Soak It UpStart with a soak to soften and cleanse feet, while setting the stage for relaxation. "A good soak is the key to making an at-home pedi feel like a salon experience," says celebrity manicurist Elsbeth Shuetz, who recommends Nailtini Club Soda Fizz ($18, tinibeauty.com) or Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Sea Foam Foot Soak ($15, crabtree-evelyn.com).
Fill a basin with warm water and add your soak of choice. For a DIY alternative, mix sea salt with sprigs of rosemary and fresh mint. Up the indulgence factor by placing massage rocks at the bottom of the basin and rub your feet over them for a quick foot massage. "Soaking softens calluses and rough patches, making them easier to remove or buff away," Shuetz says.
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Exfoliate, Exfoliate, ExfoliateNow that your soles have been softened, the most important step is to remove dead skin cells and smooth calluses. "After soaking feet, use a sugar scrub to exfoliate dry areas," says Jessica Knepper, licensed nail technician at Tricoci University of Beauty Culture. Knepper recommends creating your own sugar scrubs at home by mixing grape seed oil with brown sugar to form a paste. "Grape seed oil is a mild astringent and easily absorbed by the skin," says Knepper. We also like Bath By Bettijo CocoaMint Fresh Foot Scrub ($29, bathbybettijo.com), which combines hydrating cocoa butter and antibacterial sugar with peppermint essential oil to revive aching muscles.
When it comes to exfoliating, concentrate on scrubbing the heel and ball of the foot. Slowly remove dead skin cells layer by layer, taking care not to irritate any cuts or blisters. Exfoliating is a gradual process and should be a daily summertime ritual; don't try to get feet super smooth in one sitting.
Callus CareAs a runner, you need your calluses to protect your feet from the friction caused by pounding the pavement. "If you have rough patches, use a gentle foot file to take away only the skin that comes away easily after soaking or showering," Shuetz says. "Going too deep can irritate and make running painful. Calluses can provide natural protection from impact or friction, so removing too much takes away some of that barrier."
Avoid harsh shavers or scrapers and only use soft scrubs. Pevonia Botanica Skincare Callus-Free Dry Oil ($32, shoppevonia.com) exfoliates calluses with salicylic acids and safflower oil. Spray all-natural Deborah Lippmann Get Off Callus Softener ($38, lippmanncollection.com) on tough skin to soften calluses, corns and cracks.
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