We are finally getting some spring and summer weather and that means exposing our winter feet! As busy moms, our feet are often neglected, especially during the cold months when we know we’ll be wearing socks and shoes anyway. So, it’s often shocking when we slip on a pair of sandals and see the sad state of our feet.
Before you go out and buy products to undo the winter damage, remember that your skin is the largest organ in your body and it is porous. That means that it soaks up every chemical it comes in contact with (and most commercial products are loaded with chemicals). Read on for some natural tips to care for your feet.
White Nails: Have you ever left your pedicure polish on for months and when you finally removed it your nails had white spots on them? I did and I immediately panicked … Fungus! Relax, it’s not fungus. I did some research and found out that when you leave polish on for too long it starts to permeate the top layers of your nails and that is what causes the white coloring. I used to think that you had to keep your nails bare until the white grew out (a long and embarrassing process). You don’t! Just gently file the top of your nails and then use a buffing block. Finish with some vitamin E or coconut oil and your nails will be as good as new (it is a good idea to let your nails breathe in between pedicures).
Athlete’s Foot: One in four people will suffer from athlete’s foot at some point in their lives. If you have signs of this, treat it immediately so it doesn’t spread to your nails. The commercial treatments contain harmful chemicals. Here are some natural remedies you can try.
- Tea Tree Oil – Add 40 drops of TTO to a footbath and soak for ten minutes. After thoroughly drying your feet, rub some of the oil directly onto the affected areas.
- Neem Oil – Apply the oil to clean, dry feet with a cotton ball.
- Baking Soda and Corn Starch – Sprinkle either of these onto your feet before putting on socks and shoes.
- Oregano – Make a tea of 4 ounces of oregano leaves and enough water to cover your feet. Soak in the tea 2-3 times a day (you can re-use the same batch of tea throughout the day).
- Coconut Oil – Raw coconut oil has anti-fungal properties. Rub it into your feet twice a day. Added bonus? Soft feet!
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Mix ½ cup of the vinegar with 2tbs of Himalayan salt and add enough water to soak your feet. You can also put this in a spray bottle and use it as a foot spray.
Nail Fungus: The above remedies can also be used for nail fungus. Buy a cheap package of dollar store cotton socks to wear after you apply any of the oils.
Splinters: Did you know that you can make a paste from baking soda and water, put a thick layer on the area of skin with the splinter, let it sit for a few hours (you can put a Band-Aid on top) and most splinters will be ejected from the skin? You can repeat the process if it doesn’t work the first time. No more screaming kids as you head towards them with a needle and tweezers!
Nail Polish: Most polishes are loaded with chemicals! There are a few companies that make natural ones. Because these are free of chemicals, you do have to buff your nails to create a good surface first and most recommend using their base coats and top coats and drying your nails with a blow dryer. Here are some of the most popular brands: Acquarella, ella + mila, Karma Organic Spa, Piggy Paint, Mineral Fusion and SOPHi.
Foot Cream: There are some great natural foot creams on the market. You can also make your own out of coconut oil and essential oils. There are recipes online.
Nail Salons: They’re not all the same! I went to one salon that put so many chemicals in their tubs that my feet and legs were burnt. It took a week for me to feel better. The salon I go to now uses plastic liners that they change with every customer and they also use sterilized instruments.
We can’t avoid all the chemicals in this world, but we can make small changes that will affect our health and the health of our families.
And, summer will be a lot more fun with happy feet!