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They will walk you down the aisle, onto the dance floor, and through your honeymoon adventures. So don’t forget to give them a little TLC before the special day, no matter how much of a starring role they will play in your overall look. Here, podiatrist Suzanne Levine from the Institute Beauté shares her advice for getting wedding-worthy feet that will make you want to kick up your heels and celebrate.
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Treat Your Feet Like Your Face
One of the secrets to getting a glowing complexion is to regularly exfoliate. But if head-to-toe beauty is what you are after, apply the same routine to your feet, says Levine. Using a scrub, wash them daily in the shower and watch those pedi-woes begin to disappear down the drain.
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Smooth Out Minor Callouses
Dealing with a few problem spots? Tackle stubborn buildup of dead skin post-shower. Levine recommends using the same scrub you use in the shower, massaging it onto the calloused areas on your feet. Next, place each foot in a plastic bag and wrap it with a warm towel. Rest for 10 minutes (you could use a break from all that wedding planning, right?). Then unwrap the towel, remove your feet from the bags, and work the callouses over with a pumice stone.
A store-bought scrub will do the trick, but it’s just as easy to create one at home, by simply mixing the following ingredients into a paste:
• 1 cup kosher salt
• 8 tablespoons mineral oil or olive oil
• 1/2 cup Epsom salt
• 1 tablespoon baking soda
If your callouses aren’t budging, do call in the pros—namely, suggests Levine, a podiatrist who will have the best instruments and expertise to get the job done once and for all.
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Use a Range of Moisturizers
Repeat after us. Shower, then moisturize. Shower, then moisturize. Your feet will thank you for the regular replenishment, according to Levine. She turns to creams with urea, which will deeply penetrate the skin. But, she adds, “It’s important to have a different range of creams for different problems that might arise.” Creams with an organic acid, like alpha hydroxyl or beta hydroxyl, for example, can help soften the foot and counter daily wear and tear.
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Say goodbye to yellow discoloration from repeated polish use and hello to your toes in all their glory. Mix 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide with 1/2 cup water, apply the solution onto your nails with a toothbrush or cotton swab, and rinse. If the issue persists, Levine says, fungus may be the culprit. Consult with a podiatrist, who can recommend a simple procedure that will make it all take a hike.
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Fix Cracked Heels
Give your soles a spa day, especially if you need to tackle dry skin on your heels. Create a bath with two gallons of warm water mixed with 1/2 cup Epsom salt, and submerge your tootsies within it for 10 minutes. Then delicately use a pumice stone to work over those rough areas. After drying your feet with a towel, moisturize them with that organic acid foot cream. Need to take it up a notch? For a more intensive session that will really restore your skin, Levine advises following this soak by swaddling feet in saran wrap and then putting on a pair of socks. Wait 45 minutes for the best results.
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Give Your Cuticles a Rub
Keep your cuticles supple and healthy by massaging cuticle cream onto them on a regular basis. Levine’s favorite? Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream.
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Teach Your Toes Their A to Zs
You have more than 100 muscles, tendons, and ligaments working together in this part of your body. Keep them limber and strong with a little exercise—and not just the kind you get from your daily walking. Levine swears by this activity: Write the alphabet with each foot for five minutes a day. Or, if you are a bride-to-be, simply spell out L-O-V-E!
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For toes that truly shine, get a pedicure as you count down to your nuptials. Levine recommends owning a set of your own salon-ready tools, unless you have absolute faith in the establishment and know it sterilizes its equipment to prevent the spread of fungus-causing nasties.
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Survive the Dance Floor
Levine knows just how hard it is for brides’ feet on the big day. “My own daughter got married this year and had to walk from the hotel to the reception on cobblestones!” Her secret weapons that she shared? First, she gave her daughter Pillows for Your Feet soft foot gels to pad her shoes. Second, she recommended Stiletto Rx Pain Relief Spray, which provides comfort against foot pain for up to four hours—making certain the only tears she would shed would be tears of joy.