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Here's How To Get Your Feet Summer-Ready

Beauty & Fashion

It's that time of year again. Time to break out your sandals, open-toed shoes and even those $2 flip-flops from Old Navy that are bad for your soles yet we all seem to get them anyway.


Since pedicures are a form of reflexology that exfoliates your feet, reduces the chances of infection, promotes circulation, relaxes your body and helps your feet to maintain its much-needed moisture, hopefully, you've been getting them all year long. But let's be real with each other—pedicures are also what keep our toes looking as cute as ever! That's why the summer season is usually when we choose to shell out a little more cash so that our feet can receive some extra special treatment.

Well, before heading out to your favorite salon to get your feet and toes ready for what this summer has to offer, take out a moment to read about what you should do to get your feet on the right foot and then the all-natural things that you can—and should—try and home so that everything from your ankles down look, feel and even smell amazing long after Labor Day has come and gone.

Do a Rosewater, Vegetable Glycerin and Milk Soak

Soaking in nature's goodness

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Sandals and open-toed heels are cool but walking around with most of your feet out is a way to expose them to a ton of sunlight and even bacteria. Something that can prevent sunburn and protect your feet from germs is to soak them in some rosewater (click here to learn how to make some from home). Vegetable glycerin makes it easier for you to slough off dead skin. Milk is the ultimate moisturizer.

Pamper your feet by filling a basin a little more than halfway with warm water. Then add two cups of rosewater, a half cup of vegetable glycerin and a cup of milk. Soak for 15 minutes and use a pumice stone to hit the "rough areas". Your feet will be unbelievably smooth after you're done.

Use a Black Tea Foot Soak to Avoid Feet Sweat

I've got some people in my life who have a pretty bad case of sweaty feet. Although cornstarch works pretty well during the colder seasons, who wants to look like they've been kicking up dust in their sandals during the summertime?

If sweaty feet are something that you struggle with, consider soaking them in some black tea. It might sound crazy, but the tannic acid in the tea will not only close up your feet's pores so that you'll sweat less, it also kills bacteria so that your feet won't smell as much too.

Also Put Your Feet in Baking Soda Once a Week

Baking soda is one of the most effective (and inexpensive) exfoliants there is! It removes tartar from teeth, lifts up dandruff flakes from your scalp and gets rid of the dry skin that's on your feet too. If you want to maintain the pH balance of your feet and toes while also removing calluses and soothing aching feet, pour 3-4 tablespoons and add 10 drops of lavender essential oil into a basin of warm water. Soak your feet for 20 minutes and I guarantee your feet will instantly feel soothed, pampered and summer ready!

Sleep with Shea Butter and Socks

I don't miss my monthly pedicure. But there is a place on my left heel that stays hard, no matter how much my nail tech tends to it. Something that has finally "tamed" that area is shea butter. Only, I don't rub a lot of shea butter on my feet during the daytime (that makes them all slippery 'n stuff). Instead, I put a generous amount of it on my feet and toes at night and then put a pair of socks on. It is the ultimate moisturizer that has my feet feeling and looking amazing by morning.

Apply Honey and Olive Oil Once a Week

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Whether your heels are rough, your feet are sore or you simply want another way to keep your feet bacteria-free, honey's got your back. One-half cup of manuka honey, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and half of a freshly-squeezed lemon in a basin of water is a great DIY foot soak. But if baby soft feet are what you're after, mix one-third cup of organic honey with one-half cup of virgin olive oil. Rub your clean feet with the solution, let it sit for 15 minutes and rinse. Your feet will be date—and other stuff—night ready all night long!

Buff Your Toenails. Then Apply Some Cuticle Oil.

To tell you the truth, I can't remember the last time I only wore clear polish on my toenails (or fingernails, for that matter). That's how much I like colored nail polish! But I will say that whenever it's time to switch over to a new look, those white spots that sometimes show up, they get on my last nerve.

Can you relate and are looking for a remedy? Buff your toenails first. Apply some cuticle oil next. That should be all that you need to get your nails looking back to "normal" again.

Apply Orange Oil to Kill Fungus

If you're wondering if you've got a little bit of toenail fungus lurking around, some signs include nails that crumble at the corners, scaling underneath your toenail, yellow streaks on your toenails, distorted-looking toenails or toenails that are super thick (thicker than your "normal").

While it's always a good idea to see a doctor if you're not sure about a health matter, if money is tight at the moment and you want to use as few chemicals as possible to get the fungus under control, something that you might want to try doing is applying some orange oil. Scientific research reveals that the properties in orange essential oil is able to kill most strains of fungal and bacterial infections (peppermint and lemongrass oil can too but orange smells really good).

Eat Keratin-Rich Foods

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Your nails are made up of the protein keratin. That's why it makes sense that, in order to keep them healthy from the inside out, you should eat foods that are rich in keratin. Some of those include blueberries, almonds, eggs, whey protein, fish, collards and kale and citrus fruit. These are the kinds of foods that will make sure that your nails will be strong, not brittle and will keep that nice pink glow.

Always Keep Them Polished

Even if your budget won't let you get professional pedicure every 3-4 weeks, most spas/salons will paint your toenails for you for a pretty nominal fee (if you're wondering, the current hottest nail polish colors for the summer are nude, neon, polka dot, rainbow and pastels). A fresh coat will make your feet look like brand new; especially if you follow through with all of the at-home suggestions you just read.

Remember, summer beauty is all in the details. So, don't you dare step out this summer season without taking good care of those feet of yours!

Get a Professional Pedicure

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In order to get your feet off to a great start, I personally think it's a good idea to invest in a professional pedicure. That way, you can get your calluses removed, cuticles pushed back, toenails trimmed and nails professionally painted.

Just make sure that you shave your legs no less than two days before going (so that bacteria from the foot tubs don't get into your legs' pores), that the spa/salon you go to sanitizes the tub before you put your feet in it and that there are other options than those callus shavers (the things that look a lot like cheese graters). Believe it or not, in many states, those are now illegal because of the risk they run of cutting you. #themoreyouknow

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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