|The following "Beauty At Any Age" advice comes from the May 2013 Issue of InStyle Magazine|
Put Your Best Feet Forward
We cram them into spike heels, force them to support our body weight plus handbags, and catwalk them mercilessly over concrete. It’s a wonder we can hobble around at all by the end of the day. Here’s how to undo the damage, starting now.
20s – At this age, your feet are pretty forgiving. But if the heels you’re slipping into are open-toe, you need SPF. And since feet at any age can have especially dry skin, adopt this twice weekly routine, says N.Y.C. podiatric surgeon Hillary Brenner: Before bed, soak feet in warm water and Epsom salts. Rub a pumice over rough spots, then smooth on a moisturizer with exfoliating alpha-hydroxy acid. Cotton socks will lock in moisture. Try these: Earth Therapeutics pumice stick, $3; earththerapeutics.com. Eucerin Intensive Repair foot cream with AHA, $6; drugstore.com.
30s – Maturing feet lose cushions of fat—and tolerance for heels. Think “only two to three hours in stilettos,” says N.Y.C. podiatrist Jackie Sutera, who notes that tall or too-tight shoes are also more likely to cause corns now. Lining pumps and oxfords with rub-reducing pads can help, as will lotions with salicylic acid (to wear away layers of dead skin) plus humectants to draw in moisture. Try these: Foot Petals Killer Kushionz, $13; footpetals.com. Cerave Renewing SA Cream with salicylic acid, $23; at drugstores.
40s – Years of polish add up to discolored nails. Also on the rise in this decade: fungal infections and calluses. To fix the nail ick, file the tops (not tips) of nails, then apply the polish below, with moisturizing vitamin E and fungus-fighting tea-tree oil. Break down calluses with a cream containing urea. It dissolves keratin, which holds the top layers of skin cells together, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Bruce Robinson. Try these: LCN Urea 10% foot spray, $26; lcnboutique.com. Dr.’s Remedy Enriched nail polish, $17 each; remedynails.com.
50s and Over - Along with brown spots clotting your toes (sun damage!), you may notice deep cracks in your heels as waning estrogen levels dry out skin everywhere, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Debra Jaliman. Blast away spots with lightening agents such as hydroquinone or licorice extract. To mend cracks, Dr. Jaliman swears by the buffer below, followed by a liberal slathering of a lotion with shea butter or avocado. Try these: Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum with hydroquinone, $60; murad.com. Emjoi Micro Pedi, $40; target.com.
Pedi Cures: Step into your doctor’s office for the big guns in foot repair
1) Botox for sweaty feet: A dermatologist or podiatrist injects feet about 20 times to paralyze sweat glands, helping to reduce the 8 onces of sweat some women produce daily. Cost: About $1,200 for both feet; results last six months.
2) Chemical Peel: To zap brown spots and smooth lizard-like skin, podiatrists offer trichloroacetic acid to slough off your foot’s outer layer, says Dr. Brenner. Cost: About $600
3) Fat injections: The filler Juvederm—FDA-approved for facial lines—is also used by dermatologists and podiatrists to pad the balls of the feet, reducing calluses. Cost: About $1000 per foot; results last six months.
4) Liposuction: It’s the best way to get rid of “cankles,” the fat that can make ankles look nearly as wide as calves, says N.Y.C. dermatologist Howard Sobel. Cost: About $2,500 for both ankles.