How To: Soft Winter Feet

I have always been obsessed with keeping my feet soft and showable. I've seen what letting yourself go in the footal region can lead to, and it is not pretty. I especially freak out during the winter and not because people even see them, but because winter can damage feet more than any other time of year. The following are my best tips for keeping feet in grade A condition year round.

The Perfect Canvas
Always start with a good pedicure. If you're looking at your feet and you have all kinds of dead skin and calluses, a simple night treatment isn't going to miraculously revive them. It's dead, it's got to go. I use two different tools, but a lot of people swear against the first - a foot razor. That's what I call them anyway. You can pick them up for only a few dollars at most stores. I use it because the way I walk on my feet gives me a hard to work with callus on my big toe. I never suggest the foot razor for minor problems, only tool number two - a foot file.

The easiest and most non-intrusive way to pedicure feet is in the shower after you've gone through your entire shower routine. Your feet will be soaked and softened. I take my foot razor and lightly go over major problem areas a LITTLE BIT, then smooth and finish off the rest of my feet with a foot file. Take your time, feel your feet, pay attention to where your working. This is really important because you don't want to go overboard and have overly worked feet.

A Note about the Foot Razor
If you ever use a razor, use it first and only on the toughest areas to get some of the damage worked off, not for the whole job. This is just a little helper tool, not the cure. If you go overboard you will do more bad then good.

Finishing Touches
After you have showered and pedicured, make sure all of your toenails are neat and trimmed with cuticles pushed back and trimmed if needed. You can also polish here. I don't ever bother to polish because it's a constant job. Sure, your feet will look amazing a few days, then the polish dulls, chips, grows off, wears out, etc...and your feet, although soft and lovely, look unkempt yet again. I keep it clean and natural.

The Big Finale
At night, grab a pair of socks, some saran wrap and a thick lotion or Vaseline. I prefer to use Eucerin. They sell the generic Equate brand at Wal-Mart. You're going to apply a heavy, heavy, HEAVY layer of your moisturizer of choice to your feet, wrap your feet in saran wrap and put your socks on. Strange? You bet! You're going to sleep like this overnight. Sure, it isn't my favorite thing to do, but when you wake up in the morning and unveil your cutesies, you'll thank me.

Frequency of Use
I like to go through my pedicure routine 1-2 times a month and to do an overnight mask weekly. If you are trying to fix a really bad problem, during your repair stage feel free to do the entire routine up to twice weekly, but no more than that. Then wean down to once a week, bi-weekly or even monthly. It really depends on the condition of your feet and how quickly they begin to need a touch up. Foot care is really important at all ages, so take care and enjoy your Happy Feet!

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