It’s time to free your feet and enjoy sandal season. But after spending the last few months swathed in wool and jammed inside boots, your tootsies are probably pale, dry and not quite ready for the limelight.
Of course, you could pony up for a pedicure at the local salon. Or, you could steal a few tricks of the trade and take matters into your own hands. This ultimate DIY foot care guide reveals exactly how to make your feet soft for summer – or any time of year.
The Ultimate DIY Foot Pampering Guide
With this guide, you’ll learn how to pamper yourself like a pro. But to get the full benefits, we suggest you set aside an entire afternoon. Grab a book, prepare a cup of comfort tea and snuggle up by a sunny window.
Are you ready? Great, because the secret to nice feet begins and ends with these five nourishing steps:
Step 1: Soak
The first step is to soak those tired feet in a hot, essential oil bath to help soften skin and cuticles. You’ll be soaking for up to a half-hour, so this is a good time to read, journal or simply close your eyes and be still. The hot water will open the pores of your skin, so the Epsom salt and essential oils can effectively soothe.
Essential Oil Foot Bath
- Foot basin
- Hot water
- 1/2 cup Epsom salt
- 5 –10 drops essential oil (peppermint, eucalyptus, lemongrass or tea tree work well)
- Fill foot basin with hot water.
- Stir in Epsom salt.
- Add essential oil of your choice and stir to incorporate.
- Dip feet into the aromatic water and soak 20 – 30 minutes.
Step 2: Exfoliate
Once your feet are sufficiently softened, slough off those layers of dead skin that have built up over the winter months. This homemade sugar scrub for feet not only does the job but smells heavenly, too. If you really don’t have time to mix your own scrub, try a ready-made solution like Soothing Touch French Vanilla Latte Brown Sugar Scrub.
Strawberry Sugar Scrub
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- 3/4 cup of coconut oil
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 small glass jar with lid
- Place freeze-dried strawberries inside a zip-top plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the strawberries into very fine pieces.
- Pour strawberry pieces into a small bowl. Add sugar and stir to combine.
- Add coconut oil and vanilla; mix well.
- Spoon mixture into jar.
- When ready to scrub those feet, scoop out about a tablespoon and massage all over your feet – top to bottom and between your toes. You can even work your way up to your ankles and calves.
- Let sit a few minutes before rinsing off with clean, warm water.
Step 3: Moisturize
With its natural vitamins and nutrients, aloe is great for revitalizing skin. Used in this homemade foot cream, aloe helps relieve dry, cracked heals. Just be sure you let the moisturizer dry completely (especially between your toes) before you get up and start walking around.
Another thing to note: Because these ingredients are so fresh, this foot cream has just a three-week shelf life. If you prefer something with more staying power, the Burt’s Bees Honey and Bilberry Foot Cream is cruelty-free and has no parabens or phthalates – two known skin care ingredients to avoid.
Aloe Vera Hydrating Foot Cream
- In the jar, mix together coconut oil and aloe vera gel.
- Drop in lavender essential oil.
- Stir mixture until it has a creamy consistency and essential oil is well-incorporated.
- Massage this rich moisturizer all over your feet, up to your calves. Let your skin absorb it completely before walking about.
Give your feet a “facelift” by gently pushing back those cuticles, trimming any excess skin and treating them with this DIY cuticle-strengthening oil. The potent blend of oils will help strengthen both your nails and cuticles. As a bonus, they’ll smell great, too!
DIY Cuticle Oil
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. jojoba oil
- 1/2 tsp. avocado oil
- 12 drops lavender essential oil
- 12 drops rosemary essential oil
- 12 drops lemon essential oil
- 1 small glass jar such as an empty spice jar
- 1 eyedropper
- In jar, whisk together oils until well-blended.
- Using eyedropper, add a few drops to each toenail and gently rub into cuticles.
Step 5: Polish
The final step toward nice feet is nail polish, no less. This is where you get to play around a little bit and add some personality to the routine. In preparation for those warmer months, choose a seasonal shade, like one of the four hues in Hype’s Meet Me in the Caribbean Collection. If you’re not ready for polish, simply buff out your nails with a filing stick to make them shine.
Now that you know how to make your feet soft, the only thing left to do is decide which pair of sandals you’re going to wear. Happy shopping!