When summer’s lazy sunsets, balmy climes and seasonal sense of unbridled freedom finally roll in, it’s time to wake your feet from their boot-clad slumber. Strappy sandals, pool-friendly flip-flops and dressed-up thongs all give your feet a chance to shine, but before your toes start sipping the warm summer air, take a bit of time to pamper those little workhorses. Starting a foot-care regimen ensures that your tootsies are at their very best when you slip into those summer sandals.
Restore and Repair
Some sandal styles embrace classically fashionable minimalism. Your feet will be out in the open from ankle to toe, so start a hydrating regimen well before summer. Before tucking in for the night, treat your feet to a massage with hydrating and exfoliating alpha-hydroxy-acid foot cream. Seek creams with additional ingredients such as pine oil, rosemary or peppermint to boost circulation and give the skin a healthy glow. The lovely scents don’t hurt, either, and moisturizing creams ensure that your feet are ready to go all-out in even the airiest of thongs.
The Joys of Exfoliation
The drug-store shelves brim with face washes that promise pore-rejuvenating exfoliation – but don’t make the mistake of neglecting your feet. Grab an exfoliating scrub and a pumice stone to turn your tub into a pre-summer spa. A few times a week, wash with the scrub and gently buff key areas – such as the heels and balls of your feet – to smooth out rough patches of skin. Not only is this an essential exercise when you intend to wear foot-baring flip-flops, it feels so nice you’ll want to do it even when you’re sporting snow boots.
Kicks like the Women’s Sizzle Sandal from Fergalicious greet the summer with sassy, strappy style, and they also let every single one of your toes take in the sun. Get into the habit of giving your nails a rubdown with a lemon wedge for a few nights before your sandals make their debut. The fruit’s natural oxidizing agents leave your toenails clean, shiny and – as a happy bonus – lemony fresh.
Whip Up a Mask
If you know you’ve got a special summer event coming up, dip your feet into a decadent mask the night before or morning of. Try an evenly balanced mixture of cucumber, olive oil and lemon juice for a green recipe that exfoliates and moisturizes normal-to-oily skin, or a combo of 1/4 cup sour cream, a few spoonfuls of honey and a couple drops of lemon juice for a deeply hydrating mask that targets dry feet. Spread your mask of choice over every inch of your feet, and leave it on for 10 minutes before rinsing with warm water to reveal revitalized, summer-fresh skin.
Just before you unveil your beautifully prepared feet at the big barbecue, take time out to mind your cuticles. First, soak your feet in warm water and your favorite bath salt or a few drops of tea tree oil for about 10 minutes to soften your nails. Then, give those nails a final trim; round their edges with a file; buff with a buffing block, and gently snip off any unsightly bits with cuticle clippers. Finish off with a soothing cuticle oil massage. If you like, brush on your favorite nail polish color before you slip into to your sandals – and now all you need to worry about is how to keep your lemonade cool.
Health.com: Seven Days to Sandal-Ready Feet
Details: How to Get Your Feet Summer – and Sandal – Ready in Five Easy Steps
Real Simple: Summer Foot Care Tips Checklist
Philadelphia Magazine: Fix Your Feet: Six Home Remedies to Get Your Feet Ready for Sandal Season