Nail Professionals Recommend Products For Your Battered Winter Feet

After a winter huddled in boots and slippers, your feet are ready for a refresh.
Pedicure socks, sugar scrub and a pumice bar.

In the dreary days of winter, your little piggies become more like little piggy hooves. When the temperatures drop and you’re constantly wearing heavy boots and thick socks, your feet get dry, calloused and weathered, literally.

“Many of us tend to ignore our feet during the winter months,” said Jessica Austin, a manager at Primp & Polish, a small chain of New York-based salons. “But it is definitely a great idea to maintain care even if we are not showing them to world.”

For Austin, maintaining care can include regularly trimming and filing your toenails, doing foot soaks, using sugar scrubs to exfoliate and pumice stones or foot files to keep your soles from developing cracks or thick calluses.

While you could spring for a salon pedicure, beauty vlogger and home manicurist Amanda Bella says there are tons of easy and affordable ways to replenish your feet without ever leaving the house.

To keep your kickers smooth and soft, Austin and Bella shared their favorite products and tricks for taking care of winter feet and doing professional-level pedicures at home.

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Keep pumice in your shower
The cold winter weather can make your sweet feet dry and cracked. While an at-home or professional pedicure can give your feet an instant moisture boost, Bella recommends keeping a budget-friendly pumice bar, like this one from Amazon, in your shower and using it daily (or every time you shower) to keep your feet feeling soft between pedicures. "Quickly using this on your heels/soles at the end of each shower will help treat calluses and maintain super soft feet!" she said.
Or elevate your heel work with this luxury scraper
Though it's certainly not a budget item, Bella also recommends this luxury foot file from Diamancel. Reviews say it takes off even the most stubborn calluses and is surprisingly durable for how lightweight it is. "This one is a bit more expensive, but will last you years," Bella said.
Exfoliate with a sugar scrub
Following the pumice or file, Austin suggests something a little sweet. "Apply sugar scrub to both legs and feet to exfoliate and rinse," she said. "Once complete you will see and feel the difference right away."

This mango sugar srub is made in the USA with shea butter, natural oils, mango puree and real sugar.
Slip on some moisturizing socks
"To treat and keep feet soft, a pair of gel-lined moisturizing socks work wonders at night!" Bella said. "Barefoot Scientist makes a fabulous pair."

Barefoot Scientist is a small women-led business selling everything you need for foot care and at-home pedicures. Enriched with shea butter, vitamin E and argan, rose and jojoba oils, these regenerating gel-lined, moisturizing night socks from Barefoot Scientist will nourish your feet as you catch some Z's. They come in two sizes and are reusable and hand-washable.
5-toe gel moisturizing socks
To give each toe individual attention, Kristen Aiken, head of HuffPost Life, recommends these gel-lined socks. "They’ve kept my feet from devolving into their usual sad winter state," she said. "I’m an avid runner, so I’m prone to cracked heels in the winter — but after wearing these for 20 to 30 minutes every night before bed, I have yet to crack!"

Aiken added that the gel isn’t wet or sticky, but has more of a silicone feeling, and the toe divides are comfortable for all-night wear. These come in three sizes.
Or make a DIY pair of your own
For a homemade option, Bella says you can create your own night socks. "You can also DIY for similar results by lathering your feet in coconut oil, Vaseline or Aquaphor and popping them into a thicker pair of socks before bedtime," she said. "Doing this a couple of times a week will help to keep them soft and hydrated."
Give your piggies a soak
If you're going to engage in toenail maintenance at home, Austin recommends soaking your feet for three to five minutes in warm water to soften your cuticles, making it easier (and less hangnail-inducing) to push and trim them.

If you want to upgrade your foot soak, you can opt for an Epsom salt bath like this tea tree and peppermint version specially made for feet.

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