As a licensed nail technician, I have noticed that most people seem to neglect their feet.

It’s not just men. Women make excuses, too, for why their feet often look so bad.

In last week’s column I wrote about shoes and the latest spring styles. Now, here are some basics on how to keep your feet looking and feeling good.

Taking care of your feet is a year-round job, not something to be done only during the warm weather months. Some people think of pedicures as a pampering service. But proper foot care is essential to preventing problems such as ingrown toenails, corns and calluses.

If you’ve been neglecting your feet, try these do-it-yourself tips for a simple pedicure.

1. Soak your feet in a plastic bowl with warm, soapy water for at least 10 minutes to remove dirt and soften dead skin.

2. Dry your feet with a towel then apply cuticle remover. Gently push back cuticles with an orange wood stick in a slow circular motion to remove overgrown cuticles from the nail.

3. Clip nails straight across, then file.

Be sure to avoid cutting nails too short, as this may cause ingrown toe nails. Also, don’t forget to clean underneath your toe nails. Think about your ears; wax doesn’t simply disappear. Neither does toe jam; you have to remove it on a regular basis.

4. Use a pumice stone or foot scrubber with an exfoliant (see recipe below) to slough off dead skin, especially on the heels.

5. After you’ve rinsed and dried your feet, use a thick, creamy lotion to moisturize and massage your feet. I like Curel Targeted Therapy Deep Penetrating Foot Cream ($5.49) Made with shea butter and coconut milk, it’s a decent foot cream and will leave your feet feeling soft, not greasy.

6. If you are going to apply nail polish, be sure to remove the excess cream from the nail bed, then apply polish and a top coat.

On a budget?

Try my homemade scrub — “No More Crusty Feet”

1 cup of organic brown sugar (Available in grocery stores)

½ cup of sweet almond oil (Available at health food stores)

Pour sugar into a bowl and add almond oil. Mix well. The consistency should be oily, not too dry. If needed, add more oil. Rub the mixture into the your feet then rinse after a minute or two.

Store scrub in a glass jar or container and use on hands or feet at least twice a week. The sweet almond oil will help nourish and relieve dry, flaky skin.


Lashawnda K. Becoats is a lifestyle consultant and owner of La Concierge in Charlotte. Email:

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