I am meticulous about maintaining standard skincare routines, such as washing your face before bed, applying various topicals daily, using masks several times a week, but there is one thing I realized I have been completely overlooking: my feet.
I rarely give second thought to the strain that my feet endure. I run most days, and then spend the rest of the day on my feet in some sort of flat or dress shoe while teaching. After school, I am often climbing, which has me in tight shoes that squish my toes, which I am then putting all of my weight directly onto those squished toes. As soon as I stop wearing a winter coat, I start wearing sandals, and I don’t look back until I need that coat again. At the end of the day my feet are always very tired, and in sandal weather, they are also dirty.
My mom has always recognized the value of foot care. When I was little, after a muddy soccer game in restrictive cleats, she would have me soak my feet in the bath tub and then she would rub an invigorating lotion on- usually grapefruit, or mint. This was a thoughtful and refreshing gesture, but somehow I have never been self-inspired to care for my feet myself.
Yesterday my feet were the usual after-school soreness, and really dirty from playing outside with the kindergarteners, so I soaked my feet in a bath salt/ baking soda combo.
Here is the DIY game changer: I filled a small bowl with sugar, and squeezed half a lemon into that bowl of sugar just before scrubbing my feet with said lemon-sugar. This was AMAZING. My feet tingled and my muscles relaxed; the dirt and dead skin was easily removed from my feet, and my legs and feet completely relaxed from the mini-massage. I used the whole bowl of my lemon-sugar scrub, and exfoliated my ankles and calves, too. Bonus: follow up with a tingly mint lotion for ultimate relaxation and easy sleeping. Sometimes I hesitate to lotion up because my feet still feel a little gross from the day (I am a morning shower kind of person) but I will no longer neglect my tired achey feet.
The only other times I have done this were in extreme situations, like right after finishing a hike in the grand canyon or after days of walking in a European city. My sister jokes that the dirt specs tan onto my feet, so my feet look perpetually dirty, even when they are clean. This lemon-sugar scrub minimizes that look!
Do you have a self-care routine that helps you relax instantly? I would love to hear about it!