Ah, spring. After a winter trapped in boots and tights, you’re probably itching to let your toes free. Your feet on the hand? They’re probably not quite ready for their close-up. So because we know the line for a pedicure on the first warm day of the season is not for the faint of heart, we asked the experts for tips on achieving soft, smooth feet right at home. We promise these techniques will have you sandal-ready in no time.
1. Cleanse with a mild exfoliating soap. Instead of treating your feet as an afterthought when you shower and haphazardly running a bit of your body soap along your toes, consider this part of your body the way you would your face or hair–it requires a special cleanser with exfoliating properties to help shed dry skin cells. Getting into the habit of cleansing your feet with a separate product like Avon Planet Spa Blissfully Nourishing With African Shea Butter Hand and Foot Scrub is your first step to removing dead skin on a daily basis and replenishing the soles and tops of feet with needed moisture.
2. Shed your skin. It doesn’t matter how clean you get ’em, if you suffer from dry, hard skin on the heels or balls of your feet, they’re going to look unsightly. Baby Foot Deep Exfoliation for Feet Peel is the most insane foot product you’ll ever try that works–and I mean, works in such a way that you’ll see a trail of disgusting, dead skin literally peeling off of your foot a few days after you apply it. It’s a three-step process and takes a few hours of commitment on your part, but if you were still carrying a lunch box to school the last time you remember seeing the true color of your feet, isn’t it worth a whirl?
3. Pull out the pumice. There’s a reason foot experts love the old-fashioned pumice stone: it works. “Using a pumice stone is a great way to remove callouses on the bottom of feet,” said Dr. Suzanne Fuchs. For the best results, soak your feet first with warm water and Epsom salt for about 10 minutes. Dip a stone like Develop 10 Natural Pumice Lava Rock into the warm water for a few seconds and then, using a firm circular motion, rub the pumice rock onto your dry skin until it starts to come loose.
4. Moisturize. After exfoliating your feet, Fuchs recommends applying coconut oil or a foot cream that contains urea to break down stubborn callouses and dry skin. Some of Fuchs’ favorite creams include Aquaphor Original Ointment and AmLactin Moisturizing Body Lotion, which can be used on both feet and legs.
5. Go natural. If you’re looking for a smooth foot solution void of chemicals, Rodrigo Diaz, the creative director of GOA Skincare, shares one he discovered while traveling halfway around the world. “In my travels to India, visiting the royal family in Ragasthan, they have a quick and easy way to relieve both tough feet (they walk around all day barefoot) and tired feet,” Diaz says. Mix Himalayan pink salt, such as Chef’s Jar Sherpa Pink Himalayan Salt, with eucalyptus leaves in hot water and then transfer the invigorating concoction over to a bowl that fits both feet. Soak your feet for 5-7 minutes and then pat them down and apply argan oil, such as 100 Percent Pure Organic Argan Oil. “This will release any dead skin while reconstructing newer skin,” Diaz said. “The feet will feel fresh and ready to attack the day.”
6. Sleep in socks. The best time to treat your feet is in the evening–you can thank your favorite pair of wooly socks for that. “To help get your feet ready for summer, a glycolic foot cream under a sock to aid in penetration can work wonders to both exfoliate and hydrate the skin,” said Dr. David E. Bank at The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery. “Even better if you put the cream on your feet overnight with socks to let it penetrate while you sleep. Because you don’t walk on your feet while you sleep, the products have the greatest amount of time to penetrate the skin.” Alpha Hydrox Extra Strength Deep Therapy Foot Cream is fragrance-free and contains 12% AHA to treat dry and damaged skin. And, if you’d prefer not to ruin your best argyle socks, Earth Therapeutics Foot Therapy Moisturizing Foot Socks were created with this one specific purpose in mind.
For more beauty tips, check out these 1-minute beauty tricks that will make your face look younger and 10 ways to fake thicker hair.