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5 Tips that will make your post-summer feet look (and feel) great

Foot care isn’t just about looking fabulous. You use your feet every day, for everything! No wonder they can get exhausted and tired — and you should make time to pamper them occasionally. Try these five tips to get healthy, happy feet again.

1. Give yourself a foot bath

Your feet need a day off. Give then a warm bath using black tea, which has tannic acid, a natural astringent that may help prevent athlete’s foot. Use a pumice stone on your damp heels and calluses. It will make your feet look great in open-backed shoes.

First, soak your feet in water for about 15 minutes. This will soften the skin on your feet. Remove the thick skin using the pumice stone. Another effective way to exfoliate the dead skin on your feet is to use moisturizing scrubs made out of botanicals. After scrubbing, you can apply foot cream like shea or cocoa butter. Look for creams with salicylic acid or urea to soften those calluses.

2. Moisturize

Try medicated heel pads to soften your calluses while you walk. After exfoliating calluses, moisturize your skin with heavy cream. Look for the creams that have petrolatum, which is an emollient, or those with humectants like lactic acid to draw moisture to your skin. If your very dry, cracked heels don’t respond to moisturizer, it’s time to see an expert — a dermatologist or a podiatrist — to get a prescription for the right treatment.

3. Keep them healthy

Remember that prevention is better than cure. To prevent athlete’s foot, maintain proper hygiene, make sure your feet stay thoroughly dry and make it a habit to wear fresh socks. Athlete’s foot loves dark and damp conditions.

If you’re already stricken, you can buy treatments over the counter — common ingredients include terbinafine, ciclopirox, miconazole, tolnaflate and clotrimazole. These are useful in removing fungus on your feet. You may already know the benefits of tea tree oil for skin. For mild cases of athlete’s foot, you can use tea tree oil.

If you have sweaty feet, look for powder or spray with aluminum chloride hexahydrate. If you have dry feet, use a more emollient treatment, but make sure your feet are thoroughly dry before you apply any antifungal cream or lotion.

4. Protect and support your feet

If you wear open sandals or go barefoot at the beach, make sure your feet are protected. Use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30. When you wear shoes, support your feet using insoles. This will make your feet feel comfortable, especially if you’re standing for a long time. Look for the ones with hard plastic shells or cups at the heel.

5. Get a proper pedicure

If the pedicure technique your nail technician use is wrong, you could get hangnails and ingrown toenails. Make sure your nail technician will push your cuticles back, and not cut them. Cutting them often leads to infection. If you clean your toenails yourself, make sure you follow their natural curves.

Make sure your nail polish does not have the hazardous chemicals formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate or toluene. Also, make sure your nail polish does not have alcohol as part of its ingredients. This is crucial because your nails will become brittle, as you grow older. You can use petroleum jelly, cuticle cream or and vitamin E oil to moisturize your toenails.

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