Get sandal-ready Meet the Foot Facialist

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Information & Advice

Get sandal-ready: Meet the Foot Facialist

She's the foot guru the A-list have on speed dial: meet expert podiatrist Margaret Dabbs

Jennifer Needham

Jennifer Needham

Editorial Assistant

Published 1st September 2008

With fans that include Girls Aloud and Strictly Come Dancing’s Camilla Ballerup, footcare guru Margaret Dabbs knows a thing or two about how to get fancy with your footwork. Read below for Margaret’s solutions to your footcare worries…

1. What is the best way to get the smoothest skin ever on your feet?

The best way to get the smoothest skin ever on the feet is to follow a cleansing/exfoliating and moisturising routine in exactly the same way as you do your face!   On a weekly basis the feet should be foot filed on dry skin, concentrating on areas of callus.  Filing should always be directed away from you and not towards you, and always be undertaken on dry skin.  A good foot scrub can be used once or twice a week, and make sure you rub the scrub all over the skin and the nails of the feet.  The use of a foot soak will make an enormous difference also.  This doesn’t have to be time consuming, my tip is to use this whilst in the shower. Prevent the water from draining out of the shower, and add a couple of drops to the water in the shower tray and continue to shower as usual whilst your feet are soaking in the water, taking care not to slip, swish the feet from side to side in the water. Once out of the shower pump a small amount of foot oil into the hands and apply all over the skin of the feet and the nails. Follow this with foot lotion for the smoothest skin ever on your feet!      

Try: Margaret Dabbs Foot Scrub, Soak, Oil and Lotion.

2. What is the best way to get rid of those awful cracked/dry heels?

Cracked dry heels can occur if there is a build up of callus, which should be removed professionally.  Dry filing the heels once a week will make a difference as will the use of a good foot scrub.  However it is very important to look at the cause.  Flip flops and sandals can often be a cause of this; make sure the footwear is not too solid under your foot, wooden style flip-flops are a big culprit here, as is the wearing of footwear that is slightly too short for the foot.  Vary your footwear, and if you have a favourite sandal or shoe that has lost its padding do use a decent insole to give you back some padding.   

3. Which of your products do you use?

My Intensive Hydrating Foot Oil is amazing at reducing and preventing the further build up of cracked and dry heels and skin of the feet.   It is simple to apply, non pore clogging and you require only a very small amount to get instant and long lasting results.  My daily routine definitely consists of using the Oil which is really a unique product being a dry, non pore clogging oil which is transdermal and therefore easily absorbed, and I follow this with the Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion which gives the beautifully soft silkiness to the feet.  If used daily the Oil should last around 7 months and the Lotion similarly.

4. What is the key to sexy summer feet?

Good grooming is key, which requires a daily moisturising routine.

5. How do you care for your feet during the winter?

The care for the feet in the winter is the same as the Summer; just because they are not on show as often does not mean that they should be forgotten.  It is important to wear socks or tights inside shoes or boots.  It is extremely dehydrating if the skin is directly touching footwear and it also encourages fungal conditions of the skin and nails.

6. Like cleansing, toning and moisturising, is there a footcare regime that we should all follow?

A daily and weekly routine should be followed.  There is something really very liberating about having lovely looking feet which are hydrated and soft.

7. What is your opinion in reflexology?

Many people enjoy reflexology, it is relaxing and if undertaken by a good reflexologist   it can be hugely rewarding.

8. Flip flops, high heels or trainers – which are worse for your feet and why?

All of these can be worn if done so in moderation.  The wearing of flip flops can encourage the build up of hard dry skin (callus) and cracks.   They can also encourage and exacerbate the tendency to poor gait, with no arch support for the foot.  Trainers do give good arch support but should not be worn continually but for sporting purposes and changed often.  High heels should always fit properly and should not be worn continually, they do help to support the arches of the feet, but can exacerbate back problems and encourage the formation of Hallux Valgus (bunion).

9. Which celebrity has the best, most cared-for feet?

Kylie has lovely feet, she knows all about the health aspects of looking after your feet. Camilla Dallerup  from Strictly Come Dancing loves looking after her dancing feet.  The fusion of health and beauty for feet has become high priority for all celebrities who wear high heels and are constantly being photographed in them.  It’s not only for females however, more men than ever (especially professional sportsmen) are taking a keen interest in their health and their feet come very high up the list!

10. Can you wear nail polish on your toes all the time or should you take a break?

The deeper the colour of the varnish the more dehydrating on the nail and this should be remembered.  Varnish should be properly removed and not painted over.  The benefit of removing varnish is also to check on the nails to ensure they are healthy and infection free, which of course is masked if varnish is worn!

11. I’ve been dancing/shopping/standing around all day – what is the best way to relieve and revive my feet?

Bathing the feet is the best way of reviving sore, tired, aching, and swollen feet.  My Hydrating Foot Soak has the added benefit of Lemon Myrtle, a plant indigenous of Australia, which is known for its soothing qualities.  A few minutes of bathing in the feet in this will make an enormous difference, they will feel lighter, and the inflammation (redness and puffiness) will reduce.  This should be followed with my Hydrating Foot Lotion, which should be massaged into the feet to bring them back to life and leave them silky and smooth.

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Hands, Nails & Feet
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