Whether having beautiful feet is a concern or not, from our very first steps to this morning’s workout or yoga class – feet are awesome because they literally carry us through life.
And if you’re like most, your feet have probably taken some pretty good beatings — especially if you’ve ever worn heels or ill-fitting shoes, run a 5k, or spent a summer barefoot.
All that wear and tear can take a toll. In fact, a lot of people are quite self-conscious about the appearance of their feet. And that self-consciousness only seems to increase with age. You see, just like the development of wrinkles on the face and age spots on the hands, feet begin to show signs of aging as you grow older. Skin that was once supple smooth, and soft may become dry, rough, leathery, cracked and beset with sunspots and lines.
But you don’t want to relegate yourself to a life without sandals or flip-flops – so it’s important to do what you can to age-proof your feet.
5 Anti-Aging Foot Care Tips
1. Prevent Collagen Loss with Anti-Aging Moisturizer
The bottoms of the feet are made up of fatty “adipose” tissue. These fat pads provide shock absorption when you walk, run, dance, and play sports. This layer of tissue works to protect the bones, ligaments, tendons, nerves, and blood vessels of the feet. Without these fat pads, walking would be very painful.
The walls of fatty adipose tissue are made up of collagen and elastin. Now, you’re probably already familiar with collagen and elastin. They’re natural proteins found throughout your body. And they make up the foundation and framework for skin, bone, and connective tissue.
Collagen and elastin are responsible for keeping skin firm, youthful, smooth, and elastic.
As the body ages, collagen and elastin production slows down, and whatever collagen and elastin you do have tends to break down. This breakdown of collagen and elastin reduces the fat pads on your foot, which can make walking more painful. And, like the face, the skin of the foot can also begin to show wrinkles and other signs of aging.
One way to fight the signs of collagen breakdown in the feet is by applying a moisturizer or anti-aging product containing Vitamin B3 or niacinamide. This potent anti-aging ingredient helps fight wrinkles, improves skin elasticity, and increases smoothness.1
You can also encourage collagen production by eating a diet high in collagen protein. Good sources of collagen include eggs, fish, and bovine bone broth. You may also want to consider taking a collagen supplement. Studies have shown that collagen supplements can encourage collagen production and decrease the rate of collagen loss, resulting in smoother, firmer-looking skin.2
2. Skin Roughness – Exfoliate Your Feet
A lot is required of feet, so it’s no wonder foot skin is thicker than it is on other parts of the body. But over time, that skin can thicken to the point that it becomes rough and leathery.
To help keep skin smooth and soft, exfoliate your feet regularly. You can do this by soaking your feet in warm water to soften the rough skin. Then, use an exfoliant to gently scrub at the dead, rough skin, being sure to avoid the sensitive, softer parts of your skin.
To hit two birds with one stone — use an exfoliant that contains a hydrating and anti-aging ingredient like jojoba oil, ensuring that your newly-revealed skin remains moisturized and wrinkle-free.
After exfoliating, apply a generous amount of moisturizing cream to your feet. Keeping your feet well-moisturized will not only help reduce skin roughness – it will also help keep your feet looking young.
3. Minimize Sun Damage
Just like the rest of your body, the skin on your feet is susceptible to the damaging effects of UV rays. Sun exposure is one of the leading causes of premature aging of the skin. In fact, UV rays are responsible for a staggering 80 percent of skin aging.3 The free radicals from UV rays contribute to sunspots, collagen breakdown, and crepey, wrinkled skin.4
To minimize sun damage, be sure to rub in a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or greater sunscreen onto the tops of your feet when you’re going to wear sandals. A broad spectrum sunscreen will help protect your skin from both UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause damage deep beneath the top layers of skin, and UVB rays cause sunburns on the surface of the skin. Both types of rays accelerate the development of aging signs and increase the risk of serious skin problems.
Want to give your sun protection game a boost? Eat foods that help eradicate sun damage. Here are some healthy foods to snack on:
Broccoli, strawberries, red pepper: rich in vitamin C, these foods can help prevent irritation and age spots caused by the sun.5Pomegranate seeds: high in ellagic acid, pomegranate seeds help protect the skin from UVB rays.6
Green tea: this hot (or cold) beverage is stocked with UV ray-fighting polyphenols.7
4. Practice Toenail Hygiene
You might not think about it often, but it’s important to practice good toenail hygiene. Toenails that aren’t cared for properly can lead to ingrown nails, odor, and the growth of fungus which can leave you with thick, yellowish nails. No thanks!
To keep toenails healthy:
- Wash under and between your toes with a mild soap and rinse thoroughly.
- Pat your feet dry with a towel – any leftover moisture can invite odor, bacteria, and fungi.
- Keep your feet as dry as possible at all times. Wear cotton socks and breathable shoes.
- Don’t go barefoot in the locker room of the gym. Wear flip-flops.
- Trim your toenails straight across, instead of rounding them, to help prevent ingrowth.
5. Enhance Visible Veins
As you age — your skin becomes thinner and the veins beneath your skin may become more visible. As if that weren’t enough – it’s also common for veins to become permanently dilated as you age.8
To prevent unnecessary dilation — use a cream rich in flavonoid extracts, like grapefruit, green tea, and pomegranate. Flavonoids are plant antioxidants known to strengthen blood vessel walls 9 — which can help prevent dilation and the appearance of enlarged veins.
Don’t give your face all the anti-aging attention. Remember that your hard-working feet deserve some care and indulgence, too. With a little extra attention, you’ll be ready show off those feet in no time.
For more beauty tips, keep reading here:
COLLAGEN: HOW TO BOOST COLLAGE PRODUCTION…NATURALLY