A Spa Day At Home
Life can be hard on the feet. Walking the city streets daily as a pedestrian or working jobs that require us to stand all day can leave our feet feeling sore and rough. And those cute shoes or sexy heels can often make our tootsies hurt worse, even with gel inserts and an office job.
So what’s a body to do when the dogs are barking? (Everyone knows barking dogs are sore feet, right? Or is that just a Southern thing?) Well, that’s easy! Schedule a spa day for your feet, right in your own home! You don’t even really need much in the way of equipment, and it can do wonders for your mood - and your soles.
Soak Your Feet
To begin your self-care session, prepare a footbath. This can be as simple as getting a large bowl or pot, or getting out a deep plastic basin purchased just for your feet. You can get even fancier, if you like, and invest in a deluxe heated footbath that vibrates and makes bubbles. (If you have a fancy, dedicated footbath, just follow its directions on how to use it.)
If you’re putting together a completely homemade footbath, add warm water perfect for soaking to your pot or bowl or basin. Just be careful of not burning yourself with the hot water!
Once you’ve added your water, you may choose to enhance it: add Epsom salts to soothe and soften hard-used feet. Or you could add a drop of essential oil - lavender, perhaps, to help with fatigue, or peppermint to improve circulation. Natural Living Ideas shares several foot soak recipes you might be interested in investigating and trying. (Remember: dilute essential oils, and make sure you’re using safe ingredients.)
Before you settle in to enjoy your footbath, you may wish to pour yourself a glass or cup of something enjoyable! You could take the opportunity to use a face mask as well, or perhaps get out a book or put on a TV show. Whatever you do, sit back, relax, and let your feet soak for 15 to 20 minutes.
Scrub Your Soles
After you’ve had a nice, long soak, you should give your feet a good scrub. If you have a pumice stone, this is the time to use it: dip your pumice stone in warm water, and then gently rub it in circular motions on rough skin. You can do this for two or three minutes, rinsing both your foot and the stone occasionally. Be gentle with yourself - all you want to do is remove the dead skin cells. If your skin becomes irritated, you’re doing too much.
Don’t have a pumice stone? You can still exfoliate! Just mix up a sugar or salt scrub (or purchase one already made). You can find hundreds of homemade scrub recipes on the Internet, but the basics often involve mixing 1 part oil (from coconut oil to grapeseed oil) to 2 parts sugar or salt. Then you gently rub this grainy mixture across the rough skin as with the pumice stone above.
Afterward, take your newly scrubbed feet and gently pat them dry with a towel.
Restore Your Skin
So you’ve soaked and scrubbed and now you’re ready for moisturizing! You want to do this as soon as you’ve finished exfoliation, in order to rehydrate your skin and lock in moisture. This is also the best time to trim your toenails, since they’ll also have softened up in the long soak.
These are tons of products out there formulated especially for deep moisturizing your feet. Choose your favorite lotion or cream and go to town, rubbing it across the tops of your feet, all over your toes, and all across your soles. This step also serves double duty, providing the perfect set-up for you to give yourself an amazing foot massage.
Rub some oil onto your toenails and into the cuticles as well - argan oil or Vitamin E oil can promote healthy nail growth. Argan oil is also brilliant for any cracks you might have on your feet from badly dried skin, and can nourish and heal the roughest spots. Just remember to wipe the bottom of your feet of excess oil and take caution on smooth walking surfaces as you wouldn't want to slip and fall.
Have some Fun
You could call it quits at this point, and luxuriate in having clean, pampered dogs that are no longer barking. Or you could get creative and take it to the next level with some fun color! Yes, I’m talking about painting your toenails!
Even if it’s not open-toed shoe or sandal weather yet, having cheerfully painted nails can boost your mood and your confidence - even if you’re the only one who knows about them. So break out those daring nail colors you’re never sure of pulling off when your feet are on display and give them a chance. Experiment with some nail art as well! It’ll be our little secret, if you want it to be.
Now that you can pull off a great spa treatment for your feet at home, hit the comments and tell us what you’ll be drinking or reading as you relax with a nice footbath!