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Beauty products for sandal-worthy feet

August 1, 2012 Reviewed by admin 5 Comments

Today is the first day of August – which means the summer heat is in full force. Marta recently gave her rundown of how to get your arms in shape for sleeveless tops and summer dresses as well as her fabulous regimen for lovely legs – so, as someone who is easily seduced by cute shoes, I will chip in with my tips on how to make sure your tootsies look their best in strappy sandals and peep-toes. While you can certainly head over to your local nail salon for some foot pampering (though I hope the skin-nibbling fish treatment isn’t on the menu), it’s just as easy (and a little less expensive) to give yourself an at-home pedicure. Here’s how to kick start your foot regimen:

File away the rough spots. If your feet are anything like mine (ahem, frequently pounding the pavement in six-inchers), they can get pretty callused along the balls of each foot and the heels. At this stage, no amount of foot cream will get them soft enough to bare at the beach with confidence. One tool I’ve found indispensable for sloughing thick layers of skin is the SpaRitual Eco Foot File ($35), with its long, ergonomic handle and two-sided abrasive pads made from 100 percent biodegradable corn resin. This file is amazing – it does the job quickly and effectively. It comes with a total of ten replacement pads (in two grit levels that are supposedly “injected with an anti-bacterial solution”); though the original pads on my file still work great, even after having it for more than a year.

Massage in a scrub. After calluses are tended to, the rest of your feet need a good exfoliating treatment. A recent discovery I made is the Lather Eucalyptus Foot Scrub With Pumice ($18). This product takes the ordinary pumice stone to a whole new level. When I first saw the product in the jar, I was underwhelmed. It looked like a dry scrub with a so-so peppermint scent. But when I used it in the shower, I was definitely impressed. The texture is just what you’d think finely crushed pumice would feel like – and the best part is: it lathers! The surfactant sodium lauryl sulfoacetate (an organic salt not to be confused with sodium lauryl sulfate), creates a luxurious foam that makes it effortless to rub in the scrub from ankles to toes.

Lock in the moisture. The next step is to apply a rich moisturizing cream to your feet. I found that Living Nature’s Ultra Rich Body Cream ($35 in the shop), which contains manuka honey as well as cacao, cupuacu and murumuru butters, does the job splendidly. For a foot-specific product, Lynn recommends the Lather Lavender & Eucalyptus Foot Creme ($18) for its pleasant scent and ability to soak in and soften her hard-working feet with a blend of seaweed extract, squalane and aloe vera.

Don’t forget your toenails. Your pedi wouldn’t be complete without treating your cuticles and toenails to some TLC. Lily, our resident nail guru, gave the Max Green Alchemy Cuticle Rescue Nail Treat ($13.99) a rave review. The oil treatment is free of the usual nail product nasties (formaldehyde, DBP and toluene), conditions with grape seed, jojoba, castor, and sunflower seed oils, and protects the nails with tea tree, lavender, atlas cedarwood, peppercorn, and clove bud essential oils. Finally, cap off your regimen with a coat of a toxin-free nail polish. Try Zoya or RGB. I usually stick to low-maintenance nudes and pale pinks, but if you’re so daring mint green, corals and neon shades are beautiful for summer.

Ingredients in Lather pumice scrub: Pumice, water (aqua), sodium lauryl sulfoacetate, disodium laureth sulfosuccinate, lauryl glucoside, glycerine (vegetable), eucalyptus globulus leaf oil, citrus medica limonum (lemon) peel oil, lavendula hybrida (lavandin grosso) oil, eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) leaf extract, vitis vinifera (grape) seed extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, carthamus tinctorius (safflower) seed oil, saccharum officinalis (sugar cane) extract, citrus medica limonum (lemon) extract, citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) extract, pyrus malus (apple) extract, camellia sinensis leaf (green tea) extract, sodium chloride (sea salt), phenoxyethanol, caprylyl glycol, ethylhexylglycerin, hexylene glycol

Ingredients in Living Nature cream: Aqua (water), Cetearyl olivate, Sorbitan olivate, Caprylic capric triglycerides, Astrocaryum murumuru seed butter **, Jojoba esters, Theobroma cacao butter, Theobroma grandiflorum (Cupuacu) seed butter**, Sodium levulinate, Sodium anisate, Glycerin (vegetable glycerin), Caryocar brasiliense (pequi) fruit oil, Glucose, Orbignya oleifera (Babassu) seed oil, Daucus carota extract, Parfum (fragrance)*, Mel (manuka honey), Tocopherol (vitamin E), Xanthan gum, Glucose oxidase, Lactoperoxidase. *From natural essential oils: Benzyl alcohol, Benzyl benzoate, Benzyl Cinnamate, Limonene; **Certified organic

Ingredients in Lather foot cream: Purified water (aqua), stearyl alcohol, glycerin, ceteareth 20, propanediol (zemea), safflower (carthamus tinctorius) oil, hazelnut (corylus americana) oil, cetearyl alcohol, decyl oleate, seaweed (algae pheophycea) extract, panthenol, xanthan gum, squalane, salvia officinalis (sage) leaf extract, arnica montana extract, aloe barbadensis extract, aesculus hippocastanum (horse chestnut) extract, eucalyptus globulus extract, tocopherol, retinyl palmitate, ascorbic acid, chlorophyllin, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil, eucalyptus globulus oil, phenoxyethanol, potassium sorbate, ethylhexylglycerin, oxynex K (PEG-8 and tocopherol and ascorbyl palmitate and ascorbic acid and citric acid)

Ingredients in Max Green Alchemy cuticle oil: Vitis Vinifera (grape) Seed Oil, Buxus Chinesis* (jojoba) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annus* (GMO-free sunflower) Seed Oil, Ricinus Communis (castor) Oil, Melaleuca Alternifolia* (tea tree), Lavandula Angustifolia* (lavender), Cedrus Atlantica+ (atlas cedarwood), Syzygium Caryophyllata* (clove bud), Piper Nigrum* (peppercorn), Mixed Tocopherols (plant derived GMO-free vitamin E)
* Organic + Wildcrafted

  • January 9, 2013

    by Kelly

    Great article. I am a huge DIY type person. Recently I have been using a salt & oil scrub by a company called Seacret. I can't live without his stuff. It does cost a bit more but the huge change in my feet was shocking. I think its because they have the oils with the quality salt. I need to order some more but can't find them in the malls anymore.

  • August 6, 2012

    by ValerieB

    Glad you enjoyed the article, Jan! Hope my recommendations are helpful!

  • August 1, 2012

    by Jan

    Thank you for the wonderful review. My feet are one of my most attractive body parts so I try to ensure they are always looking their pretty best. Recently, due to hypothyroid and circulation issues (I know, I'm WAY too young for this!!!) my feet callus in the blink of an eye. You name it, I've tried it.....most do not work....some help, but most products just simply have no performance I am MORE than anxous to try these lovely items - can't wait to order them and see how my tootsies react! Thanks again for the nice feet felt refreshed just reading it!

  • August 1, 2012

    by Marta

    Hi, here’s the ingredients list for O’Keefe’s. The ingredients are basic emollients – glycerin and paraffin. Allantoin exfoliates and is also soothing. I personally find the use of ammonium borate a bit heavy handed – it is normally used to boost the detergent powers of Borax. The main red flag is the Diazolidinyl Urea/Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, which releases formaldehyde and therefore raises concerns for being carcinogenic.

    Water, Glycerin, Stearic Acid, Ammonium Stearate, Ammonium Borate, Dimethicone, Paraffin, Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, Allantoin (Comfrey Root), Diazolidinyl Urea, Octyldodecyl Stearate, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

  • August 1, 2012

    by Cynthia

    I would not be without O'keeffe's Healthy Feet--the O'Keeffe's line is primarily marketed to tough men who work hard outside in the punishing elements--it's sold at hardware store counters as well as online, and aromatherapy is not part of the experience. Price can't be beat ($7.99 for 3.2 ounces) and it works wonders on dry, cracked heels. I would love to hear the TIA experts' analysis of the ingredients.

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