Luckily for you, we consulted famed podiatrist Margaret Dabbs, so that you can give your feet the makeover they deserve.
Here are her three steps to getting your feet summer ready…
Banish Dry SkinThe outermost layer of skin on our feet is thicker than other parts of the body, while the innermost layer of the soles of our feet contains more fat cells than in most other parts of the body too. This is because our feet need as much extra padding and shock absorption as possible as they carry three times our body weight with every step, and are frequently subjected to pressure, be it from poorly fitting shoes, or simply from walking or running. If left unattended, your feet can develop a layer of thick, hard, rough skin, while calluses and corns can rear their heads as well.
To smooth, start by exfoliating your feet, says Dabbs. “For best results try the Margaret Dabbs London Professional Foot file, on dry feet only. If your feet are wet, you’ll find it hard to see what areas of the feet you need to target most, plus the skin becomes more spongey meaning your foot file won’t adhere as well to the skin,” adds Dabbs.
Make weekly manual exfoliation part of your pre shower routine, but don’t overdo the buffing, as while manual exfoliation is great at making hard skin disappear, there is only so much your feet can take. Buff too much and you may make the skin raw, and even cause cuts that could lead to an infection.
Get in ShapeCutting and filling is an absolute must for feet that look their best. And while at one to two millimetres of growth a month toenails grow slower than fingernails, which come in at two to three millimetres during the same time period, you still have to keep an eye on them.
To avoid ingrown nails – a painful condition where the side of your nail grows into your skin, causing redness, swelling, or even infection – toenails should be cut every six to eight weeks and this should be performed in a straight across manner. You should also “file your nails straight across too, as filing down the sides of the nail can alter the direction of future growth, which could lead to an ingrown toenail,” shares Dabbs.
Add MoistureWhen skin is dry, cracks appear due to the loss of the protective oily layer. Without this oily layer the skin becomes susceptible to microbial nasties. This means while we walk microbes can be driven into the skin resulting in viral, bacterial and fungal infections that aren’t easy to treat.
To keep soles soft, supple and crack free, moisturising is a must. If you are suffering with cracked heels start using the Margaret Dabbs London Cracked Heel Balm, to help relieve and repair them, while softening hard skin build up. Then, once the cracks have gone, Dabbs recommends her Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion every day to keep skin healthy.
“Keep your moisturiser by your bedside table, so that you can massage it into your feet before you go to sleep. It’s hard to forget if it’s kept somewhere visible and with daily use you’ll have beautifully hydrated, soft feet that make you feel as though you are walking on air,” says Dabbs.