Most of us think of a pedicure as a simple process of applying fresh polish to those tacky toes. But there is actually a purpose to this process that is often understated. The health and protection of your feet and skin need to be kept in mind as you prepare your tootsies for this season. Whether you are a do it yourself at home pedi or a salon maven, these are the tips to keep in mind for a season of toe baring bliss!
- Use a pumice stone.Walking around in our flip flops all summer does a number on your feet. It dries your feet out causing that lovely sandpaper feeling on your heels after only a couple of weeks. For some it will eventually lead to cracked and bleeding heels. The best way to combat this occurrence is to use a pumice stone on your heels. Sand them gently every day in your shower to keep the build up from occurring.
- Protect your heels. If you can sleep at least half the night with a pair of aloe socks on, your heels will love you for it! Cover your feet and especially your heels with a thick coat of body butter and put your socks on before bed.
- Clean up the cuticle. Push back the cuticles with a fresh orange-wood stick or a metal cuticle pusher only after they have been soaking or when you get out of the shower first thing. The skin will be soft and easy to push back. Be very careful in doing this that you don’t end up breaking the skin. This will prevent your cuticle from getting overgrown and peeling away.
- Trim the nails. Toenails are very susceptible to becoming ingrown if you do not tend to them. By keeping the nails at a shorter length but not too short you will decrease your chance of creating an environment for painful, ingrown nails.
- Be salon savvy. Play it safe when you go to a salon for a pedicure. Watch to see how thorough the pedicure spa is being cleaned. I prefer it when the salon runs bleach or some other EPA sterilizer through a short cycle with the jets on between clients. But many will not take the time to do this. Ask or watch to be sure.
- Save the shave. If you are not sure about sterilization of the foot spa, don’t shave your legs right before a pedicure. Bacteria can live in the pipes. Your skin is a strong barrier that keeps bacteria out. Shaving creates microscopic cuts on your legs. Shave after the pedi or do it at least 2-3 days before.
- Massage. Need I say more? The one thing you can’t really get at home if you are the DIY type, is the relaxing massage that you can get at the salon. The massage helps to move the fluids around, preventing cankles or fluid build up in the legs. And we all know that massage is a wonderful stress reducer.