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Hot weather means “sandal feet” and putting your toes on display. According to celebrity podiatrist Dr. Suzanne Levine, “Our feet tend to swell more from the summer heat, looking less attractive at a time when they are more visible in open shoes. Treat your feet the way you treat your face,” she says, repeating one of her often-quoted instructions.
Dr. Levine founded the Institute Beauté on Manhattan’s Park Avenue, and has authored seven books, including the best-seller, My Feet are Killing Me. Known in Manhattan as the Park Avenue podiatrist, or podiatrist in high heels, she says, “Swelling can cause problems year-round, but it’s especially troublesome in the summer, when people wear sandals and other shoes with straps. The inflammation aggravates bunions, bursas, corns and hammer toes.”
To combat the swelling and soothe sore feet Dr. Levine recommends adding half a cup of Epsom salts to a gallon of lukewarm water and soaking your feet for 15 minutes at the end of the day. “Ideally, it should be done every day, but if people are too busy, it should be done at least three times a week.
“You can also make a paste with Epsom salts and use it to exfoliate your feet,” Dr. Levine says. Her recipe: mix half a cup of Epsom salts with a holistic, natural moisturizing agent, such as 5% or 10% glycolic cream. She keeps a Tupperware container with the paste in the shower. “It’s fabulous,” Dr. Levine says. “It works on the callouses, makes the hard skin disappear and makes the foot feel better.”
Other foot advice from Dr. Levine:
Prevent ingrown toenails by trimming toenails straight across without cutting into the sides.
Use a pumice stone and a moisturizing agent to soothe callouses.
Bring your own equipment to your nail spa to help guard against fungus and other infections.
Apply zinc oxide sunscreen to your feet to reduce sun damage, including sun burn, premature aging of your skin and hyperpigmentation (an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color.)
To make your feet glow and feel luxuriously soft you can use a home foot mask.
Target carries PediSpa Intensive Moisturizing Mask which contains Shea butter, apple extract, and peppermint. Or try the PediSpa Gentle Exfoliating foot mask with chamomile and natural botanical fruit extracts to help control callus build-up.
Wear the little booties for 20-30 minutes. The box contains 2 pairs and sells for $9.99
Holika Holika Baby Silky Hand + Foot Mask Sheet Masks are from Korea and unlike the masks that make feet peel for up to two weeks, this is a skin softening mask.
It costs under $10, online.