By: Susan Gonzalez, RN
The summer is almost here and that means that you will be showing parts of your body that no one has seen since Labor Day….including your feet.
Guys, you may be tempted to skip this post, but I will tell you that toe cheese is not sexy….no matter what your buddies tell you! And if you lack the masculine confidence to be seen in public, soaking in a scented foot bath, then read on, for this is a treatment you can do in the privacy of your own bathroom…doors locked, shades drawn. After this treatment, your feet will scream “I belong to a guy who knows how to take care of himself and values his appearance.” Your partner will want to play footsie with you without having to think if she is up-to-date on her tetanus shot.
Guys, if your feet can be registered as lethal weapons, it may be time to take action.
Girls, in these days of tight budgets, it makes sense to be able to pamper your feet at home with natural healthy products that are inexpensive and common to most kitchens. And isn’t it time that you reduced your exposure to breathing in harmful fumes from nail salons and being exposed to chemicals like phthalates or formaldehyde?
So let’s get started!
This natural pedicure is best done in the evening. It helps you to relax, and wearing the socks keeps the moisture on your feet all night to help absorption and make your feet silky smooth.
The ingredients can be mixed and matched, so don’t worry if you don’t have everything on the list.
You probably have all the ingredients for this home pedicure right in your pantry.
What you will need:
*foot basin, or any container that you can soak your feet in (you could use the bathtub filled to your ankles)
*peppermint extract (not artificial peppermint flavor) or essential oil of peppermint
*1 avocado-cut in half-remove flesh and use for lunch ☺ Save skin
*coarse sea salt and/or epsom salt
*honey (a natural exfoliator)
*olive or safflower oil–these household oils have great beauty value making skin soft and silky
*clean cotton socks
*pumice stone (natural volcanic rock that smooths callouses)
*nail clippers & nail file
Make a scrub by mixing 1/2 cup coarse sea salt, 1 tsp honey, and 3 tBs oil. Set aside.
Dissolve 1 cup baking soda and 1/2 cup epsom salts, or sea salt, (or better–dead sea salt) in a basin or shallow tub of warm (on the hotter side of warm since it will sit for a while–but not hot) water. Add 1/4 tsp of peppermint extract if you have it, or a few drops of essential oil of peppermint. This is optional, but makes your feet feel fresh and tingly.
Soak your feet for 10 minutes. Try to relax during this time with some deep breathing or soft music. If you meditate, now would be a good time.
After feet have been soaking for at least 10 minutes or more, scrub with the pumice stone paying attention to callouses and rough spots. Run your fingers over the surface of your feet to find the rough spots. Don’t try to remove all the roughness in one treatment. Repeated weekly treatments will remove more and more dead skin, until they are very soft.
Take the 1/2 avocado skin and rub the inside of the skin on heels or other heavily calloused places. Massage gently for several minutes. Use one half of the skin for each foot.
Before you rinse the avocado off, take the honey/oil/salt scrub you made and massage into bottoms and tops of your feet, and up your ankle and calf as well. Scrub for several minutes (you can use the pumice stone for this as well) as this increases the circulation and removes dead skin and callouses. Want your partner to fall madly in love with you? Do this step for them.
You can use the pumice stone with the scrub for added effect.
You really won’t believe how great this feels! If you have scrub left over, take it in the shower to use on knees and elbows.
Rinse feet in the warm water and pat dry with soft towel.
Clip nails neatly, if needed, leaving some nail to file, and file edge to follow the shape of the nail bed. Guys, a nail file works the best, but you can use the little file on the clipper if you don’t own a file.
**If you want to apply nail polish, see below.
Place some of olive or safflower oil on your hands and massage into your feet-tops and bottoms. Be generous with the oil without being drippy. Pay close attention to your cuticles massaging the oil into each toe. Another step you can do with a partner.
If you need to, push cuticles back gently with orange stick. Do not try to remove or cut cuticle. Guys, the cuticle is the skin that grows up your nail at the base of the nail bed. An orange stick is a wooden stick that is shaped so you can push the cuticle skin back giving a neater look.
Put the socks on. Leave on overnight. (You can apply the oil, massage it in, leave on for as long as you can, and wipe dry or wash with mild soap and water if you don’t want to put on the socks. The softness of the oil will remain even after your wash.)
**If you want to apply polish: apply a few drops of oil to nail beds only. Push back cuticles and wash oil off with mild soap and water. Wipe nails down with acetone-free and methanol-free polish remover and apply safe polish. Allow to completely dry.
You can apply oil to your feet with socks any and every night you choose. The more you grease up the softer you will be. These natural ingredients without preservatives of chemical thickeners work with your body to soften your skin.
When you take a shower, the oil washes off, but the softness remains. (be careful in the morning, as your feet might be slippery in the shower until you wash) You won’t believe how soft your feet will feel!
And let’s face it…when your feet feel great, so do you!
PLEASE do not use Vaseline in place of the oil! Vaseline is a petroleum product that you shouldn’t be using on your body. It is a petrochemical that is made from the refining of crude oil. Would you rub motor oil all over you? (guys…don’t answer this).
Petroleum jelly (Vaseline) is one of those products that should be sitting in your trash can. It clogs your pores and blocks sweat and oil glands and gets absorbed into your body through your skin. Your skin provides a direct pathway to your bloodstream (this is how medication, like nicotine patches, work) By applying the petro products to your skin it is similar to ingesting them. Would you eat motor oil? (again…guys don’t answer)
After your all-natural, at-home pedicure, you can be confident about prancing around and showing off your terrific tootsies! And you can be proud that your home pedicure cost next to nothing and was chemical-free!
The Savvy Sister is a cancer survivor and RN who looks for simple ways to make positive impacts on our health. Click here to visit her website for more healthy living articles.