Beauty Review: Feet

20 May

Happy Feet.

Your poor feet. They’ve supported you through the good times, walking around the endless stores while you get your fashion fix, the bad times, when you storm off in a bad mood stomping around the house, the hard times, as you attempt the 5k run around the local field, and the drunk times, when you’ve stupidly decided to cram your hooves into ridiculously high heels.

You need to take care of your little tootsies as they are an essential part of almost everything you do. And now that the summer is knocking on the door, you need to make them ship-shape before you can even think about putting your snazzy new flip-flops on for the world to see.

Our feet take lots of punishment, and it shows. The rough, calloused skin on the heels needs regular moisturising or it may become dry and cracked. The moist skin between the toes is prone to athlete’s foot. Even the skin on the tops of the feet is vulnerable; it can get sunburned if not protected from ultraviolet radiation.

So, for perfect summer feet:

  • First and foremost. Hygiene.

Pretty simple, wash and soak your feet with a bristle brush in warm soapy water regularly (every day). This will soften the skin and combat the bacteria which causes foot odour. In the summer when feet often get dirty, wash them more frequently. This not only dislodges dirt and grime but when you come home after a long day at work and sink your feet into a shallow bowl of water, it makes you feel instantly refreshed. On a really hot day, submerge your feet into ice-cold water for 15 minutes and you’ll cool down within seconds, soothing inflammation and preventing swelling and discomfort.

Make sure to dry them thoroughly, especially in-between your toes, and only put your feet inside shoes or socks when dry. You can use body powders or foot powders to keep the sweat away from the feet. With 250,000 sweat glands in your feet, it is no surprise that they sweat more than other parts of the body. It is estimated that the sweat glands on feet can produce up to a half pint of fluid a day in hot conditions. Nice. Apply a light dusting of foot powder to prevent sweating, as well as using a foot deodorant or an antiperspirant spray usually used for underarms. Sweat not only causes stinky toots, but when your sweaty trotters rub against your shoes, blisters will appear.  Make sure to wear fresh socks or stockings daily, even if you’re a student and spending your student loan on laundry isn’t high on the agenda. If you do get a blister then never de-roof it. Keeping some blister pads (Compeed or other hydrocolloid plasters) in your handbag is a great idea as blisters can strike even the best prepared feet and make walking miserable. To treat them, pierce the edge of the blister with a sterilised needle, gently expel the fluid and press it down to self-heal. Put a blister pad or plaster over the top to seal it in.

  • Smoothness.

Hard skin forms due to overloading and pressure areas. If you have hard skin on your feet, gently remove it with a pumice stone, foot file or Ped Egg on damp heels and calluses and it will ensure that your feet look utterly gorgeous in your new sling-backs.

Foot files gently remove the thickened skin and leave it feeling soft and smooth, while moisturising foot scrubs made from botanicals such as crushed fruit stones, sugar or chemical exfoliates also help remove dead skin.

Keeping the heel area scrubbed and moisturised is a great and easy way to keep potentially painful heel cracks at bay. If you do develop heel fissures, get them treated professionally as deep cracks can become infected and be very painful.

  • Hydration.

After you scrub, and only where your feet are completely dry, apply a rich moisturising foot cream or balm containing shea butter or cocoa butter all over your feet paying particular attention to your heels whilst avoiding in-between the toes. Look for balms or heel creams containing salicylic acid, urea, petrolatum, an emollient, or a humectant such as lactic acid, which draws moisture into the skin and softens tough calluses. For an intense moisture mask, slap on some of the cream and put a pair of 100% cotton socks on before bed, you’ll wake up and the first step you take will lead you to believe you’ve stepped onto cloud 9. A great way of making feet feel good while helping to prevent the build-up of hard skin and infections.

  • Suncare.

Don’t forget to protect the skin on the tops of your feet. It’s easy to forget about them little blighters all the way down there but they need protection too! A sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 should be applied to the feet when you’re at the beach or wearing open sandals. Sun-burnt feet are NOT enjoybable, for anyone.

  • Nails.

Priority attention with all feet should be the toenails. If shabby and unkempt they are unsightly. Keep them trimmed regularly as overly long toenails are prone to getting caught on things and fungus can build up under the nail, infecting the nail itself.

The leading cause of hangnails and ingrown toenails is clumsy nail trimming. Use toenail clippers to keep them short and file down rough edges. File nails into a shape that mirrors the curve of your nail base. After trimming, dab nails with tea tree oil, a natural anti-fungal, to help keep them healthy and clean.

To moisturise your toenails, try using a cuticle cream, petroleum jelly or vitamin E oil. Put it over the entire nail, including the cuticle, and gently rub it in.

You’re not fully holiday ready without a good summer polish on your toe nails. I like red hues on my toes but the list is endless with colour choice and design details. A good nail varnish will vamp up your toes to look glamorous and cared-for.

  • Comfort and support.

Insoles – If you stand for long hours, you may end the day with sore feet. Insoles can help make shoes more comfortable. Look for insoles that have a plastic shell at the bottom, which makes them strong enough to provide real support.

Also, look out for shoes and sandals with built-in insoles that absorb perspiration as sweaty feet can slip and slide within shoes which as I said, is a recipe for painful blisters.

Shoes – Winter is good for your feet as they’re either strapped into boots or slippers and sit there quite content ‘snug as a bug in a rug’ but when the summer hits, you need to reconsider your shoe options. Wearing flip-flops or completely flat ballet pumps may be essential to get some air to your feet in the summer months but these are often the cause of serious foot problems. These types of shoe are so unsupportive that you can be left in real pain. Conversely, squeezing your feet into high shoes also causes serious damage. Not only do you increase your chances of a sprained ankle but crushed feet can completely change the mechanics of your foot causing bunions and hammertoes. Your tendons can also become unnaturally stretched, which means that it will really hurt to wear flats. It’s best to go for a small kitten heel for day-time, and a sensible wedge for night, as they provide better arch support. There are some great, stylish choices now available so don’t think you’ll look frumpy or mumsy. You’ll look better in them rather than hobbling round looking like you’ve sh*t yourself. For hot, tired feet that have the potential to spoil a lovely summer’s day outing, remember to wear a shoe a half-size bigger than normal as feet swell during the hotter months and need the extra space.

Bunion protector –  Because I’ve made some bad shoe choices, I am developing bunions on both of my feet. I have therefore bought a pair of bunion protectors which attempts to re-align the bones and rid of your bunions. Put them on over night, every night and you should slowly see a difference.

  • Decoration

Foot chains, anklets and toe rings are making a come-back in the fashion arena. Accessorize your trotters will some cool designs, from simple to flamboyant, there are loads of options to make you feet feel elegant and regal. I bought this one for my jolly – newlook


And there we have it, gorgeous, healthy feet that are now, finally, ready to bare in the sunshine!



One Response to “Beauty Review: Feet”

  1. Michelle May 24, 2013 at 3:19 pm #

    My boyfriend also had problems with his footcare. The smell was embarassing. He tried several powders and creams… nothing worked. Then his doctor recommended special cedarsoles to him. After a couple of days he lost his stinky problem. So this could be another good solution for you.

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