A few months back, I came across the book, Passport to Beauty, at Barnes and Noble that detailed the many beauty secrets of women around the world. I was stunned to see that most of these beauty “secrets” could actually be found in my own kitchen and pantry. Standards like lemons, bananas, strawberries, honey, and eggs, were popular items used to keep these women looking young and beautiful.
I’m a runner, so naturally I gravitated toward the advice about soft skin – particularly in the feet area. My feet take quite a beating each day as I pound the pavement or the treadmill so I try to pamper them as much as possible so that they look good, especially in the summer.
In years past, I would splurge on pedicures at least once a month – now I’m down to twice a summer and pray that the pedicure is good enough to last a few weeks. In between pedicures, I often do my own “touch ups” but my feet never seem to get as soft and smooth as they do when I’m in the salon.
In the book, the author, Shalini Vadhera, explained that, for years, women in Greece have been using sugar mixed with olive oil on their feet and other rough areas of their body to smooth and soften the dry skin. I’m guessing this was well before they had Aveda salons.
Because I am now in between pedicures, I thought I’d give this do-it-yourself foot scrub a try.
I started out with a little white granulated sugar and then added a few teaspoons of Trader’s Joe’s olive oil. After mixing the two ingredients, I ended up with a dull yellow paste that smelled strongly of a Friday night dinner at my favorite Italian restaurant. Although this smell is appetizing when you’re eating, it’s not the most ideal scent for a pedicure. I added a teaspoon of vanilla just to see how it would change the smell and voilà it smelled much better.
I soaked my feet for a few minutes in warm water then scrubbed the olive oil-sugar mixture all over my feet. After a good rinse and towel dry, I did notice that my feet were much softer than they were before. And, thankfully, they did not smell like food, because that would so not be a good thing. I then gave a quick paint job to my nails using my signature color – OPI Melon of Troy (how ironic considering this is a Greek recipe!) – and low and behold – a fresh looking pedicure all in about 20 minutes and it was sooo easy! Not bad for an at-home pedicure in your pantry.
Here is the recipe for what I now call my olive oil pedicure scrub, adapted from Passport to Beauty:
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2-3 tsp olive oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla (to avoid smelling like an Italian restaurant)
Mix all ingredients together into a paste. Rub on feet or other dry areas in the shower and rinse off.
Unless you absolutely hate the smell of olive oil, there’s really no reason that you can’t try this great scrub at home.