“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art.”—Leonardo da Vinci
Although this may be accurate in the truest sense, after a long winter undercover, your feet might not be quite ready for their big summer debut. Here are some skin care and foot care tips for showcasing feet that will win rave reviews for their healthy skin.
- Soak to sanitize and soften. First and foremost, for feet to be beautiful, they must be clean and healthy. Soaking your feet regularly as part of your foot care routine will not only feel good, but it will also help to rid them of the bacteria and fungi that like to take up residence in dark and damp shoes. (Wearing socks with your shoes can help to protect your feet against bacteria- and fungus-related odor and conditions.) Use a mild soap and tepid water, and sit back and relax for about 10 minutes. This will also help soften toenails, along with areas of skin that are dry and cracking.
- Tend to your toenails. Keeping toenails neatly trimmed contributes to nice-looking feet, but, more importantly, it also helps prevent damage to nails and nail beds. When trimming toenails, use clippers that are designed specifically for this task. Leave nails a little longer than the quick, and do not cut into the corners. This can lead to ingrown toenails. After clipping, use a fine-grit nail file on jagged edges. At the end of your foot care routine, top toenails with a coat of clear polish or opt for a nice summery shade.
- Care for your cuticles. Your cuticles form a protective seal around your nail bed. Though there are differing skin care opinions about whether to cut your cuticles, the fact is that cutting them can leave you open to infection. Many agree that simply pushing your cuticles back gently gives the nail a nice appearance. Dab on some cuticle cream to keep them soft and smooth.
- Scrub away dry skin. Use a foot scrub as part of your foot care routine to slough off patches of rough skin. Exfoliating your skin and using a pumice stone on heels, if needed, will expose softer underlying skin. Be careful not to be too aggressive. Exfoliating too harshly or too often can irritate healthy skin.
- Massage in moisturizer. Use a foot cream to massage into your feet. This helps to stimulate blood flow to the feet, contributing to healthy skin and a fresher look. (And, as with a foot soak, it can really help you relax.) If your feet are particularly dry, massage moisturizer or an emollient into your feet each night, and cover with socks while you sleep. This skin care secret will have you waking up to softer, prettier feet.
- Slap on the sunscreen. Often our feet are forgotten when we are indulging in summertime activities. Make sure the tops of your feet are protected from the harmful rays of the sun by using sunscreen. Reapply if you are outdoors for an extended length of time or engaging in water sports. Protecting your feet will go a long way toward ensuring your piggies are picture-perfect.