Happy feet

San­dal sea­son is here and it’s time to get those toot­sies ready, says Katie Wright

Irish Examiner - Feelgood - - Beauty -

DITCHING the tights, pop­ping on some flip-flops, and feel­ing the sun­shine on your skin is one of the joys of sum­mer — or is it?

If the thought of bar­ing your sun-de­prived soles in a pair of san­dals brings you out in a cold sweat, chances are you’re not a reg­u­lar in the pedi­cure chair.

“Cracked heels are very common, as hard-work­ing feet take a lot of the strain when walk­ing, ex­er­cis­ing, and gen­er­ally be­ing ac­tive,” says Kate Tay­lor, Lloyds Phar­macy phar­ma­cist. “So it’s no sur­prise that the skin on the soles of your feet can be­come dry and cracked.”

But that doesn’t mean you need to hot-foot it to a sa­lon im­me­di­ately — there are lots of at-home op­tions to tackle de­hy­drated heels and over­grown toe­nails.

1. Scrub up

“For the ul­ti­mate baby soft feet, use a foot pol­ish fol­lowed by a heel balm and but­ter to keep feet mois­turised, pre­vent­ing hard skin build-up — es­pe­cially in sum­mer,” rec­om­mends Joanna Rind, se­nior prod­uct man­ager, Sanc­tu­ary Spa. “For an ex­tra treat, soak feet in warm wa­ter for 10 to 15 min­utes be­fore us­ing the foot pol­ish.”

Sanc­tu­ary Spa Foot Pol­ish, €8.50, Boots; Weleda Birch Body Scrub, €11.95

2. File your feet

“Our feet are ex­tremely hard-work­ing, which, when com­bined with a lack of TLC can cause build-up of dry, hard skin and even cracked heels,” says po­di­a­trist Dr Bharti Rajput. “There­fore, just like the rest of the body, treat your feet to a light ex­fo­li­a­tion once a week, to help get rid of any dry skin, and re­fresh and re­ju­ve­nate skin cells. Al­ways use a safe foot file which re­sem­bles ‘sand­pa­per on a stick’ in­stead of a metal one which re­sem­bles a cheese grater!”

Sol de Janeiro Samba Foot Fetish Care Smooth­ing Board and Cream, €30, Feelu­nique; School Vel­vet Smooth Pedi, €44.99

3. Try gly­colic

“There is a rea­son that NeoS­trata PDS Cream is known by so many as a ‘pedi­cure in a jar’,” says Lorna McDon­nell Bowes, di­rec­tor of Aes­thet­icSource, of the ex­fo­li­at­ing cream which con­tains 20% gly­colic acid.

“Its abil­ity to smooth away dry, cracked skin and leave feet baby soft in just a cou­ple of weeks is a dream. Per­son­ally, I never travel with­out it — it lives by my bed. Its unique, ac­tive in- gre­di­ents help soften the most course, dry feet.”

Neos­trata Prob­lem Dry Skin Cream, €23.91, Zest beauty

4. Mois­turise daily

“Reg­u­lar mois­tur­is­ing will keep your feet look­ing and feel­ing amaz­ing, so use a urea-based cream night and morn­ing,” says Ju­lian Ball from DLT Po­di­a­try.

“Urea is a nat­u­ral, mois­tur­is­ing sub­stance, avail­able in two strengths: 10% urea for keep­ing the skin soft and sup­ple or 25% for when the skin has cracked and needs help heal­ing.” Ureka 10% Urea Foot Care Cream, €8.95, fru­ugo.ie

5. Trim your toe­nails

“Trim your nails af­ter a bath or shower with a good qual­ity nail clip­per, cut­ting straight along the top,” ad­vises Ball. “Leave about 1mm of white tip and do not cut down the sides, as this can cause in­grow­ing nails. Smooth off with an emery board.” Masqd The Nail Set, €23.99, Boots

6. Pick a pol­ish

“Add a pop of colour to your nails with a non-toxic nail pol­ish, such as Dr’s Rem­edy,” says Ball. “This vi­ta­min-en­riched nail pol­ish is in­fused with a spe­cial blend of in­gre­di­ents, in­clud­ing or­ganic tea tree oil, wheat pro­tein, gar­lic bulb ex­tract and laven­der. It min­imises the ap­pear­ance of dry, brit­tle nails, hy­drates nail cu­ti­cles and im­proves the wear-time of your nail colour, pro­vid­ing a high shine.”

Dr’s Rem­edy Peace­ful Pink Co­ral, €13.60, FeetLife

7. Use balm

Finish your DIY pedi with a gen­er­ous slather­ing of nour­ish­ing foot balm, then put on a pair of clean socks to help lock in mois­ture overnight.

Nat­u­ral Spa Fac­tory Sole Food Foot Nu­tri­tion balm,€20.50 for two Ame­lio­rate In­ten­sive Foot Treat­ment, €16.95, Vic­to­ria Health

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