What is the one part of your body that you probably use the most and yet care about the least? You guessed it. It is your feet. Let us be honest, we put our feet through a lot - we cram them into pointy sky-high heels, walk kilometres in ill-fitting shoes, run marathons, and generally just walk around a lot. Yet, despite all this, we barely pay any attention to giving our feet some much-needed TLC!
Just like you would not go a day without brushing your teeth (hopefully), you should pay an equal amount of attention to your feet. So here are a few simple tips to putting your best foot forward.
1. Keep Them Clean
When it comes to feet, in particular, hygiene is of the utmost importance. Simple things such as:
- Washing your feet daily in lukewarm water with a gentle soap.
- Drying them completely before putting on socks to prevent chances of any fungal infection.
- Moisturising them daily with a lotion.
- Change your socks and stockings regularly.
Can go a long way in ensuring your feet are healthy and happy.
Here are a few more tips on maintaining good hygiene for happy feet:
- Avoid wearing tight shoes.
- Do not share shoes or socks.
- If you have discoloured nails, do not cover them up with nail polish. Rather let your nails breathe.
- Do not shave calluses or try to DIY removing an ingrown nail. Consult a doctor if you feel things are becoming serious.
- Do not share pedicure utensils.
2. Indulge in a Pedicure
If you are in the mood to DIY, here is how to do a pedicure at home:
- Remove your old polish.
- Soak your feet in a nice foot bath. You can refer to the section below on how to do a foot soak.
- After the foot soak, trim and shape your nails. They will be much softer because of the foot soak.
- Give yourself a massage. You can use an oil or a foot cream such as Juicy Chemistry’s Kokum, Myrrh & Hazelnut Foot Cream. It is nourishing and hydrating - just what the feet need!
3. Hello Foot Soak
But what if you are not able to take the time out to go to your salon or spa? Well, then let us introduce you to the good old foot soak. A relaxing foot soak of 15 to 20 minutes after a long hard day can work wonders for your mood and your feet.
Simply dip your feet into lukewarm water and just relax. The warm water loosens dry scales and softens the thicker hardened layers of skin on your feet. Be sure to not use water that is too hot as that will just dry your skin out.
You can also add in some bath salts - such as Bliscent’s Orange and Lime Bath & Foot Soak - to elevate your foot soak. The rejuvenating aroma or orange and lime is bound to refresh your skin and your senses while Himalayan Pink Clay works to deeply cleanse and detoxify your skin.
4. Sit Back and Relax
Take some time out in the day to simply sit back, put your feet up, and relax for a few minutes. Gently massage your feet and let them rest. If you are feeling extra indulgent, you can even use a Kansa wand - such as Shankara’s Kansa wand - to stimulate and relax your feet.
The Kansa Wand Foot Massage
Kansa wands are a part of Ayurvedic tradition. The term ‘Kansa’ means ‘the healing metal’. The wand is made of an alloy of Copper, Tin, and Zinc and is believed to have therapeutic properties. The massaging motion of the wand helps increase blood circulation and improves lymphatic drainage. This increased blood circulation also helps in depuffing and soothing.
With a Kansa Wand, there is some level of technique required to get the most out of the massage. So here is how you should start:
- Moisturise your feet with a lotion, cream, or oil; whichever you prefer. The idea is to reduce the friction between your skin and the tool. This is also something you should when even using a face tool. To read more about skincare tools, head over to our blog.
- Rub the Kansa wand up and down your foot.
- Massage circles on each toe.
- Circle around the heel.
- Massage the top of the foot.
- Massage the bottom of the foot, moving in a clockwise direction.
The Kansa wand is believed to help purify the body, promoting balance, and getting rid of toxins. When you first start using the wand, you may notice some ‘greying’. This usually occurs when there is excess ‘acidity’ in the body or if the pH is unbalanced. This is only a temporary phase however so there is nothing to worry about. To know more about the Kansa wand, head over to our blog.
If you are not in the mood to use the Kansa wand, you can even use your hands. After your shower, massage an oil - such as Almond or Coconut oil - onto your feet. You can even add to the experience and use essential oils such as lavender and rosemary essential oils that are soothing and relaxing. These oils work well for sore feet as well. You can even keep a small bottle of this concoction for when you travel. If you have been wearing a lot of high heels, give this one a shot!
Have you ever thought of applying sunscreen on your feet? Well, you probably should - especially if you wear open shoes, and sandals.
6. Exfoliate. Exfoliate and Exfoliate!
The secret to super-soft feet? Exfoliation! Dead skin cells accumulate and can result in calluses, corns, and rough skin. A pumice stone works well in getting rid of the dead cells. Here is how you can use one:
- Focus your attention on your heels, the sides of your toes, and other dry areas.
- Continue rubbing the pumice stone on your skin until you’ve removed the dead skin and revealed softer skin underneath.
- After 2 to 3 minutes of light rubbing, rinse your skin.
- If you still see patches of dead skin, repeat this process.
Also, be sure to rinse your pumice stone after every use to keep the surface clean.
7. Mind your Shoes
The kind of shoes you wear make a huge difference to the health and well-being of your feet. While we all may be tempted to choose style over comfort, if we are to consider the long-term health of our feet, we need to invest in well-fitted footwear.
Here are a few tips on buying the right footwear:
- Shop for shoes at the end of the day. Your feet are swollen up so you will have a better understanding of the fit of the shoe.
- If you are trying on sneakers, try them on with the socks that you normally wear to get an idea of the fit and size.
- When it comes to heels, opt for block heels or wedges as often as you can. Also, avoid going for heels that are too high and be mindful of your posture when you wear them.
- Leather footwear can cause blisters in the beginning but that is totally normal. Wear thick socks to break them so that they loosen up a bit and take up the shape of your foot.
Before buying a shoe, try walking around in it as much as possible. Get a good idea of the fit. If you find your feet are sliding or slipping in the shoe, it is a size too big.
Here is what a well-fitted shoe should be like:
- The ball of your foot should fit comfortably in the widest part of the shoe.
- The shoe should have enough depth so that your feet are not touching the top of the shoe.
- When you stand up with the shoes on, there should be a gap of half an inch between the shoe and your longest toe.
Bad shoes will cause all sorts of problems for your feet such as blisters, corns, calluses, ingrown toenails, and more so look at shoes as a good investment. While you may get some blisters while trying on new shoes, if they continue to be a problem then you know you bought the wrong shoe.
Given how much work our feet do, we do not show them enough love. Footcare is just as important as skincare and creating a simple yet effective routine can work wonders for your feet. Maintaining hygiene and moisturising make a big difference and one should occasionally indulge in a good old massage or pedicure too.
- Gauri Sindhu