Monday, 11 August 2014

The Selfie Pedicure!

Open toes, pretty toes, smooth feet, soft feet, happy toes, happy feet, light legs, light on my feet, skip through the street, skip along the beach.
    Washing someone else’s feet or someone washing your feet is seen as a sign of respect… respect yourself – wash your feet.

A very wise, very well spoken man once said, wash your feet and all your body is clean.

The Selfie Pedicure….

First, sit yourself on the edge of the bath, shower basin, bidet, or if you are into stretching incorporate a leg stretch and wash your feet in the sink! But actually wash them… often the feet get ignored to a point of washing the rest of the body and as the feet got wet and some soap on them because they were in the bath or shower at the same time that constitutes a wash, it doesn’t.Open toed summer shoes and bare feet leave the feet dirty, dusty and dry… dust and dirt are drying to your skin. Wash your feet at the end of every day before you get into bed.

 Exfoliator is a granular product that gently removes dead skin cells and ingrained dirt. Through gently sloughing off the dead, rough skin cells with an exfoliating product you will reveal younger healthier skin, which will have a more youthful feel and colour. You will also be stimulating the production of new skin cells from below the skins surface… cell regeneration!…  Anything you put on your skin after an exfoliation is better absorbed into the skin, so moisturising is more effective and nourishing to the young skin you’ve revealed.

A gentle exfoliating product (one with fine grains, and not too many of them) is recommended for use all over the feet and up the lower legs.
Massage the exfoliator into the bottoms of the feet in circular motions, and swiftly over the tops of the feet and up the lower legs – pressure on the up towards the heart – to improve circulation.

Use a rougher exfoliating product (one with bigger grains and more of them), like a salt scrub, over the areas of hard or dry skin – typically the heels of the feet – you will find this skin on the areas of your feet where your body weight is being supported – or where shoes are rubbing.  (You can mix your own with sea salt and olive oil, even a little lime!)

Using a clean towel, dry your feet - well!! Dry in-between your toes and up your legs. You should ensure you dry your feet, and in-between your toes, well, every time you wash them.  Dampness in-between toes, feet getting warm… toes pressing together holding onto the warmth and dampness… provides a perfect condition for fungal growth.

Now your toes are clean and nails softened you should be able to the cut the nails easily.Cut them straight across and not too close the pink of the nail. If you cut the nails down at the sides of the nails you have more chance of developing in-growing toe nails with the pressure of shoes against the toe the nail can simply grow into the nail wall – this is not comfortable and can cause infection. By keeping the sides of the nails above or at the height of the nail wall they will not grow into it. Cut off the length of the nail but not too close the pink of the nail. Where the pink nail (nail plate/nail bed) turns into the white of the nail (the free edge) is line called the hyponychium, this is a waterproof protective seal, and it stops dirt and bacteria entering the nail bed (the soft, pink skin under the hard nail plate), if you force this line down or break the barrier you are more susceptible to bacterial and fungal nail infections. Respect the line!  Using a clean nail file – yes you can clean your nail files – in-fact I would recommend it – antibacterial soap and a nail brush will do the job – file of any sharp catches. Using the file in one direction, rather than seesawing at the nail is recommended to prevent splitting of the nail. 

Using a nice thick moisturiser, - if your flexible lay on your back with your legs in the air (great for circulation)– if that’s a little much sit comfortably and start massaging the cream into your feet, if you want some extra richness add some olive oil to your moisturiser – be sensible and do not try to walk on a floor you might slip on after this – massage the cream (and oil mix) into your nails, base of the nails – where the nail grows from – over the bottoms of your feet and up your legs. Take your time – this is a treat.

You can either stop here and put on a clean pair of socks to hold in the moisture or move on to the next stages of the selfie pedicure.

If your cuticles are dry and stuck to the nail plate add a little extra oil to them, massage this in and then use an orange wood stick to gently push them back. This is to stop the cuticle adhering to the nail plate and being pulled up the growing nail plate – which can cause splitting and tearing of the cuticle.
Base coats protect the nail from nail varnish and staining, provide a nice smooth base for the nail varnish, and act as a mild ridge filler, they also help the nail varnish adhere and last longer.

Apply two coats of your favourite colour – avoiding the cuticle and without ‘flooding’ the nail walls.

Apply a top coat to give extra shine, bring out the colour and help the nail colour last.
Put up your feet and enjoy!!!!

And how do you maintain healthy feet!?

Wash and dry your feet – especially in-between your toes. A fungus in a microscopic plant that very much enjoys damp warm skin, where it can thrive and live off the protein in your skin… commonly called athletes foots, commonly developing in-between the toes.  If you exercise a lot, wear close toed shoes and socks a lot (especially if accompanied by lots of walking), have naturally damp feet, or are prone to athletes foot, a little sprinkle of talc/ corn flour / or specially medicated anti-fungal talc’s can be easy applied to keep dampness at bay and remove the perfect environment for fungus to grow.

Thick skin builds up for a reason – protection of the delicate tissues underneath – you will often find it where your joints are – these need protecting from pressure to avoid damage and so you have a special layer of skin that is found on the soles of the feet and palms of the hands just for this purpose – the Stratum Lucidum – it is a layer of cells filled with a hard yellowy protein called eledin – and it thickens to provide cushioning. Cutting into or removing it will encourage faster regrowth of this layer of skin, which will become very dry and may crack. By doing this you are removing your skins natural protection… this protection will build up where your body weight is being specifically applied to one point– do you need to reconsider what shoes you are wearing? Are you standing evenly?

Look after your feet all year round, it doesn’t take long, it isn’t expensive, it’s really very easy… simple things like washing them at the end of the day, drying them well -especially in-between your toes – spend a few moments massaging in some moisturising cream - cover all of your foot and include your toe nails and the base of the nail where the toe nail grows from, and then slipping on a pair of clean socks!

If you want to go the extra mile massage them while laying comfortably on your bed with your legs in the air – you can rest them against the wall – and include your legs in the massage too, massage towards the heart for circulations sake J

And if you want to go the extra, extra mile every now and then you can treat your self to a professional pedicure – someone doing all the above and a little more for you!

This is the key to happy, healthy feet.