Get your feet ready for summer

Photo: istockphoto.com/Tracy Hebden

Summer is officially here so it's time to crack out those sandals. Are your feet up to it?

Baring it all
Have a few corns and calluses, maybe a cracked heel or two? No need to keep the socks on in hot weather.
Start off your green pedicure with a nice long soak. Try adding a bath bomb from LUSH. Their Sakura and Geo Phyzz bombs have sea salt and essential oils that will soften up any tough skin.

While your soaking, trying exfoliating the LUSH Running to the Embassy soap with pumice and sea salt that's perfect for rubbing away rough spots while moisturizing.

Work them over
After you've tenderized, tame those tootsie troubles with a Callus Stone from Tweezerman. Made out of 100 per cent earth-friendly ceramic, the Callus Stone offers two different surfaces for working over calluses and softening skin. It even comes on a hanging rope for easy storage. You could also try the Miracle Pedi-Stone, a sulphur compound pumice stone with vitamin E, Aloe Vera and Tea Tree Extracts.

Revive the dead
Maybe things are tough all over and your feet need a facial. LUSH's Volcano Foot Mask is an explosive concoction of exfoliating pumice, deodorizing tomatoes and potatoes, and enzymatic papaya. Slather it on your feet, wrap your feet in plastic bags (great way to recycle) and let its do its voodoo for about 10 minutes. Wash it off with warm water and your feet will look like new. This product is not for neat freaks because it can get messy.

Talons are not sexy
Nails a little on the long side? Be sure to trim them down to a reasonable length. Use a heavy duty clipper like Tweezerman's Deluxe Toenail Clipper or the Satin Edge Toe Nail Clipper with a curved blade. Don't go too short. You want your nail even with your nail bed. Finish off the clipping with a quick file. Square tip is considered more modern looking that round tips.

Mushrooms don't work on feet
Generally thick yellow nails are caused by fungus. If your nails are looking more like chicken claws, you should probably take a nail in to be checked by your doctor. The best way to avoid getting the fungus is to keep your feet dry and change shoes everyday. If you have hot feet that sweat excessively try T for Toes powder from LUSH. The combination of bicarbonate of soda absorbs sweat and odors while the lime and tea tree oils neutralize the bacteria. Astringent herbs such as horsetail and broom will help control the sweating.

Instant repair
What happens if you need a quick fix to cover those nasty nails? It's nail polish to the rescue. You just want to be sure to avoid products that have all those toxic chemicals in them like toluene, formaldehyde, acetone and dibutyl phthalate (DBP). All of these chemicals have been linked to cancer.

Instead look for the new water based polishes that are easy on the nails and environment. Zoya, OPI, Honeybee Gardens, and Peacekeeper are some of the more popular lines. Read more about healthy nail polish options in our article Three dangerous chemicals to avoid in nail polish.

Revival of the fittest
Terminally tired feet can be revived with a great foot creams. JR Watkins Peppermint Exfoliating Foot Scrub gets to the bottom dead-skin cells, deep-cleans with aloe vera while the peppermint oil stimulates. If you're not keen on peppermint try LUSH Pied De Pepper foot lotion with cocoa butter, lemon, ginger and cinnamon. http://ca.lush.com/cgi-bin/lushdb/00044?expand=Skincare

French care
Get some help from the nuns. Le Couvent foot cream is created at the Couvent des Minimes in the alps of Haute-Provence, France – a convent turned spa. This foot cream contains both arnica, with decongesting properties and mint, to relieve tired feet. Shea butter and honey extract creates a nourishing and softening foot cream. Your foot has just got to respond.

Versatile care
Superbalm Botanical Salvation by Liz Earle Naturally Active Skincare is a pure blend of naturally active ingredients that smooth and soothe away symptoms of dryness, chapping and flaking. Containing pure plant oils avocado, rosehip, neroli, lavender and chamomile. This versatile balm can be used on lips, nails, heels and elbows for an intensive treatment.

Now, with these beautiful feet, you'll need a new pair of sandals.

Anne Colvey is a regular contributor to Green Living Online. She can play the piano with her hammehead toes.