Summer Feet


While not exactly a foot fetishist, I admit it: I am foot-obsessed. Long convinced that happy feet truly make a happy woman, my feet are unusual in that they are probably as smooth and perfectly-varnished in November as May. (Not least because they are publicly bared, three times a week, on a yoga mat, where I’ve always felt it’s poor etiquette to arrive with chipped toenails and sandpaper heels).

Over the years, though, I’ve also talked to many health professionals who’ve convinced me that healthy feet (if not prettily-varnished feet) are the very foundation of wellbeing. Take the Chinese doctor who persuaded me to wash my feet ritually before bedtime (to prevent colds and flu – and yes, it seems to work). Or ‘medi-pedicurists’ like Margaret Dabbs and Bastien Gonzalez (see below) who prescribe little-and-often foot care to prevent build-up of hard skin, which in turn can make walking – nature’s perfect exercise – uncomfortable. (I book in once a month like clockwork for a Margaret Dabbs medi-pedi at Liberty, and it’s the best beauty investment I can think of.) Read More…

How Can I Treat My Dry, Cracked Feet?


Q: I have very rough skin on my feet (and hands), with some cracks on my heels. They feel and look horrible and I need to do something before I can wear summer sandals.

A: The biggest problem that podiatrist Margaret Dabbs ( sees in older feet is dehydration. Cracks allow infections to get in and must be treated.

Book in with an experienced podiatrist. One of the many conditions they treat is dry and cracked heels. Find a local podiatrist on

Everyone should moisturise their feet every night. Because the skin on your feet is thicker, you need targeted products. Try Margaret Dabbs Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion with emu oil, £25. In your case, pharmacist Shabir Daya recommends Cracked Skin Relief Crème by Derma E, £12.95, which is formulated with antiseptic herbs and vitamins, plus arnica and aloe vera. Apply liberally morning and night.

Buff feet once a week. More often will provoke more rough skin.

Don’t wear closed-in shoes without socks or tights. ‘The moisture from your feet drains into the shoes, drying out the skin,’ says Margaret. Instead, wear sandals.

Always cut toenails straight across. Don’t curve and dig down into the outer corners or this could cause ingrowing nails. Read More…