You have those awesome sandals waiting, but do you have healthy feet for summer?
Maybe you’re one of those conscientious people who took great care of your feet all winter long. Now all you have to do is slip those sandals on and out you go!
But maybe foot care just wasn’t on your mind this winter. You pull off your socks and think, Oh boy. I’ve got some work to do here.
If that sounds like you, we have some great tips for you below.
7 Tips for Getting Pretty, Healthy Feet for Summer
Fortunately, it won’t take long to get your feet in shape for those summer shoes you want to wear. Commit to daily care for a week or two and you’ll be rewarded with feet you’ll be proud to show off.
1. Start with a Soak
Winter feet are often dry and may sport callouses, so before you do any work on them, be sure to plunge them into a warm bath or foot bath for about 20 minutes. Warm water helps soften any hard, dry skin while making cuticles around the toes more manageable.
Let your feet soak for several minutes, then cleanse with a gentle body wash. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to the foot bath to help banish any microorganisms, then use a soft cloth or brush to get all the spaces between your toes. Now you’re ready for the next step.
Healthy Feet for Summer Tip 2. Begin the Softening Process
The next step is to start wearing away that hard, dry layer that’s built up on your heels and the balls of your feet. Don’t go at it with a pumice stone just yet—that’s likely to be too harsh.
Instead, add some Epsom salts to your bath or footbath and soak a bit longer in that. It can help soften the skin some more and will also start healing any dry skin or cracking.
3. Rub Away the Hard Skin
Once your feet are suitably softened, you can pull out your pumice stone. Just be sure to be careful when using it—being too harsh can result in redness and irritation. Stick to those areas of your feet that are hardened, like the heels and balls of the foot. Keep the stone wet and work in circular motions over these areas.
Don’t try to get rid of all the hard skin in a day. It’s better to do a little bit every day for about a week. The gradual approach will be better for your skin and will produce healthier results.
Healthy Feet for Summer Tip 4. Tend to Your Cuticles.
Whether you plan to paint your nails or not, it’s important to care for your cuticles. They can grow wild over the winter. Look closely. You may see that they’ve started to crawl up the nail in an unsightly way. This isn’t healthy for the nails, either.
After you’ve soaked and exfoliated, apply a softening agent to the cuticles. We recommend our Restorative Skin Balm as it works great for this purpose. Put a little on each cuticle, wait for a minute or two, then push the cuticles back with a cuticle tool. Trim away any hanging skin with cuticle clippers. If your feet have been suitably soaked, you may be able to just rub it off.
5: Take Care of Your Nails
The next step is to trim your nails. It’s always best to do this after a soak as the nails will be soft and more easily clipped. Trim carefully using your trimmers—it’s usually best to cut straight across to avoid ingrown toenails.
Next, file them into a neat shape. File one direction (rather than both) to get a smooth edge. Then if you want to paint your nails, wait until after you moisturize your feet—the next step.
Healthy Feet for Summer Tip 6: Moisturize
When you’re done washing and softening, pull your feet out of the water, pat dry, and immediately apply moisturizer. Applying right away helps your skin hold onto the moisture more efficiently.
We recommend our Body Repair Lotion. It has moisturizing ingredients that will sink into the deeper layers of the skin, helping to counteract any dryness or flaking. It also leaves skin looking radiant!
You can also apply moisturizer before you go to bed, then wear a pair of breathable cotton socks overnight. This helps trap the moisturizer against your skin, letting it do its work while you sleep. You wake up to softer, healthier-looking feet.
7. Protect the Skin on Your Feet!
Finally, when you’re ready to strap on those sandals, don’t forget to apply sunscreen to the tops of your feet. This area has thinner skin than other areas on your body and is vulnerable to bad sunburns. If you’ve ever had one, you know what we’re talking about! (Ouch!)
Apply a safe sunscreen made of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide with an SPF of 30 or more. If you want to get a tan without sun damage, use a gradual tanning lotion. Just apply carefully so you don’t get blotches around your heels, ankles, and toes.
One Final Word: Keep Your Feet Healthy
One part of keeping your feet—and your legs, hips, and back—healthy is to make sure your feet are well-supported when walking.
Unfortunately, many of today’s sandals are lacking the proper arch support and cushioning. When shopping, look for those that are the exception and feel comfortable immediately when you put them on. “Breaking in” shoes often doesn’t work, and simply leaves you with blisters and sore feet.
Yes, those shoes are cute, but how will they appear to you after a day of walking around in them?
It’s fine to wear pretty sandals (without much support) for a short time, but for regular, long-term wear, invest in a pair that will properly support your foot. You’ll be grateful for them as the summer goes on—and later in life!
How do you get your feet ready for summer shoes?
Featured image courtesy of Karolina Grabowska.