Skinny Daily Post

Invincible.

Dad tried to ingrain foot care into us. Maybe it was because the athleteís foot he caught in an army shower led to him meeting Mom. But as with so many things, I didnít actually Ďget ití until much later. Itís part of taking care of myself, and, as Iíve written before (and will continue to!) most overweight people have trouble with that step.

Itís not a matter of vanity, as I used to think. Itís about health and comfort. Shoes fit better, there are fewer holes in the socks, fewer ingrown toenails, fewer runs in the stockings. Bottom line, walking is more comfortable. But perhaps most important, especially for those of us with a history of deep vein thrombosis [blood clots in the leg] or diabetic foot problems, soft feet mean fewer infections. Those nasty little cracks in un-cared-for feet let infections in, and we all know where THAT leads Ė antibiotics, and maybe a hospital stay. Soft feet donít develop cracks; youíll have to step on a nail to break the skin.

So, take the time to give yourself a pedicure. You donít have to run to the nail salon (although itís a wonderful experience). Soak your feet Ė in a basin, or after a shower Ė then trim your nails, and file them so that there are no rough spots. Use something to scrub away the dead skin, either a pumice stone or a yummy foot scrub. There are many on the market, but you donít have to spend a lot of money on them. Making your own is easy, and you can dress it up or down with essential oils or herbs.

The basics: either sea salt or Epsom salts plus some kind of oil Ė baby oil is fine. So is sweet almond oil. Iíve even heard of people using olive oil, but that gets a bit greasy in the tub. I knew one woman who used a sugar-baby oil combination, but sugar crystals generally have sharper edges than salt [itís the chemical structure of them] so I prefer salt.

Use about equal parts of salt and oil, although you can certainly make it Ďsaltierí or Ďoilierí if youíd prefer. Use this as is, or add some wonderful essential oil or chopped fresh herbs – lemon, lavender, mint, whatever suits your fancy. Mix it all in a jar, and itíll last for weeks.

To use, scoop up a couple of good tablespoons, and scrub it all over your feet. Pay special attention to the rough spots like the heel. (My tough spot is the outside of my feet.) Rinse well, and rub a good, thick moisturizer all over your feet. Stick your feet in some white cotton socks if youíre going to bed and want to keep the moisturizer next to the skin.

If you want to paint your toenails, go right ahead, but be sure to wipe the moisturizer off the nails with a bit of nail polish remover so that the polish will stay on.

This may sound like a major undertaking, but it really takes only a few minutes. Concocting the perfect scrub fragrance and proportions will probably be the hardest part. Youíre worth it. Remember that!

6 thoughts on “Soft Tootsies!

  1. MaryK says:

    Great point! I just want to add that I use a salt scrub made with Epsom salt and sweet almond oil on my whole body. I’ve always had chronic dry skin and this has absolutely cleared it up. It’s like a miracle!

    I agree that when we’re overweight we tend to neglect these kinds of self-care things. But believe me, it feels a lot better to have soft skin than dry skin — at any weight!

  2. marisa says:

    Thank you for this topic, Jane. I have very dry, thickened skin on the soles of my feet and sometimes I get cracks on my heels. And I neglect my feet until the cracks appear. I’ve found something that works quickly to soften and heal them – it’s a cream called “Miracle Foot Repair”. It comes in a large tube and contains aloe.

    I’m also going to try the Epsom salt/sweet almond oil scrub. it sounds great!

  3. nannygoatj says:

    Wouldn’t it be great to get a gaggle of pals and just do pedicures for one another? It wouldn’t cost what a pedicure in a salon costs, we’d be able to take our time, brew tea or coffee, wash and scrub one another’s feet as friends (Jesus took serving one another pretty seriously), and help each other look nice. As for me, I have the Swedish Foot File handy at all times so that every few days, I hang a foot over the sink and file away–talk about white dust!–I am not nearly as embarrassed by my feet as I used to be. Thanks for the reminder to keep this up, and thanks for the recipes, too! I think I’m gonna plan a girls’ day at my house, invite a few friend, and my daughters can bring a friend or two as well!

  4. Sara says:

    that is such a good idea. and it is so funny because I was looking at pedicure sets in an avon catalogue today at lunch.

    I love to go barefoot in the summer so I care for my feet just enough so I am comfortable in flip flops in the store. I do soak my feet, but I have not done the scrub before.

    I have to try it. Thanks. ūüôā

  5. jerm says:

    Does anyone know – can this be done with sugar (or something else) instead of salt? Or will it just dissolve? The salt is stingy. Thanks!

  6. Becky says:

    Yes, this can be done with sugar & I actually prefer it that way. The salt stings your legs if you have any knicks from shaving. I use regular sugar, but you can also use the superfine sugar for a slightly smoother texture. I usually just mix with olive oil (whatever oil you have on hand is great). Equal parts oil & sugar. For overnight repairs I really like Bag Balm (stinks a bit – but works wonders) or Burts Bees Coconut Foot Creme (smells yummy).

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