Soft, pretty, pink feet: ALL the time!
Oct 16, 2000
WARNING: Men may not wish to read this review. Gentlemen, if you are of the opinion that women should always be soft and pretty, yet you wish to remain oblivious to the details of our beauty regimens, then you may prefer not to read this review. If this is the case, I do have a couple Automobile reviews, as well as a couple on Playboy that might be of greater interest to you. Thank you for your understanding with regard to this matter.
That having been said, letís continue....
As Iíve discussed in other reviews, living in Florida, with our nearly year-round balmy weather, Iím lucky enough to be able to wear open-toed shoes for 9 months out of the year! I love mules, sandals, clogs -- anything I can slip on in an instant, and that let's my brightly polished Piggies poke out! However, wearing open toed-open/back shoes all the time has its drawbacks. My feet tend to get dry very easily. And nothing cam make feet Ďuglierí faster than dryness: scaly toes, crusty callouses, corroded nails... Eww! (alright, thatís an over-dramatization, as I would never allow my feet to become all icky like that, but you get the idea!)
Now we all know how gorgeous our feet look (and feel!) when weíve got a fresh pedicure. They are soft, fresh, silky and fresh. They are free of any callouses, or dead, dry skin patches. Our nails are neatly trimmed and they have an all-over healthy glow! (Isnít it amazing what a morning at the nail salon can do to transform our feet?) But between visits (or in lieu of) to the salon, you must maintain your feet, to keep them at their moistest, softest, sexiest best all the time! Fortunately, itís easy to do, you just need to set aside the time to do it, and do it consistently. With just a few simple products and a few minutes a day, within days youíll have Footsie-worthy Tootsies!
Ingredients (or ďwhat you will need!Ē)
*Antibacterial Soap: Dial will work just fine, but if you prefer, purchase any of the special foot-cleansing gels currently available. Just be sure it contains ďTriclosan,Ē or some other antibacterial agent.
* Nail Brush: These can be purchased for barely a dollar at Wal-Mart, Eckerdís, or any other drug/mass-market chain. I prefer the inexpensive ones with acrylic bristles. I am aware there are more expensive ones (with natural bristles) available, but considering that I like to replace mine frequently, I prefer not to invest much in it.
* Pumice Stone: There are many varieties, but I tend to get the best results with the finer-grained (i.e. smaller holes) variety rather than the more coarse kind. These, too, are available for only a couple dollars at mass-market stores, as well as most bath specialty shops.
* Callous Remover: This little tool looks frightening, and I know many people are afraid of them, however it is an indispensable item for truly soft, silky feet. It is simply a narrow razor blade, contained in a curved casing, with a plastic handle. Check your local beauty supply store, or better mass-market chains. Mine is a LaCross, and cost under five dollars.
* Toenail Clipper: Sounds like a no-brainer, but youíd be surprised how many people try to hack away at their big-toenail with a teensy little fingernail clipper! I prefer the straight-edged variety, which is also healthier for your nails (curved toenails have a greater tendency to become ingrown).
* Fingernail Clipper: Well you canít use that giant chomper on all of your toes, now can you? With little clippers, I prefer the curved edge (smaller toes donít tend to get ingrown like the big toe can!).
* Emery Boards: For finishing off clean edges on your toenails. I prefer natural emery boards to metal nail files, as they are gentles, and provide more of a variety in grit (very fine to coarse).
* Foot Lotion: Look for lotions specially formulated for the feet, containing an active ingredient like Dimethicone, which will help heal cracked surfaces, like at the edges of your heels. There are many excellent varieties containing mint and other botanicals, but you may be hard-pressed to find one of these with the active ingredient in it. Check both mass-market and specialty shops to find one you prefer.
* Socks: All cotton is preferable -- nothing fancy, just plain little white socks you can wear around the house and that are comfortable enough to sleep in. There are little socks specifically intended for helping the absorption of foot lotions, and they are made of a cotton/lycra/spandex blend (and feel just like a lightweight pair of leggings), but I have not found these to work any better than plain old ankle socks.
Alright, now that youíve gone shopping, itís time to....
Clean up your act!
Before your feet will absorb moisture, you need to prepare them. The most important part of preparing the feet is removing callouses and dead skin. But before you can do that, you need to clean Ďem up! Now I know there are special footbaths, that act as a little spa for your feet, but I donít think they are necessary. You should wash your feet, thoroughly, twice per day. Your morning wash can, of course, be done in the shower. Then again in the afternoon, simply fill the tub with a few inches of water, and perch on the edge.
Using your antibacterial soap and nail brush, work up a good lather all over your feet -- top, bottom, and between the toes. Scrub the nails carefully, and work the soft bristles over the topside of your feet (you donít necessarily want to scrub this area, but you do want to brush away the dead surface skin). Then once your feet are well-lathered, work at the dry areas with the pumice stone. Always work the stone in one direction only -- do not brush it back and forth like a scrub-brush! Pay particular attention to the bottom of your heels, as well as the pad below your big toe. Then simply rinse and pat dry.
Shave and a hair... er... nailcut!
Now itís time for the most nerve-wracking part of your new footcare regimen. Itís time to shave off those nasty dry, crusty callouses. Wait about 10 minutes after washing and drying your feet. You want the skin to still be soft and pliable, but not the least bit slippery when you perform this task. Sit in a well-lighted area, in a position where you can cross one leg over the other in order to hold one foot in your lap. Lightly drag the razor over the calloused area. Emphasis on lightly! You want to shave along the surface as if you were running a cheese slicer along the top of a delicate piece of cheese -- you donít want to cut into it, you simply want to graze the top surface layer. Small, translucent skin Ďshavingsí will begin to come off of your feet, revealing the pretty, fresh, soft skin below! Continue to work slowly along the bottom of your heel, and any other place you have thick, dry, rough skin.
Note: Do not expect to remove all of the Ďbadí skin on the first try. It should take a couple days to get it all, for if you try to get it all at once, you run the risk of slicing into the tender, healthy skin that lies beneath. Just work at it slowly and cautiously.
While your feet are still shower fresh, this is an optimal time to clip your nails, as toenails tend to be a be tougher than fingernails. However do not attempt to file soft, moist nails -- they are too brittle and weak when they are wet, and you run the risk of snagging or splitting them.
Quench your thirst!
The next step is the easiest! Now itís time to slather on the lotion! Use it generously, massage it in deeply, and then put some more on again! Work it into the heels, and all the way up to your ankles! While your feet will appreciate a moisture drink at any time of day, they are most receptive fresh from the bath or shower, so donít miss out on this prime opportunity to give them the drink they want!
Now if youíre off to work, your regimen ends here for now. However, if this is your afternoon/evening treatment time, then pull out a pair of those little cotton socks and put them on. I tend to wear socks around the house as often as possible -- your body heat combined with the lotion and the socks creates a little sauna of sorts for your feet. So the more time you wear the socks, the greater benefit youíll receive.
If your husband doesnít object too much, slather on another layer of lotion before bed, and put on a fresh pair of socks. It takes some time to get used to sleeping in socks (at least it did for me!) and my husband isnít wild about it, but when presented with the alternative (crusty, yucky feet!), he backs down.
Once youíve gotten rid of the callouses and cracked heels, daily maintenance will be a breeze! A little brush-up with your pumice stone while in the shower in the morning, and a little lotion in the evening, should keep your feet in tip-top shape! However, beware of these killers... the following pitfalls for pretty feet:
* Going barefoot: The most damage you can do to your feet is walk outdoors barefoot. Iím not referring to on the lawn in the backyard. But those quick walks down the driveway to collect the mail can do major damage. Always keep an inexpensive pair of flip-flops by your front door for those quick trips to the mailbox, the car or the next door neighborís house.
* The Beach: The beach has itís pros and itís cons. On the one hand, the sand helps to slough away dead cells from the soles of your feet, helping to make them softer. However, the sun and saltwater are drying to your skin, so be sure to give your feet a little TLC once you get home from the beach.
* Open Shoes: Yes, my favorite shoes are also detrimental to my feet. While hosiery and closed shoes may not be as comfortable, they do tend to protect the feet, and therefore prevent them from getting too dry. So if, like me, you tend to wear mules and clogs everyday, take special care of your feet to keep them looking extra pretty in those open styles.
Thatís all folks!
See how easy it is? Itís not necessary to spend $40 at the salon to make your feet soft and smooth when itís so simple to do it yourself at home!