Itís never too early to start thinking about flip flops. Take your tootsies out of winter hibernation and soothe away dryness, calluses, ugly toes, and odor with expert natural tips.
1. Add moisture. If the cold, dry winter months left your feet parched and flaky, rich natural butters and oils can restore lost moisture. “Shea butter-based lotions provide some of the most effective moisturizing,” says Tara Oolie, founder of Just Calm Down Spa in New York. For a natural moisture boost, she recommends grape seed, sunflower, and olive oils. Try smoothing on foot lotions rich in these ingredients every other day, right after a shower or bath. To prevent fungal infections, wait until feet have absorbed the lotion before putting on socks and shoes.
2. Soften calluses. Extra pressure or friction on the foot creates these unattractive patches of thick, hardened skin. Re-evaluating footwear and gradually soften tough spots with regular exfoliating treatments. Try Oolieís easy at-home exfoliating routine: Mix 2 tablespoons granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Apply to calloused spots and gently rub in a circular motion with a pumice stone for a few minutes. Repeat every other day.
3. Buff nails. If you let your toe and nail routine slip over the winter and want to eliminate excess dead skin around the cuticles, moisturize the toenail beds, file the cuticle using a light file or a white buffer block, then gently push back the cuticles. Cutting cuticles isn’t necessary and may even promote more dead-skin buildup. Next, buff down thick nail ridges with a white buffer block until smooth.
4. Eliminate odor. Itís time for minty essential oils and a lot of fresh airóthe bacteria and fungus in sweat actually break down dead skin cells on your feet and cause odor. To limit growth of these bad-smelling intruders, let shoes dry out completely before slipping into them again, and avoid wearing the same pair of shoes every day, he suggests. Oolie recommends deodorizing your feet daily with natural products that contain refreshing antibacterial essential oils, such as peppermint, tea tree, and lavender.
Delicious Living is the go-to resource for the natural and organic lifestyle, helping readers eat well, live green, and stay healthy. Visit deliciouslivingmag.com for more articles and free recipes.