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Tanning TipsTanya Whitebits

Blocked Pores & Strawberry Legs

By February 2, 2024February 13th, 2024No Comments

If you have ever suffered from tanning related blocked pores, we have listed top tips to prevent this look. Pores are the tiny openings in your skin that you can see when you look very closely, especially in a magnifying mirror. Inside those pores are hair follicles and sacs beneath the skin that house the hair root. Due to shaving the legs, these pores can sometimes appear more visible and referred to as strawberry legs but the correct terminology would be comedogenic skin.

Firstly, we need to distinguish from a similar condition and mention that we’re covering shaving related strawberry legs / blocked pores, seen in the picture below:

Another condition which causes a similar appearance is called keratosis pilaris. This is a very common skin condition and may be present in half the population. It is a completely harmless, affects 50-70% of adolescents and approximately 40% of adults. Its name gives some idea of what it is; ‘keratosis’ means that there is too much keratin, which makes up the tough horny outer layer of the skin, while ‘pilaris’ comes from the Latin for hair (pilus). In keratosis pilaris, many small (1 to 2 mm across) horny plugs can be seen blocking the hair follicles on the upper and outer parts of the arms and thighs. This can look like goose bumps but feels slightly rough. Keratosis pilaris appears when extra keratin accumulates in the hair follicles. This usually starts in childhood and becomes more obvious during adolescence and in adulthood. For reasons not fully understood the condition seems to be better in the summer than in the winter perhaps because in winter the skin often gets dry while in summer the sweat makes it less dry. See picture below:

The first skin condition, which we mainly refer to as strawberry legs, is related to hair removal. Here are some tips which we hope will help you minimise this appearance.

Firstly, shaving or waxing can sometimes leave open pockets in the skin. Therefore, it’s important not to fake tan immediately after shaving and leave 24/48 hours after in-between procedures. Open pores can vary from person to person but some are more prone to larger pores than others.

Here are some tips:

  • Shaving and waxing is usually performed against the hair growth as it’s more effective for hair removal, however it can also cause the pore pockets to expand a little. You could try alternative methods like shaving in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Keeping the skin cool prior to tanning can help reduce strawberry legs as warmth can open the pores. Cold water or applying ice cubes can help prior.
  • If shaving, change your razor regularly, make sure it’s clean and not congested, use in conjunction with a smooth mousse/gel/cream in abundance. Avoid a blunt razor and avoid hair removal too frequently.
  • You could try using hair removal creams, epilators or wax the hair off the areas instead of shaving. Strawberry legs are essentially enlarged pores of hair follicles that contain oil, bacteria and dead skin. Due to ingrowing hairs after shaving, it can cause discolouration.
  • Exfoliate before hair removal and moisturise after hair removal.
  • As the tan is a bronze colour it can seep into these pockets therefore applying our Barrier Cream prior to tanning may help prevent this. Our Barrier cream is water based and applying evenly prior to tanning can help dilute the tan and prevent from seeping into pores.

Let us know your thoughts and feedback.

S x

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