A woman, standing on her tiptoes next to a red flower, with a smiley face drawn on her feet.

5 Basic Foot Care Tips: How to Take Care of Your Feet at Home

As much as we hate saying it, there’s a whole lot more to taking care of your feet than a Baby Foot Exfoliating Foot Peel or Moisturizing Foot Mask. Proper foot care includes a whole lot more.

Sure, we’re big believers in our products—the biggest, actually—but pampering your peds is like having houseplants or a puppy. Your feet need proper attention on the daily if they’re going to stay happy, pretty and healthy. Taking care of them just becomes second nature. 

The Internet is brimming with all sorts of foot care tips, but we wanted to share our insider wisdom for keeping those soles, toes, and nails looking their best in between treatments. Here are five basic pointers for taking care of your feet within the comfort of your own home. So do your family and friends a favor and pass them along—that’s just good foot karma!

1. Stretch and strengthen your feet with household items.

Our poor, load-bearing feet. We ask so much of them and give so little in return. You might be surprised to learn that stretching and strengthening these overworked appendages is insanely easy. And you can do it at home with items you probably already have.

Towel scrunches are one of the best all-around exercises for your feet. All you need is a hand towel and a straight-backed chair. Have a seat and place the short end of the towel just underneath your toes. Then scrunch your toes repeatedly to pull the towel toward you. Five reps for each of your dogs, and you’re done.

If you’re a tennis player or use a tennis ball to play fetch with your dog, this next one is perfect for you. The tennis ball roll is as easy as it sounds. Set that fuzzy, green orb on the floor, have a seat and then roll it back and forth on the bottom of your foot. A couple of minutes for each foot should do wonders. No tennis balls around? Use bottled water or get yourself a fancy roller.

2. Wage all-out war on moisture if you work out regularly.

If you’re hitting the gym on the reg, we have some sage advice for keeping your feet dry and fungus-free. 

Remember that listicle that recently popped up on your feed explaining why you shouldn’t leave sweaty clothes on after you exercise? It’s all true! And yet we have a tendency to trounce around in damp socks far too long after a workout. If you’re not going to hit the showers right away, at least bring a fresh pair of socks to slip on as soon as you’re done. 

Even better, generously apply some talcum powder before that Crossfit class to keep the swamp effect at bay. A solid choice for more than a century, Gold Bond is widely available and offers both powder and powder spray.

3. Moisturize your feet when they’re still damp and bag ’em for bedtime.

It’s hard to beat a hot shower or relaxing foot soak to close out your day—but don’t stop there. Moisturize those pruney paws and then slip them into some plush socks to lock in the lotion. 

When you finally emerge from that steamy shower, the first thing you should reach for is a soft towel to pat your feet dry. The next thing you should grab is a hydrating, oil-free moisturizer or foot cream. Really slather it on and massage it in. 

Then slide those soft, slick feet into a pair of our red or black treatment socks before you slip under the sheets for a good night’s rest. Just think of them as humidors for your hooves.

4. Sure, it’s summertime, but beware: Flip-flops are the enemy of foot care.

We all love that time of year when we can finally let the fresh air envelope our feet and wind whoosh between our toes. But we’d be lying if we told you flip-flops and sandals are on our good foot care checklist.

Those arches love to be supported, and flat shoes just don’t get the job done. Plus, the more you walk in them, the more likely you are to get foot cramps, shin splints or plantar fasciitis—a dreaded condition that can be a real pain in the…foot.

If you must expose your tootsies to the elements, invest in some sandals with a bit more cushioning and a heel that’s at least an inch thick. If fashion isn’t your top consideration, treat your feet to a pair of comfy Birkenstocks. They’ll love you for it.

5. And, ladies, always use a base coat on your nails to avoid discoloration.

If you take care of your feet as well as we think you do, then you’re probably rolling your eyes at this tip. But we thought we’d throw it in the mix for good measure. 

Even the base coat faithful will sometimes skip this important step when they’re in a hurry. But take it from us—don’t. Would you paint a door or wall in your home without priming it first? We didn’t think so.

If you want to nail it when it comes to your toenails, stock up on your favorite base coat next time you’re at the store so you don’t unexpectedly run out. 

With all these great foot care tips on your mind, we bet you’re ready for an exfoliating foot peel. We don’t blame you. They’re all the rage during the pandemic. Even The New York Times is taking notice