How to Keep Your Feet Healthy and Looking Good This Summer
White sandy beaches and outdoor adventures are what summer is all about. It is also the time of year you get to show off your feet and let them breathe. It is essential to care for your feet the same way you would your skin by keeping them healthy, hydrated, and protected. In this article, we will talk about how you can keep your feet happy and healthy, so you can show them off with confidence!
7 Ways to keep your feet healthy and looking good
Your feet work hard all year long from carrying the load of your body weight each day to be smothered in the hot Manolos, walking around town. They really do take a bigger beating than we realize, and more often than not, our feet are the last to get any of our love and attention. By caring for our feet, we keep them looking and feeling their best, and we keep our body in alignment. Here are 7 ways you can keep your feet healthy this summer, so you can make them your best accessory.
Aside form beautifying and promoting relaxation, foot soaks can provide you with much-needed pampering, and can actually bring health and wellbeing to the rest of your body and organs. Studies show that just 15-20 minutes of soaking your feet in hot water can help balance your mood, increase your energy level, soothe sore muscles, and relieve minor aches and pains. You will also get an added benefit of increased hydration and smooth, supple skin. Soaking your feet at bed-time may be an excellent remedy to relax your mind, de-stress, and promote better sleeping habits.
Foot soaks can be handcrafted and customized to your specific needs. There are so many elements you can add, and the process of create it can be so much fun! Your foot soak can be as simple as soaking in plain warm water, or as lavish as rose petals and exotic oils. You can even add healing crystals to your bath for energetic healing, just make sure it's a crystal that can be submerged in water. No matter the type of foot soak you choose, you are guaranteed to experience the benefits it will bring. If you are looking to elevate your foot soak into a luxurious foot spa experience, use one or more of these elements for a boost in your skin and over-all wellness.
It may sound strange, but milk has been used for the skin for decades, and continues to prove beneficial throughout the ages. Aside from enhancing relaxation, a milk soak may provide many benefits to your skin, above and beyond being a delightful treat. Milk has been known to soothe irritated skin due to minor reactions (dermatitis), diaper rash, and eczema. It has been used and successful in soothing the skin of those who suffer from these conditions, when combined with raw honey or oatmeal.
Milk is a natural form of lactic acid that not only helps to nourish and hydrate your skin, but it gently exfoliates the surface of build-up, revealing softer, smoother, brighter, skin. Lactic acid is a favorite to use because it's so versatile and gentle enough to use on sensitive skin. To experience the full effect of this creamy soak, make sure you opt for whole milk that is full of fat, or a milk skincare product with minimal ingredients. You can buy milk in a liquid or powder form, or for a concentrated dose with twice the goodness, try Bovine Colostrum powder to mix in the water. Whichever form or variation you choose, milk is sure to help keep your feet soft and youthful.
Epsom salt is a mineral known as magnesium sulfate and it's absorbed through the skin. This salt is a natural home remedy used to provide relief from a variety of ailments from minor aches and pains to sunburn and poison ivy itch. It can aid in detoxification too. When added to your soak, Epsom salt can soothe aching feet, reduce inflammation, aid in hydration, and promote relaxation.
Oatmeal has been used for years for it's skin-soothing abilities. It can help relieve itching caused by minor skin irritations and eczema. Add colloidal oatmeal to your soak for a creamy bath that comforts and soothes your irritated feet.
Essential oils are a favorite in skincare due to their medicinal properties, and natural healing abilities. There are so many wonderful oils to choose from, all providing different benefits and aromas that can invigorate your senses, and heal your mind, body, and skin. Some benefits you may experience are reduced stress levels, inflammation, and relief from minor aches and pains. They can also improve a variety of hydration and conditions of the skin.
With all the amazing benefits essential oils can provide, you can see why they are an ingredient that should not be missing from your foot soak. Not only can they improve your health and wellbeing, but they smell super yummy too
Honey is rich in amino acids and antioxidants which help to hydrate, soothe, and keep your skin smooth. It is also an anti bacterial, anti inflammatory, and anti fungal. And we are not talking about any old honey you pull of the shelf. We are talking about real, natural, raw honey. It is a powerhouse to use both internally and externally, and unstoppable when combined with milk. Add raw honey to your foot soak for a healing experience that will leave your skin hydrated, healthy, and glowing.
After you enjoy your custom foot soak, your skin is softened and ready to be exfoliated. Foot scrubs are essential to keeping your feet healthy and looking good. Especially, if you suffer from dry, cracked, callused heels. Foot scrubs are a fast and easy way to remove the build-up of dead surface skin, making them softer and smoother. Plus, your skin will look more youthful because it is better able to absorb the products and lock in moisture.
You should scrub your feet from top to bottom 1-3 times per week to minimize callus formation and keep them soft like a babies bottom. You can purchase a foot scrub from the department store, or head to your pantry for an all natural DIY recipe. There are so many ingredient combinations to choose from , you can really get creative. If you suffer from excess skin build-up or calluses, and the scrub just isn't cutting it, try finishing with a pumice. Just remember not to get too aggressive and irritate or injure your feet, you will need them to get around comfortably.
Applying a treatment mask to your feet can provide the same benefits as it does for your face. We like to treat every two weeks to ensure our feet our fresh, youthful, and glowing, just like the rest of our skin. There is a range of masks on the market, all designed to target different concerns. You can apply the treatment mask to both the top and bottom of your feet.
Try a clay mask if you want to detoxify your skin, remove excess oils, and impurities. Your feet will look and feel refreshed, and smell nice too! If you've been outside all day, your feet may be beat from the heat and in need of extra moisture and hydration. Try a cooling gel mask in an aloe base to soothe and balance the skin, or a thick cream mask to bring deeper hydration. If your feet are starting to show signs of aging, or in need of a boost, look for treatment masks with active ingredients to help refine and brighten the skin tone and texture.
Pumpkin and Papaya are most used in skin care. They help to loosen up the bonds that hold the dead skin cells together for a clearer complexion that is lighter, brighter, and more even in appearance. Fruit enzymes are a favorite to use because they are gentle, close to nature, and very effective at keeping your feet healthy and looking good.
Glycolic and Lactic acid increases cell turnover promoting collagen production, and fresh-new skin. They can improve the tone and texture, soften fine lines, fade brown spots, and brighten the complexion.
There are so many choices when deciding to buy a foot mask to use. You can purchase a mask from the nearest department store, purchase a cosmeceutical mask from your Skin Therapist (recommended due to higher concentrations of active ingredients), or if you are a do-it-yourselfer, whip up a mask with ingredients from your pantry or fridge.
Massage has so many benefits from promoting relaxation and easing muscle tension, to increasing circulation which brings oxygen and nutrients to your skin. Massage is an adequate way to keep your feet healthy, and should be enjoyed weekly, if not daily.
We all enjoy a good rub down from time to time, mainly when performed by someone else. But, what about those times when heading to a masseuse or salon just isn't an option? Adding a quick foot massage to your nightly ritual can make a positive difference in your over-all wellbeing. Our limbs an organs are all connected through our feet, and by hitting those reflexology points, we are essentially bringing balance and healing to other areas of our body. When was the last time you put yourself first, and gave your feet or any other part of your body some of your attention?
A key to keeping your feet soft and supple is keeping them hydrated and moisturized. Olive oil, almond oil, and thick moisturizers are effective at locking the moisture in the skin, and are great for nourishing your cuticles too. Before bedtime, lather up your feet with your favorite moisturizer, throw on socks, and watch the magic happen while you sleep. If you really want to step up your moisturizing treatment, throw on some heated booties. The warmth will help release tension, open up the pores, and increase the absorption of the moisturizer. If you don't have booties and still in need of tension releasing relaxation, try wrapping your feet in a warm towel.
Trim and Whiten
It probably goes without saying that our toenails should be groomed, as they are the primary focus and the first thing people see when they look at our feet. Make sure they are kept up and trimmed, but, be careful not to cut into the sides. This can cause ingrown nails that can be quite painful. You don't have to go all out to make your toenails look fresh (unless you want to).
If your nails appear dull or have a yellowish tint due to wearing darker polishes throughout the year, try brightening them with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Just dip your nails in the mix for a few minutes, then wipe away for clean nails. You can always apply a coat of paint for the finishing touches of your new beautiful feet. This summer, try a lighter polish or clear coat for that "natural beauty" beach look.
This is a step you must not skip, as it is the most critical to keeping your feet healthy. Wear sunscreen! Although your feet will be exposed this season, they can often be overlooked when it comes to applying sun protection. From walking down the beach barefoot to wearing flip-flops outside all day, your feet are sure to see a lot of the sun this summer. Make sure they are getting the same protection as the rest of your body. When you protect your feet from the harmful UV rays, they stay happier, healthier, and youthful.
Nothing beats the expertise, skill, and professional products a salon can offer, but, if you want to keep your feet healthy and looking good between salon appointments, it's a good idea to start adding one or more of these steps to your self-care ritual. Try making one of these recipes at home for a relaxing self treatment that will leave your feet youthful and looking good.
DIY recipes to keep your feet healthy and looking good
Sweet sugar scrub
Mix 1/4 cup of sugar, 3-5 drops of eucalyptus oil, 1/4 cup almond oil, and your favorite moisturizer (if desired). Mix together well and spread all over your feet and in between the toes, give some extra attention to your heels. Rinse thoroughly with warm water in a foot soak or tub.
All natural salt scrub
Combine 3-10 drops of lavender essential oil (therapeutic grade) with 2 tablespoons of olive oil (add more if needed) and 1/2 cup of kosher salt. mix well. Place the scrub over your feet and rub thoroughly , concentrating on the heels or rough spots. Do this for several minutes, then rinse with warm water.
Moisturizing foot soak
Combine milk, warm water, and almond oil for a soothing, ultra hydrating soak that will leave your feet nourished, hydrated, and fully rejuvenated.
Detox foot soak
Add 1/2 cup of baking soda with 1/2 cup of Epsom salt, and 1-3 drops of lavender essential oil to a basin of warm water. Soak your feet as long as you need.
Hydrating foot mask
Mix 1 very ripe avocado and 1/4 cup of raw honey. Mix well until it looks like a creamy paste. Apply to your feet and kick back for 15-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Note: Milk or Bovine colostrum is a great addition to this mask.
Soothing foot paste
Mix olive oil, oatmeal, baking soda, and water to form a healing paste that will soothe and moisturize your feet. Spread the paste all over, relax for 10 minutes or so, rinse with warm water, then pat dry. Lather up with your favorite moisturizer and slip into some socks for feet that are nourished and soft.