Guide to Happy Feet

A pedicure is not simply the pursuit of vanity. A proper one should include a foot soak, a nail trim, which prevents in-grown nails, and the removal of hard skin and calluses which could, if left untreated, lead to corns. Cuticles should be pushed down, not cut, and feet and calves massaged with cream or oil to increase circulation. An olive oil base cream is especially nourishing. Painted nails look shiniest and last longest if they get a clear undercoat, two coats of colour and a clear top coat. Polish takes at least 15 minutes to dry.

Most major spas offer a full-on pedicure, although some therapists are more professional than others who can take far too long and poke about in tender spots, so be wary. Or simply eat more pineapple to caring the foot.

One of the most effective exfoliants for hard skin that develops on the soles of the feet is sand. Collect some ordinary beach sand on your next visit to a tropical spa and mix it with enough vegetable oil to make a sticky paste. Add a few drops of peppermint or rosemary essential oil to complete the invigorating experience. Massage your feet concentrating on the heels, the balls and the big toes where skin is usually the thickest.

Pedicure Tips
* Cool down hot feet with a peppermint and aloe vera gel rub
* Soothe tired feet with a vegetable or nut oil like avocado, olive or sesame massage with clove oil which has anesthetic properties.
* Soak your feeet in warm water laced with pine, tea tree and eucalyptus oils to banish odors
* Exercise and strengthen your foot muscles by rolling each foot over a tennis ball while sitting
* Detoxify your whole body with a 10-minute foot soak in warm water containing 2 TBS of rock salt. Follow with an oil massage.
* Avoid bunions and andle problems by avoiding high heeled shoes.