Monday, June 16, 2014

Soft, Sweet Feet

I don't have naturally soft, beautiful feet.  *Gasp!*

I don't know what it is... genetics, years standing on my feet at work, wearing my shoes without gel insoles (I don't know if those actually do anything, I'm just speculating)'s probably because I spend as much of my time as I can barefoot or in flip flops.  But for years I did not have pretty feet.

Just to give you an idea of how bad things were, the first time I got a pedicure, the technician told me she was going to make me sweep the floor before I left because of all the stuff that came off of my feet.  Yes, she actually said that to me and it was humiliating. (Read Why I Do my Own Nails).

 I spent years fighting whatever it is or was that gave me such horrid heels.  I never thought they were beautiful.  They were dry.  They were calloused and tough.  My heels were cracked.  And I couldn't find ANYTHING that worked. I couldn't afford regular pedicures as a struggling twenty something and after my first experience I didn't want them.  I bought scrubs, shavers, scrapers, lotions and potions.  I spent hours scrubbing.  I slathered my feet in acids, petroleum products, and vitamin oils and spent nights wearing gel socks that left grease spots on my sheets.  I treated myself for foot fungus thinking that could be the cause.  I tried everything and nothing ever really worked. .

So, how Lots and lots of trial and error with just about everything she could find on the market.  Whether you're looking for sandal worthy tootsies or looking to add "foot model" to your resume, this is what I'm doing and using for soft feet....

What I don't recommend:

If you don't know what this is... they're commonly called callous shavers.  They come in a variety of different styles but you're basically taking a razor to the bottom of your foot.  I went through two before I learned better.  I do not recommend it for a variety of reasons but the most important one being that you can seriously hurt yourself.  While I never really cut myself, shaving off too much is incredibly easy to do and can leave you in pain, not to mention walking funny.  

Pumi Foot File by Mr. Pumice... I just didn't like these.  As someone with really rough feet who needed to use it frequently, I found that the price just wasn't right for the thin layer of pumice that I really needed. Though perhaps it would work for you or for milder use. 

Metal Foot Rasps - These work really great for some people.  They didn't work so great for me.  It didn't matter if I used it on dry feet or feet that had been soaked.  Yes, it helped a little bit but it is kind of like using the side of the cheese grater with the small holes... it doesn't really get you anywhere fast. 

Don't even bother with this thing.  I bought it because I walk around barefoot and this seemed like a good, easy solution for dirty feet.  What a waste of money!  I had one in my shower and found that the suction cups on the bottom don't stick well enough for even the most mild scrubbing.  That being said... don't even try using the pumice stone on the back.  After awhile, the suction cups just came off of the thing and I threw it out.  Very disappointed.  

What I AM doing:

First things first...this is going to take some time.  Almost every step can be achieved in 15 minutes or less, but because there are multiple things it will probably seem like more.  Once certain steps become routine and you're doing them regularly it will be easier and faster.

For starters, I'm not against a good scrubbing or soak.  I enjoy pedicures in spa baths (even though I shouldn't because most are notoriously dirty).  But I don't want to have to soak at home... I just prefer not to do it.  I wash my feet and I DO take baths, but I don't have a foot spa nor am I sitting around with my feet in some kind of container "soaking".  I just don't have it in me.  There are lots of soaking recipes out there including the Listerine Soak, or using Shaving Cream...I personally just don't have the patience, nor have I see any mind-blowing reviews that make me want to try it.  Perhaps I'm missing out but...what I'm doing works for me.

A few years ago, I went looking for a Ped Egg.  The store no longer carried them, which seemed incredibly unfortunate so I took a walk down the beauty aisle and ended up finding one of these beauties.  The Revlon Pedi-Expert Nail File.
It works like a DREAM.  I checked out a few online demonstrations of the Ped Egg before trying it out.  Some helpful tips...  it says to use it dry.  I'm not so good at listening to directions so I have used it on wet feet.  You can hurt yourself doing that.  So...use the Pedi-Expert on DRY feet.  If you have severe callouses or cracked heels you will see almost immediate improvement but you're not going to get 100% turnaround because you can only slough off so much stuff at once.

The Pedi-Expect has two pieces.  The "serious" grater and what appears to be a metal file.  I never use the metal file because I just feel like it isn't all that effective.  The Pedi-Expert also catches what comes off your feet, which if you're like me gives you a totally weird sense of satisfaction.  The Pedi-Expert made my feet look better the first time I used it in less than 20 minutes and I did it while I watched my favorite show.

At this point, if I want to be done I slather on some lotion, put on socks and I'm done for the night.  But about once or twice a month I do a full pedicure and take some extra steps which I don't find are really necessary for weekly treatments but can be beneficial.

After using the Pedi-Expert, I climb into the shower and use a pumice.  I think just about any pumice will do though I find that I prefer one with a rougher side and a softer side because I don't use the "file" side of the Pedi-Expert.  I like to start with the rougher side, then the softer side because I feel like it gives a better, softer "finish".  This Mr. Pumice Coarse/Medium 2 in 1 is my favorite.

During the week when I don't want severity of a pumice (or to take the time to do it), I scrub with a body scrub or a facial scrub like St. Ive's.  I do this a minimum of once a week, but usually about every other day.  I DO NOT recommend using a homemade body scrub for this as most are made with coconut oil or olive first.  If you want to make your own scrub, I suggest mixing one part liquid soap or your regular body wash with 2 parts sugar, brown sugar, coarse salt or used coffee grounds (which I find to be a mess, but you might not).  If the scrub is too dry, add a little more until it is the consistency of your liking.  Also, I do this the morning after I paint my toenails because sometimes I get a little sloppy.

Last, but not least, MOISTURIZE!  I've tried a lot of things including Vaseline, various foot lotions, Kerasal, and the thing I've found I like the most is Julep Mint Condition Pedi Creme.  You can purchase it from Amazon, but I enjoy being a Julep Maven for all of the great discounts, polish and products.  I highly recommend the subscription service and if you click the link about and use code FREEBOX you'll get your first box free! I squeeze a little on and rub it in before pulling on some cotton socks.  The next day, I have nice, soft and smooth feet.  

1 comment:

  1. I felt like I was walking a mile in your shoes here.... thanks for the inside scoop on foot care. :)