DIY: Spice Up a Foot Soak with Household Items
Think of the ingredients that make up a run-of-the-mill foot soak, and the results aren’t all too exciting. Baking soda and your grandma’s Epsom salt might come to mind—and for good reason. Mixed in a hot-water bath, the time-tested drugstore products soothe achy muscles and joints, soften calluses, and relieve itching. But sometimes this two-ingredient soak isn’t enough for feet subject to long runs, strappy sandals, or overzealous games of kickball. Luckily, according to Tamara Wills, the owner of Allyu Spa, a few ingredients pulled straight from the pantry or medicine cabinet can instantly spice up a boring soak and relieve your everyday foot woes.
For blisters: Honey
Not just for adding to tea or dunking chicken nuggets, honey acts as an all-natural healer for your soles. Tamara says this antibacterial antidote is a great addition “if your feet are feeling a bit battered and blistered—it also smells warm and nurturing!”
For swollen feet: Essential oil
A few drops of your favorite essential oil promotes relaxation, smells great, and can even reduce ankle and foot swelling. “Eucalyptus is a favorite for footbaths. It’s naturally antibacterial, reduces inflammation, deodorizes, and lends a cooling sensation.”
For rough, summer-torn feet: Apple-cider vinegar and lemon
If the wear and tear of summer has left your feet rough and callused, add some lemon slices and apple-cider vinegar to your soak. These ingredients possess “an antifungal component, and the fruit acids assist to slough away dead skin cells.”
Tamara’s End-of-Summer Foot Soak
What you need:
3/4 cup Epsom salt
1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup apple-cider vinegar
1 lemon, sliced
What you do:
1). Fill a basin about three-quarters of the way full with hot water. Make sure to test the temperature—it should be hot, but comfortable to the touch. Then, simply mix in each of the ingredients.
2). Dip your feet in and relax! Keep your feet submerged for 10–15 minutes.
3). Tamara also suggests a post-soak exfoliant. “A mixture of two parts sugar and one part oil make[s] an excellent scrub.”
If you want to supplement a foot soak with more TLC for your feet, try adding self-massage to your everyday routine. Tamara recommends the Foot Roller by TheraBand. And if the thought of touching your own feet isn’t appealing, you can always bribe a loved one or hospitable roommate to give you a foot massage. We recommend flattery or cake balls.
Photo: © Timothy Burkhart, Groupon