Nothing is better than having feet that feel and look good. The American Podiatric Medical Association has one primary focus during diabetes awareness month: foot care! In cooperation with this important campaign, five different experts share five awesome ways to pamper your feet.
Get a Pedicure!
No day of pampering is complete without a pedicure. Why? Because nothing perks up your feet like perfectly polished toes. While most of us prefer to relax and get a pedicure in a salon, not everyone has the time or the money to do so. But have no fear, manicurist Tiffany Gomez is here to help! “If you’re wanting to give yourself a pedicure at home, begin by clipping your toenails straight across and removing any nail polish. Make sure to not cut your toenails too short, as this could cause an ingrown toenail,” she cautions. “From there, file each toenail individually to make them smooth and ready for polish. After filing, I like to place lotion on my feet to make them nice and soft.”
Gomez suggests using three different polishes: a fortifying basecoat, your color of choice, and a quick-dry topcoat. “After applying your basecoat, follow that with your nail polish and then a topcoat,” she says. “Also, if you're looking to get a little ‘crazy,’ you can always add glitter, or jewels to make your feet feel extra special!’”
Gomez also suggests using a non-toxic nail polish brand such as Butter London, so you don’t have to worry about inhaling harmful chemicals as you pamper yourself.
If you want to pamper your feet it’s best to start by keeping them clean. “If skincare had a magic bullet, it would be exfoliating,” says Registered Nurse (RN) Megan Perez, who works in a dermatology office. Besides keeping your feet silky smooth, exfoliating is a great way to keep those feet looking young. “People tend to neglect the feet when they think of anti-aging care, but the skin on your feet is just as important as rest of your body!”
Perez suggests following these steps for the ultimate exfoliating experience: “Begin by soaking your feet in warm water – for those that have circulation issues or diabetes check with your doctor before soaking. If you are not given the green light to soak, simply wash your feet in the shower instead,” Perez says. “After soaking your feet, grab your exfoliating scrub and get to work.” Don’t have a scrub on hand? Perez recommends using a tablespoon of raw sugar! Work the granules around the foot to get rid of dry skin, focusing on particularly dry areas like the heel.
After exfoliating, rinse and pat dry. Perez suggests using a good moisturizer following exfoliating. “Grab a lotion that is made specifically for the feet,” she says. “Using your hands gently work the lotion throughout your feet so you are moisturizing all the areas that just got exfoliated. Lastly, cover those feet with socks to keep them soft!”
Neutrogena Foot Cream, $5, neutrogena.com
Burt’s Bees Cranberry Sugar Scrub, $13, burtsbees.com
Give Your Feet a Rub
If you really want to pamper your feet there's no better way to do that than with a massage. Besides feeling amazing, massage is also great way to relieve pain in other areas of the body. “Some people believe that in the feet there are pressure points to target other sections of the body. This is called reflexology,” explains massage therapist Anna Santos. “Begin by grabbing some lotion or oil to massage your feet. Start with the arch, which is usually the area that needs the most care! From their work on the rest of your feet and feel for any areas that seem tense, as these might be trigger-points for other parts of your body.”
Santos also suggests alternating foot massages with your significant on a night in. “It may not seem like the most glamorous thing in the world, but giving each other foot massages is a great way to show that you care for one another, and help each other relax at the end of a long day.”
CVS Stress Relief Massage Oil, $9.99, cvs.com
Shop for the Right Shoes
Most of us would make up any excuse to buy a new pair shoes. Good news! Buying a new pair of shoes is doctor recommended. Dr. Edgar Abbes, DPM is a podiatrist in Lakewood, California. Besides emphasizing the importance of a healthy diet and consistent exercise for foot health, Dr. Abbes also suggests showing your feet a little love by wearing the right shoes.
“It’s important to find shoes that fit properly,” Dr. Abbes says. “Make sure to get your feet measured before purchasing shoes. Your shoes shouldn’t be too big or too small, and they should support your arch as well.” Dr. Abbes also suggests investing in some good inserts that can fit into all your shoes, including those high heels. “I recommend custom functional orthotics by KLM which require a visit to your Podiatrist for a mold to fabricate.”
There are different KLM supports, which fit every type of shoe, including dress shoes. “However, for minor temporary relief, a drug store available product like Dr. Scholls Tri-Comfort can give your feet some relief from the hard days night.” Just what the doctor ordered!
KLM Dress Orthotic, Prices may vary, klmlabs.com
Dr. Scholl’s Tri-Comfort Orthotics, $12, dr.scholls.com
Get a Wax!
Many women (unfortunately) have to deal with hair on their feet. While this isn't the sexiest topic to discuss, there’s an easy way to get rid of that hair and keep your feet feeling smooth. “Waxing is a great way to pamper your feet!” says esthetician Sarah Martinez. Though this may sound intimidating, Sarah says you can easily attempt this on your own. “If you can't afford to go to an esthetician you can definitely wax at home,” explains Martinez. “Start by heating up the wax, following the directions on the package. Next place a small amount of wax on a section of hair on your feet. Make sure you do each section of hair one at a time. Next, place the wax strip over the wax, let it sit from a minute or two, and then rip it off.” Martinez says many people are scared of waxing because they think it may be painful. “It really doesn’t hurt!” she says. “You’ll love how soft and amazing your feet will feel when you’re finished. It’s a great way to treat yourself!”
Surgi-Wax Brazilian Microwave Hair Remover Kit, $5, folica.com