If you’re off to sunnier climes this spring break, or just pre-empting flip-flop season, it’s time to turn your attention to your toes. But if the £30 salon appointment can’t be a weekly affair, get your DIY foot treatment down to a fine art instead with these pro-pedi pointers – cheap as chips and oh-so-pretty.
Dip your feet into luke warm water for ten minutes to soften the skin, then exfoliate with a hydrating foot scrub. Top tip: “Add a few drops of lemon which will help to dissolve dead skin,” advises Sandrine Sylva, Dr Ceuticals senior account and marketing manager. Use a pumice stone on rough skin for extra softness too – we like Cowshed Natural Pumice Stone £2.
“Apply a nourishing moisturising cream, ideally containing urea which is great for treating dry skin as it helps bind water in the layer of callus tissue, reducing dry skin cells,” says Sandrine. Try Dr Ceuticals Foot Rescue SOS Cream £9.99.
Before you reach for your usual fingernail scissors, think again; “Toenails are much thicker so scissors may twist and tear the nail,” warns Michael Harrison-Blount, expert podiatrist for Scholl.
“Opt for a pair of nail clippers instead as they have a smaller cutter blade and longer handle for ease of use. Cut your nails straight across and keep them square- shaped to prevent in-growing toe nails.”
With so many amazing nail shades on the market now it’s safe to say we’re spoilt for choice. Need a bit of guidance? We say (read: shout) ORANGE! The SS17 catwalks were full of it – try Tibi-esque tangerine nails with Cheeky Nail Paint in Juicie Lucie £8.
Note: Apply a base coat first to prevent staining and a top coat to make your pedi last longer. Go over the tip of each nail to seal in the colour and don’t even think about moving until it’s dry – that to-do list will just have to wait.
Psst! Here’s what us beauty editors
think are the best pedi tricks…
“The best toenail cleanser in the world is lemon juice. I’ve never really suffered with dryness and cracking, but stained toenails (I know, yuk) – from nail polish – is something that irks me. I mix the juice of a lemon (half for each foot) with a drop of shampoo in a bowl and wash my feet with it before a bath/shower. I do one foot at a time, and use a little abrasive sponge to gently polish my toenails.
It works even better on holiday when you can add sea water to the mix. Your nails look virgin white. Then the polish goes back on!”
“Schedule yours for after an oily bath so the skin is really soft. I then pop something on my cuticles – usually CND SolarOil Cuticle Oil (£12.50 Cult Beauty) but Vaseline would work – and push them back gently and trim them with nail clippers. It frees up more of the nail for your polish.
Plus, if there’s oil on the surrounding skin, any stray polish won’t adhere.”
“We’ve all heard of the old ‘occasionally slather on foot cream then wear a pair of socks to retain moisture while you watch Corrie’ trick but instead of moisturiser, I like to layer on some Vaseline because it makes my feet even softer.
For goodness’ sake just don’t forget to wipe it off the soles of your feet post-pamper or you’ll go flying. Been there, done that.”
The DIY feet treat that’s waiting in your kitchen…
The clever cooks at the Clean Beauty Co have concocted a special foot treatment for summer, featuring the Legology signature zest. Get those toes a-glowing.
“Lemon is the hero ingredient here; the natural AHAs act as a non-abrasive exfoliator, sloughing away the rough, dead skin cells on the bottom of your feet. The scrub will then help to shift hard patches, get circulation pumping and leave them fresh feeling. Finally, tropical coconut oil will help to soften and hydrate to leave your feet super soft and pedi-ready.”
‘Clean Beauty – recipes to manage your beauty routine naturally’ is available now from Amazon at £18 (Square Peg).