how to take care of your feet

i made a guide for taking care of your nails and hands, and now it's time for round 2 electric boogaloo: taking care of your feet!

part 00: thoughts & supplies

things to consider:

  • feet are grody.  it's a lot of work to try and keep up with footcare lol. you might encounter some gross stuff, most commonly calluses

necessary supplies:

  • a nail file
  • a tub or foot bath
  • a pumice stone
  • a cuticle pusher 
  • a moisturizer
  • socks

part 01: prep your feet

optional: if you wear polish on your toenails, now's the time to remove it

step 01: file and/or cute the toenails. toenails are better shorter so they don't snag, press against the inside of your shoes, and get gunk underneath them. an easy shape is to file in a straight line, then round the edges out

step 02: prepare hot water. you can boil it in a kettle, or you can run it hot from the faucet. i have this step here if you're boiling, so while you're doing that you can also do other steps, but if you're going to get water from the faucet then this step can come a little later

optional: apply cuticle remover around the toenails. this will make the cuticles soft, and easier to push. let the remover sit as long as it needs as per instructions of the product you're using. try to time it so you can rinse this off when you start soaking your feet

part 02: basic pedicure

step 01: most pedicures begin with a soak. if you didn't boil water before, now is when you're going to want to get some hot water running. pour water from the kettle or faucet into some kind of tub, or a foot bath made for this purpose. make sure to check the temperature to make sure it's not too hot so you don't get burned! this would also be the step you add any additives you want to the water

  • a common foot bath is using scented crystals, and/or salts. soaks that use epsom salts help foot pain
  • another common additive is a rinse that'll help get dead skin off your feet. one i personally use is a cup of listerine mouth wash, and a cup of organic apple cider vinegar
  • i personally also like to add a couple drops of tea tree oil to my foot bath, if it's not already present in the soak i'm using. tea tree oil has antibacterial properties, so it helps heal and get rid of any nasties on the feet

step 02: relax and let those tootsies soak babey! i find 15-20 minutes is a sweet spot for timing. if the water gets cold, pour more hot water into a cup from the faucet and pour it into your tub (if you don't have a heating foot bath), or pour more water from the kettle in

optional: apply callus remover. callus remover is like cuticle remover on steroids. what cuticle remover does for cuticles, callus remover does for calluses. if you've got really crusty and cracked heels, apply some callus remover and leave it on according to your product's instructions. rinse your feet in your bath

optional: shave your feet with a grater. yes, the tool that's like a cheese grater. results may vary, but you're very likely to get a lot of dead skin scraped off this way

optional: file your feet. a file would basically be sandpaper. this will remove stuff that the shaver couldn't. shaving/grating and filing are different things, but oftentimes both are featured on a multi-tool :,)

step 03: pumice the feet. this will remove dead skin, and smooth things out. a rule of thumb is to stop if it starts hurting, and/or when you see pink skin. pink means it's live tissue and that there's bloodflow

optional: apply a mineral peel or peel spray. this will - you guessed it - remove yet more dead skin lol. notice a theme here?

step 04: scrub your feet with an exfoliant. a body scrub would be fine, but there's brands that make scrubs specifically for feet as well. you can also make your own if you look up recipes for them. this will be the most gentle step of exfoliation

step 05: rinse your feet again then pour out your bath water. we're done with that part:,)

step 06: now is when you can push the cuticles on your toenais back. it should be easy after soaking and exfoliating

part 03: applying lacquer

optional: set your toes up in a separator. this makes it so your toes won't touch, since they're naturally so close together, and smudge your polish

step 01: wrap the color on the free edge. this will help seal it prevent chipping. we're doing this first so that when the polish is applied to the nail bed, it will cover what's on the free edge, and mask the little bump

step 02: apply the first coat of polish on the nail bed. use thin coats of polish. thick coats take longer to dry, and can come out uneven and gloopy. this can also flood the cuticle, which is not what we want. thin layers that dry completely are also a lot less likely to flake and peel

start in the middle of the nail, near the cuticle (but not at the cuticle.) set the brush on the nail, and push it up a little bit, as close as you can get to the cuticle without flooding it. then drag the brush down the middle of the nail. do another two swipes down the sides

allow this coat to completely dry

optional: apply more coats of nail polish if you want or find it necessary. again, make the layers thin and let them dry completely. most lacquers need at least two coats to be opaque. if you need a third coat, do it, but maybe consider if that polish is worth it or would work better as a topper :,)

step 03: wrap the tip and under the nail with top coat

step 04: apply top coat to the nail bed

now your nails should be a pretty color!

part 04: moisturize

optional: apply oils of choice to the feet and rub them in

  • the best oils are jojoba, which is closest to the body's sebum so it gets absorbed well, vitamin e for strength and hydration, and tea tree which helps lifting/separation of the nails, and is antibacterial. you don't have to use exclusively these, but i find they're the top 3 most beneficial. other oils that wouldn't hurt are argan, coconut, grapeseed, rosehip, sunflower seed, sweet almond, and other scented oils (chamomile, lavender, rose, etc.
step 01: apply cream to the feet, and really rub it in

optional: apply a heavier balm/butter to the feet. this will really seal all that moisture in

step 02: put on some socks. this will help keep the moisturizers on your feet, and keep your feet from getting stuff stuck to them. it's espcially good if you apply moisturizer before bed and go to sleep with the socks on :)

optional: if you want, you can also use an a foot peel mask. these are masks that cause the feet to, well. peel :,) but the point is to get all the dead stuff off, revealing the fresh skin underneath. these masks take a few days to see effects, so they're best as a last step in a pedi, basically as a last resort if everything else didn't help your skin. these are also only to be used every few weeks

part 05: ~ * accessorize * ~

ok but for real your feet need proper accessories to help them not get injured :,)

  • proper footwear is necessary. the best shoes are ones that don't pinch or pull your toes, and provide arch support so your arches don't collapse. (flat feet can be painful and result in other complications)
  • insoles may also be necessary. these can be as simple as dr. scholls, to provide more support and comfort. but sometimes you might need medical grade shoe cups as well. if you find you constantly have foot pain, it might help to bring it up with your doctor so medical cups can be prescribed
  • don't wear thongs (flip-flops) and high heels for extended periods of time. thongs are convenient, and especially in summer. they're cool and useful for going to places like the pool. and who doesn't feel classy and sexy in a high heel? but these shoes are also linked with causing complications such as hammer toe, where the bones in the big toe get repositioned upward, or bunions, which causes the your big toe to warp around the strap of the sandal, causing it to stick out at the side and be painful.
  • wear slippers around the house. this will protect them from stepping in something gross, like a spill, or worse - glass, or a nail.
  • don't go outside barefoot. please just don't. there's so many things you can step on that can hurt you
  • DO NOT WALK ON CONCRETE BAREFOOT. people have gotten third degree burns on the bottoms of their feet this way. please don't risk it

part 06: product recommendations

these are just recommendations for tools i personally use!

disclosure: amazon products are linked through my associates account. i was already recommending things through this retailer. ie, i endorse and use these products myself and i just figured since i was making product recs anyway i might as well get some cents for it pleasedon'tbemadatme ;w;

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