As we slip into late summer, everything gets a little looser and a little lazier, as vacations, weekend road trips, and backyard barbecues take center stage and the work-a-day life gets a little less consideration. It’s the time of year when lace-up shoes and even slip-on sneakers get kicked off in favor of good old flip-flops. Before we let our feet get practically naked, though, let’s take a few steps to make sure they not only survive flip-flop season, but they can also look great in them all summer long.
First, let’s be clear, while flip-flops may not be the best thing for your feet, wearing them is sure better than going barefoot. In fact, the American Podiatric Medical Association warns that going barefoot can result in getting plantar warts on the soles of your feet, as well as ringworm fungus, and other infections. That said, flip-flops are not your healthiest footwear option, either. OrthoBethesda, a group of board certified orthopaedic surgeons based in Bethesda, Maryland, cautions that wearing them too often can affect your posture, toes, skin, heels and arches. What’s more, there’s also the potential for blisters, balance issues, and plantar fasciitis. And don’t get us started on how dangerous they can be on steps, sidewalks, or for driving.
Still, they look really cool, so we know we’re all gonna wear ’em anyway. Here’s what to do:
Summer is a time for relaxing, so crack open a cool beverage and let’s give those dehydrated feet a drink, too. Start your foot care regime with a cleansing soak. Soaking with epsom or magnesium salts will help sooth and relax your feet, as well as flush toxins from your skin.
Coach Soak Muscle Recovery Bath Soak
If you’ve been hitting the gym hard for that beach body, you can use this soak for a whole body bath, but its mixture of essential oils and salts makes it great therapy for feet, too. The magnesium flakes will help with circulation and soreness, while the essential oils will help sooth and soften skin. Choose from calming lavender, cooling peppermint, energizing citrus, or stimulating eucalyptus tea tree to tailor your soaking experience.
Gehwol Fusskraft Herbal Bath
The alternative to getting a professional to tend to your foot situation is to go the D.I.Y. route. Draw yourself a warm foot bath, drop a spoonful of this skin softening blend of pine, lavender and rosemary oils, and just chill for a bit. Afterwards, what once was gross will look and smell awesome.
We know that exfoliating is great for your face. Getting rid of all that dead skin and reducing callouses is even more important for healthy feet. It’ll help open pores and prepare feet for the next step, moisturizing.
Pumice Valley Pumice Stone
After soaking the feet for about five minutes, use a wet pumice stone to gently rub callouses and any tougher patches of skin, removing dead skin cells. Just like the soak itself, a lava stone contains trace elements that are good for your feet. The massaging action will also further stimulate blood flow, relieving fatigue. Use it every couple of days to get baby smooth skin. Follow the soak and exfoliation with a rinse of fresh clean water.
Kiehl’s “Ultimate Man” Body Scrub Soap
If you don’t have time to do a soak every day (who does?), keep this soap handy in the shower. You can use it to exfoliate your whole body, but remember to use it on your feet every day, especially during the summer, to complement those soak and pumice treatments.
Now that those lucky dogs are exfoliated, fresh, and clean, it’s time to lock in hydration with a good moisturizer. Again, relax. Take your time and massage in the product to not only make your skin feel great, but to stimulate circulation. If you’re ending your day with a treatment, throw on a pair of clean white socks to help lock in moisture overnight.
Lumin Conditioning Body Balm
Lumin keeps a focus on products specifically formulated for men’s skin, and this moisturizer is great for your whole body. It includes extracts that are rich in skin-soothing amino acids, shea butter for deep, non-greasy moisturizing, cocoa seed butter to soothe and protect, and sweet almond oil to help your feet retain all that moisture.
Mayron’s Goods Clover & Cucumber Foot Cream
While this non-greasy cream is designed to sooth and rejuvenate your feet, the blend of shea butter, Vitamin E, chamomile and rosemary can really be applied on any part of your body that needs to be healed and hydrated.
ISDIN Uradin Podos Hydrating Gel Oil
Slather this seriously powerful gel onto your feet twice a day and watch as your summer-hardened feet magically transform into something softer, smoother, far more attractive.
Another good thing about flip-flops is that it’s good for your feet to be getting all that fresh air, but you’ll probably still be throwing on shoes and socks to head to the office or the gym. Be sure to apply a quick spritz of deodorant to keep feet fresh.
Surface Deep Anti-Odorant Spray
Somewhere between antiperspirant and deodorant is Surface Deep’s introduction to the stink-killing category, Anti-Odorant. It uses glycolic acid to neutralize and inhibit bacteria-causing odor, while also subtly exfoliating. Other skin-soothing, antioxidant-rich ingredients include probiotics, fruit extracts, and aloe to cleanse, calm, and support the skin. It’s great for your pits, but we thought it was the perfect complement to our flip-flop feet regime.
Since you’re feet are practically naked in flip-flops, they may be getting the most sun exposure they’ve seen since last Labor Day. Don’t make the rookie mistake and burn those little piggies.
Geologie Essential Sunscreen
At $45 for a tube of less than 3 ounces of product, we’ll admit to being a bit indulgent here, but you’ve been working so hard, isn’t it worth protecting your investment? Geologie’s sunscreen is really designed to be part of your face’s skin care routine (so use it there, too), but with an SPF of 30, a combination of reef-safe mineral and physical sunscreens for maximum protection, and 40-minute water resistance, we figured it was also perfect to keep those exposed feet healthy, not to mention sunburn- and peel-free. Besides, as part of your foot-care routine, it packs healthy doses of hyaluronic acid (1%) and niacinamide (1%) to make the skin on your feet look even better.
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