You’re primed to debut that cute pair of flip-flops you bought on sale last fall, but your still winter-worn feet may not be. To the rescue: The pampering treatments that primp and pretty up feet sans the cost of a pricey pedicure so you can step beautifully into the season.
To soften rough heels
Cellturnover isslower on heelskin, making it prone to extreme dryness, thick layers and cracking. But it’s easy to remedywith a “chocolate milk” soak.“Milk’slactic acid exfoliatesthe thick layers ofskin to reduce cracks, while itslipidsreplenish moisture to heal them,” says New Jersey podiatrist DanaCanuso, D.P.M.“And cocoa powder’s flavonoids help promote new cell growth forsofter,smootherskin.”
To do: Stir 2 Tbs. of unsweetened cocoa powderinto 2 cups ofwarm, full-fat milk. Pourinto a large basin and soak feet for 10 minutes;rinse. Use a foot file to remove leftover dead skin.
To whiten nails
To blame for dark, discolored nails? Age, overuse of nail polish and daily rubbing of toes against the inside of shoes,says Dr. Canuso. The surprising throwaway that can help: lemon rind!“Itscitric acid lifts away any yellow tinge on the surface of nails, while its vitamin C further brightensthem,” says Dr. Canuso. In fact, the zest contains up to 10 times more brightening vitamins and enzymesthan the fruit’s actual juice making it both a free and super-effective treatment!
To do: Rub a piece of lemon rind onto nailsfor 1 minute; rinse. Use every other day to see resultsin one week.
To remove calluses
Calluses are caused by an accumulation of keratin, a protein produced by skin to help protectitfrom friction. They often form on the bony areas ofthe foot, but can be found on the bottoms of toestoo. To eradicate them, Dr.Canuso suggeststhistwo-step approach:
First, apply a salicylic acid–infused gel patch like Dr. Scholl’s Duragel Salicylic Acid Callus Remover Cushion (Target.com) onto calluses. “The gel draws hydration to skin’s surface to soften it, while salicylic acid loosensthe bonds between hardened keratin cellsso they can be easily removed.” Bonus: Wearing the patches at night while skin isin repair mode allows nutrientsto penetrate skin as you sleep,speeding healing.
Next, in the morning,remove the patches and lightly buff the skin with a vitamin E infused footsponge, like Spongeables Pedi-Scrub Sponge Foot Buffer(Ulta.com). It hydratesthe area asitsloughs away the calluses. Repeat every other day until calluses disappear and skin issilky-smooth.