Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 11.22.10
These are not my feet

I am sorry to tell you this, but now is the time to start thinking about your feet again.

I treat my feet like absolute shit throughout winter. I just walk about on them like they don’t matter, never moisturise, never get a pedicure. Round about March I sneak a peek at the damage, apply a greasy foot cream once then forget about them again until it’s warm enough to wear sandals (June) then freak out and have an hour-long pedicure.

But this year, I’m going to do things differently, because the older you get, the more worn out your feet get, and it’s more sensible (as with all these things, i.e. going to the hygienist ARGH) to do a little bit now and again rather than a massive purge once a year.

So what I am going to recommend you do – perhaps this evening? – is get your toenails into an okay shape and then put by your bed a LIGHT moisturising cream, like Vaseline Intensive care hand cream (in the pink bottle) and vow to apply this to your feet after your morning/evening bathing session at LEAST once a week from now until Spring.

The problem with a lot of regimes is that they require too much commitment. Like flossing (can you tell that I am worried about my teeth at the moment?) Hygienists always want to put mustard up your bum by saying you MUST floss EVERY day hang on why not TWICE a day and then you are so freaked out about it that you never floss ever and buy an emergency choux pastry in order to calm your nerves.

What they ought to say is “floss as often as you can stand to. Even once or twice a week will make a difference.”

It’s the same with feet. I really dislike thick foot creams because I feel neurotic about how slimy they are vis walking about on carpet and/or getting into bed and sliming all over the sheets.

But a reasonably regular (i.e. weekly or twice weekly) application of a light moisturiser will make a difference and is less awkward than a full-fat Lanolin-based performance. Another thing you can do is when you are doing your basic ankle-to-knee leg weekday moisturising is keep going down and wipe a bit of your moisturiser over your toe cuticles and down the back of your heels. Every little helps and it’s not a time-consuming entire-foot splurge.

Another note, on foot files. There has to be some hard skin on your feet. Let’s just get that clear. No-one has got baby soft feet all over, it’s not practical: there is a reasonable amount of weight bearing down on your feet, they’ve got to have some protection. If you ram away at your poor heels with a hardcore foot file every day, your heels are going to split. I speak from personal experience.

The idea is that you have some hard skin on your feet where they make most contact with the ground, i.e. heels and the side of the big toe, but that the hard skin is gently buffed, I don’t know, once a month?, and otherwise kept from going bad by a good scrub with a body brush and soap once in a while – and that light moisturiser I was on about.