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When I think about my feet and beauty products, contrary to what every beauty article about feet and beauty would have you believe, I am not considering preparing them for sandal season. My toes are not going to be the stars of a print ad anytime soon. They don't need to be up to foot-model standards — I just don't want them to look Hobbit-esque (sorry, Frodo).
No, my big issues can be summed up in three words: Summertime City Foot. This malady, coined by our own Kelsey Miller, best describes the general grossness one's feet gets coated in when wearing open-toe shoes in an urban environment. If you've ever removed your flip-flops to find you have an unidentified black-grime imprint, you have been a victim of Summertime City Foot.
But, it's not just gross god-knows-what stuff coating your foot that typify this illness. There's also the ever popular dirt callous (when your heel and pads of your feet are calloused, but also weirdly stained a brownish color that will not wash away), hot tingle (the horrible aching, lingering burning sensation when you walk too far in flimsy sandals all day), slip 'n' slide skin (when your feet are so sweaty you start slipping out of your strappy sandals), and, my favorite, under-the-nail hitchhikers (gunk that gets wedged up under your nails and will not come out). Nice visuals I've painted for you there, huh?
As someone with some severe foot issues — as in, I can't stand bare feet or feeling like there's any kind of grit or dirt on them — I've spent years tackling this predicament with laser focus. I'm the kind of girl who washes my feet every night when I get home because the thought of climbing into bed with unwashed feet gives me the heebie jeebies. You better believe I've done my research.
Ahead, my fail-safe routine for making your feet feel clean, squeaky fresh, and de-gunked. It might seem a little intensive, but I've seen what people do to and on NYC sidewalks — if I could dip my feet in bleach and scrub under the skin each night, I would. This is the next best thing.