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August 2012

Feet Fuss

Shahnaz Husain
Feet care must be cultivated as an important element of your hygiene and grooming. Pay special attention to them - wash well and dry thoroughly. The basics are simple - if you wear closed shoes, sprinkle some talcum powder inside the shoes; in hot weather go for slippers and open sandals to allow ventilation. A weekly pedicure goes a long way to keep the feet healthy and beautiful.

Way With Nails
  • After removing nail varnish, soak your feet in one-fourth bucket of warm water. Add half-acup of coarse salt and 10 drops of lemon or orange essential oil. If essential oils are not available, use half-a-cup of lemon or orange juice. If your feet tend to sweat a lot, use a few drops of tea tree oil; its germicidal properties will help you. Soak your feet for about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Clean the nails with a brush. Take care to see that the brush is not too hard. Use a pumice stone to scrub the heels and sides of the soles. You can also scrub the entire feet with a rough towel or loofah. Scrubbing removes germs. When this is done, wash your feet with clean water. Use a towel to dry your feet thoroughly.
  • If your nails need some trimming, use a nail clipper. Cut your toe nails square and across. Use an emery board to smoothen through edges. Avoid cutting the nails into an oval shape in order to prevent ingrown nails. Do not cut the cuticles of the toenails. Cream them and push them back gently with a cotton bud.
  • Apply cream on the feet and nails. Massage it into the skin and let it work its way inside the cuticles too. Do not use sharp instruments to clean dirt out of the nails. Pay special attention to the heels; apply more cream if needed. Use upward strokes for the massage - from the toes towards the ankles. Wipe your feet with a moist towel, and finally, apply some talcum powder.
  • If you wish to apply nail polish, put pieces of cotton wool in between the toes. Apply the nail varnish in broad strokes, from the base to the tip. After the first coat dries up, apply a second and let it dry.
Feet Care & Home Remedies
  • Foot lotion: Mix 3 tablespoons of rose water, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 teaspoon of pure glycerine together. Apply on the feet and leave on for 30 minutes.
  • Cooling foot bath: Add rose water, lemon juice and a splash of eau de cologne in cold water and soak your feet. It cools, cleans and removes odour.
  • Cooling massage oil: Take 100 ml of olive oil and add 2 drops of eucalyptus oil, 2 drops of rosemary oil and 3 drops of khus or rose oil. Mix and keep in an airtight glass jar. Use this oil mixture for a foot massage. It cools and protects the skin.
Foot Spa At Home!
A foot spa pays special attention to problem areas like the heels; cleanses and beautifies them and leaves you feeling more relaxed. A foot spa treatment may or may not include nail care.
  • Fill a tub with hot water. Add rose water or a few drops of rose or lavender essential oil, coarse salt and some pure almond oil. You can also add some rose petals and the petals of other flowers to create a spa-like ambience.
  • Soak your feet in the water for 15 minutes.
  • Use an almond or oatmeal scrub to scrub the feet. You may add dry ground orange and lemon peels, coarse salt or granulated sugar, yoghurt, milk and some oil. Sunflower, safflower, sesame seed (til) or olive could be your choice of oils. Mix all the ingredients to make the scrub.
  • After 15 to 20 minutes, apply gently over the feet with circular movements. Pay attention to the heels.
  • Wash off with water.
  • Massage with oil or cream.
  • Wipe off excess cream with a moist towel.
  • Mix one tablespoon honey with 50 ml rose water. Apply on your feet again.
  • Lie down and relax for half an hour.
  • Wash off with plain water.

Fish Spa Pedicure
Unusual and strange beauty treatments have been carried out since ancient times. Many of these have originated in the East and one such is the fish pedicure. It originated in Japan, but now has takers all over.
  • Originally fish therapy was used to treat skin diseases, but today, it is used for purposes like improving skin texture and relieving aching feet.
  • In fish therapy, the Garra Rufa Fish, a particularly toothless fish, is made to nibble away at your feet. It removes dead skin cells making the skin look more smooth and bright.
  • Removal of dead skin cells speeds up the cell renewal process, checks age-related decay of looks and prevents corns too.
  • The feet are immersed in warm and soothing water, which contain these fish. The treatment also induces relaxation and removes fatigue. It is said to be the perfect remedy for tired and aching feet because the nibbling action of the fish has a soothing effect on the nervous system.
  • Once the nibbling session is over, you are given a normal pedicure and massage.
Ensure that the place where you avail a fish pedicure follows proper standards of hygiene. Avoid a fish pedicure, if you have cuts and open wounds on your feet.
Shahnaz Husain Prominent Indian entrepreneur best known for herbal cosmetics, New Delhi.