Although autumn is just around the corner, most of us are still enjoying sandal season while temps remain balmy. Here’s a simple guide to giving yourself a luxe natural pedicure that will make your feet look beautiful without introducing any unsavory ingredients into your foot care. Let’s face it—we put our feet through a lot, and a little TLC is the least we can do!
Pedi lovers eagerly await the time in late winter when we can give our feet a little makeover after they’ve been hibernating in fuzzy socks for the past several months. I propose that the end of summer also merits a foot reboot, if you will. Between going barefoot and exposing our feet to the sun, there’s a good chance that our feet are feeling a little rough and dry–and sporting some funky tan lines. If this sounds familiar, this natural pedicure is for you!
1. Soak those feet! Remove old polish if necessary. For a natural, acetone-free polish remover, try AILA 3-in-1 Nail Color Remover with Pure Argan Oil. This soy-based remover gently erases polish while actually conditioning nails rather than stripping them of moisture. It requires a little more elbow grease than your run-of-the-mill acetone-based remover, but the resulting nail health is *so* worth it.
Fill your tub or a basin with warm water and soak your feet in Epsom salts or ¼ cup of bath soak. I’ve been loving PLANT Apothecary Super Soak Organic Healing Bath, a blend of detoxifying sea salt, circulation-boosting mustard seed, and rejuvenating lemongrass and eucalyptus oils. (This stuff is also great if you feel a cold coming on!) PLANT is also pretty special because they employ adults with mental and physical disabilities.
2. Get your scrub on. After your feet have had a good soak, treat those rough edges to a scrub. A simple blend of sugar and oil will do the trick—as will this DIY coffee scrub. Give a little extra attention to the heels and balls of your feet. While you’re at it, use a nail brush to give your toenails a good cleaning. Rinse and pat dry.
3. Moisturize and massage your feet. (Perhaps my favorite part of a natural pedicure!) Massage feet with your favorite body cream or oil. I’m currently in love with this geranium and ylang ylang-laced body oil by Palermo. The blend of grapeseed, rosehip seed, apricot, sweet almond, jojoba, avocado, and evening primrose oils make this a deeply nourishing blend that will give skin a lovely glow.
4. Trim and shape toenails. Give toenails a trim. Ideally, they shouldn’t extend past the end of the toe. To shape nails, you have the option of using angled nail clippers on the right and left sides of the nail, giving them a slightly elongated look that you can then perfect with your nail file.
The healthiest nail file option is a glass or crystal file. These tend to have an extremely fine grit, and unlike emory boards, aren’t likely to rough up the tip of your nail in the process. They’re a wonderful eco-friendly option, too. Glass nail files can be washed, sterilized, and used indefinitely!
Although trimming cuticles is not recommended (doing so can lead to infection), I like to gently even mine using an orange stick. I’ve found that keeping cuticles moisturized (see step 6!) keeps them looking nice and eliminates any “need” for trimming.
5. Polish toenails with non-toxic polish. (You can skip this step for a naked manicure.) Dip a q-tip in rubbing alcohol and use to remove any residual oil from the nail. This will allow the polish to better adhere to the nail.
Begin with a coat of clear, followed by two coats of color and a final clear top coat. For non-toxic nail polish brands, check out our favorites. Here’s why choosing a 5-free brand is so important.
I’m currently crushing on the LVX Autumn-Winter collection. Peep that metallic green!
6. Apply a natural cuticle oil. Once your toenails have dried, apply oil around your cuticles to give toes that post-salon sheen. Try French Girl Organics Roll-On Cuticle Oil. Hemp and tamanu oil provide anti-fungal benefits while rosemary and rose geranium help stimulate nail growth.