It can be easy to neglect the skin on the legs and feet, but this part of the body can quickly end up looking dry, rough and worn out.
If your legs and feet are looking less-than-flawless, give some of these tips a try:
Keep Your Skin Exfoliated
You probably already regularly exfoliate the skin on your face…
Well, the skin on your legs and feet deserves this love too!
Exfoliation is so important when it comes to keeping the legs and feet smooth, soft and fresh.
Not only does it clear away any dead skin cells from within your pores, therefore reducing roughness and brightening up your skin, but it also stimulates skin cell turnover. This is the rate at which your older skin cells are replaced with the newer ones that have been produced deeper within your skin, and it makes a huge difference to how supple and healthy your skin looks.
How should you be exfoliating your legs and feet?
You have a couple of options:
- Physical Exfoliation – this makes use of an abrasive substance to slough off those dead skin cells. Scrubs are great for this – you can either use a body scrub on both your feet and your legs, or purchase a dedicated foot scrub for your feet. To begin with, try the Lionesse Body Scrub, which is infused with finely grounded diamond powder to really help fine exfoliation
- Chemical Exfoliation – this makes use of naturally-derived chemicals to dissolve away the glue-like bond that holds dead skin cells to the surface of the skin. These tend to be gentler on the skin than scrubs, but have a more powerful and noticeable effect
If you like the sound of chemical exfoliation and want to give the skin on your feet an extra treat, you could look into exfoliating socks.
Never heard of exfoliating socks before?
They can make a significant improvement to cracked heels, calluses (which you will learn more about further down) and general roughness.
They look like plastic socks, but they contain a chemical exfoliation solution within that causes those older and dead skin cells to break down over time. It takes about a week for the skin to start peeling, but, once the peeling process is over, your feet will look dramatically smoother and softer.
Treat Yourself to a Foot Soak
The feet can often need some extra TLC, and a foot soak is a great way to give them that.
Wondering how exactly a foot soak helps?
Well, for starters, it will make your feet so much easier to exfoliate.
Depending on the ingredients you add into the water, it can also have some fantastic hydrating, anti-fungal and skin-softening effects.
Want to give a foot soak a try?
All you need is a tub filled with warm water. Make sure that the tub is large enough for you to be able to fully submerge your feet.
You can then add a variety of ingredients into the water, depending on the effect that you want your foot soak to have.
Here are a few ideas:
- Epsom Salts – detoxifying and anti-inflammatory, while also being a great one for increasing blood circulation and relaxing the muscles and nerves. If you have any fungal problems on your feet, Epsom salts can help with this too
- Cedarwood Oil – another good ingredient if you suffer from any fungal infections, such as athlete’s foot, as this essential oil is both an anti-fungal and an antiseptic
- Cypress Oil – has antiseptic effects, making it great for healing any blisters. This essential oil also acts as a natural deodorant
- Wintergreen Oil – very effective at reducing inflammation and swelling. It also has a refreshing, cooling effect, making it great for soothing tired feet
As an added bonus, foot soaks are also incredibly relaxing, and are a great way to indulge in a bit of “me time”.
Blisters on the feet are extremely common.
They form when the skin has been damaged, consisting of small pockets of fluid that serve to protect the skin beneath from any subsequent damage.
While blisters heal on their own, usually after a week or so, any burst blisters can lead to an infection, prolonging the healing process even further.
Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure that you are taking the necessary steps to avoid blisters.
How can blisters on the feet be avoided?
There are a few things that you can do, such as:
- Make sure that your shoes fit you properly, and are comfortable when you are walking. Always break in new shoes before wearing them for long periods of time
- Keep your feet dry, sprinkling them with talcum powder if necessary or wearing moisture-absorbing socks. Blisters are far more likely to form on damp, rather than dry, skin
- Wear thicker socks to give your feet some extra protection
- If you ever feel a part of your foot being affected by friction, protect this area as soon as possible with a bit of padding
Moisturize to Soften Your Skin
It is so important to keep your legs and your feet moisturized.
Well, a moisturizer forms a protective layer over the surface of the skin, preventing bacteria, dirt and impurities from entering into your skin. That same protective layer also acts as a barrier when it comes to transepidermal water loss, ensuring that your skin does not lose too much moisture through evaporation.
If you do not keep your legs and feet moisturized, you will notice that they quickly become dry, rough and flaky. The longer that you allow this to go on, the worse the problem will get.
So, what should you be using to moisturize your feet and legs?
A rich and thick moisturizer is ideal.
Body butters are always popular, but you need to make sure that whatever you choose to use contains hydrating and skin-strengthening ingredients.
Which ingredients should you be looking out for?
The following are ideal:
- Shea Butter – packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, making it perfect for nourishing and softening the feet
- Glycerin – a powerful humectant that draws in moisture to keep the skin hydrated
- Coconut Oil – full of nutrients and incredibly moisturizing
- Aloe Vera – hydrating and anti-inflammatory
- Botanical Extracts – these contain a wide range of antioxidants that will protect the skin on your legs and feet from damage
Try to ensure that your legs and feet stay consistently moisturized. This is a good moisturizer to start with, as it is enriched with shea butter and glycerin. It is especially important that you apply a layer of moisturizer before you go to bed at night, because this is the time during which your skin repairs itself.
Here’s one extra tip for you…
Try to always apply your moisturizer when your skin is still slightly damp.
Remember it was mentioned above that a moisturizer prevents water from evaporating out of the skin?
Well, if your skin is already damp, then this means that it contains some extra water molecules. Applying a moisturizer over the top of these will lock them into your skin, ensuring that the only place they can go is deep down into the skin cells that need them the most.
Do Something About Those Calluses
Have you noticed any calluses forming on your feet?
Calluses are parts of the skin that have become thicker and tougher than the rest of the skin. They are caused by excess friction, irritation or pressure, and, while they can occur on the elbows, hands and knees too, they are most commonly found on the skin.
Calluses are not harmful, but they can sometimes feel a little tender. Excess inflammation is also possible, which could then make a callus quite painful.
Don’t worry, so long as a callus is not too serious, it is something that you can easily treat and care for yourself.
A pumice stone is perfect for this.
Never used a pumice stone before?
They consist of a mixture of hot lava and water – when the water hardens, the stone is formed. The stones are porous yet abrasive, making them the perfect tool for sloughing off any dry and hardened skin.
How do you use a pumice stone?
You should always soak your skin first, as this will soften up the harder areas and make them easier to remove. Your pumice stone should be soaked too, as using it dry can cause even more damage to your skin.
Once both your skin and the pumice stone are soft, rub the stone over your callus in a circular motion, using just a small amount of pressure. Do this for a couple of minutes, but be sure to stop if you feel any pain or sensitivities – this likely means that you are applying too much pressure onto the stone.
Once you are done, rinse your feet, as well as the pumice stone, and follow up with a cream or an oil. Your feet should immediately look and feel softer and smoother.
How often can you use a pumice stone?
You can use one every day if you need to, but just be careful that you do not cause too much skin to be removed at once.
Invest In Some Body and Foot Masks
You have likely heard of face masks before, and maybe also regularly incorporate them into your skin care routine.
But did you know that masks are available for the body and feet too?
They work in the same way as a face mask, by providing the skin with a deep dose of hydration and nutrients. They are also a great way to treat any skin concerns you may have, whether this may be dryness, scars, blemishes, loose skin, or anything else.
Wondering how you would go about applying a mask to your legs and feet?
Well, let’s begin with your legs…
Special leg masks are available, although they can be hard to find. Many of these also contain hair removal chemicals too, ensuring that your legs really do look beautifully smooth afterwards.
However, a leg mask isn’t something that you need to invest in, as just about any body mask will do. These usually have a creamy or clay consistency, and there are overnight versions that you can choose from too.
When it comes to your feet, the exfoliating socks mentioned earlier would be considered a type of foot mask. There are plenty of other foot masks out there too, but you can always also use the same body mask that you have applied onto your legs.
Carefully Treat Any Cuts and Bruises
No matter how careful you may be, the legs and the feet are often prone to cuts and bruises, especially if you often wear clothing and footwear that leaves them exposed.
These can be frustrating, but they are actually quite simple to deal with, so long as you act fast.
Here are a few guidelines:
- Cuts – clean the wound to remove and dirt and bacteria, and then cover it with a sterile dressing. You could also apply an antibiotic ointment underneath the dressing to prevent an infection from setting in. if you would prefer to go the natural route, honey is a great ingredient for preventing infections and speeding up skin healing
- Bruises – an ointment that contains a concentration of around 20% arnica montana has been proven to help speed up the healing time of bruises. You can also take this ingredient orally for similar effects. Bromelain, quercetin and vitamin K are three other ingredients that are fantastic for healing bruises faster. If you would prefer something simpler, ice and a compression bandage should do the job, so long as you use this soon after your bruise has appeared
Take extra care of your legs and feet if you have any cuts or bruises on them, as you do not want them getting worse.
It is so important to properly nourish and nurture the skin on your legs and feet, even if they may not be on display as much as the skin on your face is. From exfoliating to moisturizing, these tips will help to keep your skin looking and feeling its very best.