Dry skin on feet: How to give yourself a pedicure at home

Dry skin on your feet is caused by dehydration, and it’s really common. Without your monthly trip to the nail salon, it’s time to pamper those trotters at home. So how do you get rid of dry skin on your feet? Express.co.uk chatted to podiatrist Bharti Rajput in collaboration with Flexitol to find out how to give your feet some TLC.

Bharti said: “The summer tends to be our busiest time of year because people often neglect their feet in the winter and hide their feet in big fluffy socks and boots.

“After the lock-down, there will be a lot of people coming out in need desperate need of some attention to their feet- just like people will need haircuts and eyebrows plucked!”

Taking care of your feet shouldn’t be reserved for a monthly pedicure.

You should have a skincare routine for your feet, just like you do your face.

Read on to find out exactly how you should preen your feet, and how often.

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How to give yourself a pedicure at home

Get rid of dead skin and cracked heels

The most important aspect of a pedicure is getting rid of the dead skin on your feet.

Bharti said: “You can get rid of dry skin on your feet by using a foot file but always use on a dry foot, never on a wet foot.

“When the skin is wet, it tends to become more rubbery. So on a dry foot, you can actually buff the skin down.

“Put a piece of kitchen towel or newspaper on the floor and you’ll get great pleasure in seeing white powdery hard skin getting rubbed off your feet.”

She added: “Then what I would do is soak your feet in some water, choose something that you have at home, like a bit of lemon or some salt and give your feet a soak.

“Then what I always recommend is applying a urea based foot cream if you have really dry skin on your feet.

“Flexitol Heel Balm it is medically proven to provide relief from dry, cracked skin on the heels and feet.

“Then just sit and relax and have a glass of wine.

“You can even pop some cotton socks on and go to bed after you have applied your moisturiser. This locks in the moisturiser. “

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Best foot skin removing tools

Bharti said: “The best type of tool is a foot file that resembles sandpaper on a stick. I find it better than an electric foot file because you are more in control of the amount of pressure you’re using.

“There is a fine line of how much you can take off and people tend to overdo it when they try to remove hard skin.

“They’ll scrub too hard back and forth, especially with one of those metal cheese grater type of files, which is a definite no go.”

Try the Body Shop’s dual-sided File A Foot to keep your feet super soft

Trim your toenails

No one likes long serrated toenails, and it is important to keep them in check. Do this after removing the dead skin on your feet.

Bharti said: “The best approach is to cut your toenails straight across and try not to get all the white edge off.

“Leave a bit of the white edge as it is there to protect the area of your nail which is the protective seal of the skin and the nail.

“Also, if you cut them down too short you can start to get ingrown toenails.

“In terms of tools, definitely use toenail clippers, these are generally the best and then use an emery board to get rid of any sharp edges.”

Emery boards are really cheap. Try Barry M’s Pink Stripe Emery Board.

Paint your nails

Bharti said: “Nail varnish applied continuously is not great for the toenails because a lot of nail varnishes contain a number of toxic chemicals.

“One of the biggest toxins that a lot of nail polishes has is formaldehyde which is used as a hardening agent in a lot of nail polishes.

“There are usually between three to eight chemicals in every nail polish that are not good for your nails.

“But this doesn’t mean that you don’t wear nail polishes because there are a lot of good brands out there which are now catching onto this.”

NailBerry nail polish is free of 12 of the most toxic ingredients found in most polishes.

Bharti added: “However wearing nail varnish all the time tends to limit any exposure to good UV light that would be nourishing to our nail.

“Nail varnish can create a bit of a seal so that the top layer of your nail stops breathing.”

Keep moisturising

Doing this routine once a month is not good enough.

Bharti advised: “You should moisturise your feet daily.

“If you find it difficult to do in the morning, because you’re rushing out of the house, then do it at night time.

“At night time, come home, wash your feet and then, when you moisturise your body, apply foot cream too.”

Keep the filing for every few weeks, when you notice the skin on your feet hardening.

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