Spring spells time to show off your feet. So I've been packing away the comfy Uggs and riding boots of winter while pining for fancy flip flops (make mine leopard gladiators from Tar-jay, Dahling), color-blocked sandals and sky-high, ankle-strap wedges that put the focus on my feet.
My friend Teresa Taylor
and her gorgeous feet
on the beach in Maui
inspired this post.
Hello summer shoes! To get my feet sandal-ready, I layer mega moisturizers like these from my toes to my ankles, morning and night. Tests show that continued use of these spa-quality lotions can make feet noticeably smoother in as little as one to two weeks. Besides helping my skin look better, they're paraben-free, absorb quickly and can be a real comfort to overworked feet.
Atopalm Moisturizing Foot and Heel Balm - Uses natural ingredients such as olive oil, eucalyptus, grape seed and Portulaca Oleracea Extract to hydrate, condition and sooth feet. Massaging on this rich, fragrance-free cream provides an instant moisture boost that makes even cracked, sensitive heels feel better. ($18 for 4 ounces at Atopalm.com)
La Source Ultra Moisturising Foot Remedy - Contains Shea butter and sweet almond oil blended with a super-moisturizing protein from Antarctica. Morning and evening use of this luxurious lotion leaves my feet soft, relaxed and freshly scented. ($25 for 3.5 ounces at Crabtree-evelyn.com)
True Blue Spa Effervescent Foot Soak
Like other Bath & Body Works True Blue products, these super-softening blue granules give you a spa-like experience at home. I like tossing a handful in a tub filled with ankle-deep warm water. You can also put them in a footbath if you're lucky enough to have one.
Although called "effervescent," these tiny pebbles don't cause much of a fizz. Instead, they dissolve instantly, turning the water bright blue. You simply step in to enjoy the comforting medley of rose and orange peel extract, aloe, chamomile and lavender. Ahhh!
Soak as long as you like. For me, that means at least 15 minutes of relaxing, reading and breathing in this foot friend's delicious aroma. Great for at-home pedicures, it works wonders for your mood as well as your feet.
On the Shelf: $15 for 11.5 ounces at BathandBodyWorks.com and Bath & Body Works stores
Made to dish out tough love, this light lotion contains Alpha Hydroxy Acids that help get rid of dead skin.
Since it's best to exfoliate first, I save this callus eliminator for evening (daily use is recommended) when I have more time. I begin by dabbing Mama Mio's Omega Body Buff on each foot and either washing it off with water or, when time allows, putting my feet in the True Blue Spa Effervescent Foot Soak. You can also use a pumice stone.
I then massage the Spa-Strength Callus Treatment into my heels and other dry patches, squeezing the tube gently because you don't need a lot. Eucalyptus oil gives the lotion a strong, spearminty smell that tells you it means business. And glycerin helps skin retain moisture. So long ugly calluses!
On the Shelf: $15 for 4 ounces at BathandBodyWorks.com and Bath & Body Works stores
I have a weakness for summer heels ... the higher the better. Unfortunately, my feet seldom agree with my fashion choices. That's when I call on these super pick-me-ups. Much healthier than popping an Advil, they absorb quickly and provide the perfect prescription for tired tootsies.
Bigelow Mentha Tingling Foot Cream - Blends aloe and peppermint oil to
cool feet and curb their odor. After a long day running errands, this ultra-minty formula can be incredibly invigorating. True to its name, the award-winning cream makes your feet tingle so they feel refreshed and ready for whatever the evening holds in store. ($13 for 4 ounces at Bigelowchemists.com and C.O. Bigelow)
La Source Reviving Foot and Leg Mist - Mixes peppermint oil and menthol to sooth aching legs and feet. I take this lightly scented spray when Bob and I go to the ranch because the bottle fits easily in my bag. And rubbing it on my legs and feet is a refreshing treat after a long, hot day climbing hills in two-inch heels (they're hardly practical but ever so pretty!). It cools, conditions and smoothes my skin. ($15 for 2.7 ounces at Crabtree-evelyn.com and Crabtree & Evelyn stores)
Mama Mio Lucky Legs - Contains V-Tonic, a special blend of safe, essential plant oils (like lemon, lavandin and cypress), that's like a mini-spa treatment. This energizing cream can be just what the doctor ordered after a day in sexy stilettos or sky-high platforms that leaves your feet swollen and frazzled. Planning a night on the town? Just massage Lucky Legs from your knees to your toes for minty-fresh pain relief and an instant lift. It moisturizes, tones skin and even helps reduce puffiness.
Topricin Foot Therapy Cream - Includes 14 regulated homeopathic biomedicines medicines that target ankle and foot pain. Using this do-it-all ointment before wearing heels can help reduce pain and injury. Afterwards, it can relieve any burning, throbbing nerve pain in your feet while moisturizing dry, cracked skin.
I like keeping this natural pain killer in my nightstand because sometimes, no matter what shoes I wear, my toes go into middle-of-the-night spasms. Talk about a rude awakening! That's when it really helps to have Topricin handy. It's safe and can be applied as many times as needed to calm my cranky feet. Plus, it's odorless, greaseless and doesn't stain my sheets. ($16.95 for 2 ounces at Topricin.com and pharmacies, natural food stores and other retailers nationwide)