It’s easy to not think much about your feet until the sun comes out. After a long winter of keeping your feet safely protected in socks and boots chances are they aren’t looking their best. Once the weather warms up and sandal and flip-flop season is upon us, it’s time to set those feet free. Sure, some people pamper and love their feet all winter long but many of us simply figure we’ll address foot care when the temperature goes above 70 degrees. Well, the time is now here and those feet need the love they have not been getting.
Where to start?
Think about treating your feet in the same manner you do your face: Cleanse, exfoliate, moisturize and protect.
First, address the dry skin situation.
Heels, calluses and the balls of your feet are all areas prone to getting dry, cracked skin- an issue that can be unsightly and also painful. You have several options for combatting the dry skin on your feet: a foot file, pumice stone and use of sugar scrubs will all help do away with the dry, rough areas on your feet. When it comes to exfoliating your feet, it can be tempting to be too aggressive, but it’s best to proceed gently no matter the type of exfoliation you choose.
Foot scrubs are a quick and easy way to clean, exfoliate and soften the skin on your feet. In addition to sloughing away dry skin, they cleanse and moisturize in one step. Simply scrub your feet in the shower as you do the rest of your body. Foot files and pumice stones are a good choice if the dry skin on your feet is thicker and cannot be remedied with a scrub. Again, these tools work great, but use them properly and don’t overdo it.
For overnight exfoliation try using an AHA (alpha hydroxy acid) or BHA (beta hydroxy acid) product on your feet. These ingredients go deeper to help exfoliate the multiple tough layers of dry skin that can form on the feet. Before going to bed at night, put your exfoliant on the dry skin of your feet, then follow with a foot cream like our Peppermint Pedi-Cure Foot Cream and top with socks. The socks will help hold onto moisture and you’ll wake up to super soft feet in the morning. If your heels are cracked to the point of being painful, replace the moisturizer with Skin Doctor salve for an intensely hydrating treatment. Repeat this process 2-3 times per week to keep dry skin from building up.
Summer is the season that’s hardest on our feet and wearing proper footwear for the summer activity you’re participating in will help keep your feet healthy and blisters at bay. As much as going barefoot is part of summer, avoid doing it too often. In addition to sunburn, it can expose your feet to infection, injury, athlete’s foot and make dry, cracked skin worse. When going into the water, wear water shoes to protect your feet from cuts and abrasions.
During the day, treat your feet as well as you do the rest of your skin. Don’t forget the sunscreen. Sandal clad feet are one of the most exposed and often forgotten areas of the body. Burnt feet are painful and unnecessary.
If it all feels like too much, or you just want someone to rub and pamper your feet, start by getting a professional pedicure and then maintain the results from there yourself. Just be sure and tip your pedicurist well, because they are doing the work you didn't want to do!
When the cold weather returns, keep moisturizing and exfoliating so that next summer you (and your pedicurist) won’t be in shock when you take off your socks.
PRODUCTS TO TRY
DETOX LEMON DROP SUGAR SCRUB
PEPPERMINT PEDI-CURE FOOT CREAM
SKIN DOCTOR SALVE
BROAD SPECTRUM SUNSHADE LOTION