Style & Beauty

Pretty Feet All Summer Long

By Erika Tremblay


Keeping your feet looking good for those lazy days at the pool or the beach is easy with a little extra care at the salon or at home.

Foot Care at Home

• Wash your feet in the shower with a gentle soap. Even better: add Epsom salts to lukewarm water and soak your feet for about 10 minutes. As dry skin on the feet is an ongoing problem, Josée Aumais, a podiatrist aesthetician and the owner of Montreal’s Institut Josée Aumais, recommends removing dead surface skin cells by exfoliating.

• Dry your feet, including between your toes, to remove all moisture and prevent the growth of fungus.

• Clip your nails, but not too short! Be sure to follow this simple rule: let the corners grow just past the tips of your toes to avoid ingrown toenails.

• File your nails with an emery board, lightly rounding the corners. Ridges on your nails can be reduced with a buffer. Be careful not to thin your nails too much, as this weakens them.

• Gently push back the cuticles. To make it easier, you can use some oil or a cuticle cream beforehand.

• Pumice your feet to remove calluses and corns. Aumais recommends a gentle tool, such as a pumice stone or an emery board. “Above all, avoid using a metal file or tools with blades, which can cause injuries,” she says.

• Apply a urea-based cream, which will nourish the skin deep down. Oil- based products, such as avocado oil, are also effective for softening thick, dry skin. Lavender is a useful ingredi- ent because of its antiseptic proper- ties. Note: a cream for the body is not necessarily made for the skin on the feet, especially if the skin is thick, dry and callused.

Salon Foot Care

Not everyone is a foot-care expert. For a specialized pedicure, your local beauty salon mightn’t always be the right place for you. There’s no guarantee that the instruments used have been properly disinfected.

Look for foot care offered by a chiropodist or podiatrist (be sure to choose a duly accredited profes- sional), a nurse who specializes in foot care, or a podiatry clinic. In all of these cases, you’ll walk out of the treatment with feet that are healthy and ready for sandal season.

“If your feet are dry to the point that deep cracks are visible on the heels or if you have ingrown toenails, corns, or calluses, it’s best to get foot care from a professional who can see to the length and thinning of the nails as well as reduce corns and calluses,” Aumais says. She adds that as a precaution, the toenails and the appearance of the skin on the feet should be checked regularly.

When should you see a podiatrist?

If you have a medical issue—an ingrown toenail, nail fungus, or a plantar wart, for example—you’ll need to see a podiatrist or a nurse who specializes in foot care.


Canadian Podiatric Medical Association

Canadian Association of Foot Care Nurses

Diabetes Canada

Our experts: Josée Aumais, podiatrist aesthetician at Institut Josée Aumais, and Annie Lavoie, instructor at Académie Edith Serei