(You will walk about 70,000 miles in your lifetime – that’s four times around the world! – so a regular pedicure is a worthwhile investment to help you put your best foot forward.)
Feet tend to be the forgotten part of the body, yet they are subjected to considerable strains, not least carrying the weight of the rest of the body. In addition, they are often crammed into badly fitting shoes – if your feet are sore and burning at the end of each day, it is probably due to friction from ill-fitting footwear. Considering the stresses inflicted on feet, it comes as no surprise that many people suffer from hard skin, corns, calluses, chilblains, and fungal infections. However, a weekly home spa session with pedicure at home will keep your feet soft and supple and leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.
PEDICURE AT HOME IN 5 STEPS
A weekly 10-minute session of pedicure that you can do on your own at home is all you need to keep your feet beautifully groomed. All of the items needed are readily available from pharmacists and beauty stores.
- Soak your feet in warm water with a handful of sea salt to soften the skin. Exfoliate gently to remove the top layer of dead skin. Use a pumice stone to exfoliate hard areas, such as the heels and ankles. Elsewhere, apply a grainy body scrub, or rub with sea salt mixed with a little olive oil.
- Trim the toenails. If they are hard and cracking, soak them first in a small bowl of warm olive oil for five minutes; if you do this regularly for three or four weeks, you should see a vast improvement in the condition of your toenails. Cut the nails straight across with nail clippers or nail scissors and file any jagged edges smooth. It is important to cut the nails straight to avoid the problem of in-growing toenails.
- Apply cuticle cream to each toenail and massage it well into the nail bed. This will encourage blood flow and healthy growth. Continue massaging for about a minute, using gentle circular movements, then gently push back the cuticles with an orange stick.
- Massage the whole foot with moisturizer or a special cream suitable for rough skin. This will improve the suppleness of the skin and reduce callus build-up. Concentrate particularly on the heels, where most hard skin forms.
- If necessary, deodorize your feet using a natural foot spray. Note that many commercially produced deodorants can block the skin’s pores and aggravate the problem of foot odor.
(From corns and calluses to chilblains and odor problems, the feet can suffer terribly if neglected. However, a weekly pedicure is all you need to keep your feet in perfect condition.)
Rough skin treatment
Cocoa butter is intensely moisturizing, while calendula is an effective antiseptic, perfect for soothing and healing inflamed or irritated skin.
- 3tbsp (45ml) cocoa butter
- 3 drops calendula essential oil
- 3 drops lavender essential oil
Heat the cocoa butter in a small bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the essential oils and mix well.
Cover your feet with the butter, paying particular attention to the soles, then cover with plastic wrap and leave for 15 minutes. Remove the wrap and massage the butter in thoroughly.
Tea tree foot spray
Tea tree oil is a germicidal, anti-fungal oil that is very effective against athlete’s foot and other skin infections. The lemon juice acts as a natural preservative, so that the ingredients will not oxidize.
- 4tsp (20ml) fresh lemon juice
- 5tbsp (75ml) vodka
- 4tbsp (60ml) water
- 2 drops lemon essential oil
- 5 drops tea tree oil
Put all of the ingredients into a clean spray bottle and mix thoroughly. Always shake the bottle before use to re-mix the essential oils.
Spray the mixture over your feet or other body areas, but avoid the face because the alcohol is too drying.