Get Pedi-Ready For Summer With Clean Foot Care Essentials

I’m most reminded that we humans are primates when I see footage of happy-go-lucky baby orangutans frolicking in the wild, swinging from trees, peeling and eating bananas… with their feet. The muscles and dexterity of ours may pale in comparison to a zoo animal, but the tendency for dry, flaky skin does not. Our feet, like theirs, take constant a beating from gym workouts, barre classes, and stuffing them into our beloved sample-sale booties. Crustiness is great in sourdough loaves … but creeping out of feet in last year’s fave Havaianas, not so much. In yet another marker that summer is officially here, today is National Flip Flop Day. Before we transition our closet and dive headlong into open-toe season, we’ve got work to do. 

The first step of summer-ready foot care is the soak. In a clean basin, I mix hot water, Epsom Salt, baking soda, a squeeze of body wash, a few drops of tea tree, lemon, or lavender oil to loosen up dead skin, clean, and refresh. After a quick scrub with a brush or cloth, it’s time to exfoliate. And I don’t mean gently. A tough job like this calls for serious tools, effective products, and elbow grease. The Onyx Professional Stainless Steel Foot Rasp with Debris Catcher, a staple of the newly relaunched, clean beauty compliant Onyx Body and Foot Care line, obliterates dead skin from the driest of heels. 

After a few passes of this next-level foot file, you’ll be grateful the debris catcher is attached. If you need an additional level of exfoliation, the Callus Hero Removing Mist contains salicylic acid – just like our fave acne-fighting cleansers and toners – to add a level of chemical exfoliation to loosen up, if not, dissolve dead skin. After letting it soak in – I spray it on cuticles too –  another pass with the Foot Rasp or Onyx Professional Stone Sugar Foot File with 360 Degree Grit and your feet will be as smooth as a baby’s bottom and ready for additional treatment. 

For very tired, swollen feet or persistent calluses, pop on a targeted mask – either Onyx Professional Intensive Care Booties To Repair Dry, Cracked Feet or Onyx Professional Foot Rescue Anti-Swelling Epsom Salt Foot Mask for 10 minutes. The botanical-rich formulas with ultra-moisturizing urea will penetrate deep into the layers of tough skin for long-lasting hydration. 


After rinsing and patting dry, it’s time to pamper your feet, from heel to sole, with an additional layer of nourishment. ONYX Professional Moisturizing Heel Stick in Eucalyptus Scent refreshes for continual odor control with an emulsion of coconut oil and shea butter to keep future cracking and splitting at bay. This super emollient blend works equally well on chronically dry elbows and knees.

For luxury, skin care-level nurturing for feet, with anti-aging benefits, Callen & Olive’s Vegan Society-certified, Foot Sole & Heel Saviour Balm is worth the splurge. Formulated by a podiatrist in her quest to treat a plethora of foot and leg ailments, including cracked heels, dehydrated soles, corns, calluses, and brittle toenails, the Castor Oil-Rich pudding absorbs instantly like an overnight facial mask and rebuilds the skin barrier. After a few applications, it felt like my feet had been given a Hydrafacial. Applying it at night and inhaling its clean unisex fragrance of cedarwood, eucalyptus, and citrus is a relaxing  treat I look forward to all day.

If budget-friendly options are par for the course, nothing compares to good, old-fashioned cocoa butter. Cococare 100% Cocoa Butter Stick belongs in everyone’s self-care arsenal. Solid at room temperature, it melts upon application and unleashes nothing but moisture and tropical bliss. It’s indispensable on cuticles, lips, and knees.

For thick, cracked heels, Cococare’s Cracked Heel Cream with menthol added for uplifting freshness offers protection and nourishment for damaged heels. After slathering on the thick balm-like formula, slip on white socks to seal it all in. The Cracked Heel Cream, like the Cocoa Butter stick, costs less than a matcha latte.

Happy National Flip Flop Day!

Gesha-Marie Bland


Not bland at all. Gesha-Marie Bland is an essayist, Vanity Fair-published film and television writer, and unrepentant beauty junkie who jumpstarted her career at NYU’s Master’s Program in Cinema Studies. In homage to her beauty icons Jeanne Moreau, Dolly Parton, and Grace Jones, she is forever in search of the perfect cat-eye liner, a killer pair of heels, and unforgettable statement accessories. Currently NYC-based, this dual American-French citizen still wears all-black and has a soft spot for clean beauty, pharmaceutical-grade actives, and most ingredients sourced from vineyards in the south of France. She loves New Wave cinema, Mary Gaitskill’s fiction, Spain, and matcha double-shots. After selling "The Ripper," her Alexander McQueen-Issie Blow biopic to the Cannes-winning production company Maven Pictures, she remains convinced fashion and couture are the next frontiers for edgy cinematic stories.