It’s hibernation time for sandals and flip-flops - not for your feet.
The cold weather is upon us. Before you simply shove your feet into socks and shoes, keep in mind there are a few simple things you can do to keep 'em happy, healthy and sexy. Spending a few extra minutes each day will truly make a difference. Here's our guide.
Beware: Long, hot foot soaks can be drying to your skin
Although it feels wonderful, soaking your feet for a long time in hot water can actually be detrimental to the health of the skin on your feet. Many foot soak products on the market contain ingredients that will leach moisture from your feet, leaving your feet drier in the end. If you soak, opt for warm water instead of hot and keep it simple by adding a few drops of essential oils which calm and soothe, like Chamomile or Lavender.
Keep moving with a daily ritual of exercising your feet.
Did you know that the extremities of the body (especially hands and feet) experience lower than normal blood circulation in colder temperatures? It doesn't have to be very cold; it's your body's way of bringing blood closer to your heart for survival. Increase foot circulation with simple flex and point movements and circular foot/ankle rotations. This in turn will promote the health of your skin, toenails and cuticles. If you have diabetes you possibly already know it’s especially important to keep your feet warm and your blood flowing.
Clean and dry your feet well - every day
Washing your feet well each day will help to keep infections at bay. Proper cleansing helps reduce the risks of fungus, bacteria, cracking, peeling, odour....and on goes the list. Keeping your feet clean and dry is the single most important thing you can do to keep your feet healthy. If you struggle with infections during the rest of the year, winter is the time to be more vigilant.
Weekly exfoliation and masque treatment
Thick, dry and dead skin creates a barrier which prevents even the best moisturizer from penetrating the skin. Remove it every week after softening it in the bath or shower. Heidi recommends escaping the feeling of winter with her own ritual. On wet skin, she polishes away rough spots on wet feet, ankles and calves with a tablespoon of our Tropical Body Scrub- revealing soft, healthy skin. Next comes a simple foot massage using Heidi's Silky Masque. Designed to be left on the skin, it restores even chronically dry skin to a smooth texture. This is an intensive spa-treatment that you can do for yourself at home, for a fraction of the cost of a weekly pedicure.
Always apply moisturizer to clean feet. To intensify the benefit of your moisturizer, apply at bedtime and wear some light socks overnight. We recommend 100% cotton for breathability as synthetic materials can make your feet sweaty which can invite fungal infections. Heidi's Velvet Heels® Repair Balm breaks down hardened, dry skin to penetrate and emulsify damaged areas and contains healing extracts of aloe vera, shea butter, green tea, chamomile, rosemary and ginseng root.
While your toes may be hidden under layers of warmth, it’s still very important to keep them well-groomed to avoid painful ingrown toenails. An application of polish can liven up their appearance and keep your feet looking their best. Don’t skip the base coat application- this is how you prevent staining and yellowing of the nails.
Look on the bright side
Attitude is everything. Embrace the simple things that make your feet feel wonderful. Indulging in some well-made boots, fuzzy or colorful socks, even beautiful stockings can make you feel warm all over and cheer up your winter wardrobe. Appealing, effective foot care products, the ones you are excited to use, are another way to enjoy keeping your feet healthy and sexy during winter. And don't despair- before you know it, it will be time to wear flip flops and sandals again. You will be ready.