Meet the Maker: Margaret Dabbs

Margaret Dabbs London is a brand of effective luxury products for feet, hands and legs that Liz loves to use at home. Pioneering the use of high-quality ingredients, Margaret Dabbs London combines medical science with the best of beauty to create a truly unique range of results driven, at-home products. These work at a treatment level, but feel luxurious to use. Here, we chat to founder Margaret Dabbs all about her products and discover her top footcare tips.

What was the inspiration behind Margaret Dabbs London?

I saw a big gap in the market for products that were both treatment remedies and also luxurious and very pleasant to use. Generally speaking, treatment remedies have been unpleasant to use, and beauty products for feet haven’t worked on a treatment level. With this in mind, I set about formulating products that I could use in my medical foot clinics. These needed to be both treatment remedies, but also luxurious and beautifying. I knew how I wanted my feet to look and to feel and so I set about creating products that really worked.

What are the common causes of dry skin on the feet?

As we get older, the feet go through the ageing process in the same way as the face. The skin thins, the subcutaneous fat is lost, the soft tissues become more lax and the sweat glands reduce in effectiveness. This is exactly the reason why we must reintroduce moisture into the skin of the feet. The most common words I hear are: “my feet didn’t used to look like this” – well, they didn’t! It’s part of the ageing process, which is why the feet need moisturising. Always use a foot-specific moisturiser as the skin of the feet is 12-times thicker than the rest of the body. This is why body products won’t work in the same way.

How can we protect the skin on our feet?

With a little bit of attention and using the correct products in the right way, you can tranform your feet at home very easily. Generally speaking, people don’t think about their feet until they hurt or look unsightly. It’s important to get into the habit of looking after our feet the way we do the rest of our body.

Gait-related issues will cause secondary skin changes such as hard skin, corns and callus. If you don’t treat these issues, they can have a knock-on effect and lead to other problems. Try to get into the habit of filing your feet once a week on dry skin. This should be before you bath or shower. Aside from it not looking very nice, if you leave the hard skin in place, it’s much more difficult for a moisturiser to penetrate the hard skin layers.

Using a foot scrub once a week will also work wonders. This can be used over the nails, between the toes and all around the skin of the feet. It’s particularly great for people that suffer with some of the symptoms associated with athlete’s foot.

It’s important to use a daily foot moisturiser; this will hydrate the skin and leave feet looking and feeling great. It also reduces the appearance and incidence of cracks in the skin. The Margaret Dabbs London Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion is a daily product, and stops hard skin build-up. It gives that walking-on-air feeling that you only get from a Margaret Dabbs London Pedicure.

Can your products help with foot hygiene?

For anyone who is particularly sporty, wearing closed shoes much of the time, or has a tendency to suffer with hygiene issues of the feet, including excess sweating, odour, itchiness and broken skin, the Margaret Dabbs London Foot Hygiene Cream works wonders. It’s used as a two-week treatment plan. Apply all over the feet and nails every night before you go to bed. You’ll feel like you have new feet in the morning!

It’s important to complete the 14-day course of treatment to get the best and most prolonged treatment results. Use a crystal file to reduce the length of the toenails to give that groomed look even when you can’t get to a salon.

In our clinics we use the Intensive Treatment Foot Oil and the Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion together as an effective and intensive treatment. The Intensive Treatment Foot Oil is a dry oil and, when used before the lotion, carries the moisture into the skin for optimum treatment results. The skin will be illuminated, scented with gorgeous lemon myrtle and your feet will feel brand new.

What rituals do you recommend?

Keep your foot lotion beside your bed and pop it onto your feet every night before you go to sleep. Set aside one evening a week to give your feet a quick overhaul. It only takes 10-15 minutes to get feet that look brand new.

Always foot file dry with a professional foot file. Wet skin masks the area to be treated and can cause cracks to open as water weakens the tissues and skin becomes spongey. Filing on dry skin is hugely more effective and longer lasting.

Once you remove callus with the foot file, you can prevent it from building up again by using the Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion every night before you go to sleep. When used daily, the foot lotion helps to keep the feet healthy and reduces hard skin build up. If you develop cracks in your hard skin and callus, treat with the Cracked Heel Balm. This will work to “knit” them back together – again, use before bed and you’ll wake up to instant results!

Another tip is to use a file for gently shaping the nails. It’s simple to use, hygienic and helps to promote healthy growth of the nail and seals the nail tip to stop it from snagging.

In special cases (poor circulation/diabetics etc.) what footcare do you recommend?

Aim to see a podiatrist for a medical pedicure or check up at least twice a year. Otherwise, it’s important to regularly check your feet yourself for any unusual lumps or hard skin that you haven’t noticed before and keep feet clean and free from broken skin. If anything looks like a cause for concern, contact a Margaret Dabbs London clinic for a diabetic foot check-up.

Hard skin and callus build-up is a common problem with diabetic feet. Use an exfoliating foot scrub a couple of times a week to gently buff away any dead cells and leave skin feeling fresh and clean. Follow with a hydrating foot lotion, such as the Margaret Dabbs Intensive Hydrating Foot Lotion, to your feet every day to keep feet hydrated and help reduce hard skin build-up. If you know you have full sensation in your feet, file your heels gently once a week with a foot file. Ask a family member to do this for you if possible, and always make sure your skin is dry before filing.

If you are diabetic, ask someone to cut or file your toenails for you as you need to ensure you don’t catch your skin with the toenail clippers. Cut nails straight across and gently file the ends down.

Finally ensure that shoes are well fitting and aren’t too tight as this can cause nail problems, corns, calluses and constrict your blood circulation.

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