You don't always have to go to an expensive salon to have beautiful feet. You can give yourself a fabulous foot makeover at home with a little time and effort—and a few easy-to-find supplies from your local drugstore.
A Step-by-Step Guide to Foot Care
As relaxing as having an esthetician give you a toe-to-heel pedicure can be, you can achieve similar results at home by following the same steps.
1-Remove your toenail polish first.
When you remove nail polish, you can inspect your toenails for any problems, such as onychomycosis (nail fungus) or hangnails. It's best to use a polish remover that doesn't contain acetone. Acetone-based polish removers are harsh on the nails and can cause thinning of the nail plate as well as the formation of unsightly ridges.
You should give your toenails a break from nail polish every now and then. Constantly painting your toenails can lead to discoloration, which is usually reddish or yellowish in color. If your nails do change color, leave them bare for a few weeks and they should return to their original color.
2-Soak your feet in the tub
A 15-to 20-minute soak in a soothing foot bath will do wonders for your skin. Aromatherapy oils can be added to the tub water if desired, but it is not required. Soaking your feet softens and loosens the thick, hardened layers of skin on your heels, toes, and balls of the feet. If the water is too hot, don't use it. As the water evaporates quickly and draws moisture from the skin, it can cause it to become dry and crack.
After the soak, gently scrub your toenails with a toenail brush.
3-Trim Your Corns and Calluses
Use a pumice stone, emery board, or callus file to gently reduce corns and calluses after softening the skin with a good soak. It may take a few trimmings to get all of the hardened skin off, but be careful not to cut or abrade the skin too deeply.
Calluses can be removed to help prevent cracks from forming, but if the skin is overly thinned, it can split if pressure is applied to the overly thinned tissues. Not only does this cause pain and bleeding, but it also raises the risk of infection. Keep in mind that you're only removing dead skin cells, not healthy tissue.
4-Toe Nails Should Be Trimmed
Trim your toenails with a stainless steel nail nipper. To avoid over-trimming, cut the toenails straight across and then use an emery board to gently round the corners. You can push your cuticles back, but avoid cutting them at all costs. Most dermatologists will tell you that cutting your cuticles is unnecessary (also known as the eponychium). Cutting the cuticles increases the risk of splitting and bleeding, as well as allowing bacteria and fungus easier access to the nail bed.
5-Treat Yourself to a Waxing
Your feet will feel incredibly soft after a paraffin wax treatment. The wax's warmth helps to increase blood flow and open the skin's pores. Your pores can absorb more moisture when they are open. A portable paraffin wax bath can be purchased online or at certain brick-and-mortar stores. The devices (which range in price from $30 to$70) can keep the wax temperature below 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Pre-packaged paraffin wax kits are also available, saving you the trouble of breaking down a large block of wax and melting it in a double boiler. Wrap your feet in a towel once the wax bath has started to cool to keep the therapeutic heat for a little longer.
6-Feet should be moisturized and massaged
After the paraffin wax treatment, apply an emollient moisturizer to complete your foot spa treatment. Softened tissues absorb the lotion's emollients better, resulting in softer, better-hydrated skin and feet. While applying the lotion, gently massage your feet, stretching tendons in the toe joints and arch of your foot. Put on a pair of socks or wrap your feet in plastic wrap for an hour or two after applying lotion. Occlusive therapy ensures better lotion absorption, which is especially beneficial if you have dry, flaky feet.
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