Beauty

3 Simple Ways To Get Soft and Smooth Feet Just in Time for Flip-flop Season

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If you’re like us, the thought of showcasing your winter-worn feet has you dreading flip-flop season. But it’s a cinch to get tootsies in tip-top shape so you can step into spring — and slip into a pair of sandals — with confidence. Read on to discover the simple solutions…

To nix toenail fungus.

Warm, moist environments, like closed-toe footwear, can breed toenail fungus. The fix? New Jersey podiatrist Dana Canuso, DPM, advises soaking feet in a mix of tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar. “Tea tree oil inhibits the growth of new fungus, while apple cider vinegar fights fungus that’s already present.”

To do: Fill a large basin with 4 cups of warm water, 6 drops of tea tree oil and 1 cup of apple cider vinegar. Soak feet for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry. Done twice a day, Dr. Canuso says results can be seen in three to five days.

To remove calluses.

When bony areas on our feet rub up against tight footwear, skin overproduces the protein keratin as a way to protect itself from the friction, resulting in calluses. But a salicylic acid patch like Dr. Scholl’s Duragel Salicylic Acid Callus Remover Cushion (Buy from DrScholls.com, $5.99) works twofold to get rid of them. The willow bark–derived acid breaks down the accumulation of keratin, dissolving rough, hardened spots after 48 hours of consecutive wear. Adds Dr. Canuso, “The patches cushion calluses against friction to keep them from worsening.”

To soften rough heels.

Since the skin along our heels lacks oil glands, it makes the area susceptible to extreme dryness that can lead to painful cracking. For heels that look and feel smoother stat, Dr. Canuso suggests this two-step approach:

First, warm 1 cup of olive oil in the microwave for 30 seconds, then pour equal amounts into two large plastic baggies. Place your heels in the baggies for 15 minutes; remove and rub in residue. The heated oil allows its moisturizing and repairing oleic acid to deeply absorb into heels, mending cracks and softening thick layers of skin so it can be easily removed.

Next, use a loofah sponge that’s infused with shea and cocoa butters like Rinse Bath & Body Co. Bamboo Loofah Soap (Buy from RinseSoap.com, $7) to buff away dead skin on the heels. “The vitamin E in these butters hydrates skin, while the loofah’s material gently exfoliates without being abrasive.”

Repeat steps as needed every other day until your soles are silky-smooth.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.

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