By: Victoria Hoff
1. Don’t ever cut ingrown toenails.
"Cut the nails straight across if you have ingrown toenails. You can file ingrown toenails with a special ingrown toenail file; it’s much better than cutting. If you cut them repeatedly, they’re only going to get worse."
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"I grew up in a small village in South Korea where foot care products were not available, so for foot care, we girls would go to the river and find a textured stone (it was probably lava, now that I think about it). We would soak our feet in warm water for about ten minutes and then scrub our calluses and feet with the stone—and this really worked! To this day, I am a fan of most forms of mechanical removal of calluses (as opposed to using chemicals) following a long soaking of your feet."
3. Invest in a foot file for stubborn calluses.
"The old method was to use a foot pumice stone and this is good for everyday use in the shower but if you want to get rid of bad calluses, you should use a metal/diamond foot file or Emjoi Micro Pedi tool on dry feet, which will smooth out your calluses quickly and without much effort.”
4. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
"Your feet, especially the heels, are prone to overuse, so they tend to dry out more easily than the rest of your foot. The heel is protected by thicker skin, making it less penetrable, so more effort is required in getting the moisturizer locked in." Choi recommends filling heavy socks with lotion and letting them sit on your feet, a method that she first learned as a child.
5. Argan oil is the secret ingredient to so soft feet.
"I love Argan oil for repairing dry, damaged skin. The oil absorbs into your skin really well and helps maintain your skin’s natural moisture. I apply it at night andimmediately put on heavy socks to keep the oil from ruining the sheets. When you get up in the morning, your feet are incredibly soft and moisturized.”
6. DIY away yellow nails.
"There are a few home treatments that do the trick. Here’s a list from gentle to strong:
• The most natural remedy is to soak your toenails in lemon extract and rub them with a brush, or you can simply place a lemon slice on each toenail and let it work its magic. While this doesn’t provide immediate results, it does work if you repeat the process several times.
• A combination of baking soda and peroxide works fairly well, but much like the lemon treatment, it doesn’t do wonders.
• Crest 3D Whitestrips work pretty well and this is an easy method to use: Apply it onto the toenails for around 15 minutes and then rinse with warm water.
• The fastest way to remove yellow stains is by using hair bleach. Bleach is more hardcore than Whitestrips, as it contains much stronger chemicals. To apply, dip a Q-tip in bleach and brush onto the nail. You don’t need to hold the Q-tip over the nail, just dab it on gently and let it work for seven to ten minutes max. After that time—and this is very important—you should rinse with warm water and soap to make sure you get all the bleach out. Finish by applying hand cream or cuticle oil to moisturize, as bleach can make nails and skin become even dryer.”
7. Express yourself.
"I usually tell people to have fun with their toe colors. They are not permanent tattoos and if you don’t end up liking it, you can easily remove it. If you want to do nail art on your toes, you should either choose to highlight your big toe or select simple designs for all of your toes because toes are smaller, making it harder to see designs that are too intricate. I encourage people to be more daring for toes since you can’t see them as well—it’s great for experimenting."
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8. But make it last.
"As mentioned above, clean the oil residue on your nails before applying a color. A grease-free nail bed is the first step to a long-lasting nail polish application."
9. Remember to give your toenails some R&R.
"I see a lot of people with white spotted nails from wearing nail polish back to back for a long time, which makes your toe nails brittle. Make sure to give them a break once in a while and moisturize them with a rich cuticle oil a few times a day. And of course, don’t forget to drink lots of water. Keeping hydrated helps the entire body; what’s good for your body is good for your nails."
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