Feet are easy to ignore or outsource to the nail salon—they are far away from the rest of our body, oddly shaped, and subsequently too easy to skip or forget. But the truth is that we owe our feet big time. They carry us wherever we go, provide a solid platform on which to stand, and are constantly grounding us to Mother Earth. They absorb every step, sprint, and stomp and always propel us forward. It’s time to give back to one of the hardest working body parts we have. Here are some ideas on how to treat your feet, especially in cold or dry climates:
1. Indulge in a foot bath.
Use a lobster pot if you have one, your bathtub, or purchase a foot bath if doing either of the aforementioned suggestions seems too labor-intensive. Pick up Epsom salts and dress them with a few drops of your favorite essential oils, either by scent or desired effect. The magnesium from the salt soothes sore muscles and helps them relax, while the essential oils elevate the experience and make it feel special.
2. Try a pumice stone or foot scrub in the shower daily.
While it’s tempting to “baby foot” it and slough off all your calluses at once, chances are they’ll come back with a vengeance. Instead, make a daily ritual out of smoothing out your natural calluses and dry skin with a pumice stone or scrub. Doing this for a few minutes every day will make a huge different in the texture and appearance of your feet.
3. Don’t moisturize your feet dry.
This is probably the biggest mistake people make: putting a cream, lotion, or oil on feet when they aren’t ready to receive it. We know that face oil devotees always use a toner or apply oil to damp skin. The same principle is true for foot care, too: Apply your moisturizing treatments on feet that are slightly damp from the shower (preferably a scrub, too). This way, the skin barrier is hydrated before it’s sealed from the environment.
4. Do a foot mask.
Choose a hydrating mask for your feet and leave it on overnight, underneath thick socks. You can’t go wrong with classic Aquaphor healing ointment, which always seems to work wonders. Generously apply the emollient cream to your feet after a warm shower or bath while your feet are still damp, and cover with a sock you don’t mind getting dirty. Other options include Waxelene and Restore.
5. Use oil on your toe cuticles.
Finally, don’t forget about those toenails, especially if you’re active. Keep them trimmed to avoid bruising, and moisturize your toe cuticles. While this suggestion may seem silly, think about your toenails. Unless you get regular pedicures, they may be the most neglected part of your body. Keeping them oiled—coconut oil works well for this because it’s antibacterial and antimicrobial—and hydrated will help strengthen them, preventing snags, breaks, and hangnails.