Through the bathroom door, the voice inquires, “What are you doing?” In those rare moments late in the evening when the rest of the house is either asleep or winding down from a long day, it is nice to have a room in which the door can be closed to reveal the less than attractive aspects of the body. In answer, I call out, “I’m exfoliating my feet, do you want to join me?” I know the answer. It is expressed in a sound rather than words. While time is often dedicated to our face and hair, how would you describe your feet and hands? Dry, itchy or rough, or soft and smooth? Based on the answer, your body and your work are impacted. It takes minutes every day to acquire the soft skin our body craves. The solution is both simple and relaxing.
Foot care is a priority. When your feet are happy and healthy, the rest of your body will feel good, too. While we may not be able to walk along a coastline of sand every day, there are simple methods to ease rough, dry, or cracked feet.
- Dry Skin: The skin on our feet is naturally dry, and sometimes, the best solution is to moisturize frequently. Simply wash your feet before bed, apply moisturizer or oil; then, slip on a pair of thin cotton socks, and allow time to soothe your feet. By morning, your feet should be hydrated and soft
- Rough Feet: Dry skin that escalates into flaking requires exfoliation. One method is to find a cream or scrub that is specifically for feet. It will contain small pumice granules or fine grains of salt. The application procedure is identical to how to eliminate dry skin.
- Calluses and Cracked Feet: Tools such as pumice stones can help remove dead skin, and especially soften calluses. Greater results occur when feet are wet, rather than dry; therefore, use a pumice stone when showering. Regardless of the condition of your feet, soaking, applying foot scrubs to exfoliate, or masks to hydrate the skin are important for healthy feet. Make it a routine to care for your feet at least twice to three times, weekly.
Tip: Every time you walk barefoot, your body will impose calluses on your feet; therefore, wear socks or slippers.
Hand and Nail Care
The hands are the workhorses of the body. Every day, our hands engage in light to vigorous activities such as lifting, grasping, washing, twisting, and pulling in a variety of extreme temperatures and conditions. Beyond the task of maintaining germ-free hands, we must be diligent in the prevention of dry and cracked skin.
- Choose a nondrying soap that will not strip the skin of natural oils. Oil of Olay and Dove, for example, will moisturize and soften the hands. (One of the simplest actions is to keep a pump or open-top lotion bottle near the sink or in your purse.)
- Ensure your hand cream includes, at a minimum, an SPF 25 to protect against lines, spots, and skin cancer.
- Cuticles, too, can be cared for by rubbing a drop of cuticle cream or oil at the base of each nail.
- In the shower, consider keeping a nail scrubber to eliminate dirt and grime, which may not be noticed if nail polish is worn regularly.
Tip: Make an effort to protect your hands with gloves when working with hot water, chemicals, or yard or garden related activities.
Tip: If you suffer from hang nails, consider taking flaxseed daily. The Omega-3s will strengthen nails and hair follicles, and lock in moisture.
With every glass of water, you are promoting radiance and healthy-looking skin. It is the first defense in the prevention of dryness. As you sit in your room of privacy to apply moisturizers or masks, scrubs or to exfoliate your skin, consider having a glass of cucumber water with you. In this grand escape of personal time, remember, you can also create a feeling of serenity, too.