Odds are you're not taking proper care of your feet. The owner of plush Manhattan nail spa, Sweet Lily, explains the new foot-care essentials. Plus: The perfect at-home pedi.
Odds are you're not taking good care of your feet. Monthly pedicures are simply not enough to keep them callous-free and soft. Donna Perillo, owner of New York City spa Sweet Lily, shares her simple footcare routine.
Think of footcare like washing your hair: It must be done regularly. Exfoliate your feet at least three to four days per week. "Take just a minute every other day to scrub rough spots and you'll never get callouses again," says Perillo. She suggests investing in a high-quality foot buffer like the Diamancel #11 Foot File. "It slowly and gently wears down dry patches. Never use a razor to shave off skin. Your body will react to that abrupt removal by growing even denser callouses." Next step: Daily hydration. "Apply a rich moisturizer—I really like natural shea or cocoa butter—then pull on thin cotton socks, like Moisture Jamzz. Thick, fluffy socks may feel cozy and comfy, but they draw moisture away from your skin, so avoid them." Voila! We guarantee regularly following these steps will vastly improve the look and feel of your feet. Bonus: If you really want an indulgent treat, try this at-home Vanilla Latte Pedicure, developed by Perillo and the Sweet Lily staff.
Sweet Lily Vanilla Latte Pedicure
The Soak: You'll need 1 gallon of warm water, 4 cups of fresh brewed coffee, and ½ can of whipped cream. Combine in a small basin or tub.
The Scrub: You'll need 1/4 cup fine sea salt, 1/4 cup of jojoba or olive oil, ½ teaspoon of fresh ground coffee beans. Mix in a small bowl.
1. Remove any old nail polish with a soy based or non-acetone remover.
2. Trim and file nails to desired shape and length, making sure to round the edges to avoid ingrowns.
3. Submerge feet in the coffee and whipped cream soak for about five minutes. The caffeine in coffee is a great toner, while the lactic acid in the whipped cream helps to naturally exfoliate dead skin.
4. Gently push back cuticles with a wooden orange stick. You can purchase them in packs of 10 at any pharmacy.
5. Apply a scoop of the coffee bean salt scrub in circular motions to feet, paying extra attention to heels, between toes and callouses. The sea salt acts as a natural cleanser and antiseptic, while coffee beans gently exfoliate.
6. Rinse feet under warm water, then towel dry.
7. Massage lotion of choice into the skin, again giving extra TLC to rough patches and callouses.
8. Remove excess oils from the nail with a bit of non-acetone remover on a cotton ball.
9. Apply one coat base, two coats of your favorite polish, and one coat top. (Perillo prefers ZOYA polishes because they're free of DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde.)