It’s that time of year again. Summer is just around the corner, and it won’t be long before we’re slipping into shorts and sandals and spending our weekends at the beach or going to backyard barbecues.
But if the thought of exposing your winter-hardened tootsies to the world has you shaking in your boots, rest assured it’s perfectly normal. Because months of cramming your feet into heavy socks, locking them up in waterproof shoes and exposing them to harsh temperatures can take their toll.
If you’ve been left with rough, dry feet and cracked skin, you’re not alone. Luckily, getting your feet sandal ready again is easy. In fact, you’re just six quick and simple steps away from touchable, soft feet.
So let’s get started…
1. Remove old polish:
Think of your feet as a painting. You’re going to want to start your painting on a fresh clean canvas. So go ahead and remove any old polish to reveal your bare toes.
2. Scrub away dry skin:
You should treat the skin on your feet just as kindly as you treat the skin on the rest of your body. And that means exfoliating.
Slough off dry, dead skin with a pumice stone, or salt scrub. You can even make your own simple scrub by combining coarse sea salt or kosher salt with olive oil. Add a few drops of lavender or peppermint oil if you want to be fragrant and fancy.
3. Soak your feet:
You don’t need a pricey foot spa to give your feet a good soak. A dish tub or a large bowl (or even two) will work just fine. Dissolve some Epsom salts in warm water, and add a few drops of tea tree oil.
The tea tree oil will tackle any leftover foot odor from your feet being closed up in shoes for months. Plus the oil is a natural antifungal and antibacterial, so it will eliminate any unwanted bugs that are lurking around, too.
Soak your feet for 10 minutes, then gently rub with a washcloth to remove any leftover dried skin. Pat dry.
4. Clean and trim your toenails:
Use an orange stick or cuticle stick to clean underneath your nails. Gently push down your cuticles, so they’re smooth. Using toenail clippers, trim your nails straight across. Trimming them into a curve can lead to ingrown toenails. Instead, once they’re trimmed, use a nail file to soften the corners.
5. Apply a mask:
If you really want smooth, soft, sandal-ready feet after a long winter, this is the step that separates the women from the girls. Combine four tablespoons of sour cream, four tablespoons of honey and a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and spread over bare feet. Relax for 10 minutes then rinse well. You’ll be left with super soft feet. Pro tip: Apply your foot mask in the bathroom so you aren’t stuck far away from the tub with a case of sticky feet.
Right before you go to sleep seal that moisture in by slathering your feet with your favorite lotion, or try olive oil or warm—not hot—coconut oil. Pull on a pair of cotton socks, and crawl into bed. (Some folks prefer to wrap their tootsies in a layer of plastic wrap before putting on their socks.) In the morning, your feet will be as soft as butter and smooth as a baby’s bottom.
Repeat this routine once a week and you’ll be ready to pull your sandals out of storage in no time.