Shortcut to summer ready tootsies
With summer holidays approaching it’s not just our bodies we need to get ready to expose. Our feet bear the burden of our weight, but probably don’t get half as much attention as other areas. If you don’t have the time to be regularly pampered by a beauty therapist, there are some easy ways to get your feet baby soft in record time. With a few products and a bit of you time it’s possible to get your neglected feet ready for summery sandals quicker than you think. Here’s our guide to summer-ready feet.
Get a pedi or DIY
Unsanitary conditions in salons can result in a host of foot problems. If the salon’s soaking tubs or equipment are not completely sanitised they can transmit toenail fungus and bacterial infections. If you’re planning to get a pedicure it’s best to book earlier in the day when the tubs are likely to be cleaner. And if you have a cut that hasn’t completely healed on feet or legs, avoid the salon as it’s easy access for allowing germs into your system.
If you want to exfoliate dry skin in the comfort of your own home, JML’s Pink Ped Egg Power lets you gently buff away dead or dry skin and calluses on neglected feet in just a few seconds.
Soften heels with a mask or scrub
After you shower and once skin is dry, slather feet in a foot mask like Lush’s Volcano Mask. The cooling and invigorating mask contains deodorising ingredients and brightening papaya, while the inclusion of pumice means it also doubles up as a foot scrub. Smear the mask, which is full of clay mineral kaolin, on soles and heels, cover with a plastic bag, and relax for 20 minutes. Liz Earle’s foot scrub is packed with natural ingredients including avocado and wheatgerm oils and will also soften and moisturise as it exfoliates feet.
Brighten yellow nails
Constant polishing of toenails, particularly with dark colours, may result in staining from the dyes in the varnish. To remove stains and brighten dull nails, rub a lemon wedge on your nails for a minute. Another method to revive yellowing nails is to soak them in an Epsom salt bath. Fill a bowl of hot (but not boiling) water, add eight tablespoons of Epsom salt. Mix the salt and water for a minute with spoon before soaking your toes, or entire foot, in the water for 30 minutes. Remove feet and rinse with cool water.
Trim toenails correctly
Clip toenails straight across rather than rounding them, as nails cut at an angle can turn into an ingrown toenail. Also, if you’re getting a pedicure, ask your nail technician to push cuticles back rather than cutting them. Cuticles serve as a barrier to prevent dirt and debris from getting into your skin and removing them can leave you at risk of nail infections. Invest in a pair of large, good-quality nail clippers designed for use on the feet, such as Tweezerman Perfect Power Nail Clipper or Scholl Toenail Nail Clippers which can cope with the thickest nails.
Moisturise, moisturise… and then do it again
A rich moisturiser will make all the difference between scaly winter feet and silky sandal-ready tootsies. If you’ve neglected your feet over the winter, after bathing start moisturising clean heels every night with a pampering lotion like Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Cream which combines coconut oil, lanolin and vegetable glycerin to rejuvenate the driest feet. This Works Perfect Heels Rescue Balm targets dry, cracked heels, and absorbs quickly. Cotton thistle extract provides a protective barrier to keep moisture in, while lemon oil detoxifies and revitalises heels and soles leaving feet feeling soft and moisturised. Margaret Dabbs Intensive Treatment Foot Oil, from the foot specialist of the same name contains a mix of Emu Oil and natural ingredients. It will instantly rehydrate cracked and broken skin and even give dull nails a boost.