1. Remove hard and dead skin
Buff your dry feet with a foot file to remove dead skin on the heels, edges and balls of the feet. Avoid directly cutting off damaged skin, as this will start a healing process that will make the skin come back even tougher and thicker. Also avoid filing wet skin, as this can damage the healthy skin around and underneath. If you have old nail polish on your nails, be sure to remove it with an acetone-free nail polish remover as well.
2. Foot bath
Fill a bowl with warm water till the water covers your ankles. Add some epsom salt or a foot bath oil to the water, to sooth inflammation and to remove toxins. Soak for 10-20 min.
3. Foot scrub
Use a foot scrub and massage it into your feet to remove dead skin. Rinse with water and pad your feet dry with a clean towel.
4. Shape your nails
Cut your nails with nail clippers. Aim to make a straight or slightly rounded edge, preferably using small snippets at a time to avoid breaking the nail. Buff the sides with a nail file to smooth the edges. Avoid cutting the corners too deep, as it can result in painful ingrown nails.
If you need to, gently push back the cuticles a bit with a wooden orange stick. Be sure not to push them too fare and be careful not to pull, lift, tear, rip, force or cut into the cuticle, as it can cause damage and infection to the nail.
5 Moisturizing massage
Apply a heavy moisturizer and massage it thoroughly into your feet. Leave it for a couple of minutes to soak in and remove the excess. Alternatively you can apply a thick layer and wear socks to bed, to let the product soak in over night.
(6. Nail polish)
If you want to add a new coat of nail polish, now is the time. Be aware that nails work like a sponge; they will soak up water and oil, and become larger until the excess is absorbed or evaporated. Clean your nails with paper towel and make sure they are fully dry and oil free before applying nail polish.
Stick to a maximum of two layers to avoid a bubbly uneven look; like a base coat and a dark color, two layers of a less opaque nail polish or a layer of nail polish with a clear topcoat. Always wait for your polish to dry completely in between. Note that blowing air on your nails or applying heat won’t make the polish dry faster – alternatively go for quick-drying nail polishes if you’re in a hurry.
Use a toe separator to avoid smudging your polish. Clean up any mistakes with nail polish remover and a tiny brush or cotton swap. Let your nails dry completely, wash your feet and apply nail oil to the cuticles to compensate for the drying nail polish remover.
Always wear flip flops to public pools and showers to save your feet from contagious fungus. Also be sure to give your feet air, especially in cold weather where your feet will be covered most of the time. If you have ingrown nails or are dealing with yellow or infected nails, be sure to visit a doctor or a dermatologist. Also wearing well fitted shoes with plenty of ventilation will prevent calluses and fungus, and will ensure that your nails stay healthy and pain-free.