The weather is warming up. Jackets, scarves and boots are "hibernating. " Time for T-shirts, shorts, and flip flops! Maybe not! Your feet have spent the winter in socks and boots; they probably aren't ready to be seen by the world! Pedicures can get expensive. Not to worry! I've discovered a simple, cheap way to get your feet ready for flip flops and bare feet in no time. You should have almost everything to get started! You can always opt to have a professional pedicure first and use these steps to maintain and prolong your paid-for pedicure.

Please note: the following is a method to improve the condition of your feet. This does not include the maintenance of the nails themselves (removing cuticles, polishing, etc.).

The Supplies

Foot File, scrubber, pumice stone:  As a licensed cosmetologist, I've used many things in and out of the salon. The best tool I've discovered is easily obtained at your local beauty supply store (I've found them at Sally's). It's called Mr. Pumice and costs less than $3.00!

Heavy Duty Moisturizing Agent:  Lotion just won't do! Even the expensive stuff isn't what you need. It’s not thick enough and is usually soaked into the skin within a minute. My favorite product to use is Lanolin, made by Lansinoh. You can purchase it at Target (usually found in the baby bottle/breast feeding section). You can also use A & D Ointment (NOT the cream). You can also use any sort of cooking oil, though it isn’t quite as effective. Do NOT use mineral oil or petroleum jelly. These create a barrier that prevents your skin from absorbing moisture and will defeat all your hard work!

Pair of Socks:  Use an old pair, something you don't mind getting your moisturizing agent on. Just make sure there are no holes!

The Process

This shouldn't take you any longer than 10-15 minutes.  You can split these steps up into 2 parts to decrease the amount of time you dedicate in one sitting. I like to do this before bed to allow maximum moisturizing time for maximum results.

Soak Your Feet:  This step is vital in our process! Soaking your feet allows your calluses to soften. Place your feet in 3 inches of hot water for at least 5 minutes. You can use your bathtub! Sit on a chair or stool so you are comfortable. Using electronic devices while you're soaking is not advised.

Scrub Your Feet: Grab your Mr. Pumice and start scrubbing away! You may have to clean the skin off your scrubber. While you're scrubbing the first foot, leave the second in the water. Scrub for at least 2 minutes per foot. Don't forget to get around the sides and your toes! Dry your feet when done. It's now safe to drain the tub.

Apply the Moisturizing Agent:  Don't be shy with it! Get a nice layer over the entire sole of your foot, the sides and your toes (including the cuticles).

Put on Your Socks:  This is the final step. Be careful to not wipe off the moisturizing agent when putting them on. It's like putting on a shirt without messing up your hair or makeup–same concept. Leave them on for at least 5 minutes, though overnight is best for optimal absorption!

You're done! Wasn't that easy? If you need to make this routine quicker and more "kid friendly," do steps 1 and 2 while in the shower (save them for last so your feet have time to soak).  Then do steps 3 and 4 before you go to bed. While not as effective as doing them all together, it still works!  You should definitely see results after the first week or two.

Everyone's results will vary. If after a week, you don't feel like you've seen a difference, it might be a good idea to get a pedicure and let the professional do the hard work for you. Then use these steps to maintain your beauties!

This has been a guest post by Daphne from Colorado Springs, CO
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