Let’s talk at-home pedicures. After months of neglect – we mean hiding your feet away under socks and boots – your feet are doubtless in need of some TLC ahead of sandal season. Yes, the heatwave is already upon us but there’s still time to ensure your feet look and feel great. It’s never too late for an at-home pedicure.
We spoke to podiatrist Margaret Dabbs – whose clinics are the first port of call for London based beauty editors pre-holiday – to find out how to prep our feet for summer at home, she had a few need-to-know fast fixes up her sleeve too.
How do I get rid of hard skin on my feet?
If you’ve been getting your 10,000 steps in a day (and congrats if so), a good foot file is non-negotiable. Much as we love a beauty gadget, manual files are actually better at getting rid of hard skin and stubborn calluses than the electronic versions, so it’s worth putting in a bit of arm ache. The best ones we’ve tried are Margaret Dabbs Professional Foot File, £24, and Soap & Glory The Heel Deal Foot File, £9.
Should you file feet wet or dry?
Whichever foot file you go for you should ALWAYS file your feet dry, not after a shower. ‘When your foot has been wet, it masks the areas that need to be treated – you simply can’t see the dry skin or callus in the same way,’ says Dabbs. ‘The file also doesn’t adhere as well to wet skin so it won’t be as effective. Plus, if a foot is prone to cracks in the skin, bathing will weaken the tissues, making the crack more likely to open up.’
How often should you file your feet?
Little and often is the way to go – you can’t ignore your feet for months and then expect to get rid all of the dead skin in one mammoth filing session. ‘Use a foot file twice a week and be careful not to over-file,’ says Dabbs. If it hurts as you do it, you’re using too much pressure. ‘Always follow up with a foot cream afterwards – you wouldn’t consider exfoliating your face without following up with a moisturiser, and the same applies to the feet.’
What’s the best foot cream for hard skin?
‘The skin on your feet is 12 times thicker than that on the rest of your body, so a body lotion just will not work,’ says Dabbs. If your feet are really not in a pretty state, look for a product that contains urea – it’s a brilliant humectant so it binds water into the skin and kicks dry, cracked heels to the curb. Urea is also keratolytic, which means it breaks down the connections between dead skin cells, exfoliating your skin to get feet baby soft. The best foot creams with urea? Ameliorate Intensive Foot Therapy, £11, SVR’s Xérial Extreme Foot Cream, £10, and Eucerin UreaRepair Plus Footcream, £11.
What about a fast fix?
With our woefully unpredictable summer, one minute it’s chucking it down and sandals aren’t even a remote possibility, the next, the sun’s showed up again and you’ve no time to book a pedi. If you’re caught out and need to make your feet look presentable pronto, spritz on a liberal layer of Margaret Dabbs Intensive Treatment Foot Oil, £22 – it instantly transforms scaly feet and makes old nail polish look fresher.