How to get feet in shape for spring

…without spending a fortune

It's exactly because feet are usually the last part of the body to be given any attention that they leave winter looking the worst – and yet are one of the hardest areas to hide.

"We should have been moisturising our feet every day throughout winter to prevent the dry skin that looks so unsightly come spring," says podiatrist Tariq Khan of the Marigold Clinic at London's Royal Homeopathic Hospital.

To get feet back into shape, Tariq recommends a daily soak in water and salt, which is anti-inflammatory - handy if your feet ache after a day in high-heeled boots - and cleans out pores.

While skin is still supple, but dry, after your soak, start removing hard skin using a foot file or even an ordinary emery board, he says. The final step is to get the moisture back into skin.

"If the skin's only mildly dry, use a cream – urea is a particularly effective ingredient that helps when bonds in the skin are broken as a result of lack of moisture," adds Tariq.

"If heels are really dry, use an oil – plain vitamin E is a great softener. But if skin is cracked – not bleeding, which would require a visit to your doctor or a podiatrist in case there's an underlying problem – go for a petroleum-based, waxy formulation".

He recommends twice-daily applications and, at night, wrapping feet in Clingfilm for half-an-hour afterwards to ensure ingredients soak in.