We get it: Summer is to pedicures as winter is to ugly Christmas sweaters. But just because your feet are under wraps in socks and boots, this doesn’t mean they aren’t in need of some upkeep. Colder temperatures can cause skin on the feet to become dry, chapped or even cracked when left unattended, making regular pedicures key to keeping them soft, presentable and ready to be massaged by a significant other. Here’s how to get yours in shape:
1. Make the most of your shower time
During or after a shower, give your feet a once-over with a pumice stone, foot paddle or an exfoliating cream to remove patches of skin that are rough and dry. Once you’re out of the shower, immediately after toweling off, rub a lotion or cream containing a natural moisturizing factor, like urea, to intensely hydrate feet.
2. Get the full-pedi effect…
To give yourself the most moisturizing pedicure possible, start by buffing the soles of your feet with a pumice stone while they’re dry. Next, soften them in warm, Epsom-salted water for 10 minutes, and use your pumice to further exfoliate away dry skin. For our tip sheet on the use of Apple Cider Vinegar and Epsom Salts, read here. After both feet have been sloughed, gently push back nail cuticles with an orange wood stick (wrap the tip with a stretched out cotton ball to minimize irritation), and blot feet dry with a towel. Use an uber-moisturizer to keep skin supple, massage cuticle oil into your nail beds, and finish with a layer of top coat polish to keep nails shiny and healthy-looking.
3. …or try the mini-pedi
Have only a few minutes to devote to your feet? Slough away dry skin with a buffer; rub feet and ankles with a hydrating cream; apply cuticle oil to keep your nail beds soft, and brush on a layer of top coat.
4. Perform some daily upkeep
The best defense is a good, consistent offense, so keep feet from getting gangly with these everyday steps:
• Use an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) product – glycolic and lactic acid are ideal because of their special ability to penetrate skin, says Allinson – to slough off dead cells.
• Use super-hydrating creams on the regular. Doing so is one of the easiest ways to keep dryness-related problems at bay.
• Try not to walk on carpet with your bare feet, which can sap moisture from your skin, especially when moisturizing lotions have been freshly applied.