How to make your feet look beautiful
Ah, spring. The cold is starting to subside, flowers are blooming and you can finally start packing away your winter boots. Our feet are usually quite neglected as we seem to forget how much work they do. You might be surprised to find that your feet aren’t quite as summer-ready as you are yet.
Having beautiful feet will help you feel confident and looking after your feet is also good for your health. Here I cover everything from getting rid of cracked heels, identifying and treating toenail funguses, to simple things you can do at home that will drastically change the appearance of your feet.
1. Take care of your cracked heels
No one wants cracked heels when wearing a beautiful pair of flats. Not only will it affect your confidence and maybe even prevent you from wearing open shoes, but deeply cracked heels can be very painful and can sometimes lead to infections. Here are some things you can do to help treat your cracked heels:
- Use foot soaks to soften the dead skin on your feet regularly.
- Use a foot scrubber or pumice stone to rub off the dead skin while your feet are still wet.
- Apply heel balm and use socks to help with absorption.
- Use foot masks when needed.
I go into more detail about how to treat and prevent cracked heels in this post. Note that if you suffer from severely cracked heels, it is a good idea to consider getting medical attention as some health conditions can lead to your heels cracking and it should not be ignored.
Invest in a good foot soak that will not only soften the dead skin on your feet but will help combat bacteria that cause foot odors, and a soak that will prevent or treat fungal infections. This soak is great as it combines Epsom salts which have many health benefits, as well as tea tree oil, which is known for its anti-fungal properties. Buy it on Amazon.com.
Pumice stones are a natural way to exfoliate your feet. Buying more than one is a good idea as you want to sterilize it in-between uses so having an extra one while the other is being cleaned is great. You should also never share things like this with other people as cross-contamination can happen. Buy your set of pumice stones from Amazon.com.
2. Exfoliate regularly
Our skin is an amazing organ that has so many functions. One thing that we should remember is that we can have a lot of dead skin build-up. Especially on our feet as we don’t pay too much attention until we want to start wearing open shoes.
Exfoliating regularly will not only remove excess skin build-up but will also leave your feet feeling soft and rejuvenated. You can use sugar scrubs or scrubs with Epsom salts as these have hidden health benefits.
Oils like olive, coconut, and argan are proven to be very beneficial to your skin’s health. Removing dead skin from your toenails will also keep your nails looking good while preventing uncomfortable and painful nails due to excess skin build-up under or around the nails.
Along with a scrub, you can also scrub your feet with a foot scrubber to remove dead skin. Don’t exfoliate too much though as you don’t want to overdo it.
Using a scrub is a gentle way of exfoliating your feet. Use it to remove dead skin and leave your feet feeling rejuvenated. Look for a scrub with extra oils that can benefit your feet in multiple ways. Buy the Majestic Pure Tea tree oil foot scrub from Amazon.com.
3. Cut your toenails correctly
Your toenails play a very big role in the overall look of your feet. It is important to cut them correctly not only to look good but to prevent painful situations like ingrown toenails.
Cut your toenails straight across and never rounded. You should ensure that there is enough white nail left as you don’t want to cut too close to the living tissue under the nail.
Make sure that the parts growing out on the sides of the nail has a bit of length. If you cut it too short it can easily start to grow. Cutting your toenails at a rounded angle will also increase the risk of ingrown toenails.
Use a nail file to smooth the nails out on the front and to dull the corners of your toenails.
Invest in a good quality set of toenail clippers that can withstand even the thickest toenails. This set comes with a nail file which is great as you can sterile it in between uses. Using a strong nail file will limit the chances of you hurting yourself. Buy this set on Amazon.com.
4. Keep your toenails clean
Your toenails can very easily become impacted by different materials. Whether it is dirt, pieces of sock lint, or dead skin, it is very important to properly clean the debris from under your toenails.
Having foreign matter under your toenails can increase the risk of bacteria buildup. It can also cause your nail to start to detach a bit from the nail bed where the debris is being pushed deeper and deeper under the nail.
Use a sidewall and toenail cleaner to gently nudge the material out from under your toenail. Never press the tools into your skin. Work at an angle and gently push the material away from the live skin and out from under the nail. Be careful as you don’t want to hurt the skin under the nail.
To make cleaning your toenails easier and limit the risk of injury, do it after a bath or shower when all of the skin on your feet is soft. This will loosen the debris and dead skin under your nails and make cleaning them so much easier.
This set of sidewall cleaners are the perfect tools for getting into those hard-to-reach corners of your toenails. They do not only do a great job of cleaning your toenails but they also help combat and prevent ingrown toenails. Buy your sidewall cleaning set from Amazon.com.
5. Take care of your cuticles
Toenail cuticles are just as important as fingernail cuticles. They serve the same goal and protect the root of your nail. As you don’t see your toenail cuticles up close like your fingernails every day, it is easy to forget about them.
This can lead to the cuticles becoming overgrown. After soaking your feet or even just taking a bath, gently push back the cuticles. You will see that after your feet have been soaking for a while the dead skin will turn white. You can easily scrape off the dead skin from your nail.
Never cut your cuticles as you can injure yourself and cause an infection.
Use a stainless steel cuticle tool to gently push your cuticles back. The other side is a cuticle scraper which can be used to gently scrape dead skin from the nail plate after showing. Buy yours from Manucurist.com.
6. Moisturize your feet
Wearing open shoes can cause your feet to become dry and increase the risk of your heels cracking. Make sure to moisturize your feet at least once a day as this will help the skin on your feet to stay flexible and prevent the skin from drying out and becoming uncomfortable.
You can also try using moisturizing foot masks once in a while. This will give your skin the boost in moisture it needs.
7. Treat toenail discolorations
Our toenails can start to discolor for multiple reasons. If for instance, you’ve worn nail polish without a base coat for a prolonged period, your nail might start to turn yellow. Toenail discoloration might however be due to other more serious conditions.
Our toenails can be very susceptible to funguses and bacterial buildups. When we wreck a lot of closed shoes with socks ou feet get a very minimal amount of fresh air, not even to mention limiting sunshine. These are the perfect conditions for bacteria to grow.
It is important to know that not all toenail discolorations mean that there is a fungus present, as things like yellowing toenails can also be caused due to something as simple as nail polish staining. I wrote a more detailed article on the different reasons your toenails might be discolored here.
Some ways that you can treat a toenail fungus or bacterial infection at home are:
- Use peroxide. Peroxide will bubble when there is a fungus present and help kill the bacteria.
- Use tea tree oil. Teatree oil has been proven to help prevent and kill bacteria that cause toenail funguses.
- Keep your feet dry and prevent cross-contamination by treating all of your nails when you see one nail starting to look strange.
- Use apple cider vinegar as it has anti-fungal properties.
- In extreme cases, you can get a fungus treatment from your local pharmacy.
It is important to seek medical care if your toenails worsen as it can become quite serious and can be hard to get rid of.
8. Wear the right shoes
Our shoes play a big role in the appearance and the health of our feet. Your pair of stilettos might look amazing, but wearing shoes that put a strain on your feet and squeeze your toes together, for long periods can have some serious consequences.
Not only is it not normal for our toes to be confined in small spaces, but it can also increase the risk of ingrown toenails, corns, blisters, and other conditions, which can all be painful. Your feet can also start to crack if your heels and foot pads don’t receive enough support.
It is important to invest in shoes that have enough padding to support your heels and pads while still allowing your toes enough room to be spread out naturally.
9. Paint your toenails
Even though it is a good idea to allow your toenails to grow out during the wintertime without any nail polish or other materials covering them, having beautifully painted toes always look great in summer.
Make use of a base coat, nail polish, and topcoat to give yourself the perfect pedicure. Make sure when painting your toenails to steer clear of the sidewalls and cuticles as you don’t want nail polish running into your skin.
Make sure to never paint over toenails that have conditions like funguses, as you want to heal them completely before adding product on top.
A base coat will not only help the nail polish adhere better to your nails, giving you a longer-lasting manicure, but it will also prevent your nails from becoming discolored when using highly pigmented colors. Buy it on Manucurist.com
Manucurist.com has an innovative range of eco-friendly nail polishes. They use plant-based ingredients and exclude harmful chemicals from their products. All while still providing a high-quality nail polish that will last. Buy yours on Manucurist.com.
10. Treat swollen feet
Standing on your feet all day can have a serious negative impact on your feet. Not only does it increase the risk of cracked heels, but it can cause your feet to swell.
Swollen feet can be painful and it can be uncomfortable or even near impossible to wear shoes when your feet are swollen. One way to reduce swelling is to alleviate your legs so that blood flow can regulate again. If you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods, it might be a good idea to invest in some compression socks.
Note that swollen feet can also be caused due to health problems. So if you notice your feet swelling suddenly, please consult a health professional.
11. Wear sunscreen
Just like the rest of your body, your feet have to be protected against harmful sun rays. Overexposure to the sun will not only leave you with a painful sunburn, but your feet might also start to peel, and getting sunburnt exceptionally increases the risk for skin cancer.
Use a good quality sunscreen that will protect your skin against the sun and that doesn’t have harmful chemicals that can also damage your skin. Buy the Neutrogena ultra sheer sunscreen on Amazon.com.
12. Protect your feet against disease
Many diseases like athlete’s foot and other fungal infections are highly contagious. It is very important to wear flip-flops or other shoes to protect your feet when using things like a public shower at the gym.
It is also very important to choose your nail salon wisely when getting a treatment done. Make sure it is a reputable salon with a qualified technician that knows what they’re doing. Never allow someone to use a blade on your feet except when they’re a medical professional.
Your feet should always be kept dry. If you’ve worn snow boots all day be sure to let your feet dry. Wash your feet and always change your socks. It’s a good idea to let your feet breathe a bit by not wearing anything after a shower. Remember to dry your feet properly with a towel.
When you notice something strange on your feet, it is always the best option to get it checked out straight away, as catching and treating something like this early on is best.