If you go into a state of "piggy envy" every summer upon viewing the sleek, pampered feet of your sandaled friends, but can't afford a professional pedicure, don't despair—you can give yourself wonderful at-home foot treatment without having your wallet hit bottom. Here's how:
Begin by removing every trace of old nail polish with an acetone-based nail polish remover. Then give your feet a 5-10 minute soak in a tub or basin filled with warm water topped up with 1 teaspoon of tea tree oil to banish smell-producing bacteria; a splash of witch hazel to both clean and tone; 1/2 cup of Epsom salts to nourish; plus 3 drops of peppermint or rosemary oil to increase circulation. Soaking your feet both cleanses them and softens rough skin. This makes the next step, exfoliating the dead skin cells, a heck of a lot easier.
The next step is to scrub away all that rough skin. Shoot for a commercial product containing sugar—the crystals work like magic to remove dead skin—and moisturizers like almond oil or jojoba. Squirt a quarter-sized dollop of exfoliating scrub into the palm of your hand and work it into each foot for at least one minute, beginning at the heel and working your way toward the toes with a circular motion. Then continue on to the ankles and calves in the same manner. Rinse off the exfoliant with warm running water.
Now it's time to get to work on those calluses. Take a pumice stone, wet it, and rub it in a bit of liquid body wash. Rub the stone against the rough areas of your feet, using a gentle back and forth motion. You want to remove only the dead skin so you don't leave your feet raw and sore.
Your toenails are now primed for a trim. Get a good clipper made just for toenails. Clip your nails straight across the top then use a glass file to round and smooth the edges. Follow these simple steps and you'll never have ingrown toenails.
Choose one of the many good products on the market made for moisturizing the skin of your feet. Squirt a dollop of the stuff into your palm and use it to massage your feet and lower legs in a circular motion. Next, take your index finger and press the knuckle into the arches of your feet and knead them, one at a time. This abbreviated massage relieves muscle tension and increases the circulation to the area, to prevent swelling.