Spa

Be honest: Whether you’re male or female, your feet can sometimes get a bit skanky – and it’s no wonder. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, an average day of routine walking places several hundred tons of pressure (no exaggeration!) on your tired tootsies. If you’re a power walker, hiker or runner, you subject your feet to even greater friction and pressure.

Spa pedicures are a wonderful luxury, but treatments are pricey for high-maintenance feet. Why not whip up some do-it-yourself recipes for organic beauty treatments? They’re fast, simple, ideal for home use and budget-friendly.

One important note: If you happen to suffer from diabetes, which impedes circulation to the feet, always get permission from your physician or podiatrist before self-treating your feet.


Bedtime Piña Colada Callus Treatment

Calluses, those thickened patches of dead skin that form on your heels and toes, generally worsen during summer and winter months, when skin is extra-dry. If left unattended, you may develop fissures: extremely painful cracks in the skin – particularly on the backs of your heels – that may bleed and become infected.

Don’t let calluses reach this point. You’ll need to soak your feet, reduce hardened skin with a natural pumice stone and moisturize to rehydrate thirsty tissue.

Ingredients

1 footbath (use a large, clean bucket if you don’t own one)
2 to 3 cups organic pineapple juice
½ cup organic coconut milk
1 natural pumice stone
1 organic cotton bath towel
Your favorite organic moisturizer for extra-dry skin
A pair of organic cotton socks

Directions

  1. Add the pineapple juice to the footbath. Pineapple contains a natural enzyme called bromelain, which breaks down hardened skin.
  2. Add the coconut milk and stir well.
  3. Soak your feet for approximately 8-10 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.
  4. Apply the pumice stone to calloused areas and rub gently. Don’t overdo it! You don’t want to irritate or remove too much tender skin.
  5. Towel dry. Apply your favorite organic moisturizer while feet are still damp.
  6. Put on your organic cotton socks and wear them through the night, as you sleep. You’ll awaken with much softer feet!

Note: If you have severe calluses or heel fissures, you may need to see a podiatrist so he can excise the tough layers of skin. Never attempt “bathroom surgery” – cutting skin with a beauty-store blade or other sharp instrument. You risk injuring yourself and invite infection. Also avoid open-backed shoes (flip flops, sandals or pumps), which slap against the heels and create friction.


Don’t Sweat It! Foot Spa

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If you work out, with your feet cooped up in closed running or athletic shoes, you’re prone to develop “hyperhidrosis” (excessive sweating), which can be both embarrassingly odorous and uncomfortable.

Ingredients

1 footbath (use a large, clean bucket if you don’t own one)
Warm water
4 to 6 drops of organic tea tree oil
1 organic cotton bath towel

Directions

  1. Fill your footbath with warm water. (Don’t use hot water, which promotes dry skin.)
  2. Turn on the footbath’s massage and heating features for a relaxing, rejuvenating soak.
  3. Add the organic tea tree oil, which has antiseptic, astringent and antifungal properties. It not only helps dry out sweaty feet, but also eliminates fungus and lurking germs.
  4. Soak your feet for approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Towel dry, particularly between the toes. (Moisture between the toes encourages a nasty case of athlete’s foot.)
  6. Sprinkle some Luxurious Lemon Shoe Deodorizer (recipe below) into your athletic shoes to absorb perspiration and eliminate odor.

Note: We like the HoMedics Foot Salon Elite Luxury Pedicure Foot Bubbler (pictured above), which includes a remote control to adjust bubbles, massage and infrared heat therapy – plus an acupressure surface with pressure points to massage your feet. Also included: a pumice stone, cleansing brush and massage rollers to stimulate circulation. HoMedics’ suggested retail price is $59.99, but the Bubbler is available at Linens ‘n Things for $49.99.


Luxurious Lemon Shoe Deodorizer

Eliminate odor from your athletic or running shoes with this lemony organic beauty cure.

Ingredients

½ cup baking soda
½ cup organic cornstarch
1 eco-friendly storage container with cover
About 15 drops of organic lemon essential oil

Directions

  1. Evenly combine the baking soda and cornstarch in your container.
  2. Add the lemon essential oil and mix well. Cover and let it sit overnight to blend and absorb the fragrance.
  3. Sprinkle some of the deodorizer (a little goes a long way) into your athletic or running shoes each night (or at least 4 hours before wearing them). Shake out shoes before putting them on.
  4. Repeat once a day until shoe odor is reduced. It may take several treatments to fully eliminate odors.

Note: Changing your socks regularly will decrease perspiration odor that leaches into your shoes. We recommend Gaiam’s Organic Cotton Socks for both men and women.