During the winter, our poor feet are often neglected. We stuff them into thick socks and boots and forget about them.
But just because they’re hidden away doesn’t mean your feet don’t need some tlc.
And as the the sandals come out, it’s time to prepare to bare.
The secret to softer skin
- Cramming your feet into thick socks and sweaty boots can have a big impact on your skin, leaving it dry and scaly. Apply a nightly foot cream that contains lovely nourishing ingredients to soothe thickened skin. Depending how bad your heels are you’ll need to do this for around a week.
When your skin has softened, you can think about exfoliating, using a pumice stone, Pedi-egg or foot file. Pumices are inexpensive and give good results – and are best used on wet feet. Metal files should be used on dry feet, before your shower. Please be gentle using any metal implements (which can cause infection) – you’re looking to lightly buff away your skin. Don’t be put off by the cheese-grater appearance of these files – they’re very effective.
- Talking of cheese… your feet will probably be much smellier after being confined in damp boots all winter. Why do our feet smell? Bacteria. The same bacteria that is used to ripen or mature certain cheeses can also be found on our skin, especially in warm, moist areas.Fungal infections such as athlete’s foot can also lead to odour.To keep your feet sweet and fresh, wash and dry them every day and wear clean socks (stick to cotton or wool, and avoid nylon).Try to also wear different types of shoes to stop your feet getting too sweaty (wearing trainers all day stops your feet from breathing).
- Once your feet are lovely and smooth you can apply a rich moisturising foot lotion or body butter. A nice treat for your feet is to pop some cotton socks on after moisturising, as this helps the cream to penetrate your skin.
Maintenance is really important, so make sure you’re moisturising once or twice a week.
Now for your nails…
Admit it, in winter you slap on a coat of polish and it stays there for weeks on end, with you chucking an extra coat on once in a while to cover the gaps. When you do remove it, your nails have a strange yellow hue.
Why does this happen?
Not many people use a base coat in winter, and we tend to opt for darker colours too, which leads to the yellow tinge. Leave them unpolished for a couple of weeks and they should soon be back to normal.
Try these tips:
- If you’re prone to discolouration, apply an extra coat of base coat before you add a dark nail colour.
- After removing your nail polish, scrub your nails with a toothbrush and massage lavender oil onto your nails.
- Use a buffer (lightly) to file away some of the surface discolouration.
Discolouration can sometimes be a sign of poor health, and a fungal infection can cause yellowing nails. If you’re at all worried make an appointment to see a chiropodist.
And a final word. Chiropodists and beauty therapists see all kinds of feet every day. Don’t be embarrassed by your hard skin or yellow nails – it won’t bother them in the slightest and your feet deserve the best-possible treatment!