Give your feet a healthy makeover in 5 easy steps
Once a week, use a foot file on dry skin first thing in the morning before your feet get sweaty. 'Dampness will mask any dry areas or calluses, and skin's more likely to split when weakened with water,' says foot expert Margaret Dabbs. Pay attention to heels, which are prone to cracking.
Try: Avoid 'graters'. A 'sandpaper' file, such as Space NK Foot File, £15, is gentler on feet.
Keep toenails neat with a nail file. 'Clippers can split nails,' warns Margaret. 'They also create uneven edges, which snag.' File straight across to prevent in-grown nails, but avoid a see-saw motion, which can cause tearing.
Try: Toenails need a strong file. Crystal files last ages and because you can wash them they won't harbour bacteria. We like OPI Crystal Nail File, £13.40.
Soaking your feet in warm water for five minutes gives amazing results. Add half a cup of Epsom salts and relax before towel-drying carefully. 'Use an orange stick to slowly push back the cuticles,' says Margaret. 'It gives a cleaner finish and a better base for buffing.'
Try: Leighton Denny Diamond Sole Mate, £11, contains essential oils, pumice and sea salt to exfoliate, cleanse and polish.
'Apply a hydrating lotion that's formulated for feet,' advises Margaret. 'Don't be tempted to use body lotion, as it won't benefit the thicker skin on your feet.' Look for one with anti-bacterial ingredients, such as tea tree oil, lemon and rosemary, plus rich moistures.
Try: With hydrating avocado oil, rosemary and peppermint, Liz Earle Foot Repair Moisturiser, £12.50, is great for daily foot care.
For an intensive foot treatment, massage in a balm or oil every night. 'In women, blood flow is concentrated around the reproductive organs, which is why we often have cold feet with poor circulation,' says Margaret. 'Massaging in oil will boost circulation and give dry feet a moisture boost.'
Try: Margaret Dabbs Intensive Treatment Foot Oil, £20, has moisturising emu oil - it's also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
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