Feet. Not a topic you generally want to discuss, or even think about. And frequently forgotten or neglected in our beauty routines. But between everyday walking and running around, the (sometimes impractical) shoes we wear, and the supporting of our body weight, we put our feet through the grindstone.
One of the best ways to care for your feet is with a pedicure. Pedicures don't just make your feet and toes look great, they keep your feet in good condition and can prevent problems in the future. And while receiving a pedicure from a professional is a lovely way to pamper yourself from time to time (trust me, your feet will thank you), there are a number of things you can do at home.
So, what are the different areas we should look after?
The first thing you think of, and that people tend to notice, are your toe nails. If filed or cut incorrectly, they can become ingrown, which can be very soar and hard to heal. It is important that they’re not too short, cut them to the top of the toe, and that they are filed straight with a only slight curve.
Unlike your fingernails, when you put a colour on your toes, you can go weeks without it chipping. But it is vital you apply a clear base coat before applying the colour as the varnish can stain the nail. The base coat will help prevent this from happening, but you can also gently buff the nail plate. Only buff your nails on a weekly (or less) basis as doing it too frequently can weaken the nail plate. If your nails are already weak, don’t do this as you could do more damage. Instead, apply a nail strengthener.
These are important in protecting the nail. This area is at the base of the nail, and if care is not taken with the cuticles, it could affect how the nail grows in the future. They should be well moisturised, either with an oil or lotion rubbed in each toe. Then gently push back the cuticles with an orange wooden stick, available at most chemists. This should keep them hydrated and protected.
The dreaded cracked heels can be avoided easily for most people if a few things are done. When moisturising your legs, continue down to your heels and the top of your foot. You can also apply lotion to your feet nightly in all seasons, including winter. Wrap your feet in a cotton sock overnight. This is a great hydrator. Cracked heels, if not looked after, can become sore and get infected, not to mention looking bad. So get that lotion out.
Depending on how you walk, and the shoes you wear, your feet could develop hard skin. Should you walk with your feet in or our, the body will create the hard skin in an effort to compensate and balance the foot. Additionally, in Reflexology, the presence of hard skin in different portions of the foot could potentially reveal areas of weakness, or the existence of toxins, in other parts of the body. If the hard skin is not looked after, your feet may become quite sore, and the skin will just get harder, making it difficult to remove. You should regularly exfoliate your feet and use a foot file, again available in most chemists, on damp skin. This will keep it under control and your feet happy.
For an added boost, indulge the next time you are getting a professional pedicure and get paraffin wax. This is a liquid wax that sets slightly when cool. It soothes and hydrates the skin, heel and cuticles. It is also used in sports injuries to help with sore muscles and aches. The paraffin wax will leave you feeling like you’re walking on air. It’s absolutely worth getting done, and you will feel the benefit for days afterwards.
Pedicures are not just for the summer. They are just as important, if not more so, in the winter. As the feet are covered in socks and shoes in the cold months, the heat created around your feet doesn’t allow them to breathe like they can in the summer. This may cause them to become very dry. However, having a pedicure regularly throughout the year will give the feet a boost so there is no panic when the good weather arrives in April (this is Ireland) and you want to get your feet out.
It is great if you look after you feet at home, but getting a pedicure in a spa or salon allows your feet to get the extra tender loving care they need with a foot massage and paraffin wax, depending on where you go. It is important to look after you feet. As many of us know, when your feet are sore, your body aches, so give them the treat they deserve.
Want to pamper your feet and feel refreshed? Consider our ESPA leg and foot treatment. Along with the traditional aspects of a pedicure, the 55 minute treatment gives you the option of hot stones or paraffin wax. If you choose the longer version of the treatment, you’ll receive both. It also includes a gentle skin softening exfoliation and relaxing acupressure point massage with the appropriate aromatherapy massage oil prescribed for your individual needs.