As I write, the weather doesn’t feel like summer will ever arrive. That said, is has got to appear sometime!
When summer does make an entrance, we typically shed the various layers of clothing we’ve been wearing for months. Strappy vests, shorts, and floaty dresses come out of storage—as well as flip-flops and sandals.
Some people dread showing their feet in the warmer months, after hiding them in socks over winter. They’re embarrassed about their dry, cracked heels and the poor appearance of their feet, which tend to be on display when wearing dainty footwear. Other than sweating it out and wearing socks when it’s 30°C, you’ve little choice but to allow your feet to meet the fresh air.
Here are our top three tips to get your feet ship-shape, ready for their airing in your summer sandals, exquisite espadrilles or beach-beautiful Birkenstocks.
It seems obvious, really—if the skin on your feet, especially your heels, is dry, give them a good soak. Invest in a foot spa or just use an old washing-up bowl; fill it with warm water and let your feet enjoy a good soak. It’s quite relaxing if you do this whilst watching TV in the evening, particularly if you’ve been on your feet all day. Your circulation will benefit, too.
If you only do this once, you may not see or feel much of an improvement. Ideally, in preparation of summer, you should aim to do this at least twice a week. Add some Epsom salts to the water for an extra boost—the salts will help to soften your skin. Make sure the water gets in-between your toes, too, to ensure your feet are thoroughly clean.
After soaking your feet and drying them carefully, use a pumice stone of exfoliation mitt to remove the dead skin around your heels, where the skin will be harder than elsewhere. Gently rub the stone or mitt against them and you’ll see the dead skin fall off.
It may take more than one attempt to remove the hard layers of skin that have formed over the winter. Don’t be tempted to rub too hard, though, as you could damage the fresh, new skin underneath.
By now, your feet should feel much softer and smoother than they did before. After all the hammer you’ve just given them, and so that the moisture you’ve added to your skin is locked in, work some moisturiser into your feet.
As mentioned, because the skin on your heels is likely to be tougher than the rest of your feet, it’s a good idea to use a specialist moisturiser on them. These creams typically have a richer, thicker consistency than normal moisturisers used on other areas of your body.
It’s unlikely that you will need to moisturise in-between your toes, as these areas are a natural hotbed for heat and moisture. Adding cream there could cause bacteria to fester, which could lead to conditions such as athletes’ foot.
If you follow this process just a few times you will see the difference—your feet will appear smoother and healthier. However, as they will be more exposed to external surfaces during the summer months (sand and seawater, etc.), as well as the weather, when wearing sandals and such like, it’s a good idea to carry on with the soak, scrub and moisturise process during the whole summer, to ensure your feet remain healthy and looking good.