How to anti-age your feet

Don’t let your beauty regime stop at your ankles. Put your best foot forward with these anti-aging strategies.

By Tracy Davis

1) Get rid of hard skin

It's really common to get a build-up of very hard skin where our feet are under pressure or stress such as our toes, the ball of our feet and heels.
No amount of moisturiser is going to penetrate this stubborn skin so the best way to deal with it is to use some sort of exfoliating method to remove some of it.
Keep in mind, these areas need to have some protection so don't be too harsh with your removal methods.
Anti-aging solution: Alpha Hydroxy Acids like those found in Skin Republic Foot Peel, $18.99, do a great job of gently gobbling up dead skin cells.
Alternatively a mechanical exfoliating roller or paddle such as the Manicare Ceramic Stone Foot File, $12.49, will do the job nicely, especially after soaking your feet to soften the skin first.
Try to get into the habit of using a file like this once a week to stop too much hard skin building up again.

2) Make them look soft and supple

One of the reasons our feet get so very dry and dehydrated is because of their lack of oil glands to keep them naturally lubricated.
So you can imagine that with exposure to sun, sand and surf, our feet are likely to get even thirstier.
Just after showering is a good time to slather them in foot cream or even just your regular moisturiser, to keep the skin hydrated. At the beach, make sure they're protected from the sun.
Anti-aging solution: With its rich blend of cocoa butter, shea butter, and beeswax, Linden Leaves Foot Massage Cream, $34.99 will keep your tootsies nourished.
If you're on your way to bed, a pair of cotton socks on top will help soften the skin - otherwise slip into a pair of open toed slippers until the cream is absorbed. A spray-on sunscreen like Neutrogena Beach Defence Mist SPF50, $24.99, will ensure your feet get good coverage.

3) Heal your heels

The drier the skin is on your feet, the more likely it is to split and crack with the pressure of standing and walking.
That's another reason to work at keeping the skin on your heels soft and flexible and the best way to prevent those cracks from forming in the first place.
Specialist heel balms containing ingredients such as urea, salicylic acid or lanolin massaged in two to three times a day will help retain moisture and give the damaged skin a chance to heal. Deep fissures may require a visit to a podiatrist.
Anti-aging solution: You'll start to see results within a few days using Scholl Eulactol Heel Balm Gold, $24.99, twice a day.

4) Deal to corns and nail issues

Brought on by pressure, hard corns are those unsightly lumps commonly found on the tops or sides of our toes.
Soft corns however, are more likely to appear between our toes. Both have a core that can become painful but can be relieved with cushioned pads, or dealt to with medicated solutions.
If you've noticed any of your nails becoming discoloured, it could be the start of a fungal infection. It's tempting to disguise it with nail polish, but to prevent it from getting worse, or spreading to other nails, it's best to treat it with an over-the-counter treatment.
Anti-aging solution: Create sandal-worthy toes you can be proud of by shrinking corns with a specialist product like Scholl 2 in 1 Corn Express which has a targeted applicator and exfoliator to get the treatment liquid right to the source.
Jump onto any sign of fungus before it has a chance to get worse by picking up a medicated treatment such as is Nailclin, $39.95.

5) Add a pop of youthful colour

Did you know that corals and orange based reds are thought to be the most anti-aging colour to wear on your toes? That's because these summery hues tend to be flattering to all skin tones, while blue based reds can accentuate any veins in your feet.
Anti-aging solution: OPI Ridge Filler, $29.99, is a good place to start to smooth over those imperfections our nails are prone to as we get older. Follow with colour then a glossy and hard-wearing top coat to finish like Revlon ColorStay Top Coat, $17.99.
Reapplying your top coat every couple of days will help to prevent colour chipping. Colour wise, we like Faby Nail Lacquer in Lobster Salad, $20 and essie Gel Couture Nail Lacquer in Rock the Runway, $18.99.