Best foot forward: A Q&A with leading podiatrist Margaret Dabbs
Margaret Dabbs has been providing the best manicures (and more) since 1998. Growing over the years, Margaret Dabbs London has become a globally recognized brand specialising in credible, results-driven feet and hand products and manicure and pedicure treatments.
With seven clinics across the UK, including Liberty London, Corinthia Hotel London, Marylebone and Alderley Edge, she also has a successful outpost in Dubai.
We catch up with the beauty expert to find out more about her career and accomplished brand…
Tell us about your story: how, when, why did you get in the industry?
I worked in a GP practice while studying and opened in consulting rooms in 1998, followed by my first clinic with High Street presence in the London medical district of Marylebone High Street, in December 2008.
It made perfect sense to me to combine medical with beauty for the feet and that is exactly what I did. When seeing patients I found I had a knack for diagnosing and treating common foot complaints, and quickly pioneered techniques to give people feet that not only were pain-free but also looked as good as new, fusing the health and beauty concept for the first time. It was clearly what people wanted. I think that with a good work ethic, stamina and focus you can achieve anything.
When did your product line come about?
I felt that beauty products for the feet did not work on a treatment level, and that the treatment remedies which were available, were often unpleasant to use. I could see how feet went through the ageing process in the same way as the rest of the body and saw the need to develop effective products which focused on addressing this. I sourced ingredients from around the world and formulated products to meet the demands and needs of my patients while ensuring that the scent, look and feel of these products were unlike anything that had been pioneered previously, products that were beautifying, anti-aging and luxurious but also exceptionally effective on a treatment level. The Margaret Dabbs London Foot range was first formulated in 2004, rebranded in 2008 and followed by the hand range in 2015.
What are your top mani/pedi tips?
Try to keep feet in good order for the summer months. Start by using a foot file on dry skin once a week at home. The Margaret Dabbs London Professional Foot File (£24) is perfect for removing hard skin. The most common mistake is to file hard skin while your feet are in water. When feet are wet, it’s harder to see what areas need filing. Plus cracked feet can split in water which can be painful and lead to infection. So it’s always better to file on dry skin.
Always use a quality foot oil or lotion daily to penetrates deep into the skin to provide long-lasting moisture. Don’t be tempted to use body lotion, as it won’t benefit the thicker skin on your feet. Look for one with anti-bacterial ingredients, such as tea tree oil, lemon and rosemary. Our Intensive Hydrating foot Lotion and Treatment Foot Oil are perfect as they are non-greasy, effective and smell divine.
So many people forget about the importance of actually using SPF on the feet! When they’re exposed to the sun, always apply a sunscreen to the top and soles of your feet to avoid sunburn and ageing.
Look after your nails. It’s important that your nail bed and cuticles stay hydrated in the summer months as this will keep them looking healthy and will, in turn, promote strong nails and will reduce ridging, dehydration and tatty cuticles. Using a good nail and cuticle serum will combat this issue and keep them moisturised. You can also soak your nails in olive oil. Do this for a few minutes each day and your nails will be left moisturised and polished.
Go barefoot. Your feet are the most conductive areas on the surface of the human body – walk barefoot along the beach to help ground yourself and benefit from amazing, natural exfoliation. To exercise the muscles in your feet, try running barefoot across the grass and allow your toes to spread naturally as they hit the ground.