It's never too early to start prepping your soles for sandal season. Winter can wreak havoc on your heels (and toes, for that matter), drying and cracking the skin on your feet and making them decidedly unready for their springtime debut. Prepare to put your best feet forward come warmer weather with these pedi-pretty tips. Treat yourself to a four-day foot spa regimen, or do the whole shebang in one spa-perfect day.
First, soak your feet in a warm bath with a few drops of tea tree oil ($9) for an antiseptic deep cleaning. Rub a lemon wedge over discolored nails—the natural oxidizing agents in lemon will brighten yellowed nails. Finish up by slathering on a foot cream with alpha hydroxy acid. Eucerin Plus Intensive Foot Repair Cream with AHA ($6) smoothes cracks and polishes rough heels. Let it work its magic overnight and see smoother feet by morning.
Next, get down and dirty by sloughing off dead skin with an exfoliating foot scrub. J.R. Watkins Apothecary Exfoliating Peppermint Foot Scrub ($8) has tiny bits of pumice in it, as well as tingly peppermint oil for a tingly fresh feeling. Put a Soapy Soles Elite pad ($30) in your tub for a massaging, exfoliating foot treatment you can do every time you're in the shower. The ingenious pad features a bristled surface and interchangeable pumice stone and massage disc that you can use without worrying about losing your balance in the slippery shower. Post-exfoliation, treat your feet with a tingly peppermint lotion like Bigelow Mentha Tingling Foot Cream ($14) to keep moisture in.
Finally, it's time for your actual pedicure. Invest in a Tweezerman Pedicure Kit ($15) with callus remover, foot file, clippers, nail file, and scrub brush (don't forget to get between those toes!) Clip and shape your nails post-soak while they're at their most supple, rounding the edges to prevent ingrown toenails. Remove cuticles with Neutra Nail 30-second cuticle remover ($3) and insert toe separators to keep polish where it belongs. Slick on a strengthening base coat, like the best-selling OPI Natural Nail Base Coat ($5), so your polish goes on smooth and lasts longer. Opt for girly, pearlescent pink polish as opposed to the harsh berries you wore in the winter. Lancome's Le Vernis Divine Lasting Color & Shine Nail Lacquer ($18) has one of the easiest-to-operate brushes on the market and comes in three spring-ready shades.
Post-pedi, keep your feet happy by soaking them once a week in True Blue Spa's Footloose & Fancy Fizz Bubbly Bath for Feet ($15), an effervescent pick-me-up for tootsies that energizes and moisturizes.
What are your favorite spring prep pedicure tips? Use the comments section to tell us all about the products and techniques you use to get your feet looking flip flop fab.
And once your toes are worthy to slip into something pretty, check out our Guide to Spring Shoe Trends for some hot new looks.