Ask Jean:The Magic of the 3-Minute Foot Massage

We want to answer your most pressing questions—or, you know, just the things that you’re curious about. Please keep them coming to: feedback [at] goop [dot] com, or tweet us @goop. Below, a q for our new beauty director, Jean Godfrey-June.

Dear Jean, I love the way a massage makes me feel, but they are expensive—how can you incorporate a little of that energy into the every day, or do it yourself? —Ann B.

The 3-minute foot massage solves many ills. A professional massage is heaven, to be sure. But given to a child, spouse, friend, lover, even yourself—a short foot rub really can make things better.

Incredible and effective as that ancient practice is, you don’t have to know reflexology to give a foot massage. An average person with no training, every day, at home, maybe with a nice tub of body or hand/foot cream at their disposal, can make themselves and everyone around them a little happier.

Long ago, a homeopath took one look at my (at times anxious, decidedly bookish, then-6-year-old) daughter and pronounced, “She’s always in her head. She needs grounding. Rub her feet every night.” I did it, and it helped—seriously helped. But rubbing her feet even when she wasn’t in her head also helped—and it was great for her little brother, too. I always do it before bed; start the practice and your children will quickly start demanding it if you forget. The tradition of the foot rub is especially useful during the teenage years, when your kids might not feel like talking, or need an ice-breaker to open up.

When times get tough, get a lovely cream, and massage a foot. This is especially true If you’ve been fighting, or if there’s a lot of homework. But even if there’s no reason at all, a foot massage improves the outlook considerably.

I once had a pedicure with Bastien Gonzalez, a former Olympic skier who, after a severe injury, trained as a podiatrist in Paris, and developed an intensely healing pedicure, one that involves no polish and does involve—painlessly—a dentist’s drill. Luxury hotels and spas around the world host Bastien and feature his pedicures, with technicians trained specially by him. After he did the pedicure, he handed me a tube of spruce-scented cream (his products are available in the US only at the New London Pharmacy in New York, though they are not clean by goop standards) and told me, “Massage your feet at night. Say to yourself, ‘I am worth this.’ You will always have a better day the next day if you take a minute to do it.”

Here’s the thing: He’s right. Maybe it’s psychosomatic, but a foot massage at night makes a huge difference for me. I keep a few thick, nice-smelling creams right by my bed, but also in the living room out by the TV, and of course in my kids’ rooms. I’m not so big on foot-specific creams, which tend to smell and feel medicinal, so below is a compendium of (amazingly scented and textured, super-moisturizing) body creams that are especially deluxe for a foot massage:

Grown Alchemist Body Cream, $26,
Thick, rich, and deeply moisturizing, this soothing, ultra-luxurious cream is made with bioactive, certified organic ingredients to nourish even the driest skin. Pomegranate, cauacu, and shea butter mix with antioxidant almond, grapeseed, and rosehip oils, increasing elasticity and leaving skin firmer, softer, and utterly revitalized.

Rodin Crema Luxury Hand and Body Cream, $84,
Silky, rich, and gorgeously textured, this moisturizes skin thoroughly, leaving it soft, plump, utterly rejuvenated, and smelling faintly of neroli and jasmine. Total indulgence in a chic white tube.

Neal’s Yard Jasmine and Ylang Ylang Body Cream, $44,
The incredible, subtle, yet beautifully sexy scent of this cream is matched with its rich texture, which is made with organic honey and apricot kernel oil for velvety soft skin.

Tammy Fender Rose Geranium & Tangerine Body Lotion, $75,
The geranium-and-neroli scent that infuses this airy lotion is subtle and gorgeous; the antioxidant formula means it’s also super hardworking—nourishing and firming skin.

Beautycounter Enrich Body Butter, $36,
Made with high percentages of shea butter and mongongo oil to hydrate and nourish, this luxurious cream mixes organic sunflower oil, aloe, and chamomile to soothe and smooth skin.

Rahua Body Lotion, $48,
Ultra-moisturizing, healing, and nourishing, this organic, gluten-free/vegan cream is packed with omega 3’s and 9’s. Made with skin-conditioning rahua and ungurahua oils used by indigenous Amazonian women for centuries, it’s packed with quinoa extract, sacha inchi oil, and omega 3’s and 9’s, so it’s both rich and incredibly good for you.

Related: Foot Massage Products