It’s just warm enough now . . . my white, unpolished toes are taking their first peep out of their sock-blanketed hibernation and into spring air. I never purchased those trendy flat riding boots, so my feet have been burdened with heels (although may I say fashion-blessedly beautiful ones) most of the winter. Most of us find feet revolting enough without additional images of callouses and dry, flaky skin, so I offer you a 5-step home pedicure routine that will surely spruce up those tootsies and give you the confidence to be barefoot once again.
Step 1: Smooth. When feet are dry, use a PedEgg to remove hard, dry skin on heels, toes, and balls of feet. If you don’t have one of these marvelous mini cheese graters for your feet, get one now – they are cheap! Can you tell I love mine? It is painless and works bounds better than any pumice stone I’ve tried. There is even a grotesque satisfaction in viewing all of the collected dead skin shards while dumping it out. If you like pumice stones, you should soak your feet first (see Step 3). Don’t be temped to use a knife or scissors to lop off hard skin – you want smooth feet, not cuts. Rubbing ensures that you flake off dead skin without damaging new layers underneath.
Step 2: Shape toenails. Always file when nails are dry to avoid weakening and breakage. If you need to trim, use a rounded pair of grooming scissors to facilitate shaping. Make sure to place your trimmers or scissors fully underneath the nail to avoid nipping your skin.
Step 3: Soak. Using a plastic tub or the bath, mix foot salts or crystals in shallow lukewarm water and soak your feet for 10-15 minutes. If you don’t have foot salt, you can make your own soak by combining the juice of half a large lemon, 4 tbsp. of olive oil, 1/2 cup of whole milk or buttermilk, and 1/4 cup of sea salt into the water (recipe from ehow.com). You can also opt to purchase pre-made foot soaks; I suggest one with tea tree oil, which has anti-fungal and antiseptic properties. For added luxury, add flower petals.
Step 4: Scrub. Rub your favorite exfoliant over feet, massage with circular motion, and then rinse with cool water. You may want to use a foot brush or exfoliating gloves to scrub. Again, you can create your own scrub with household ingredients such as oatmeal, cornmeal, brown sugar and/or baking soda. Pat dry.
Step 5: Moisturize. When feet are almost completely dry, moisturize with your favorite cream. I like peppermint creams because they soothe tired feet. Rub moisturizer into heels, balls of feet and any other previously rough areas with a circular motion. Allow moisturizer to dry before putting on any sandals that are not rubber.
Your feet should feel smooth, relaxed and pampered. You can continue prettifying your feet by buffing your toenails and painting them. Now your toes should be ready to expose themselves to sunlight, bury in the sand, or slip into your favorite sandals. Class dismissed!