Foot Loose

4.25.2014

By Julien Sauvalle

Don't be afraid to free your feet this summer

Sandals, from left: Lanvin, $660; Kenzo, price available upon request; Salvatore Ferragamo, $420. (Photography by Aingeru Zorita)

When it comes to men’s bodies, feet are a veritable battleground. Given the potential for everything from mangy toenails to odor to cracked-up calluses, it’s often easier to just pretend they’re not there. But with beach and sandal season approaching, it’s time to lighten up and take action. We booked our first-ever pedicure with Joey Chim, pedicurist at Manhattan’s Townhouse Spa (TownHouseSpa.com), and received the ultimate foot treatment. Here’s what she taught us.

Nurse Your Nails
Soak your feet in warm water for a few minutes, then clip your toenails while they’re still soft. “The corners might be a bit difficult to get: Use a nipper to cut off the sharp edges safely,” says Chim. Then, with a disposable nail file (it’s less damaging to your nails) even them out into a round shape. Follow by applying some cuticle oil at the bottom of your nails, and, using a pusher, gently push them back. Use your nipper to cut off the skin that sticks out.

File Away
Start by gently scrubbing the dead skin off with a double-sided foot file. Go for the thick skin around your heels and by your big toes, then proceed to the tips of your toes, and end with the sides of your feet. The best way to soften calluses is to wrap your feet in a callus patch, but this treatment is best left to professionals. “If you do it yourself and leave the patch on too long, you risk burn- ing your skin,” Chim says. A good at-home alternative is to soak your feet in epsom salts and baking soda dissolved in warm water for five to 10 minutes before filing them. Every other day, use a good foot scrub (see below).

The Heavy-Duty Scrub
After your feet are prepped and rinsed, file the calluses in a firm, steady movement, as if you were rubbing a stain off your clothes. Start with the rough patches around your big toes, move on to the soles of your feet, and finish with your heels. If you’re doing it right, you’ll see layers of dead skin falling off (sorry for the visual!). Clean up with a few more minutes of soaking, dry your feet, and apply your favorite foot cream. The final touch: a clear shine on your nails, which you should achieve with a buffer. You’ll end up feeling like you’re walking on clouds.

NEXT: 5 FOOT CARE ESSENTIALS

Tags: Grooming
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