Take Care of Your Hands and Feet
You might not think you need to care for them, but she does. Here’s how to do it.
By: Meredith Bryan and Peter Rubin
1. Pay attention to your socks
Men have sweaty feet, which has a lot to do with the socks they’re wearing, says Pirooz Sarshar, cofounder of the men’s-only spa the Grooming Lounge in Washington, D.C. Avoid nylon and opt instead for high-quality cotton or even cashmere socks, which breathe better.
2. Creams alone won’t cut it
Don’t just rely on over-the-counter creams to kick athlete’s foot. While they do help suppress it, the key to eliminating fungus is better grooming. I see guys who use those creams forever, says Sarshar. If you’re not also taking care of your feet, the fungus may come back. During your morning shower, wash your feet with whatever nondrying soap you usually use. Pat them dry afterward with a towel and apply a thick lotion containing peppermint or eucalyptus (try Bodyshop.com). Both ingredients help kill fungus, which could be why your shoes smell like ripe Roquefort cheese. And on the day you exfoliate with a grainy body exfoliant (you do exfoliate, right?), use some muscle to slough off dead skin on heels and toes.
3. Get the right tools
Because toenails grow slower than fingernails, you need to cut them only every two or three weeks with a good pair of clippers. Also, get a cuticle pusher (buy one online at Drugstore.com). Pushing back the cuticles on your toes helps ward off fungus.
4. And if you don’t want to do it yourself…
Seek professional help—as in a pedicure. Once a month, hit up a man-friendly establishment like Truefitt&Hill (Truefittandhill.com), the Grooming Lounge (Thegroominglounge.com), John Allan’s (Johnallans.com), or even a local spa, where, for about $50, a strong-handed woman will do the dirty work and give you a foot massage. Not enough to convince you? How about this: Women notice feet. And scraping her legs with scaly heels ain’t going to get her in the mood.
Hand to Hand
Who looks at your hands? The woman who bought you that wedding ring. The woman looking for a wedding ring. Glove salesmen, cashiers, watch enthusiasts…They all notice your wares, not to mention your hangnails, your raw skin and your chewed cuticles. But rest easy: There are things you can do to maintain your meat hooks.
Cold air, wind and water all work to strip your skin of moisture, leaving your hide redder than a sunburned teamster’s. Prophylaxis is the key here: Wear gloves as often as you can and use lotion to restore lost nutrients. Anything with aloe, lanolin or glycerin will do. Secondary ingredients, like calendula, avocado and oatmeal, are also helpful.
You may be clean and you may smell nice, but if you have the crud-filled nails of a third grader, all your efforts are for naught. Buy a cheap drugstore nailbrush and use it. If you’re an inveterate nail-biter, stop it. (Purchase a foul-tasting ointment like No Bite, if you must.) And keep your nails trimmed; that cokehound pinky isn’t impressing anyone, Scarface.
This all seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people have trouble with basic maintenance. Manicurist Tamika Hardy founded Come To You, a mobile salon that caters to New York executives, in 1997. She’s still shocked at what she sees. Men spend so much on suits, cuff links and loafers, she says, and it’s like Look at your haaands! Let me get at those for a second! Come To You will send a licensed manicurist to your office to perform any of twelve services, including two created for men. The Mr. CEO is a forty-five-minute manicure that involves aromatherapy, exfoliation for callused hands, nail cleaning and shaping, plus a hand-and-arm massage. (In New York City call 888-590-5925.)