For many people our instinctual reaction to the mention of feet is often squeamish and may even be one of embarrassment. After spending the past few months shrouded in 70 denier tights and stuffed into trainers, boots, or other weather-appropriate closed toe options, it’s not surprising if your feet aren’t sparking as much joy as you’d hope. Now we’re at the start of the British summer proper (which somehow always seems to creep up on us) our neglected toes and feet are expected to emerge into strappy barely-there sandals and peep toe wedges looking lithe and unscathed, when the reality is usually far from it. If you’re feeling nervous about the big reveal, it’s likely your feet need a little TLC to restore them to their healthy, fabulous best. Keep reading to discover our best at-home tips on beautifying your feet ready for sandal season…
The Importance Of Foot Care
Feet are one of the more difficult areas to look after because they are harder to reach and are regularly covered up and out of sight – two factors that means their care is often neglected. “For some people feet are considered a taboo subject that they try to avoid talking about or something that grosses them out,” says Dina Gohill, founder of DG Podiatrist. However, they are one of the most important areas to pay attention too especially considering the number of stressors that affect them every day. Some of the common stressors that affect your feet include friction from shoes, temperature changes, overheating due to lack of aeration, circulation irregularities, sweat and bacterial build up and fatigue from sports or standing for long periods, says Dina.
Are Tailored Foot Products Necessary?
Ever wondered if a foot-specific cream or lotion is really necessary? Margaret Dabbs, podiatrist and founder of Margaret Dabbs London explains why it’s worth investing, “a lot of people use their regular body products on their feet, but these just won’t do the trick because the skin on your feet is up to twelve times thicker than the rest of your body.” This crucial structural difference in both texture and density explains the importance of using tailored products that are rich enough to penetrate the tougher skin.
The Healing Power Of Feet
“In Traditional Chinese Medicine feet are considered the roots of the tree that should be taken great care of and respected,” says Marie Reynolds, Wellness and Skin Health Expert and founder of Marie Reynolds London. One of the key processes Marie advocates to her clients is the ancient practise of grounding, which (put simply) is about using your bare feet to connect with the earth for myriad of health benefits. “Grounding techniques allow your body to absorb negative ions from the earth, which helps to reduce inflammation, reduce stress and has a beneficial impact on circulation too.” To experience the benefits yourself all you need to do is go out into the garden or park and get your bare feet on the ground as much as you can, but make sure you don’t have your phone on you while you do as this, says Marie.
At Home Foot Care Tips
Hopefully you require no more convincing about the importance of treating your feet with as much attention as the rest of your body and skin. If it’s intensive work you need doing such as callus skin, corns, fungal infections or if you have any pain, a visit to a podiatrist such as DG Podiatrist or Margaret Dabbs London roughly every six weeks is recommended. “Think about podiatry as you would the Dentist or Hygienist,” says Margaret. “Many people forget about taking care of their feet until there is a problem, but regularly attending a podiatry appointment can transform the look and feel of your feet.” For maintenance there is nowhere better than in the comfort and privacy of your own home to indulge in some TLC for your feet. The latest offerings of high-tech formulas, luxuriously scented lotions and straight-down-to-business tools make refreshing wizened feet a much more pleasant experience than you might imagine.
Take rough or cracked heels for example. If skin is particularly hard, thick or painful, it’s likely callus skin so turn to your podiatrist for help but for surface level coarseness, invest in a good quality foot file like Margaret Dabbs Professional Foot File to slough off dead cells and smooth skin. If you want to take things to the next level try Patchology’s PoshPeel Pedi Cure Foot Treatment, a sheet mask infused with AHA and BHAs that progressively peels off dead skin over three to five days revealing the smoother, softer skin beneath. For best effect when moisturising your feet, slather on a rich lotion just before bed, allowing extra time for the product to penetrate the thicker skin overnight so you’ll have baby soft feet come morning. Pay attention to ingredients too. Equally as effective on your feet as they are your face, acids work wonders at sloughing off dead skin. Margaret Dabbs combines salicylic acid and antibacterial tea tree oil to overcome odour and soften skin in her bestselling Foot Hygiene Cream.