During the summer, when flip-flops and bare feet abound, I keep a careful watch on the state of my feet. Pedicures, polish and copious amounts of pampering keep them pretty and camera ready. Then come fall and winter and my poor, neglected feet start to resemble hooves.
Since I'm saving all my extra cash for Christmas presents and an iPad (*ahem* hope you're reading this, Santa), I decided to skip the nail salon and research some DIY treatments instead. I found a pumpkin foot scrub that sounded interesting and was made from ingredients I already had at home.
- 1/4 Cup Cooked or canned pumpkin puree
- 1/4 Cup Brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Almond Oil (you can also use olive, jojoba, or vitamin E oils)
- 1 Tablespoon Ground coffee beans
- Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and scrub your feet, paying special attention to the heels. Rinse off with warm water and pat dry. Leftover mixture can be used on the rest of your body in the shower or can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for a few days.
- Pumpkin contains natural enzymes that exfoliate the skin and are good for softening up rough patches of skin (just like those dry heels on your feet!).
- Alpha-hydroxy acids and small granules in the brown sugar also make for excellent exfoliators.
- The oils will not only soften the skin, but they'll also strengthen and hydrate your cuticles which will make your nails stronger.
- The caffeine in the ground coffee beans helps improve blood circulation in your feet, making for happy peppy tootsies.
I think it was the pumpkin puree that was messing with me, the sweet smell mixing in with the coffee was a little unsettling. I had to talk myself into continuing on, because I was majorly turned off by the initial smell and texture of the scrub. While I psyched myself up to try it, I decided to put on a face mask and gather my courage.
I dove in and slathered my feet with the mixture and started scrubbing. Nothing prepared me for how cold the scrub would feel, so remember to warm it up in your hands for a few seconds! Once I finished cursing and hopping around on one foot, I scrubbed away.
The scrub felt a little looser than what you might be used to in store-bought products, but it worked just the same. I made sure to concentrate on my heels, scrubbing each foot for about 3 minutes. I thought the pumpkin was staining my skin, but don't worry, I didn't end up with Snooki hands or feet. It washed off and faded after I followed up with a gentle post-rinse brushing with one of those pedicure scrubber brushes (no soap, just warm water). After drying off my feet, I used a rich body butter and my feet were indeed softer and looked much improved!
I calculated what it costs to make a batch of the foot scrub, rounding up generously, it's less than $2. About 10% of the cost of a regular pedicure! True, you don't get the perks of going to a nail salon, but just think about the money you're saving. If a trip to the spa isn't in the budget, DIY treatments are a great alternative. You can also get together with friends and try out recipes, even if things go wrong you'll have a good time.
With a little experimentation you can customize these homemade products to suit you, play with scented oils and products to create your own fabulous blend. You'll be saving money and in control of the products you're using! Don't be discouraged if you make this face on the first try...