Thursday, 30 January 2014

Give Yourself a Perfect Pedicure

Pedicures are often seen as a purely cosmetic procedure. But there is more to the pedicure than this. Pedicures help to keep the feet clean and healthy, besides looking nice. A busy lifestyle and the cost of a professional pedicure can often cause people to ignore the need for regular pedicures. The simple steps that follow will allow you to give yourself a quick and economical pedicure at home whenever it is convenient.
  • Clean your feet regularly. This does not mean just washing your feet when you bathe. Use a special nail brush to clean around and under the toenails to remove stubborn grime and dirt that has accumulated.
  • Remove dead and dry skin by soaking the feet in warm (not hot) water for about 5 minutes and then using a pumice stone or foot file to scrub away the skin from the soles of the feet. Follow this with an application of hydrating cream or lotion to keep the skin soft.
  • Smooth over the calluses. Calluses are the body’s way of protecting the feet by forming a protective layer of skin over those parts that are under pressure like the heels and the balls of the feet. A certain amount of callusing should be retained to ensure that the protection of your feet need is retained. But excessive callusing and dry and cracked skin should be removed to prevent a painful callus build up. The method used to smoothen out calluses will depend on how severe the problem is. For very thick calluses and hard dry cracked skin a heavy duty foot smoother or suitable file can be used. Lighter calluses and dry but not cracked skin can usually be removed by using a regular foot file or pumice stone. These lighter files and pumice stones can also be used to provide the final finish after a heavier tool has been used to remove thicker calluses. Once the calluses have been smoothened, regular scrubbing will prevent a recurring build of excess hard and dry skin. Keep in mind that the objective is to keep the calluses smooth, not to remove them completely.
  • Use a deep penetrating cream or lotion to moisturize the skin of the feet to keep it soft and supple. Pay special attention to the soles of the feet including the heels and the balls of the foot. Apply the cream to the cuticles also to keep them soft and easy to shape.
  • To control excess cuticle build up, soak the toes in warm water for a few minutes and use a towel or washcloth to push them back towards the base of the toenails. If this does not work, a special cuticle pusher can be used. If there is an excessive amount of cuticle build up a cuticle nipper can be used to trim them. Be careful only to trim the dead cuticle area and not the live skin that is around the nails.
  • The shape of the toenails is important not just because of appearance but also to prevent them from getting damaged. The best way to cut the nails is trim them in a straight line  so that they are even at the end of the toes. Long nails can hit against the front of the shoes and cause pain and soreness. Nails kept too short can result in painful ingrown toenails that may require a visit to a doctor. Use a toenail clipper or special toenail scissors for the job. Once the nails have been clipped smoothen the edges with a nail file to prevent them snagging on socks or stockings.
Follow these simple steps regularly to keep your feet clean, smooth and healthy.

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