Sheltered in boots and closed-toed shoes, our feet tend to cautiously step into the sunshine dry, callused and – dare we say – untended. Get ready for summer with a ritual you can use all season long, both to treat yourself and to put your best feet forward.
A good pedicure lifts your spirits, keeps your feet smooth, healthy and beautiful, but salon appointment $$ can add up. Get spa-like results with these easy, at-home steps.
- To start: soak your feet in warm water for about 10 minutes. Add Epsom salt or peppermint oil to relieve swelling and rejuvenate tired feet. Perhaps a glass of wine is also in order?
- Use a clean towel to pat your feet dry, taking care to dry between the toes.
- Clip the nails straight across (to avoid ingrown nails). Nails are particularly delicate when damp, so avoid using an emery board unless they are completely dry.
- Once your feet are completely dry, exfoliate the dry skin or calluses on the heels or soles of your feet with a Microplane foot file. This revolutionary tool is relatively inexpensive and works quickly and easily to remove dead skin and calluses from feet. You just use a slight amount of pressure while moving the file in a back and forth motion until your newer, softer skin is revealed.
- Massage your feet with moisturizer or peppermint oil, which cools the skin and leaves your feet smelling incredibly fresh.
- End with a generous application of moisturizer or oil to cuticles, and use a cuticle stick to gently push them back.
- Don’t forget to pay a little attention to your legs! If you have discoloration or scarring on your legs, try a skin lightening cream like Skin Doctors Fade Away body cream, which uses Licorice and Bearberry to fade hyper pigmentation anywhere on the body, while Salicylic Acid exfoliates skin for a healthy glow.
Polish Them Off
Nail trends this year range from colorful hues in vibrant shades like mint green and electric blue to refined neutrals updated with plush shades of brown and gray. If you usually gravitate to neutral tones, allow yourself to experiment with more vivid color on your toes. Always start with a protective basecoat to prevent discoloring and help the polish adhere to the nail. Paint nails from the center out, removing extra polish from the sides immediately. Finish nails off with a protective topcoat to add sheen and extra longevity to the polish.
Remember the Sunscreen
After primping and preparing to show off your feet, don’t forget that they’ll be exposed to the sun’s UV rays, too. These harmful rays can not only lead to skin disease, but they can also cause unsightly tan lines, red or peeling skin, and painful burns that make wearing sandals—or any footwear—uncomfortable. Use a minimum of 30 SPF on your feet daily to prevent burning and keep your pedicure fresh.
With monthly pedicures, protection from the sun, and boosts of moisturizer and polish as needed, your feet will stay glowing and glamorous all summer long.