We all know that when it comes to spa treatments, it is best to leave it to the professionals, but it can be one of those things we don’t necessarily treat ourselves to. There are different treatments you can do at home to stretch out that spa experience until you can spoil yourself again. Here’s how to treat your feet between services:
- Remove your existing polish. Then, fill a large bowl or tub full of warm water (1-2 gallons of water). Add ½ cup of Epsom Salts, 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil, and a teaspoon of your favorite essential oil (lavender, chamomile, peppermint, rosemary, etc.) and soak feet for 5-10 minutes.
- Use an exfoliant to remove dead skin – here’s where Pinterest comes in handy! Look up homemade recipes for a good sugar scrub. Want something simple? Just mix 1 cup baby oil and 2 cups sugar. It’s really as easy as that. Massage into each foot for a minute or two using a circular motion starting with your heel and finishing with your toes. Rinse with warm water.
- Smoothe calluses. Here’s where I would tell you to exercise a little caution – you do not want to remove calluses completely. It can actually be painful. Just grab a foot file, a pumice stone, or lava rock (you can find a foot file at Sally Beauty, Walgreens, or the dollar store) and gently rub the bottom of your heels, bottom of your feet, and toes. Do not rub so hard that it rubs you raw either.
- Trim your toenails using an actual toenail clipper. It works so much better than the one for fingers and causes less damage. Using the wrong clipper can crack, break, or cause your toenail to peel. Trim them straight across and then smooth the edges with a nail file; smooth the corners a bit to help prevent in-grown toenails.
- The best part – moisturize! Using your favorite lotion, massage into feet and legs in a circular motion. Upgrade – add some essential oils in with your lotion to achieve an even higher level of spa experience! Here are some common oils & the effects that they promote :
- Lavender – promotes relaxation & helps to reduce anxiety
- Eucalyptus – clean, refreshing, and promotes alertness
- Peppermint – promotes alertness
- Bergamot – citrusy, refreshing, often used in male fragrances, is used as an anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, and antiviral – and helps to fight viruses!
- Rose – helps with a number of illnesses and conditions including depression, anxiety, and digestion. Also helps with circulation, heart problems, and respiratory problems.
- Prep Nail & Apply color! To prep your nail, you want to clean off the lotion from your toenails by using a cotton ball with polish remover. This helps to remove the oils on your nails from the lotions so that your color stays on longer. Pick out your favorite color. Each color line has come out with their fall color lines to choose from. And they are branching a bit away from the all dark colors. You can still wear light pinks, mauves, and other colors into the fall. If you are feeling talented, try a French polish application! Apply a base coat on each nail, then go through all 10 nails with the first coat of color, apply the second coat in the same fashion, and finish with a top coat. Don’t forget to apply the top coat over the edge of the nail! It helps seal in the color and helps it to last even longer.
Admire your handiwork! As you probably know, it’s a lot of work to do your own pedicure. So kick back, enjoy and relax!
Your nail technician will give you a recommendation on how often to return for pedicure services. If you can’t go as often as they suggest (typically every 4-6 weeks) then this is a great way to keep up your feet. Don’t neglect them just because the weather is starting to turn. It’s still nice to see pretty toes all year round! Plus, since our skin turns drier during the winter months (yes I said winter! Sadly…it’s coming!) it is still just as important to moisturize and care for your feet all year round.
by Cori Omundson, Licensed Nail Technician