Pedicures don’t always need to involve making a trip to the salon and spending a bomb. You can treat your feet to a good pedicure at home too, provided you know the right regime and use the right products and tools. Sharad Kulkarni, in-house ayurvedic doctor at Kama Ayurveda, and Shikhee Agrawal, head trainer at The Body Shop India, have listed the regime:
* File your toe nails well. Go bold with proper, neat and trimmed nails to attain all-out foot- care.
* Go for consistent pedicures as it helps get rid of dead and hard heel skin. Use a foot file, or a pumice stone to gently rub away the hard skin and apply quick moisturiser to soften the skin.
* Nourish the cuticles. Rub off dead skin growth from the corner of the nails and paint them up using an almond or coconut oil for proper nourishment and moisturised feet.
* Keep nail lacquers at bay. Let your nails breathe from time to time. This can help fade discolouration, with just the white one.
* Use a powerful detoxifier like Himalayan pink salt and dissolve it in water. It draws out toxins from the adipose tissues, resulting in the body feeling lighter and more energised. It also further reduces muscle soreness and cramps.
* Add an essential oil of your choice to your foot soak, to make the process a bit more relaxing.
* If you need to further exfoliate, use scrubs with kernels of apricot, almond, walnut or pine nut, as these make excellent natural polishers without being too harsh on the skin.
* Use a rose oil as it is hydrating, antimicrobial, and good for muscle pulls and cramps. It is also relaxing, and helps dissipate anxiety. Lavender is another great option, if you are looking to go to bed straight after the regime. Peppermint, thyme, tea tree, and eucalyptus essential oils are also antibacterial, deodorising, analgesic, and good for healing infections and wounds. Cedarwood and basil oils work well for soreness.
* Push back cuticles with the right tool and cut and clean your nails at this stage.
* Finally, wipe your hands and feet with a soft towel, and use a richly hydrating cream. Any good one designed for hand and foot care, would have natural butters like almond, cocoa, shea, mango, and kokum (mangosteen).
* For those who enjoy oil massages, natural herb, bark, and spice formulations, blended in healing oils, are highly recommended. Sesame oil is a quintessential go-to in Indian households. Massage oils with pain-relieving pepper, camphor, ashwagandha, manjishtha, and lavender or sandalwood are ideal.
For a fuss-free, efficient clean-up of the oil, wrap your hands or feet in a hot towel for a few minutes, then gently wipe as you pull the towel off.
* Put socks on your feet, so that the warmth and moisture of the cream remains locked in. A useful tip if you are going to bed straight after, so all the creamy hydration soaks into your skin through the night.
* Apply sunscreen to your feet. Do not just halt to ankle, go on to put sunscreen on your feet as well. These not only protect your feet, but also protect protein made nails that are more defenceless to sun damage.