How to Prepare for Sandal Season

May 15, 2019


The latest softening soaks, exfoliating peels and overnight masks are not designed for your face — but your feet.
At her namesake glass-walled spa in the Austrian countryside, the skin-care-line founder Susanne Kaufmann starts all her holistic treatments with the same ceremony — a 10-minute purifying foot bath. The feet, she says, are a very efficient pathway for releasing toxins from the body. And there’s a relaxing secondary benefit to the ritual: “It helps calm people down, so any treatment they get works even better,” she says. All too often ignored, feet are now finding favor among self-care enthusiasts. “Feet are our foundation — they carry us through our day and get the whole body awakened,” says the Los Angeles-based naturalist and skin-care-line founder Shiva Rose, who regularly dry brushes her feet to stimulate circulation and ends meditation sessions by pressing into the soles to balance her doshas (the different energies of the body, as defined by Ayurvedic medicine). For many, taking care of their feet has become a stress-relieving practice akin to a self-administered facial — there’s a routine, complete with peels, plant oils and targeted tools. Here, a guide to healthy, mindful foot care.

To smooth calluses, Dr. Stern advises against pumice stones, which can harbor bacteria. Instead, scrub with an extra handful of Epsom salts, or try a peel, like Patchology’s PoshPeel Pedi Cure ($20): Each packet contains an exfoliating acid solution (glycolic, salicylic, lactic, citric) that you pour into a specially designed sock and then slip on for an hour. After rinsing off, Choi suggests wrapping feet in a hot, damp cloth to clear out pores and ease muscle tension (“five minutes is all you need,” she says). Next, file or clip your nails straight across — a square shape prevents ingrown nails — and gently push back cuticles with an orange stick (cutting can lead to infections).

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