As temperatures are steadily increasing and lockdown restrictions are set to ease we’re gearing up for a summer spent in the garden with friends and loved ones. With sunnier days on the horizon, it’s officially time to prepare your summer wardrobe – but when was the last time you considered the appearance of your feet?
Our feet are really put through their paces on a daily basis, yet they often get left out of our regular beauty routines – especially when we’re only staying inside. If yours haven’t been out on display since, well… last summer, then you’re certainly not alone. The good news is, there’s a host of quick and easy tweaks you can make to your self-care routine that will have your feet looking in tip top shape. It’ll leave them in perfect condition for the upcoming season of garden parties and alfresco lunches.
From buffing and exfoliating to moisturising and nail polish, here are our top foot care tips for beautiful feet just in time for summer.
Exfoliate the skin on your feet
The first step to reviving long-neglected feet has to be a thorough exfoliation. A granular scrub is a great choice for feet that need a little extra love. It can help remove the top layer of dead skin which so often builds up on the soles of the feet. However, it’s important to choose one that’s infused with nourishing oils. Not only that, you’ll also reap the benefits of deep hydration, too.
Although, if you’re suffering from seriously dry feet that a simple scrub won’t sort out, it’s time to discover the latest body-care innovation.
Hailing from South Korea (the home of innovative skincare), exfoliating ‘socks’ use alpha-hydroxy-acids (AHAs) to break down dead skin cells, resulting in softer feet without any scrubbing.
They may look a little silly and sound a little scary, but don’t underestimate their remarkable effectiveness when it comes to sloughing off rough skin. Simply slip your feet into the sock-style pouches, sit back for 30 minutes, then remove. In the days that follow, dead skin will gradually peel away, and you’ll have the kind of baby-soft feet that usually takes a serious professional pedicure.
A great example of this is the Beauty Pro Foot & Callus Peel. This is a dual-function foot peel that effortlessly smoothes feet, whilst offering antibacterial action. The single-use socks encourage the elimination of dead skin over seven days. Simply wear for up to two hours and the treatment promotes the peeling of dead skin for the following week after application.
Use a foot file
The secret to a salon-quality pedicure at home? Sometimes all you need is a good foot file. Just like a heavy-duty version of your exfoliator, these tools can be invaluable in tackling extremely dry areas and cracked heels – but it’s crucial to use yours correctly.
It’s important that feet are always filed when the skin is dry, that is before you have showered. The reasons for this are quite simple. Firstly, bathing your feet in water masks the areas that need to be treated. You simply cannot see the dry skin or callus in the same way. If a foot is prone to cracks in the skin, bathing will weaken the tissues, making the crack more likely to open up. Finally, a file will not adhere as well to wet skin and so will not be as effective. You should aim to use your file twice a week for the most noticeable results.
The File A Foot file from The Body Shop is a great choice at keeping your feet beautifully soft with its dual sided applicator to gently buff away rough skin on the soles and heels.
Hydrate and moisturise
Once you’ve sloughed away dead skin, intensive hydration is the key to keeping your feet soft and smooth, but it pays to upgrade from your regular body lotion. A great example is the Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Foot Cream as it’s formula instantly hydrates dry, cracked skin and removes dead skin cells for a smoother texture. The cream quickly absorbs to reduce calluses, pressure marks and hard skin.
Knowing how to look after your feet is just as important as looking after the rest of your body. For instance, you would not consider exfoliating your face without following with a face moisturiser, and the same applies to the feet. Do bear in mind that the skin of the feet is 12 times thicker than that of the rest of the body, which is why a body lotion just will not work quite as effectively.
Add a pop of colour
Of course, the best way to complete a pedicure is with a fresh slick of polish. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but gel treatments may not be doing your nails any favours in the long run. Polish treatments like Shellac for the long term can tend to corrode the nail plates and damage them. If you simply have to get them done, try to only use Shellac for special occasions and then have it removed as soon as the event has finished.
However, this summer is not the season for a simple clear gloss – it’s time to go bright. The right hue will flatter your skin as well as pulling an outfit together. Never forget your cuticles when painting your toes. People often forget and neglect the cuticles on their toes, but softly pushing these back will make all the difference.