I used to be really diligent about getting a pedicure every couple of weeks and always kept polish on my toes. I thought nothing of it, but after years of wearing polish, I noticed that my nails turned dry and formed white spots. I was told the only way the spots would go away was by keeping toes bare for a while. So in the fall, after realizing that nothing will help this problem, I made the decision to go bare and started to take care of my toes at home. Not only was I saving money from not frequenting the nail salon, but I was giving my nails a break from polish and letting them get back to normal. Within about two months, the white spots on my toes disappeared and the surface of the nail appeared more smooth. Now that flip-flop season is almost here, it’s a good time to take a break from polish and get toes in shape. Here’s some simple ways to do so at home:
1. Soften and Buff Calluses — I usually give my feet a mini-soak when I’m in the shower and use a moisturizing body wash to clean and soften the tops of feet. If I notice that my feet are on the drier side, I apply a gritty scrub to slough away dry skin. If I want a more thorough, relaxing soak then I’ll soak feet in warm water for 10 minutes. After feet are soft, I use a Diamancel Foot Buffer, which works wonders on rough, dry calluses, and scrub the bottoms of my feet and heels.
2. Trim and File — Trim nails leaving a bit of the white tip and file straight across. I like to round the sides so the shape is not too square.
3. Buff – Buffing will help smooth the nails surface of any ridges. This one makes nails super-shiny as if you are wearing a topcoat.
4. Cuticle Care – I stay away from cutting cuticles and apply a nourishing cuticle oil to nails and rub in well. Then I use a cuticle pusher to push back cuticles. I like to use a salon-quality pusher that does a superb job at cleaning underneath and around nails. If you have dry, ragged cuticles, a cuticle stone can help remove excess skin. Wet the stone and go back and forth till cuticles are smooth.
5. Add Moisture — Apply a moisturizing foot lotion to hydrate skin and soften dry patches. I like RITUALS Lao Tze Cooling Foot Balm, which is not too greasy and infused with shea butter, squalane, jojoba and Chinese mint. It smells divine and leaves feet feeling clean and fresh.
6. Go Bare or Add Shine — If you don’t want to go completely bare and your nails are brittle and weak, apply a base coat enriched with vitamins and antioxidants such as Nails Inc NailKale.
Repeat these steps every two to three weeks and your feet will be ready for sandal season!