Before you put on a pair of sandals or head off for that beach vacation, why not invest 20 pain-free minutes in exfoliating your feet? The tools are simple and affordable, and the results are immediately noticeable. You can incorporate a quick foot massage into the routine to make it relaxing, too.
The most popular options are using a pumice stone or rubbing in a salt or sugar scrub. Some people go to a salon for a foot bath and exfoliation, while others buy drugstore exfoliants and do the process at home. Podiatrists can do deeper exfoliation using a sharp blade.
Over time, feet can experience a buildup of dry, cracked skin, particularly on the heels. This top layer of skin is comprised of dead skin cells that just won’t let go. Exfoliation gently removes these cells and allows the healthier skin to show through. Over-the-counter exfoliant creams slowly slough off dead skin cells, typically with alpha hydroxy acids, while moisturizing the skin.
Besides making your feet look better, exfoliation them makes them feel better. That dry, cracked skin is itchy and irritating, whereas the skin underneath is more elastic, healthier and smoother. Good exfoliation can also reduce callouses.
If you go to a salon for a pedicure and exfoliation treatment, make sure that the aesthetician sterilizes all tools before beginning the procedure. The station should be clean. You can also opt to bring your own tools for the treatment. If you are doing your own exfoliation, take care with sensitive skin. Over-exfoliation can sap the skin of moisture, cause rashes and increase sensitivity. Do not exfoliate more than once a week.
If you want to go all-natural, try a home recipe to exfoliate the feet. For a salt scrub, mix together a half cup each of sea salt and vegetable oil. Add 10 to 15 drops of an essential oil for fragrance. Peppermint is refreshing and lavender is relaxing. Apply the scrub in a circular motion and rinse well.