subsides over time."

You can learn more about strawberry skin in this episode of the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast below!

How to Get Rid of Strawberry Legs and Strawberry Skin.

Whether it's razor rash or strawberry skin, Dr Tong suggests using shaving cream and regularly changing your razors if possible. As for other remedies, Dr Tong offered some more solutions if the shaving cream isn't cutting it.

"This is one of the only areas of the skin that I recommend the use of an exfoliant, which can be followed by a moisturiser. Laser hair removal, despite requiring multiple sessions, can be effective in removing leg hair, and is preferable over hot waxing or the use of epilators."

Once I'd digested this information, I tried to think of the last time I'd changed the head on my razor. As the months ticked over in my head, I realised I'd been using the same razor head for over a year.

Yes, over a year. And here I was wondering why I was experiencing this strawberry skin situation.

So, I decided to completely overhaul my approach to shaving, starting with a new razor.

I Found the Best Reusable Razor in Australia.

Nara ShaveNara Shave

Instead of just swapping out my razor head, I decided to try a new brand called Nära Shave.

Not only do these non-plastic razors look bougie AF (and kind of old school cool) on your shower ledge, but they're also more sustainable, and damn did I experience the closest leg shave of my life.

I'd noticed over a few months that the strawberry legs situation was worsening (likely due to the old razor which we shall now never speak of again), and despite exfoliating and moisturising, I couldn't shift it.

That's when the Nära Shaving Starter Kit - Matte Gold swooped in and saved the day.

Nara ShaveNara Shave

In fairness, I think it was both the razor and the shaving oil that contributed to the tone and texture of my skin returning to normal and the lumps and bumps disappearing, as well as regular exfoliation and moisturising daily.

Honestly, be prepared to have the smoothest legs you've ever had, because this single blade razor gets as close to the skin as possible.

How to Avoid Shaving Cuts.

In complete and utter transparency, I've nicked my knees a few times since switching to this razor, but not bad enough that it's put me off (the smooth shave is too hard to resist).

The key is not to let the razor sense your fear.

And as we've learnt, don't forget to regularly change the blade - Nära Shave packs come with a little blade bank so you can safely dispose of sharps.

Nara ShaveNara Shave

To avoid nicks and cuts, start with a generous amount of shaving cream or shave oil to help the razor move seamlessly and reduce skin irritation. Hold it at a 30-degree angle, and using short strokes, glide the blade to remove the hair. You've gotta take care around your joints though.

After implementing this new shaving routine, I'm happy to report that not only have the dots and bumps on my legs almost completely subsided, but my fake tanned legs are ready to be paraded around Melbourne as soon as we're allowed out.