A few weeks ago, I got a pedicure. It was the first I’d had in months. This is not to imply that I leave the house with unpainted toes (oh, THE HORROR… just kidding). The discovery of Sally Hansen’s Quick Care Clean-Up Nail Stick – a brilliant invention that caters to klutzes a la moi, enabling us to fudge a passable paint job when we’re too broke or too lazy to hit the salon – recently liberated me from pedi regularity. They’ve become a special-occasions-only thang, so when my cousin got married earlier this month, I sprung for professional nail care. I left the salon that day with more than pretty toes, hence the reason for this post. Listen to THIS.
I make it a point to buy sandals that don’t eff up my feet. This is a worthless exercise. I don’t know if the fashion footwear industry’s engaged in a conspiracy in which style and comfort can’t coexist or what, but every sandal I purchase inevitably wreaks havoc on my heels and toes. The resulting blisters and cuts prompted a gasp on behalf of my lovely Nepalese nail technician as I settled into the chair for my pedicure.
Pedi Lady: What did you DO?!
Cheap JAP: I bought new sandals, and my feet are mad at me.
Pedi Lady: Did you put anything on them?
Cheap JAP: I’ve been putting Neosporin on them for weeks. I wear Band-AIDs to keep them from getting worse. Nothing is working.
She shook her head, as though saddened by the sight of sandal-mauled feet, and seemed deep in thought as she worked around the cuts. After the soak portion of the event was over, she nudged me away from my magazine.
Pedi Lady: Can I try something for this? (motions toward cuts)
Cheap JAP: Sure. Whatever you think is best.
She nodded seriously, as though readying herself for an outburst to come. She then proceeded to squeeze straight-up lemon juice all over my feet.
Cheap JAP: WHAT WAS THAT?! It burns! It burns like acid!
Pedi Lady: I’m sorry, I’m sorry (blows on feet, which does approximately nothing to minimize the pain), I’m sorry… it was the only thing to do.
Cheap JAP: Does it work?
Pedi Lady: Oh, yes. It’s the best thing, lemons.
I woke up the next morning to new feet. Weeks of dogged Neosporin application hadn’t done jack to reverse the damage; one application of lemon juice later, I was en route to recovery.
The natural skin remedy bestowed on me by the Nepalese nail technician wasn’t a fluke. I’ve used it many times in the weeks since – best thing ever. The moment a scratch, blister or cut becomes visible is the moment it gets doused with good old fashioned citric acid. It hurts like a beotch, obvs. But the sting subsides as quickly as it comes on, and the perks extend beyond quickly healed skin. Lemon juice is more than an anti-infective; it effectively treats blackheads, clogged pores, and even minimizes the appearance of scars when applied regularly.
This summer, when sandals inevitably eff up your feet, do yourself a favor and skip the obligatory trip to CVS for Band-AIDs, blister-busting adhesives, skin-healing ointments, scar treatments, et. al. It’s all crap designed to distract you from going the non-product route. Hit the supermarket for lemons instead. No chemicals, no packaging, no fuss. Your feet (and your wallet) will thank you.
Sometimes, the juice really is worth the squeeze. :P