When we were stuffing our feet into boots and socks all winter, going without footcare was no big problem. (Who was looking, anyway?)
But summertime means lots of outdoor activities and open-toed shoes. And let’s face it -- neglected feet and unkempt toes are not a pretty sight. To help get your feet looking and feeling summer-ready, here are some easy ways to pamper your own feet:
1. First things first: deal with rough spots
After your feet spent a long winter in close-toed shoes and socks, you’re bound to have a few patches of dry skin. Often times, the parts of your feet that experience the most friction (i.e., your heels, the sides of your feet and big toe) will feel the most sand-papery.
The easiest way to soften these rough patches is by first, soaking your feet in warm water (best with our bath salt) and exfoliating to remove the extra dry skin. After you towel dry your feet, use a pumice stone or foot file on the dry spots to gently ease away the calluses. If your feet are extra-dry, you may have to repeat this process for a few days to really do the job.
After you’re done, rub our great body butter over the dry patches of your feet to allow your skin to re-absorb moisture.
2. You don’t need to blow tons of money on salon pedicures.
It’s easy to get your toes summer-ready with a safe, at-home pedi. First, soak your feet in lukewarm water to soften your nails. Then clip your nails straight across before filing. Don’t cut into the corners of your nails, and don’t clip them too short -- that can cause ingrown nails. And never, ever cut your cuticles! They help keep germs away from your skin and nails.
3. Chill out sometimes
When the weather is hot and humid, you know how you have to fight to pull your rings off your swollen fingers? Well guess what -- you’re feet do the exact same thing in the summer heat. And all of those fun, seasonal activities like outdoor jogs, hikes and sidewalk sales are bound to aggravate and inflame your feet even more.
To bring the swelling down after a long, hot day, soak your feet in a tub of ice water for 15 minutes. Then pat dry with a towel.
4. Kick Off Your Heels
Sky-high stilettos may look sexy, but wearing them too much can completely change the mechanics of your foot. The higher your heels, the more pressure you’re putting on the balls of your feet which is not only uncomfortable, but overtime can lead to bunions and hammertoes. Ouch. Your tendons can also become unnaturally stretched, which means that it will really hurt to wear flats.
If you can, limit the time you spend in your high heels -- commute to and from work in your sneakers or wear stylish flats on casual Fridays.