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Sole Survivor

Annet King October 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Sole Survivor

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The feet are perhaps the hardest-working and most neglected area of the body. The foot itself is a sophisticated piece of anatomical architecture. It is literally the body’s support and foundation, yet most often do nothing more for their feet than slick some colorful polish over the toenails during sandal season. Feet deserve and need more than just cosmetic prettifying. In fact, educating yourself as a skin care professional, and then educating your clients to care for their own feet, benefits the individual’s head–to–toe health.

Pedal extremities

Adding therapeutic, refreshing and energizing foot services to your skin care facility’s menu can provide a new holistic dimension to your revenue. Add a marketing spin by introducing a new Holiday Shopper’s Foot Treatment as a respite from those long days scouring the mall; tie in with your city’s charity walks and marathons; or just strike a chord with stiletto-wearing fashionistas by featuring the High Heel Helper as a menu item especially created for the style-conscious.

Foot treatments are always popular, with the massage step being the most pleasurable part of any pedicure. Beyond the feel-good factor, why the feet? They may seem less intimate than the face or trunk area of the body, and people, in general, are less intimidated by having them worked on. Of course, you will need to assess your client’s ticklish level, but feet can be sweet.

The physical foot: Fragile strength

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Treatment How-to: The Ultimate Foot-saver Treatment

This treatment cleanses, exfoliates and deeply nourishes tired feet, and may easily be incorporated into traditional pedicure services.

Cost: $45

Duration: 30 minutes

Contraindications: Examine the foot area for open cuts; sores; abrasions; foot injuries and sprains; infectious diseases, such as tinea pedis (athlete’s foot) or onychomycosis (fungal infection of the nail); and verrucas (plantar warts). For medical conditions or diseases that impact the circulation, such as high blood pressure, varicose veins, diabetes, cancer, lymph node removal and even pregnancy, protect yourself and your practice by getting written permission from the client’s physician. In the case of oncology care, pregnancy massage or if performing reflexology, specialized training is critical.

Supplies needed:

  • Steamed towels
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Body brush
  • Buffing cloth
  • Dry towels
  • Towel foot booties
  • Warm paraffin
  • Plastic liners

Products needed:

  • Aromatherapy blend containing essential oils and botanicals
  • Exfoliant: Smooth paste that combines mineral salts and an aromatherapy-blended oil
  • Unscented foaming body wash
  • Any type of exfoliant (optional)
  • Professional-strength aromatherapy treatment oil
  • Pre-warmed nourishing body cream
  • Hydrating body cream
  • SPF

Step 1: Cleanse the feet using a steamed towel customized with a purifying aromatherapy blend. Wipe each foot with an antibacterial wipe, making sure to get in between and around the toes. Dry body-brush the feet and lower legs.

Step 2: Examine the feet for clues of any possible contraindications—use your hands and your vision to observe, documenting your findings on the client’s chart.

Step 3: Exfoliate the feet with the paste. Massage over the feet and lower legs concentrating on rough, calloused areas. Remove with warm water, an unscented foaming body wash and buffing cloth. Finish with a steamed towel customized with a purifying aromatherapy blend—aromatherapy is defined as products containing genuine essential oils and botanicals, not artificial perfumes. Dry the feet with a clean towel. Optional: Any exfoliant can be used here, including an oil-based hydroxy acid combo, a mask type of exfoliant or foaming body scrub.

Step 4: Press a small amount of a professional-strength aromatherapy treatment oil to the feet and lower leg extremities. Follow with a pre-warmed nourishing body cream applied to the feet and legs. (Tip: Dispense cream into a cup and store in your hot towel cabbie.) Cover the other foot with a towel foot bootie. Complete your customized foot and lower leg massage or reflexology movements on both feet for 10–15 minutes.

Step 5: Apply a generous pump of a hydrating body cream to the feet and lower leg extremities, either dipping the client’s feet into warm paraffin or applying warm paraffin with a body brush from a body pack bowl. Place client’s feet into plastic liners and towel foot bootie for 3–5 minutes.

Step 6: Remove the paraffin liners and foot booties and, with a dry towel, and wipe the bottoms of the feet to prevent slipping. Massage in any residue and finish with an application of SPF. Assist your client into her sandals or shoes, and finish with prescriptive retailing.

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