Foot care

Give yourself a regular pedicure and care for your feet with soothing natural products. Let your feet breathe and exercise naturally by walking barefoot whenever you can. Being vigilant about foot care helps prevent problems such as corns and keeps your feet feeling smooth and soft.

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Your feet have more sweat glands than any other part of your body, but they're usually trapped inside shoes for most of the day. Here are ways to keep them odor-free.

■ Wash feet daily with Tea-tree antiseptic soap (see page 273). Tea-tree oil is excellent for inhibiting bacterial growth and odor. Dry feel thoroughly.

■ Apply an astringent herbal foot spray. Make strong sage tea by steeping 2 tablespoons dried sage in 'A cup (100 ml) boiling water: allow to cool. Add J4 cup (50 ml) witch hazel and 10 drops lavender essential oil. Pour into a pump bottle. Refrigerate. Shake well before use. Use within 10 days.

■ Wear cotton socks, which absorb moisture better than synthetic ones, and rotate your shoes. Dust the inside of shoes with baking soda.

Peppermint foot scrub Peppermint cools and deodorises the skin and sugar buffs away dead skin cells. Your feet will feel soft and refreshed with this easy and effective scrub.

1 tablespoon coarse-ground oatmeal 1 tablespoon polenta (cornmeal)

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons dried peppermint leaves

1 tablespoon natural yogurt juice of 1 lemon

5 drops peppermint essential oil

1 Combine oatmeal, polenta, sugar and peppermint in a bowl.

2 Add yogurt, lemon juice and oil; mix to form a gritty paste.

3 To use, sit on the edge of the bathtub and massage mixture into feet, paying particular attention to heels and soles. Rinse and dry thoroughly and follow with a rich moisturizer, such as Rose geranium foot balm (see below).

Rose geranium foot balm This fragrant balm is perfect for softening leathery or dry feet. For best results, leave it on overnight, wearing socks to seal in moisture and protect the sheets.

2 tablespoons cocoa butter

2 tablespoons apricot kernel oil 1 tablespoon beeswax granules 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerine 1 teaspoon honey

10 drops rose geranium essential oil

10 drops lemon essential oil

1 Put the cocoa butter, apricot kernel

011 and beeswax in the top of a double boiler over low heat, and stir until melted together.

2 Remove from heat and whisk in glycerine and honey. Add essential oils and stir.

3 Pour into a glass jar and cool before sealing. The finished formula has a waxy consistency that softens when applied to skin.

Continue reading here: Silica which strengthens nails

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