Summer is here which means strappy shoe season is too! But if you're going to show off your feet in some strappy shoes or even go barefoot while vacationing, then you have to make sure you're putting your best foot forward (pun intended).

Proper footcare isn't just about painting your toenails and calling it a day. Like any other body part, you have to take care of your feet on a regular basis to keep them healthy and looking good. At-home pedicures are the perfect way to make sure you give your feet the TLC they really deserve.

You first want to start off by removing old nail polish that's on your nails. Afterwards, you can trim and file your nails to your liking making sure that you file the edges to help prevent ingrown toenails. If you notice you already have an ingrown toenail, getting rid of it might seem like a DIY job but that's actually what podiatrists are for. They know how to deal with ingrown nails without causing unnecessary pain that you could inflict on yourself.

It's time for a good foot soak that will help soften your skin and reduce swelling. There are all sorts of recipes for you try but a perfect one make is this homemade peppermint soak:

1/2 cup baking soda

1/2 cup coarse sea salt

1 cup Epsom salt

10 drops spearmint oil

10 drops peppermint oil

5 drops tea tree oil

5 drops rosemary oil

Optional: 2 teaspoons of dry peppermint leaves

 

Soak your feet for about 15-20 minutes. The longer you've soaked your feet, the softer they'll become and the easier they'll be to exfoliate. Whether you visit a salon or do it at home, exfoliating on a monthly pedicures is actually not enough. To keep them in their best shape, you should actually be exfoliating once or twice a week to remove dead skin and prevent callouses. Pick one of these DIY recipes and scrub away!

 

If you already have callouses, never clip or shave them off because the sudden removal will just cause your body to create thicker callouses. Use a foot file or pumice stone instead to buff it away and then follow up with a good moisturizer. Backless or strappy shoes can leave your feet more susceptible to drying and cracking, especially around the heel area. To fight that dryness, look for a keratolytic moisturizer which directly targets those layers of dry skin and apply it on a daily basis. Manula oil and vitamin E can help to soften and moisturize toenails and tea tree oil's properties can help you avoid fungal infections. But do note that tea tree oil should only be used as a preventative measure and not as treatment of already existing infections.

 

 

Now you're ready to push back your cuticles. Wooden orange sticks are a common choice but you can also go with a reusable stainless steel one to get the job done. Your cuticles protect you from bacteria and other undesirables that would otherwise be able to enter your body through the space between your skin and nails so don’t' cut them off!

Last but not least, time to paint your nails. Use a little bit of that non-acetone remover to remove any excess oils on your nails. Pick your favorite base coat and apply that before applying color. The standard is two coats of color but you may need to add an extra layer or two if the color is very sheer. Finish off with a protective top coat and voila! You'll have the best looking piggies at the bank, market, or anywhere else you go.