Squeeze Lemons, Save Feet

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


  1. says

    your post came in such a timely fashion! i blistered up my toes something fierce & when that top layer of skin fell off, you know how all you get is that little circle of new skin that even the gentlest breeze causes to sting? i squeezed straight up lemon juice on them, danced around while it burned (oh, it burns all right!), but when i finally noticed the pain gone, my blisters were cauterized up, i could touch them without wincing, put on other shoes & be on my way. thank YOU & your nepalese nail woman!!!

  2. Linda says

    Best tip EVER!! Between soccer and sandals I spend the entire summer with feet that look like they have been through a meat grinder. Thanks so much you have saved my summer!!

  3. says

    SO glad you posted this. I started using fresh squezzed lemon juice as toner at night since you put this up. I had to stop putting it on the area under my nose/upper lip because for some reason it sucked every ounce of moisture out of my skin which then started flaking off all dry and nasty (OK, it was hardly noticeable to anybody else, but hurt on my end). Still use it on the rest of my face, though, and it’s awesome. I’ve been moving toward a non-made up face lately, and this has helped me feel more confident than ever sans tinted moisturizer. woop woop!
    Was also good to read the link to apply cider vinegar…I’ve been drinking the stuff for awhile, but it was hard to justify without remembering what it ACTUALLY does. Good stuff.

  4. says

    *thx for the tip! this florida girl has lemon trees in her back yard ! i love natural products, so will try this tomorrow! speaking of natural????? buy the REAL fruit….

    *i’ve read diluted juice lightens age spots, too.

    *i was flipping through my new issue of women’s health (?) and was pleasantly surprised to see a familiar face… yours! i’ve been a fan of yours for a long time and was happy to see you sharing your good advice! you looked very pretty and stylish in the pic!

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