How To Treat Your Feet To Some TLC
Beauty Editor Kim Jones shows you how to get your tired tootsies looking (and feeling) great.
I love the hot weather we've been enjoying lately but if your feet are anything like mine, you'll be feeling less than proud to parade them in public after a day of traipsing around in a pair of sweaty sandals.
My hoofs tend to dry out, get cracked at the heel and turn an angry shade of red too.
Also, after months of being cosied up in socks and tights, my toenails are looking less than lovely.
What I need, of course, is an hour in the hands of a skilled podiatrist who will lovingly massage and pummel my feet to soft-skinned perfection, then paint my immaculately shaped toenails a pretty shade of pink so they look fit to grace a princess slipper. Bliss,
But this is real life. And I haven't the time or money to treat myself to a weekly pedicure in the hands of a professional alas!
Which is why I was thrilled when the award-winning celebrity chiropodist Margaret Dabbs shared a few top tips for the perfect home pedicure with me this week. I'm delighted to let you in on her secrets too, below.
Firstly, Margaret advises foot filing on dry rather than wet skin, because skin that's damp or moist effectively masks areas of dry skin or callus. First thing in the morning, before your feet have showered or worked up a sweat is best. That way all your hard bits are at their worse! It's also best not to file wet skin because it will have been weakened by water and is therefore more likely to split. Point taken!
Always file towards the middle (centre) of the foot. So, for example, says Margaret, if you are filing at the side of the big toe, aim the foot file under the foot in the direction of the 5th toe. This will prevent the hard skin forming a ridge or lip at the edge of the foot.
Use a crystal nail file to keep your toenails groomed - and file straight across.
Next use a buffer across your toe nails to remove any discolouration on the nails caused by old nail varnish or migrating fake tan.
Soften the cuticles using a special nail & cuticle serum and gently push back - but do not cut away
Apply a good hydrating foot lotion, especially formulated for feet. Don't be tempted to use body lotion - the skin of the feet is too thick and it just won't work, warns Margaret.
My five favourite foot products of the moment
Margaret Dabbs Intensive Treatment Foot Oil, £20 from margaretdabbs.co.uk. This 'dry' oil not only hydrates your feet, but it's a great for pepping up a pedicure a few days down the line. It gives feet a just-pampered dewy finish and adds shine to tired nail varnish too.
Upper Canada Soap's All About Feet Peppermint Warming Foot Scrub, £10, available from most leading department and gift stores, garden centres, or on 01277 220 842. A zingy-smelling foot exfoliator that heats up on contact with water. It leaves feet smooth and refreshed.
Bliss Softening Socks, £36.80 (blissworld.co.uk) are gel lined socks you can wear to bed or whilst watching telly - they have a cooling liner (hot, tired feet go aaaah when you pop them on, I promise), which contains grapeseed oil, and Vitamin E to condition dried out feet. A must for the post-work chillout.
Saicara Body Fizzy Gel, £8.25 (saicara.co.uk) This ice foam gel fizzes on your feet like crackling ice - I can't even begin to describe how refreshing that feels! After cooling your tootsies it melts into the skin, moisturising without any greasy after-effects.
By Kim Jones - Our Beauty Editor