1. You got to get your soak on – It’s unavoidable. While soaking your feet may seem time consuming and annoying, without it, you’ll struggle to sort out the dry, dead skin that needs to be removed.
Fill a bowl with warm water, add a few drops of essential oil if you’re feeling fancy (tea tree, peppermint, and lavender are both fabs), and soak for a minimum of 5 minutes. If you want to amp up the results, add either a packaged foot soak (Like La Clinica Pedicure Foot Soak, which you can find HERE) or DIY it by mixing 1/2 cup Epson salts with your fave essential oil.
You can also find some fab, DIY recipes HERE.
Things to do while you soak: Read a magazine, teach yourself Spanish, learn origami, peel those potatoes you need for dinner that night.
2. Scrub a dub – This is where we start getting serious peeps. It’s in the scrub when it comes to restoring your feet to their former glory. Just like with the skin on our body and face, if you’ve got a thick layer of dead cells coating your limbs/cheeks, you’ll never get the full benefits of whatever product you’re slapping on over the top of a said thick layer. You need to remove that dead layer to optimize everything that comes afterward. To scrub your soles into submission, you want a scrub that is heavy on the grain. Ingredients like sugar, salt, or crushed up nuts are ideal.
The DIY Coconut + Almond Scrub I shared a few months back is ideal for this kind of job (you can find it HERE). If you want to splash out on something more ‘professional’, Sanctum Body Buff (found HERE) and Miessence Exfoliating Cleansing Bars (found HERE) are both fabs, certified organic options. The bars in particular are very nifty and contain goodies like tea tree oil to treat while you’re scrubbing.
3. Get your foot file on – This is my least favorite bit of pedicures, whether professional or DIY. Something about it makes me feel ‘icky’ but I soldier on through the tummy butterflies as my feet generally need an extra bit of attention. If your feet are in reasonably good shape, you can skip this step, but if you have stubborn, callous-y patches, you’re going to need to get pretty intimate with them right now. If you’re a thong (as in the flip flop version) wearer, you’ll probably notice rough patches on the outer side of your foot, just beneath your little toe, and on your heels. Thongs are shocking for creating rough spots and if you were them every day (like I do), you’ll be spending more time with the foot file than you’d care to admit over the warmer months. In terms of tools, an ordinary pumice stone should work well as will a foot file.
I use one like this Tweezerman Double Sided File (which you can find HERE). The key is making sure that your stone or file is damp before you start using it. Work in small circles and only target the rough, calloused bits.
4. Cut your nails – While your feet are most likely gagging for some moisture right about now, make sure you cut your nails before slathering yourself in cream. Creamy feet do not make for a good cutting experience. While it may sound obvious, make sure you cut straight across the nail and try not to go too short. Short nails with sharp corners are a recipe for ingrown toenails which are not much fun for anyone (except maybe your podiatrist).
5. Moisturise, moisturize, moisturize – You can finally give your feet that which they want so badly; a nice, long drink. If you want to paint your nails, I’d recommend waiting for a bit (ideally the next day) so that you can give your feet the chance to soak in the cream you’re about to slather them in. When it comes to foot lotions, the richer the better. You want something so thick that if you squeeze a dollop onto your hand and turn it upside down, it won’t move. Specific foot and hand creams are generally the best for this. Burt’s Bees do a fab Coconut Foot Creme (which you can find HERE). The Body Shop also does a fab foot protector which uses Hemp to intensively moisturize (Hemp Foot Protector, found HERE). Once you’ve slathered your feet to within an inch of their lives, pop on a pair of cotton socks and leave them on for as long as possible, ideally overnight. All that body heat combined with your chosen cream and perfectly primed trotters will see you waking up with the softest feet you’ve seen in months.
Now that all the hard work is done, DON’T slips back into your negligent ways. A quick scrub and moisturize once a week should help keep your feet in prime condition for the long term.
If your feet are REALLY in a bad way, you may have to bring in the big guns. If you haven’t heard of ‘Milky Foot‘ and/or get squeamish at the thought of losing the top few layers of your feet, perhaps stop reading.
For the rest of us who love that kind of thing, Milky Foot will float your boat. An at-home pedicure system, Milky Foot uses a patented ingredient called Exmilac (from fermented milk) to peel away the hardened, dead skin from your feet. Best bit? You don’t have to do ANYTHING.
You simply slip into the Exmilac spiked booties for 45 minutes, rinse your feet afterward and let all those enzymes get to work. While you won’t notice anything straight away, after three days the dead skin on your feet will start peeling (I’m talking pieces of skin half the size of the sole of your foot), completely painlessly. By the end of the week, your feet will be complete with brand spanking new skin. Total genius.