It's Sandal Season, & You Need This Simple, DIY Lemon Foot Soak

Illustrated by Mallory Heyer.

By Leah Prinzivalli

Sandal season is officially here, which means you’re probably scared of the sight of your own feet. That’s why we turned to Donna Perillo, founder of Sweet Lily Natural Nail Spa & Boutique in NYC, for a DIY tutorial of her Lemon Aid Pedicure. Now, we can enjoy its luxury at home.

While the natural alpha-hydroxy acid in lemon juice serves to slough off dead skin cells (which feels so amazing), the citrus-smelling factor means your living room will feel like Miami. Sound divine? Welcome to your new evening ritual.
Homemade Lemon Foot-Soak Recipe

To make your soak, combine one gallon of warm water and two cups of fresh lemon juice in a small basin or tub.

For The Lemon-Zest Scrub:

Gather all ingredients and combine in a small bowl.
1/4 cup organic granulated sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh lemon zest

For The Moisturizer
Use any pure body oil or all-natural lotion you might already have in your beauty stash.

1. Begin by removing old nail polish with a soy-based or non-acetone remover.

2. Trim and file nails to desired shape and length, and round the edges to avoid ingrown toenails.

3. Soak feet in the warm, lemon footbath for about five minutes.

4. Gently push back cuticles with a wooden orange stick, available online or at any pharmacy.

5. To exfoliate, take a scoop of the lemon-zest scrub in your hand and apply in a circular motion to feet, giving extra attention to heels, between toes, and calluses.

6. Rinse feet under warm water, and then towel-dry.

7. Massage lotion of choice into the skin, again, giving extra TLC to heels and toes.

8. Remove excess oils from the nail with a bit of non-acetone remover on a cotton ball.

9. Apply polish — or just enjoy your soft feet!

Sweet Lily offers a 60-minute version of the original Lemon Aid at its salon in Tribeca. Until your next appointment, we’ll see you in the produce section, lemons in hand.

Next: How To Clean Sunscreen Stains Off Your Clothes

More from Skin Care


R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.