Sure, everyone would like beautiful feet. But there’s a lot more to a pedicure than making your feet pretty. Proper foot care is important from both a health and a comfort standpoint. If you’ve never paid much attention to your feet, or if your job or lifestyle puts a lot of wear and tear on them, follow these 7 simple steps below and you’ll be on your way to having feet that look and feel better.
Step 1: Clean your feet
Wash your feet thoroughly with soap and water. Use a nail brush to clean under and around your toenails and remove any stubborn dirt or grime.
Step 2: Soften your calluses and cuticles
Scrub your clean feet with an exfoliating product, such as our Denco Naturals Rejuvenating Foot Scrub. This will help to remove any dry skin and will polish out rough patches. For best results, soak feet in warm water for 5 minutes to soften calluses and cuticles.
Step 3: Smooth calluses
Calluses are your body’s way of protecting your feet from damage and protecting you from pain. They build up in areas that are under consistent pressure, like the balls of the feet, the heels and even the toes. It’s important to maintain some callusing for protection. However, excessive, unsightly calluses and dry, cracked skin can – and should – be smoothed. Finding the right foot-smoothing tool will depend on the level of your calluses and on your preferences. Very thick calluses and cracked skin can be more quickly smoothed with a coarse grit tool such as our Denco Easy Grip Heavy Duty Foot Smoother, our Professional Foot Smoother, our Nickel File or our Ceramic Foot Smoother. Moderate calluses can be smoothed with tools such as our Metallic Smoother or standard Foot Smoother. Light calluses or dry skin can be easily buffed with a foot file, a pumice stone or a pumice sponge. Light callus tools also make great finishers after using a coarse or medium-grit file, and they’re also excellent for daily maintenance. Remember that the goal is to smooth the dry or callused area, not to remove calluses.
Step 4: Clean up your cuticles
Tidying the cuticle area can really improve the look of your toes. In most cases you can push back your soaked and softened cuticles with a towel or dry washcloth. However for stubborn growth on your nail plate, you may want to use a cuticle pusher. It’s very important when pushing back cuticles that you only remove the thin, dead skin clinging to your nail plate and not the live skin surrounding the nail. If there is a lot of excess cuticle, you may decide to trim it using a cuticle nipper or cuticle scissors.
Step 5: Shape your toenails
Proper toenail care is critical for healthy feet. To avoid pain and damage to your toenails, it is important for you to trim your toenails to a safe length and shape. Toenails should be trimmed to be even with the end of the toe. Leaving them longer can cause damage if they tap repeatedly against a shoe. Cutting them shorter, especially into the corners, can result in soreness and even ingrown toenails. Depending on your nail thickness and your preference, you could choose a toenail clipper, toenail scissors or a toenail nipper. After trimming your toenails to the general length and shape you want, you’ll need to file them. Filing smoothes out any rough edges and perfects your shape. Choose a nail file to suit your preference and file each nail with smooth strokes. Try to avoid a back and forth, see-saw action. Instead, try to file gently from the outside of the toenail to the center.
Step 6: Finish your toenail surface
Once you’ve shaped your toenails, you can move on to the surface. If you’d like a little shine on your toenails, but don’t want to polish, try a 3-step nail buffer. Simply “file” your toenail surface with the pink grit, then the white, then the gray. This is also a great alternative for men who want to have smooth, ridge-free toenails without any shine. For those who prefer polish, now is the time to paint it on. Let it dry thoroughly before moving onto the next step.
Step 7: Moisturize
Now that you’ve smoothed your feet, it’s time to lock in the moisture. Choose a deep penetrating cream that will soak into callused areas and keep them supple. Be sure to massage the cream into the tops and bottoms of your feet, particularly into the heels and balls of the feet, as well as into each cuticle. Our Denco Naturals Hydrating Foot Balm is ideal for locking in moisture and maintaining softness.