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Let’s face it, when it comes to male grooming, feet fall low on the list of priorities. While the gent’s grooming industry is booming and we are spending more on face creams, beard oils and even trying male cosmetics, foot care isn’t typically a concern. But, according to celebrity podiatrist and medical stylist Ghazaleh Rahimi Khoub, it really should be.
With degrees in podiatric medicine as well as fashion, communication and PR, Ghazaleh uniquely stands where the worlds of fashion and medicine meet. After 17 years at top hospitals as well as five years practicing podiatry at Harrods, she now offers her clients – who include royalty and celebrities – a holistic approach; treating the physical issues, but also advising and supporting those who struggle to find appropriate footwear styles, socks and general style advice.
She shares her top tips for looking after your feet – tips that incidentally will also help your socks to last longer.
The first thing to do is to start connecting feet with other parts of your body that you value – things you care for and spend money on like your face, your hair, or your teeth. You wouldn’t look for quick fixes or ignore pain in your teeth. You wouldn’t overlook issues with your face. The same applies to your feet. Your feet are a lifeline – they help you be athletic, they support you, the carry you through the day. We have to look after them. You go to the dentist, you go to the barber – footcare should be part of your routine.
Trim your nails regularly. Men typically allow their nails to grow too long, which can cause short term issues like pain and catching and rubbing on socks (which leads to holes!), as well as longterm issues like ingrown toe nails and infections. So, cut those nails! There should be a sliver of white showing when you cut them – avoid going to short as this damages the nail bed. Your socks will last longer, you’ll feel more comfortable and your feet will be healthier.
Whether you have your shower in the morning or not, at the end of every day you want to be consciously washing your feet. Men’s feet are prone to sweating more and this means infections are more common. If you suffer from infections – bacterial or fungal – give your feet regular salt water baths. A salt bath helps detoxify as well, removing toxins from the feet, so that will manage any infections. There is no need for fancy products – salt is wonderful, or even just a splash of vinegar. You can even add essential oils, like lavender, if you want for a nice scent.
Dry really well between your toes. This is something that we all forget to do often, but is so important. If you are aware of any infection or irritation, use tissues or cotton wool to dry and throw them away, so you don’t spread anything.
Dabbing a little bit of surgical spirit in between your toes in the morning can work wonders to prevent sweating. In the evening, make sure you wash and moisturise your feet (sparingly) as surgical spirit can dry them out.
You don’t need fancy products to care for your feet. They often have lots of chemicals in them. You can stick to things like salt, rose water, olive oil, coconut oil. These are all things that the body can use to respond to its health and wellbeing.
The cream that I always recommend to my clients is CCS Foot Cream. It is a very effective moisturiser, probably the best on the market. When you are looking for a foot cream you should be looking for two ingredients: urea and glycerine. You only need a very small amount of the cream to make a difference, and many people find that they need to seek professional help for dry feet etc less when they use the cream. Many moisturisers don’t actually do much – at best they might act as a barrier cream – but they don’t actually penetrate the layers of skin to hydrate and repair the foot.
It is important to select good soft, quality, natural materials for your socks. Fine cotton, like London Sock Company‘s Scottish lisle cotton is great for everyday as it is soft, breathable and durable. But if you are prone to sweating, merino wool is even better as it is naturally moisture-wicking. Invest in good quality socks that can withstand lots of washes as well – you should wash your socks every day (no excuses!) and even change them twice a day in the summer when your feet are extra hot.
In the past shoes were much better for you. They were wider-fitting, sturdier and more supportive. Unfortunately, a lot of today’s shoes are narrower, have weak support and have cheap soles and more men are developing issues because of this. It is important to make sure that when you buy shoes you have proper arch support, particularly men who walk a lot. If you are going to wear narrower shoes, try and limit it to the office. Wear trainers to and from your desk. Natural materials again help. And of course, always wear good socks.
To find out more about The Medical Stylist or to make a booking, you can find Ghazaleh on www.doctify.co.uk/specialist/miss_ghazaleh_rahimi_khoub, call her on +442038138210 or catch her on instagram at @medicalstylist. For bookings with her specifically in Mayfair visit www.the-refinery.com.
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