As summer approaches, your feet are suddenly thrown into the limelight! Throughout the winter months, feet usually stay bundled up in comfy socks, shoes and boots (unless you are lucky enough to live in a more tropical climate) and, as a consequence, feet often become thought of “as out of sight, out of mind.” However, your feet are perhaps one of the most important parts of your body, and feet deserve a little bit of love with natural skincare whatever the season. Use this summer as you starting point to better foot health!
Foot Health Facts
Did you know that on average your feet will carry you the equivalent distance of four times the circumference of the world in your lifetime? In addition, women have four times as many foot problems as men. If you think foot health is not a big deal, consider the fact that approximately 75% of Americans will experience some form of foot problem throughout their lives (source).
Taking these few foot facts into account, feet deserve better care than we are usually apt to give them!
Ingredients in Natural Skincare Foot Products
There are many foot products on the market to heal and protect cracked, sore feet and associated foot problems. However, you can probably make most of your own foot care products at home using just a few natural ingredients. The rest of this article contains information on what I consider to be some of the best ways to protect your feet with aromatherapy products, based on my experience both as an aromatherapist and as a practising reflexologist.
Essential Oils for Feet
Depending on the aromatherapy product, associated problems and other factors, essential oils for feet vary. However, the following are, in general, used for foot problems. Consult a qualified aromatherapist for further advice:
- peppermint (Mentha piperita)
- rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- lemon (Citrus limon)
- fennel (Foeniculum vulgare).
Aromatherapy Foot Soak
Whether you have hot, tired, aching feet or cracked and dry skin, a foot soak is a great way to start your foot skincare regime. When giving reflexology treatments, I start all of my treatments with an aromatic foot soak, to clean, soften and relax the skin before the actual treatment.
Preparing your own aromatherapy foot soak is simple; the most simplistic way to do this is to fill an appropriately sized bowl or container with warm water. If you have some fragrant roses growing in your garden, add a few rose petals for a bit of luxury! Otherwise, add a few drops of an essential oil or an aromatherapy hydrosol.
Aromatherapy Foot Scrubs
Once you have soaked your feet, using an aromatherapy foot scrub will help to get rid of some of the dead skin cells and rough skin patches on your feet. You can use either a sugar or salt scrub for your feet but a salt scrub will be more abrasive and perhaps more effective in removing stubborn dead skin patches. Make your own foot scrub by mixing the appropriate amount of salt/sugar with your chosen essential oils. Apply the scrub to the skin in small circular motions and leave on for about 15 minutes. Wash off and pat dry.
Aromatherapy Foot Oils and Creams
After your feet have been soaked and scrubbed, it is now time to pamper them with either an aromatherapy massage oil or foot cream. The choice of an oil or a cream is a matter of personal preference but here are a few facts to consider in making your choice:
- a massage oil is slippy so don’t apply an oil if you intend to be walking around shortly after application
- a cream is usually heavier in consistency than a body lotion and is more suitable for the tougher skin of the feet
- apply a moderate amount to your feet once a day to moisturize and protect your feet.
Make Foot Care Routine
Looking after your feet with skincare products should be a year round routine, not just for the summer months when your feet are on display in sandals and flip flops. Make a point of scheduling a time once a week to carry out your full foot care routine (such as foot soaks and foot scrubs) and apply foot cream daily. Your feet will thank you!
Photo by joshme17