August 07, 2009

Beauty Bootcamp: Feet

Feet – those poor old tired feet! As you saw from my post I don’t pay much attention to them. I get pedicures every other week during the summer and at least every three-to-four weeks in the winter. Other than that, I don’t really remember them other than to look down and say “gosh…they’re getting crusty!” To be fully honest, I don’t even soap them in the shower – yikes, TMI, right? I believe that the soap from my body will flow right on down and get those bad boys clean. Being totally frank again, I don’t like touching them. Did I just say that? After I get a pedicure they’re soft and pretty and I’ll touch them, but give them a few days, and I refuse. That doesn’t even make any sense, right? Not touching your own body! Strange and true! (BTW, now you know a little something about me that you probably wished you didn’t know).

So, our first week of Beauty Bootcamp focuses on feet. I’ve spent a couple days researching the do’s and don’ts and tips of the trade and I’m scheduled for a pedicure this afternoon. I go to an around-the-way nail salon, so there are no rose petals in the water; heck they barely even soak your feet – it’s a wham bam thank you ma'am kind of service. But, today I’m going to request that they spend a little more time with me (I will admit that I rather appreciate their expediency in most cases). I could also do one at home – but why?

I am walking with some peppermint oil of my own and I am going to get them to soak my feet for at least 15 minutes before starting my service. Also, I learned a while ago to limit the use of those shavers to scrape off dead skin on the heels and balls of your feet because they strip the skin and it leads to the skin growing back even thicker and harder than before. That’ll explain the crustiness, right?!

I’ve accumulated the following tips/facts and I’m going to start trying them out starting today. Hopefully you get some good tips too:

  • Soak your heels in lukewarm water and use a pumice-stone to scrub off dead skin to smooth the heels or use a foot scrub after soaking the feet in lukewarm water. Smear the bottoms of feet with Vaseline petroleum jelly and put on socks just before bed. You will see a difference in the morning when you take off the socks.
  • For extremely dry feet, lather on a layer of cocoa butter to each foot, slip your feet into plastic bags and pull on a pair of oversize socks. Leave on overnight while sleeping and when you awaken the next morning your feet will feel smooth, silky and soft.
  • You could also heat up some coconut oil, add some wax into it and after cooling apply it onto your heels.
  • Another solution for dry feet is to melt paraffin wax and mix it well with little mustard oil. Apply on the affected area of your heels. Wash it off in the morning. Do this for 10 or 15 days and see the difference.
  • The secret to finding a good moisturizer for your feet is not by price; more expensive doesn't mean better. Read the ingredients and avoid products with alcohol or alcohol derivatives. Generally, lotions contain alcohol to make them absorb faster, but the alcohol hinders the product's ability to moisturize your skin. The best dry skin products tend to be creams without alcohol. These are gooier and absorb slowly, so apply them just before going to bed.
  • Add a teaspoon of lemon juice for an exfoliating footbath. You can even add a few drops of lavender essential oil for relaxing footbath.
  • Peppermint oil is supposed to help increase the circulation in your feet so add a teaspoon to the footbath or try a foot creme with a peppermint base.
  • You can use plain warm water or add a tablespoon of any salt product including baking soda, sea salt, or Epsom salts. The salt will help soften and cleanse your feet.To keep your feet smelling good and looking fresh dust some deodorizing talcum powder onto your feet every morning.
  • You need to exercise your feet. Walking is a good form of exercise for the feet.
  • When you get back from a long day, soak your feet alternatively in hot and cold water. Add some salt to this water.
  • If your feet are itching, then apply some lemon juice and vinegar.
  • Try massaging some onion juice between the toes. This will relieve itching and athlete's foot.
  • Barefoot walks help tone the muscles of your feet, keeping them young and strong. An early morning barefoot walk on cool, dewy grass is refreshing and invigorating for the entire system, not just your feet. Do walk barefoot as much as possible to help the bone structure of your feet function according to its natural shape.
  • Keep your feet dry, because dampness around your feet, specifically between your toes, can be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • A good tip to keep your feet, and especially your toes, free from moisture is to use a foot powder enriched with zinc or menthol, or even both. A sprinkle a day will not only keep toes from perspiring, but also lessen odor. Beware of nail polish and acrylic nails. Nail polish and acrylic nails trap moisture, increasing the chance of fungus infecting toenails, causing the nails to thicken and turn yellow or, in severe cases, black.
  • When shopping for shoes, comfort is the operative word. Ill-fitting shoes which are too tight have really high heels and pointed toes are largely responsible for the 'ill-health' of your feet. Your shoes must support the arch of your foot and also provide enough room to accommodate your toes.
  • The secret to making sure shoes fit properly is to shop for them late in the day when your feet are likely most swollen. When you walk in the shoes you try on, try to avoid the soft, plush carpet found in most shoe stores. If you're in a mall, leave the shoe store and walk on the mall's tile floor. Most importantly, if shoes hurt in the store they will hurt when you get them home--a shoe should never need to be "broken in."

Next week we'll be working on facial skin care...see you then!

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Justice Fergie said...

what fantastic tips! looking forward to next week.

Ms. Latina said...

I absolutely loved this post! Never knew that lemon juice, onion juice and vinegar could be used on our feet! It seems much more organic than over the counter medications, definitely going to pass the word around. Thx for the info!

Peter and Nancy said...

I like to give myself a pedi once in a while -- I always seem to have samples of foot products in my cabinet, which are just the right size for a one-time pedi.

I had to laugh at foot phobia . . . my brother-in-law is an ER doc, and he HATES feet, including other people's. He always hopes he won't have any patients with foot problems. :o)
-- Nancy

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