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Here in Michigan, the lilacs are in full bloom, tender young leaves are filling the trees and the scent of honeysuckle blossom fills the air. Soon, it’ll be time for shorts, breezy blouses, and of course, those sassy, strappy sandals. After a long winter of neglect, a wonderful way to celebrate the rites of spring is to give your feet a little extra attention. Even if you aren’t able to get to the spa for a regular pedicure, you can treat your feet to some spa-worthy pampering in the comforts of your own home in just a few simple steps.
You’ll need the following equipment and products:
- Basin or Small Tub with Comfortably Warm Water
- Clean Towels
- Small Bowl of Hot Water for Washcloth
- Foot Soak
- Foot Scrub
- Foot Butter or Cream
- Nail Clippers, Emery Board, Pumice Stone, Orange Wood Stick
- Nail Polish (optional)
First, find a suitable place to work; ideally, with a soft, comfy spot to sit and a low stool or bench to prop up your feet. Remove any polish from your toenails. Fill a basin or small tub with comfortably hot water, then measure out and add your foot soak, giving it a swirl to dissolve. Of course, we recommend our Cool Your Heels Soothing Spa Foot Soak, because it contains natural epsom salts, soothing herbs and fizzing minerals that help to deodorize and cleanse. Ease your feet into the water, sit back, and relax for about 15 minutes as the soak softens your skin.
Next, remove one foot from the soak and gently dry with towel. Trim with clippers, buff and shape using a nail file or emery board, then clean beneath nails, and take care to gently push back cuticles using an orange wood stick. Smooth over especially tough calluses with your pumice stone or file. Return foot to soak, and then repeat procedure with the other foot. Add a bit more hot water to basin if you like, to keep temperatures comfortable.
Gently remove first foot from soak, prop up onto the side of basin or tub. Apply about ½ ounce (1 Tablespoon) of WoodSprite Organic Body Tea Tree & Peppermint Foot Scrub (or other foot polish) between palms, and then massage onto your feet, ankles, calves and lower legs, paying special attention to rough spots and calluses. Use even, smooth pressure, but don’t be rough. This important step stimulates nerve endings and encourages increased blood flow (and therefore oxygen) while natural black walnut shells exfoliate and smooth the skin. Return foot to basin and rinse off Scrub. Repeat for other foot.
Now, remove first foot from basin, and wrap in a hot, damp towel or washcloth. Apply gentle pressure, and slowly slide towel off of foot, wiping away any remaining foot scrub. Melt a small amount (about 1/2 teaspoon) of Overnight Sensation Organic Foot Butter (or another foot cream) between palms, and then massage onto foot, ankles and lower legs, concentrating on any rough spots such as calluses and the heels. Use more Overnight Sensation if needed, though this rich, conditioning butter is quite concentrated and a little goes a long way.
Now, this part is purely optional, but is an integral part of our Signature Spa Pedicure treatment and elevates the entire experience to true bliss! Gently wrap right foot in a fresh hot, damp towel (or place feet in plastic baggies first, then hot towel) and prop up in a comfortable position. Repeat with other foot, taking a few minutes to relax and allow the Butter to deeply infuse the skin with nourishing emollience. Unwrap, and continue to next step.
Finally, gently pat away any excess Overnight Sensation with towel. If applying polish, rub nail surfaces with a bit of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to remove any Butter residue, then paint nails with preferred color.
Voila! Your toes will be pretty as shiny new pennies and better yet, your feet will feel tingly, refreshed and rejuvenated. Repeat this procedure every few weeks to maintain healthy, happy feet all year long.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA), along with certified organic personal care brands Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Intelligent Nutrients, and Organic Essence, today filed a complaint with the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), requesting an investigation into the widespread and blatantly deceptive labeling practices of leading “Organic” personal care brands, in violation of USDA NOP regulations. The complaint, filed collectively on behalf of 50 million consumers of organic products, argues that products such as liquid soaps, body washes, facial cleansers, shampoos, conditioners, moisturizing lotions, lip balms, make-up and other cosmetic products produced by twelve different corporations have been advertised, labeled and marketed as “Organic” or “Organics” when, in fact, the products are not “Organic” as understood by reasonable consumers.
“Unfortunately, the hands-off regulatory approach by the USDA’s National Organic Program during the Bush years failed to protect consumers from deceptive labeling in the personal care marketplace,” said Ronnie Cummins, Executive Director of the Organic Consumers Association. While the USDA enforces strict standards for the labeling of organic food, the NOP has not enforced the organic regulations in regards to personal care. “Given the increased resources and staffing at the National Organic Program under Obama, we’re optimistic that the situation will be rectified before too much more damage is done,” added Cummins.
“Consumers who pay a premium for high-end organic products expect the main cleansing and moisturizing ingredients of a product labeled ‘Organic’ to be made from certified organic agricultural material produced on organic farms, and not from petrochemicals or pesticide and herbicide-intensive conventional farming,” explains Horst Rechelbacher, founder of Intelligent Nutrients (and founder and previous owner of Aveda Corp).
The corporations named in the complaint are The Hain Celestial Group, Inc.; Kiss My Face Corporation; YSL Beaute, Inc. (”YSL”); Giovanni Cosmetics, Inc. (”Giovanni”); Cosway Company, Inc. (”Cosway”); Country Life, LLC (”Country Life”); Szep Elet LLC (makers of Ilike Organic Skin Care); Eminence Organic Skin Care, Inc.; Physicians’ Formula Holdings, Inc. (makers of Organic Wear); Surya Nature, Inc.; Organic Bath Company, Freeman Beauty Division of pH Beauty Labs, Inc. (makers of Freeman Goodstuff Organics).
David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, stated, “Yesterday we re-filed our lawsuit in federal court against culprit companies under the Lanham Act for false advertising. One way or another, the era of ripping off organic consumers in personal care will soon come to an end.”
Ellery West, founder and owner of Organic Essence adds, “The predatory marketing practices of companies that take advantage of consumer trust in the organic label are cheating not only organic consumers but also small certified companies like ourselves.”
On November 5, 2009, the USDA National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) formally recommended that the National Organic Program regulate personal care to ensure that any use of the word “organic” on a personal care product is backed up by third-party certification to USDA organic standards. Immediately following the recommendation, the OCA launched a consumer boycott of the major “Organic” cheater brands, and has produced a list of USDA certified organic brands that are true to their claims and are safe for organic consumers.