The feet generally get rough treatment - they support us all day, enclosed in socks and shoes, and we reward them with a cursory rub in the shower if they're lucky. But feet spa treatments are so easy to do at home. We look at the basics of caring for you feet, and a range of different spa treatments, that will reward your feet for years of service, and set them up for the years to come.
Most feet treatments involve 3 basic steps. The first is a good soak in warm water, normally with something added to the water to help in the process. The point of this step is to soften the rough skin on the feet, and get it ready to accept moisture at a later stage. And it feels good.
Store-bought treatments often include Epsom salts - the nice name for magnesium sulphate. These salts help soften skin, and also draw impurities out through the pores.
Foot spas are great to use for the soaking. You don't really need one of these, but you may have one lying about. If you do, dust it off, and give it a try. If not, do what we've done in a squeeze - use your washing up bowl. You basically need something you can fill with hot water and stick your feet in, so there's no need to get too fancy, but bubbles and moving water do feel nice! Also, most of these spas will keep the water at a comfortable temperature - they won't heat water, but they'll stop it getting cold.
After the soak in your fancy foot spa, or your washing up bowl, the next stage is to rub off the really rough skin. Skin can harden on the soles of the feet into calluses, which if you want good smooth feet will need to be removed. For this, a pumic stone is normally used. Pumice is formed in cooling lava from volcano. Molten silicon get whipped up with air, forming a hard foam, which makes the perfect abrasive for feet. Most foot scrubs have pumice particles in them, or you can easily find a good pumice stone at most health stores. The Body Shop also sells No More Rough Stuff Pumice which is a neat blue pumice stone, as well as the more traditional Pumice on a Rope.
The trick with pumice stones is not to work them too hard. If you have really nasty calluses on your feet, don't try to get them out in one session. Smooth, don't remove should be your mantra. In time, soaks and scrubs will clear up even the toughest of calluses.
The third stage is to moisturize, and for this you need a foot moisturizer. Hand and body moisturizers just won't cut it with feet - they need a really powerful boost. If your skin is really dry, there's a good trick you can use with an old pair of socks and some petroleum jelly. Basically, soak your feet with the jelly, really smear it on thick, and then pull the socks on. Sleep. In the morning, take the socks off and give your feet a good wash. You will have to throw the socks out - there's no recovery for them. But your feet will be like a new pair! Drastic, but it really works