When it comes to beauty and skincare routines, our feet are often the most overlooked part of our body. However, many of us are on our feet all day, which means our heels, toes and soles need a lot of pampering as well.
Our feet take us through so much every day, yet we often hide them inside our shoes, making them prone to getting dry, rough and flaky. A 2014 survey shows 8 out of 10 Americans experience foot problems, which can be anything from ingrown toenails to chronic foot pain. If left unattended, these issues can turn into serious health concerns, so we need to start caring more for our soles.
To help you develop a healthy foot routine and keep your feet happy and healthy, we put together a list of foot care tips anyone can try at home.
Soak your feet in warm water
Once a week, make it a routine to soak your feet in warm water to help soften dry skin and remove dead cells. You can do it more often if you want to, but once a week should be enough to give your feet the care they need.
For an at-home soak, fill a foot tub with warm water (never hot!) and a softening product, soak your feet for 20-50 minutes, then dry them using a towel and continue your foot routine.
There are many simple foot soak recipes you can try at home, based on the type of issues you experience. Here are some examples:
- Pain and inflammation reliever: warm water, ½ cup Epsom salt, a few drops of essential oils of your choice and a few teaspoons of carrier oil.
- Exfoliation: warm water, 1-2 fresh lemons, 1 cup vinegar or apple cider, 2 cups Epsom salt.
- Better circulation: warm water, ½ cup grated ginger, a few drops of essential oil, 6 teaspoons of carrier oil.
- Moisturizing: warm water, 1 cup honey, 1 cup coconut milk, one teaspoon cinnamon powder.
Smooth everything out
After soaking your feet in water, it’s time to start removing dead skin, which can cause those nasty calluses everyone hates. Making sure your feet are still damp, use a pumice stone on your heels and calluses, to soften the skin and ensure your feet look good even when bare.
Never use a pumice stone on dry skin, as it can leave some nasty injuries. The best way to remove dry skin is either in the shower or after soaking your feet. A warm black tea foot bath can also help remove bacteria and prevent the chance of getting dry feet.
You can look for a moisturizing foot scrub at your local beauty shop as well, to give your feet the care they deserve. If you don’t know which one to choose, search for the best skin care products reviews online and you will surely find some goodies you will like.
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Just as you moisturize your face and body, your feet need proper moisturizing as well, especially after exfoliation. Use a deep moisturizing cream on your feet after every shower, or at least three times a week, then pop on some cotton socks and lift your feet up, to allow the moisturized to properly sink into the skin.
To unlock the full benefits of a hydrating moisturizer, apply it on slightly damp skin, right after you patted your feet with a soft towel after showering. Try a moisturizer that was specifically designed for feet and look for products which contain lipo hydroxy acid (LHA).
Massage your feet periodically
When you stand on your feet all day, either because your job requires it or because you had to run a lot of errands, your soles can get inflamed and hurt. From time to time, give your feet a proper massage, either at home or at the nail salon, to release tension and improve blood circulation.
Don’t roll tennis balls under your feet and consider it has the same effect. Either invest in a foot massager or go to a professional and let them take care of your feet. A reflexology session can work wonders on tired feet and will make your entire body feel anew. If you don’t know what reflexology is, do your homework and book an appointment right away. I guarantee you won’t regret it.
Give your toenails some love as well
The easiest way to care for your toenails is to schedule regular pedicure appointments. Once a month should be enough to give your nails the proper care they need and prevent any issues such as ingrown toenails or chipped, crooked nails. Find a good pedicurist, make an appointment and let your feet be fully pampered by a professional.
If you don’t want to go to a pedicurist, you can go for a DIY pedicure at home as well, but make sure you contour your nails to mimic the shape of your toes, to avoid nail corners sticking out and damaging adjacent toes. At the same time, make sure not to cut too deep down the side of your toenails, as it can cause nail trauma or ingrowing toenails.
Keep an eye out for calluses and blisters
Blisters and calluses can be caused by bad shoes, which don’t let the feet breathe and apply too much pressure on your heels or soles. To prevent them from appearing, make sure your shoes fit properly and have enough room to breathe so that excessive moisture dries quickly.
Using a pumice stone together with some skin-softening products helps remove dry skin, which can turn into calluses. There are also foot peelers and callus shavers you can use to remove dead skin, but make sure you are using them properly, as they can cause damage to the skin otherwise.
When it comes to blisters, they can be removed using a clean instrument to pop them, but make sure to apply a topical antiseptic and bandage them immediately after popping, to protect yourself from infections.