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A few years ago, my husband had to attend a conference in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Hot Springs is an historic resort area.  As a matter of fact, the whole resort area of Hot Springs is a national park.  Given that my husband’s conference was at the time of my birthday, he invited me to come along and made arrangements for me to get a full spa treatment while he attended his meetings.  The mineral bath was fabulous, and the massage was terrific.  What I really appreciated the most, though, was the foot scrub with the pedicure.

I was all leaned back and drowsy after the bath and massage when the foot treatment started.  I smelled a pepperminty scent and felt a wonderful combination of scrubby stuff and emollient.  I had to look.  Hmmmm.  It was a white substance that looked mighty familiar.  “What’s in the scrub?” I asked.  “Oh, it’s canning salt with olive oil and peppermint oil,” my pedicurist replied.  She then proceeded to tell me how they always had to stock up on canning salt–used instead of other salt because of its purity–during the late summer because otherwise they’d run out when everyone was making pickles.  “Really?” I queried.  “It’s just canning salt, olive oil, and peppermint oil?”  “Oh, yes, but if you get a facial, we’ll use sugar instead of salt because it’s finer and less drying,” she replied proudly, perhaps not realizing she had probably just given away two deep dark secrets of the Hot Springs resorts.

Today I’m sharing that secret with you.  Every year since that birthday, as canning season comes to a close, my husband discovers my cache of canning salt.  I explain to him that I buy it on sale and that it will keep until next year, but my real reason is because I use it for a home spa.  I have no idea what the spa charged my husband, but I can guarantee that this home treatment is a tiny fraction of the cost and exactly the same–except you (or your husband) has to do the scrubbing.

Home Spa Foot Scrub, just like the pros use

Start with a nice oil (no need for olive oil), canning salt, peppermint oil (which you can get at your local pharmacy or in the baking sections of some grocery stores), and a small dish that you don’t mind taking in the bathroom.  A candle is nice too.

Begin by soaking your feet in warm water for several minutes.  Just relax.  Then dry your feet.

Next pour about 1/4-1/2 cup of canning salt into the dish–depending on the size of your feet!  

Add several drops of peppermint oil.

Add a tablespoon of two of regular oil.

Now massage the mixture into your feet, being careful to rub well around all the rough spots.  When you’re finished, wash your feet to remove the salt residue and then dry them well.  If you are up for wearing socks, go ahead and slather your feet with cocoa butter, lanolin, one of Burt’s Bees rescue salves, or something similar.  Repeat the process in a few days, and within no time you’ll have baby-soft feet!

No, I do not have foot photographs!  My husband seemed to think they might attract men with foot fetishes.

Add-in oils

Try adding lavender oil, rosemary oil, or similar fragrances to your spa mixture.  If you have a spot of, um, athletes foot, oil of oregano will cure it (but it is very strong!).

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