Here comes a confession: I don't have pretty, modelesque feet or hands. As much as I love beauty and taking care of my skin, nails and hair, I've never had a pedicure or a manicure. But these imperfections don't bother me as I take care of my hands and feet in another way - and that's what I'm going to talk about today. If you're hysterical about soft hands and feet, look away now!
How Hands and Feet Are Treated in Finland
Fist of all, in Finland we spend most of the year wearing (rain) boots and not sandals, so pedicures aren't a standard in here. Professionally done they're also on the expensive side. Last time I saw an ad for a full pedicure it was €79 which is around ~$93. NINETY THREE DOLLARS. Some people do get nail extensions if their nails are fragile or show their hands a lot at work, but it's more common to see natural or self-painted nails. However, Finnish people are addicted to hand creams and moisturizers. Everyone and I mean everrrryone has a hand cream in their purse, desk, whatever. Yes, this is to make your hand look nice but also protect from cold and windburns.
My Relationship To Hand Care
I first tried bouldering about 1 1/2 years ago and got immediately hooked. At the same time I kissed goodbye to hand creams and started embracing my calluses. You see, the harder my hands are the longer I can climb and hang without feeling any pain, my grip feels also firmer. To me soft hands mean vulnerable hands and baby-soft skin may get flappers (skin tearing off) more easily, which needs a band-aid and taping. My hands are more comfortable with magnesium powder than manicures.
I do like to paint my nails from time to time as I like the extra touch they add to outfits - just like jewellery, but color! I like Essie polishes and Take the Day Off top coat as they last almost a week on me, but usually I need to remove the polish after climbing sessions. I don't really mind as I like switching the color. I need to keep my nail length at minimum so I won't scrape the wall and hurt myself. Imagine your nails scratching a chalkboard - not very comfortable. I've grown to like my nails short, I understand if some people have very fragile nails and choose to get extensions, but it isn't for me. I always file my hand nails to the same direction and take vitamins regularly (Biotin is magic for hair and nails!) to keep them from flaking or tearing.
And Feet Care (or Not-Care)
My feet are naturally odd shape and they naturally get a lot of calluses: especially the tips of my toes, the sides of my pinky toe, heel, etc. One of my earliest memories as a child is my Mom treating my calluses: that's how I learned the difference between left and right. A few years ago I started to see a foot therapist: to my readers living near Helsinki-Espoo area, I can recommend Foot Vision in Leppävaara.. Far from the pretty foot baths, massages and manicures. She uses a machine to sand my calluses and removes the rest with a surgical blade. I visit her 1-2 per year so because calluses on my feet can hurt walking sometimes.
My foot therapist has advised me to moisturize my feet every night (I'm lazy) and keep longer toe nails, but because of my hobby I really can't have my nails long. Climbing shoes are tiny and I recently went down a whole size to get a better grip on the wall. I do need to take the shoes off from time to time as my toes start to ache, but performance-wise it's worth it!!
How do you care for your hands and feet?
How much does a pedicure cost in your city?