6 steps to summer ready feet

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After our toes and feet have been in hibernation during the colder months, it’s time to get them out in the open air and ready for summer sandals.

You can certainly get a professional pedicure, however I prefer to prep and pamper my feet myself. Below is my 6 step initial prep routine to start myself out on the “right foot.” Then I do a quick daily upkeep to keep my feet happy and presentable all summer long.

Pre-prep tip: I always suggest removing all nail polish during the winter months to reduce the effects of yellowing nails and give them a chance to breathe. However, if you happen to have old polish left from the winter, remove it with acetone free polish remover and leave toenails “au naturel” for a week or so before applying a cute new colour.

1. Clean and soften

Soak feet in a tub of warm water with Epsom salt and a few drops of tea tree essential oil for 5 to 10 minutes. Epsom salt relaxes and soothes the feet while softening the skin to remove dead skin and callouses. Tea tree has powerful antiseptic, antibacterial, and antifungal properties, so it will help treat wounds and kill nasty germs, especially those related to toenail fungus and athlete’s foot.

2. Trim and file

It’s easier to clip nails and cuticles when they are damp. Clip toenails straight across so that they are no longer than the edge of your toe. Gently file the corners into rounded edges to prevent ingrown toenails.

3. Buff smooth

Dry off excess water and while feet are still slightly damp use a double-sided wooden pedi file to buff dry, dead skin and callouses. Focus on rougher areas such as the heels, balls of your feet, and big toes where the skin tends to callous. Avoid buffing too hard as you don’t want to irritate the skin. Leave enough “soft callous” as protection to avoid blistering.

Silkline Two-Sided Foot File, $4.99

4. Tend to your cuticles

Gently push cuticles back with a wooden cuticle stick.

5. Exfoliate

Create your own homemade exfoliate with ingredients from your cupboard. Mix Epsom salt and olive oil to form a thick paste and massage on foot and leg area to remove any remaining dead skin. Be sure to focus on the cuticle area of each toe. Rinse with warm water and towel dry, leaving feet slightly damp.

6. Moisturize and massage

Lock in moisture with a rich, protective moisturizing balm like our Healing Balm, focusing on heels and cuticle area for a smooth, soft finish.

You can sport your toes au naturel or add a fun splash of polish. Summertime is a great time to try bright new hues - check out some of these safe natural nail polish options.

Suncoat is a Canadian brand, formulated and manufactured in Guelph, Ontario. Their nail polish replaces chemical solvents like toluene and acetates with water, making it environmentally friendly and virtually odour-free. The mineral pigments and natural colorants won't dry or discolour your nails. Try Cotton Candy ($9.99) for toes so perfectly pretty in pink, they look good enough to eat.

 

SpaRitual uses Certified Organic and Fair Traded plant essences in all of their products and are proudly vegan and cruelty-free. Try their Vegan Nail Lacquer, free from DBP, toluene, camphor, and formaldehyde. This Bold ($12USD) blue is part of their new 2016 Summer Beach Ready Collection and gives just the right amount of shimmer.

 

Priti NYC polishes are also vegan and cruelty-free, PLUS gluten free. They keep all the bad stuff out while still managing to provide a fast-drying, chip-resistant, durable and glossy luxury polish. Available in over 80 shades, but we like Snapdragon ($15USD) for a bright and bold summer orange.

Once you've done the initial prep, we highly recommend a regular routine of foot care to keep your feet in check. A few simple steps will keep your toes on point.

Moisturize deeply, daily. Do so after every shower to really lock in the moisture, focusing especially on the heels and cuticle area.

Every 2 or 3 days, gently buff rough patches, keeping in mind that your goal is to have enough soft callous remaining for protection. I keep my pedi file in my shower for easy convenience.

Finally, be sure to trim and gently file your nails every couple of weeks.

And there you have it! Your happy feet and pretty toes will look great in all your cutest sandals for the rest of the summer.

--Lisa