Look after your feet

Look after your feet

Foot care is an all year round topic, but especially important when the hot weather returns and you start wearing sandals and open-toed shoes. 
We make a lot of effort with our make up and hair, but foot care is often forgotten.

Here is how to bring your feet into tip-top shape: 
 1. Treat yourself to a Pedicure 
Keep your feet in good shape with regular pedicures.
Step 1 – Remove an old nail varnish and cut your toenails or file them into shape. 
Step 2 – Put your feet on a towel or tissue and with a pumice stone rub off all the dead skin cells on the foot sole and heal. If you do this regularly there should not be too much of a build up. If you have not done this for a while you might want to consider a professional pedicure to get rid of all excess skin cells.
Step3 – Apply a good foot massage oil or foot lotion and gently rub it into your feet. Then take the foot lotion off your nails with a tissue and revarnish your toe nails, ideally using 2-3 layers. By this time the foot lotion should have soaked in and you can just remove the excess with a tissue. 

To make it even easier we have created a Foot care symbol

Cracked heels don’t look so attractive and that is a reason why many people refrain from wearing open shoes. But it is more serious than the beauty side. Cracked heels can become very painful and prevent you from exercising, which can become an overall health problem.

The early stages of cracked heels are usually caused by insufficient moisture. This is easy to solve and below you find some tips. Other causes can be walking barefoot, excessive hot showers, prolonged standing, fungal or other foot infections and medical conditions, for example diabetes. The later require a visit to a doctor or chiropodist.

So let’s start with some easy ways to give your feet a well-deserved pampering session and hopefully get your feet looking gorgeous again. Below are a few recipes to get started and please choose according what you want to achieve. Always take off nail polish first and cut your nails to size as after your feet have been in water this is harder to do. To pass time easily I would recommend you do this whilst watching TV or any stationary desk activity.

1. The Vinegar soak

This method is good for a small amount of rough skin

2.  Hydrogen Peroxide cleanse

This works well for cracked heels and very dry skin.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide – 2 cups – you can get that in a hairdressing supplier, go for volume 10%
  • Hot water – 4 cupsFoot file or pumice stone
  • Foot lotion or cream
  • Socks
  • How to do it:
  • Take any nail polish off (if you have) and clip your nail to the desired length.
  • Add hydrogen peroxide to hot water to your bowl and soak your feet for 20-30 minutes.
  • Pat your feet dry with towel and use the foot file to remove the dead skin.
  • Finally apply lotion and cover feet with socks.
  • Leave it overnight and wake up to a softer feet in the morning.

3. Vicks rub/Epson salt soak

This is an alternative recipe for cracked heels and you must not be allergic to menthol which gives it a fresh feel and the salt will attract moisture. If you suffer very badly from cracked heels you may consider doing this every weekend for a couple of weeks and see if it makes a big difference. Again supplement with body oil/foot lotion to keep your feet well hydrated.

You will need:

  • Vicks Vapour Rub
  • Socks
  • Luke warm water
  • epson salt- 3 table spoon

How to do it: 

  • Rub the vicks vapour rub over the cracked regions of your feet.
  • Cover it with socks overnight.
  • In the morning, pad the rest of the Vicks rub off your feet and prepare a foot bath with 2
  • And then pamper your feet by soaking in lukewarm water mixed with the bath salts.
  • Stay in there for about 10 minutes and notice the difference.

5. Lemon water

This foot bath works well if you suffer from sweaty feet and will prevent infection. If you sweat a lot, do it every few days.

You will need:

  • Warm Water – fill up your washing up bowl to cover both feet
  • Lemon Juice – 2-3 Tablespoons
  • Foot scrub and lotion

How to do it:

  • Fill up you washing up bowel with warm water and add the lemon juice.
  • Soak your feet in this mixture for around 20 minutes.
  • Pat them dry later and apply a foot scrub to exfoliate the dead skin layers.
  • Then scrub it with a soft foot brush or exfoliating glove to get rid of the dead skin cells.
Nail strengthening manicure

Nail strengthening manicure

Hands and Nails  Today is a great day for a manicure and anything to do with handcare. 

Clean, manicured hands and feet are part of a groomed appearance. If you suffer from rather brittle nails (like I used to), then please read this tip for a nail strengthening manicure.

Look out for the hand symbol on the LWTM life-style calendar as these are days that are especially efficient for manicures, but of course do use other days as well to maintain your nails.

manicure setA step – by – step manicure:

What you will need to hand

  • A bowl of warm water and add a bit of washing up liquid to it, so it makes a soapy mixture.
  • a hand towel
  • A cuticle cream or hand cream
  • A pair of nail scissors
  • An emerald board and/or nail clippers
  • An orange stick
  • New undercoat, chosen nail varnish and nail varnish remover

Before you can start you must take off your current nail varnish. I find it is a good idea to watch TV or read a book whilst doing your manicure, as there are times when you need to soak your hands in water or need to wait until your nail varnish has dried and I can get easily bored without any extra entertainment.

Step One: Take an emery board and file your nails into shape. You can make them oval
(the preferred shape), round, pointed or square. Always shape with the coarse side from the side
towards the centre. Never see-saw you file on your nail as it will cause it to split. Then tilt the board
and with the fine side smooth the rough edges and file the edges of the nail downwards. If your nail are very long you might find it easier to trim them with nail clippers first, but always finish with the emery board.

Step Two: Once the nail is in shape, soak both hands for about 5 -10 minutes in a bowl with warm water with a dash of washing up liquid and soak your hands until the water has cooled down.

Step Three: Dry your nails off with the hand towel. Then take an orange stick (manicure tool) and add some cuticle remover cream to its tip and start to push your cuticles back. If your cuticles are very long or have grown over your nails, you may have to cut them off with a nail/cuticle scissor. But this should be your last resort, as normally it should be enough to just push them back.

If you have neglected your hands for quite some time, then my tip would be to get a professionals manicure done. Afterwards  you can maintain your hands with this technique.

Step Four:
Massage a good hand cream into both hands and wait until it has absorbed into the hands and nails.

Step Five: If you don’t wear nail varnish, then you have finished. But most nail look nicer with a varnish on.  With a tissue or damp cotton remove any excess of the hand cream from your nails and finally wash your hands with soapy water. Now you are ready for the base coat.
Always apply nail varnish in 3 strokes. The first is in the centre, from  the base to the nail tip, the other two on either side. If you go for a deep red or darker colour, it is vital to choose a clear base coat underneath, otherwise the varnish will stain your nails. Once the base coat has dried, apply the relevant colour, making sure that each coat has dried in-between. For longer lasting effect, finish off with a clear top coat.

French manicure: Put on a base coat, then colour the tip of your nail in half-moon shape with a white nail varnish. A good trick is to put your thumb over your nail and follow the line. Finish with clear or light pink topcoat.

 To strengthen brittle nails: 

If you suffer from thin and brittle nails, here is the recipe for this completely natural nail strengthener that will help to condition and strengthen your nails. This would replace the hand cream in step four and I would then use a clear nail strengthening calcium gel instead of a normal nail varnish. Over time done consistently,  this technique can improve your nails a lot.

You will need:

2 tsp olive oil
2 tsp. castor oil
1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
2 drops of rosemary oil

To Make This Fingernail Care Nail Strengthener: Mix ingredients thoroughly and pour into a lidded container. Shake before using. To use: Rub a small amount onto your nails and let set for 5 minutes.