If you are on Facebook (and with billions of users and counting, really who isn’t?) you have likely seen the plethora of foot selfies or “f”elfies. Images of perfectly polished toenails and sun kissed skin with sparkling aqua marine water and white sand in the background can be particularly obnoxious during winter months when you are trapped in a polar vortex, but summer is almost here, which means its your turn to put your best feet forward so your whole social network can like them.
But “it’s hard to maintain feet over the winter, so you may have your work cut out for you,” says Krista Archer, DPM, a New York City-based podiatrist.
You can get your feet ready for their photo shoot by trying some of these Beauty In The Bag expert-approved DIY foot treatments.
If your toes are looking gnarly after the long winter, lightly massage a lemon juice and baking soda mixture on to your tootsies and brush it on your nails with a toothbrush. This will whiten yellow nails and get any crud out, Archer says. Also, use a pumice stone or file daily to get a rid of lingering dead cells on the heels and soles of your feet.
In about one week, your feet will be looking pretty good.
Kick your felfie beautification regimen up a notch with a warm footbath that combines honey, apple cider (antibacterial and antifungal), and lemon (the acids slough off dead skin cells), she says.
Fill a large container or tub with warm water and pour in 1/2 cup honey and one or two tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and whisk to combine. Top the water with the lemon slices, and soak your tired dogs for 15–20 minutes. Dry them and apply Archer’s recipe for a honey and sugar foot scrub to exfoliate any dead skin cells and give your feet that outer glow.
To make the scrub, combine 1/4-cup brown sugar, two tablespoons coconut oil, two tablespoons of honey, and three drops of peppermint essential oil in a small mixing bowl. Stir to fully combine, and massage the scrub into your feet with firm strokes. Rinse it off with warm water and dry feet completely with a towel, she says. (P.S save any unused portion for use within one month.)
A perfect pedicure is obviously an important detail in the felfie, but be careful where you get your toes painted, Archer warns. There’s a risk of getting toenail fungal infections. Avoid this by bringing your own clippers, nail files, and pumice stones to the salon. Also, go first thing in the morning when foot baths are typically the cleanest.
If you are not the DIY type, Silkpeel Dermalinfusion treatments may foot the bill, so to speak. The procedure delivers uniquely tailored skin care products to your feet, while exfoliating the skin. Each treatments costs between $100 and $200, but will leave your feet looking radiant.
Omaha-Nebraska based dermatologist Joel Schlessinger MD, the president of LovelySkin.com, says that the Clarisonic Pedi Sonic Foot Transformation System ($199, Sephora) can smooth, buff, hydrate, and exfoliate your feet. It’s also replete with a peel to repair callused heels, he says. If your heels are in need of a little more than TLC, Schlesinger suggests NeoStrata Problem Dry Skin Cream ($32, lovelyskin.com). This heavy hitter removes dead cells and prevents them from returning.