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Pampering the Extremities

PUBLISHED: 14:00 30 December 2007 | UPDATED: 14:58 20 February 2013

Remember to take care of your hands and feet this winter

Remember to take care of your hands and feet this winter

When it comes to winter beauty routines, don't forget those all-important hands and feet. After all, it's tempting to give up on beauty regimes during the chillier months especially in January when, depressingly, we must wear thermals up to our ne...

Keep a moisturiser in your car, on your desk, in the bathroom and the kitchen, and also slather on liberally before you go to bed. But, sometimes our hands require the kind of undivided attention that only a beauty professional can deliver. A really good hand and nail treatment can transform your hands from looking like you've spent a lifetime scrubbing baths, to groomed and glamorous in no time. A more intensive treatment will include a scrub to rejuvenate the skin, refreshing mask to restore suppleness and an enriched moisturiser to recover moisture content. Heated mittens are sometimes used to aid penetration of the moisturising components. This will be followed by cuticle work and end with a hand massage to heighten the whole relaxing experience.


Feet can also get dry and cracked during winter. You can soften them with a luxurious soak at the end of the day. Fill a large bowl with warm water and add a few drops of lavender oil, which is soporific as well as moisturising. Scrub with a loofah or foot file to remove dry, flaky skin and follow with some foot lotion.


Another way to rescue dry hands and feet is to massage in some Vaseline petroleum jelly before you go to bed, and then wear cotton gloves and socks to seal in moisture while you sleep. This method really works, but I usually wait until my partner is away on a business trip before implementing it.


For some real pampering, go for a professional pedicure once a month to improve the appearance of your feet and toenails. A pedicure usually consists of soaking the feet in a foot spa, clipping and filing the toenails, neatening the cuticles, removing any hard skin, then washing, drying and moisturising them. If you're suffering from the winter blues why not opt for a colourful nail paint to cheer yourself up?


For any foot problems other than hard skin, it is important to seek professional help. A chiropodist (or podiatrist) is trained in all aspects of foot care and will be able to diagnose and treat foot disorders, as well as give you advice on how to prevent future problems.


It doesn't take much effort to keep your hands and feet looking good during the cold weather, and with the promise of spring just around the corner, it won't be long before we're all in flip-flops again! BY JOANNA HAYWOOD

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