Turns out my feet can't tell the diff between a pedi and a simple foot bath, at least as far as simple enjoyment goes. Good thing, because my sched's been too hectic to spare pro-appointment hours, including travel and lacquer-drying time, and the thought of taking time away from a project to soak, scrub, buff and polish at home... well, later is the word that comes to mind. Plus, a DIY feels too much like work. So the next time I'm near a dollar store, I'm popping in to pick up a wide plastic basin and a buncha marbles, because on my recent trip to the Weleda Biodynamic Gardens in Germany, I discovered the therapeutic happy in a no-buff, no-fuss foot bath. Di-vine.
foot bath necessities
- a large bowl wide enough to fit your feet and at least an ankle-deep amount of water
- water as warm as your feet can take
- Epsom salts and tea tree oil -- a tablespoon of the salts and three to five drops of the oil, suggests Carrie Ruehlman, the woman behind @weleda on Twitter. (For our foot bath water at the Weleda gardens, we used soothing Weleda Relaxing Lavender Bath Milk, $23.55 at Well.ca. Although carried by Well.ca, it's apparently not easily available in North America. We're not so much into bath-milk formulas, it seems. Not enough suds?)
- marbles, a mix of large and small
Think of the marbles as rubber duckies for your foot bath, a little tub-time play. Roll your soles over them for a gentle massage effect, and use your toes to pick individual marbles up. That'll give your feet a neat muscle stretch different from their usual moves.
foot bath how-to
After about 10 or 15 minutes, remove feet from water and pat them dry with a towel. Massage in a pick-me-up moisturizing cream such as Weleda Foot Balm ($13.89 at Well.ca), which contains anti-inflammatory calendula flower extracts as well as myrrh extract, a refreshing astringent. The rich texture sinks quickly into skin to leave feet comfortably hydrated, soft, not slippy, and fresh with a light herbal scent. Love.
Tip: Use firm pressure to massage each instep, the joints just below the base of your toes on the top of each foot, and along the ball-of-foot pad. Rotate each foot, clockwise then in the opposite direction, and give ankles and calves a nice firm rub, too.
Of course, a soak in a foot bath can't substitute for a proper pedi. But it sure can take the edge off a long, hard-on-your-feet day.
Enjoy! (You will. Trust.)