OK, here’s the deal: It was a long brutal winter here in Chicago. My feet barely left my snow boots and, well, the truth is I let them go. As a hairstylist, mother, and avid exerciser, my feet take quite a beating. My heels got rough and cracked and I developed a few calluses to boot.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, it’s time to address the situation. Since it’s doubtful I’m alone in this predicament, I thought I’d share my plan for softer feet in one week. Join me and let’s get sandal-ready together.
Kick off the week with the following callus-busting treatment:
1. Gather a few materials:
- Plastic bin large enough to fit both your feet or a foot spa
- Foot soak, epsom salts, or baking soda and salt
- Hand towel
- Callus remover (I love Be Natural Callus Eliminator)
- Plastic gloves or cotton ball
- Foot rasp or pumice stone (I found mine at my local Asian market)
- Foot cream (I used Be Natural Spa Intensive Skin Therapy)
- cell phone, magazines, tv, glass of wine optional
2. Soak your feet
Fill your bin with very warm water. Drop in a prepared foot soak, a half cup of epsom salts, or a quarter cup each of baking soda and sea salt. Essential oils are a nice addition as well if you have some handy. Soak your tired dogs for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Apply callus remover
Dry off one foot and apply callus remover to any excessively rough or thickened areas. It’s best to apply this product with a cotton ball or wear plastic gloves to protect your hands. Wait the required amount of time as indicated on the packaging.
4. Slough off dead skin
Use a foot rasp or pumice stone to slough off dead skin cells, concentrating on rough, cracked areas and callouses. Return that foot to the foot soak and repeat steps 2 and 3 on the other foot.
5. Wash and rinse
Wash feet with soap and rinse. Pat dry and apply a good foot cream. One with exfoliating ingredients works well for repair. If you don’t have a foot cream, you can try substituting a healing ointment like Aquaphor. Just beware that it will feel greasy.
Put on some socks to help the lotion penetrate and to keep you from sliding around.
Your feet probably feel a lot better already! Here’s the plan for the remainder of the week:
- Use your foot rasp or pumice stone with a little soap every time you shower.
- On days you don’t shower, use a foot file on rough areas. These tools (that look like large emery boards) are great for smoothing skin that isn’t wet.
- After using your foot rasp, pumice stone, or foot file, follow up with a healthy dose of your foot cream and wear socks.
- Every night before bed, reapply your foot cream and wear socks. I find that comfy “spa” socks are more comfortable to wear while sleeping.
By the end of the week your feet should be noticeably softer and smoother by both appearance and to the touch. If you need to, you can repeat the softening soak and callus removal treatment. Then treat yourself to a DIY spa pedicure for a relaxing experience and to finish the look for sandal season.
Note: In my spa pedicure post, I repeat the callus remover. My feet were that bad! You can skip this step if you don’t think you need it.