It’s easy to forget about our feet in the colder weather. When they’re covered up in socks and rarely exposed, who needs to worry about having pretty feet? But with sandal season fast approaching, now is the time to start focusing on your feet.
The warmer weather can be particularly detrimental to your feet. Which is why any summer foot care routine needs to start with foot health. Embarrassing issues such as foot odor and flakey skin can make you want to throw away the sandals and keep those heels firmly placed in your winter boots, despite the heat.
RELATED: Are you hurting your feet?
We spoke to Pharmacist, Gerald Quigley, to help us get our feet summer reason in no time!
First, fix embarrassing foot problems
Issues such as foot odour can increase in summer for a few reasons. Gerald says that sweating, which is the body’s natural response to heat, can cause the growth of bacteria which can result in smelly feet. “Thoroughly washing your feet and keeping them clean along with changing socks when exercises or after sweating a lot is another way to help.” Using a foot specific exfoliating product will help by getting rid of the dead layer of skin on your feet, which leaves less places for the bacteria to hide.
Gerald also recommends caring for your shoes by airing them out and keeping them clean. “You can do this by alternating shoes daily – one day on, one day off – which allows them to air and breath between wears, reducing their overall smell,” says Gerald.
Dry, flakey feet
The skin on your feet and on the tops of your toes can become hard and flakey, which doesn’t look great in sandals. So what can we do to fix it? Again, you need to look at your choice of footwear. “The skin on our feet and toes endures a lot everyday with every step we take, literally, and this can leave our feet and toes not only sore muscularly but the skin around the toes dead and blistering,” explains Gerald. Choosing to wear high heels, steel capped boots, and even leather school shoes can cause your toes to rub and endure a lot. Always make sure you’re alternating what shoes you wear, as this changes up where the pressure is applied when you’re walking. “Being comfortable in your shoes will ultimately reduce the amount of hard dead skin on your feet,” says Gerald. Regularly exfoliating your feet will help to remove any dead skin that you already have. After exfoliating, always moisturise your feet with a hydrating foot cream and apply a foot cream daily to keep your feet soft and smooth.
Hot tip: Don’t forget to keep your hands hydrated as well, with a nourishing hand cream like NIVEA Nourishing Care Hand Cream
Primp with a pedicure
Since we’re constantly using our hands, it’s easy to remember to maintain our manicure – but we often forget about our feet. If you’re not getting regular pedicures, make sure you keep your toenails trimmed and filed. If you’ve been neglecting your toes for a while then you may need to use a speciality nail care product to nourish the cuticle and boost nail strength. Pedicures can be expensive, so if you’d prefer to splurge elsewhere you can follow these simple steps for your own DIY pedicure.
- Remove any traces of nail polish or nail treatments from your toenails
- Allow your feet to soak in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes, then exfoliate with a foot scrub
- Push your cuticles back with a cuticle stick
- Massage a foot cream into your feet, concentrating on dry areas
- Use a nail clipper to trim your toenails to your desired length
- File your toenails with a nail file
- Apply a base coat so that your pedicure lasts as long as possible
- Apply two thin coats of your favourite polish
- Finally, don’t forget to finish the pedicure with a top coat
Do you get regular pedicures? How do you get your feet summer ready?