While it might not exactly feel like it's officially springtime right now (I recently read that many states are currently experiencing some of the coldest temperatures for this time of year), that doesn't mean that you shouldn't get those feet of yours spring season ready. And while it would be oh so nice to simply set a pedicure appointment at your favorite nail salon, your budget—or shoot, in 2020, the government—may not make that very easy or probable; not for a while anyway.
Good thing there are some ways that you can both prep as well as pamper your feet at home. If you get the right ingredients and set the right atmosphere—light a soy candle, put on some of your favorite music and make sure that you've got a basin that's big enough to put both of your feet in—your feet can still feel luxurious and your toes can still look like they are ready for every open-toe pump and pair of sandals that you've got.
Soak Your Feet in Lavender and Rosewater
Aside from the fact that soaking your feet can feel totally amazing, there are some health benefits that come with doing it too. If the water is super warm (to the point of being almost hot), it can increase blood circulation and reduce inflammation. If you add 10 drops of lavender essential oil to your soak, the oil will relieve anxiety, decrease insomnia and offer up a lingering scent that is soft as well as feminine. Then, if you pour a half cup of rosewater into the water, it will help to maintain the pH balance of your feet's skin, lighten the appearance of any discoloration or scars your feet may have and, nourish and moisturize your feet too. Can't you already feel the instant relief?
Scrub Your Feet with Strawberries and Honey
I can't think of one part of our body that can't benefit from a good old-fashioned DIY scrub. One that personally tops my list is a strawberry and honey foot scrub. Because strawberries are loaded with Vitamin C, they can help your body to produce the collagen that your feet need in order to keep looking young (yes, your feet can age too). Strawberries also have folic acid which helps your feet to produce new skin cells. Something else that strawberries contain is the antioxidant ellagic acid; it protects your skin from damaging UV rays that will only get stronger during the spring season. As far as honey goes, it's a humectant (it pulls moisture from the air), so it helps to keep your skin moisturized. Honey is also a natural antiseptic, an exfoliant, and it even contains properties that help to brighten your complexion. If you're all about giving this particular scrub a shot, click here for some step-by-step instructions.
Baking Soda Removes Dead Skin
Putting three tablespoons of baking soda into a basin of warm water and then letting your feet soak for 20 minutes or so is a wonderful way to remove any dead skin that your feet may have on them. That's because baking soda serves as an alkaline ingredient that naturally exfoliates. Plus, its gritty texture can make your feet smooth too. Just be sure to avoid this tip if you happen to have sensitive skin. Baking soda is pretty powerful and, sometimes it can throw off your skin's pH balance if you've got naturally sensitive skin. Otherwise, you should be all good.
Heal Cracked Heels with Some Mouthwash
If you happen to have any Listerine in your house, did you know that it's a great way to get rid of cracked heels? The reason why is because it contains the ingredient methyl salicylate which actually acts similar to salicylic acid which is found in a lot of anti-aging products.
What both of these things do is they exfoliate the skin; especially really dry skin. As a bonus, Listerine is a disinfectant that is able to treat foot issues like athlete's foot and toenail fungal infections.
Use Carmex for Your Cuticles
If you moisturize your feet on a daily basis, you won't have to rely on cuticle oil much. But if you notice that your nails are dry and cracked, applying some Carmex can help to give your cuticles moisture as well as protect them and your nails from damage. Is there some special ingredient that it contains? Not really. It just happens to be cheaper than a lot of cuticle oil brands; thicker too.
Try Some Mint and Lime
I wouldn't be surprised, in the least if, the last thing that you considered to be a great treatment for your feet is a mint and lime combo. But it is. If you think about the menthol that's in mint, you can probably already imagine just how invigorating it will make your feet feel. Some other good things about mint is it's able to brighten the skin tone of your feet as the properties in mint also lock in moisture. Another cool thing about mint is it's a mild astringent that is able to deeply cleanse your feet too. And, it has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe any bug bites that you might experience as the weather heats up. Lime? Its juice is able to naturally treat dark spots, its citric acid can remove dead skin and also, thanks to its antioxidant, disinfectant and antibiotic properties, lime can also help to protect your feet from infection. Simply mix two cups of Epsom salt with the juice of one lime, five drops of peppermint essential oil and a half-cup of baking soda. Soak your feet for 20 minutes and it will be the ultimate pick-me-up.
If Your Feet Are Extra Dry, Use Apple Cider Vinegar
If you fill a basin with hot water, a half-cup of apple cider vinegar and a few drops of your favorite essential oil, you will have just created a solution to ashiness. Between apple cider vinegar's anti-inflammatory properties and its acetic acid and alpha hydroxy acid, it is a way to soothe swollen feet and exfoliate them while healing dry skin. As a bonus, apple cider vinegar is an effective foot fungus killer. Soaking for about 15-20 minutes so do the trick.
Cypress Oil Will Deodorize Them
One site that I personally dig a lot is Dr. Axe. So, when I first heard about cypress essential oil, I Googled his site, just to see what his thoughts were on it. I was sold. If you like to wear a woodsy/spicy kind of scent, that's basically the best way to describe how the oil smells. As far as how it can benefit you, cypress is an oil that helps to heal wounds and infections, detoxes the body, treats respiratory issues, relieves muscle cramps and softens the appearance of varicose veins and cellulite. Know what else it does? It serves as a natural deodorant; that's because it has the reputation for being a super astringent. Putting a couple of drops on your feet (along with a carrier oil) can nix any odor, plus it can provide a big energy boost as well.
Vodka Will Refresh Your Feet
Between you and me—do your feet stink? If so, pick up some vodka (if you don't already have some).
The reason why vodka works is because it contains a property known as ethanol which is a non-toxic antiseptic that kills odor-causing bacteria. If you really want to knock the funk out, add about 15 drops of tea tree essential oil; it has antibacterial and antifungal properties in it.
Just pour a half cup of vodka, along with the oil into a glass (or plastic if you want to carry the bottle around in your purse) bottle and shake it (so that the vodka and oil blend well together). Then spray your feet whenever you feel the need.
Sleep “in” Some Vicks or Some Aloe Vera Gel
Do you want to take pampering your feet to another level? If so, get yourself some 100 percent pure Aloe vera gel. It has vitamins A, C and E in it. It is loaded with antioxidants. Aloe vera also contains lupeol, which is a property that acts as an antiseptic and analgesic (something that relieves pain). And, it is a great moisturizer and wound healer. Before turning in at night, wash your feet and pat them dry. Apply some coconut, sweet almond or grapeseed oil on your feet. Then, apply a thick layer of Aloe vera (make sure to get in between your toes too), put on some cotton socks and go to bed. The oil will penetrate deeply into your feet as the Aloe vera seals the oil in and protects your feet in the process. You'll wake up to your feet feeling softer than your hands. And you'll absolutely love it!
Ever Wonder How to Cut Your Toenails Properly?
Once your feet are looking and feeling great, it's time to get to your actual toenails. First, it's best to use toenail clippers instead of fingernail clippers. They're bigger and will help you to get a more "clean" cut. Cut each toenail straight across, avoiding curving around the edges; that can lead to ingrown nails, if you're not careful. Speaking of preventing ingrown nails, also don't cut your nails too short. If you want to even your nails out a bit, use a nail file instead.
Also, avoid cutting your toenails immediately after getting out of the tub. Nails have a tendency to bend or tear if you cut them while they are wet or damp. Give them about an hour to dry. Oh, and whatever you do, definitely do not cut your cuticles; that could lead to bleeding or infection. Use cuticle sticks to push them back instead.
You Ready for Some Toe Polish Hacks (That Also Work for Nails Too)?
DIY toe separators. Both of my fourth toes are a little closer to my third than I would like. One way to keep them from running into each other is I use toe separators. If you don't have time to run to a beauty supply store to get some, get a sponge while you're grocery shopping instead. Cut them into rectangular shapes and you'll be good to go.
Dip your toes in cold water. If, while polishing your nails, you are pressed for time, something that you can do to speed up the drying process is to put your nails into cold water first. It will help the polish on your nails to harden faster. Just make sure that the water is ice cold; as cold as you can possibly stand it. That's how you can get the best results.
Use steam to create a matte look. I don't know about you, but absolutely adore matte nails. One way to get that kind of finish is first, to put a dash of cornflower into your polish. Then, paint your nails like normal and to put them in front of some steam. For your nails, you can simply put them over a pot of boiled water. For your toes, try a clothes steamer; that should work.
Try a tea bag to fix a broken nail. Broken nails are the absolute worst. An awesome workaround hack is to empty all of the contents of tea bag out. Then, cut a small piece of the bag, place it where the break is, secure it with nail glue and polish your nails like normal. If that sounds too to be true, this video serves as a cool confirmation. Just keep in mind that this works for natural nails only.
Put a rubber band on your polish. Don't you just hate it when you can't seem to open a bottle of polish, no matter how hard you try? Rather than using the back of your teeth, put a rubber band on the top of the bottle instead. It will—or at least, should—make it so much easier to open.
One of the best things about springtime is it gives us the opportunity to retire our boots and pull out the strappy heels. If you follow these DIY tips, you'll literally be able to put your best foot—well, feet—forward all spring long. Happy springtime, y'all!
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Watching Angela “Blac Chyna” White’s transformation in real-time has truly been a sight to see. It wasn’t that long ago that she announced that she was reversing her cosmetic surgeries in an effort to go back to who she was before the world came to know her as Blac Chyna. In previous interviews, she stated that she was dissolving her facial and lip fillers, removing her breast implants, and getting a butt reduction, as well as removing the dimple piercings that enhanced her fame and controversial tattoos.
In a recent Tamron Hall interview, the mother of two said that she has “fully recovered” from the procedures. She is also celebrating one year of sobriety and opened up about being worried about how her new journey would be received by others.
“I’ve been in the entertainment industry for so long, right, and of course, like, you know, coming out, I’m like young, I’m gonna do wild things as we all have,” she said.
“...I feel like by me being vocal and showing everybody you can change your life and things can get better, like through myself, that right there is an accomplishment, and that’s a part of freedom, too.”
But as she started on her journey, many people have shown her grace, which is something she’s grateful for. “And then the fact that people have been showing me grace, it’s like amazing,” she said. “And I feel like when I did it, I just did it. It was more so like spiritual thing and I feel like people see that, and I’ve always been like my authentic self, so what you see is kinda what you get with me, and that’s just kinda what it is.”
Chyna, who recently received an honorary doctorate from Sacramento Theology Seminary and Bible College, has also repaired her relationship with her mom, Tokyo Toni. The social media celebrity surprised her daughter on the Tamron Hall Show. Prior to the sentimental surprise, Chyna dished on the reconciliation and having a better understanding of her mom.
“I must say, some of the things I have to take accountability for because, like my actions. As a mother, you don’t want to see your daughter doing certain things ‘cause it’s like it doesn’t matter what my past was or what we’re going through, I didn’t raise you that way,” she admitted. “So, it’s like, okay, maybe I was a little bit wrong. Maybe I was acting out a little bit. But I feel like as we grow older, I kinda see more, and I understand more.”
Chyna will be starring in season two of Fox's reality competition show Special Forces: World's Toughest Test.
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