Summer is the season of sandals, wedges, and espadrilles, and it’s high time we remember our feet. Yes, those poor feet we often forget about, though they keep us moving. The calluses, cracks, and dry skin that appears when we ignore their needs can be both unattractive and painful. So what we can do about them?
Let’s start here with some general tips! The first thing you should remember is that our feet require daily care. If you want your heels to be smooth and soft, you should use pumice stones or foot files on a daily basis. There are several things we want to remind you about:
- Remove the dead skin during or right after a shower or bath, when it’s soft. Use circular motions for better results. Rinse and pat your feet dry after the procedure, and then apply some moisturizer.
- If you’re into foot baths, use warm or cool water. Hot water can actually dry out your skin.
- Use exfoliating scrubs for your feet, either bought or homemade. Try honey, salt, sugar, or coffee scrubs — it’s up to you.
- You can try coconut oil or shea butter to moisturize your feet, or even mix them together in a 3:2 ratio. Use them at night and wear soft cotton socks after applying the cream for better results.
So, that’s it for general tips — now here are some simple recipes you can use to soften the skin on your feet. Time to pamper them and thank them for all their work!
1. BAKING SODA
We all know that baking soda is a universal miracle worker, and it’s time to reiterate this point once again with this powerful exfoliator. All you need is:
- 3 parts baking soda;
- 1 part water.
Mix the ingredients in a bowl and apply to your feet. Massage them, paying special attention to heels, toes, and callouses (if there are any). If the skin is too dry, use a pumice stone or a foot file. When you’re finished, rinse your feet with warm water and apply some moisturizer.
Another use for baking soda is a foot bath. There’s nothing simpler: just fill a proper container with warm water, add 3 tablespoons of baking soda, stir, and soak your feet there for 10 minutes. Then rinse them with water and apply your favorite moisturizer.
2. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Vinegar is more than a remedy for dry skin — when combined with Listerine, it can soften callouses. To prepare this soak, you’ll need:
- 1 part apple cider vinegar
- 1 part Listerine
- 2 parts warm water
Soak your feet for no less than 10 minutes and no more than 20 minutes, pat dry, and then exfoliate the skin with a pumice or foot file.
Another way you can use vinegar to fight callouses is to soak a cotton pad in vinegar, apply it to the area, secure it with an adhesive bandage, and go to bed. Remove the pad when you wake up and exfoliate the skin. Repeat if necessary.
3. OLIVE OIL
Olive oil simply slays in its role as a great natural moisturizer, so there are no recipes here: just apply it to your feet before bed and put on a pair of cotton socks. If you have some spare time, pamper your feet with a massage. Gently rub the oil in, paying special attention to the hardest areas.
Oh, almost forgot…repeat this procedure on a regular basis for nice, permanent results!
Honey is also a great moisturizer on its own: it “traps” the moisture inside the skin, thus making it nice and soft. You can prepare a honey foot soak (1 cup of honey for 4 liters/1 gallon of warm water, soak 15 minutes) and complete it with a honey scrub:
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- 3 drops of peppermint oil
Thoroughly mix all the ingredients in a bowl and massage the scrub all over your feet, then rinse and towel dry. Oh, and moisturize, of course.
Hey, are you bored of water-based foot baths? If so, here’s something special for you:
- 4 cups of whole milk
- 2 handfuls of baking soda
- a couple of drops of your favorite essential oil, some relaxing music, several candles, and a good mood!
Warm up the milk, but not until it’s too hot. Pour it in a foot tub and let the milk work its magic for 10 minutes. After that, take a handful of baking soda and massage your feet, paying special attention to the hard areas. Repeat on the other side. Then dip both feet in the milk again for 5 more minutes.
When you’re done, rinse and pat your pampered feet dry, and apply some hydration. Done!
6. PEPPERMINT OIL
Peppermint has a pleasant cooling effect on your tired feet and omega-3 acids nourish the skin. If this sounds appealing to you, try this scrub:
- 1 cup oat flakes
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1/4 cup coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon of peppermint oil
Mix the ingredients and apply to wet feet, as the scrub itself contains no water. Massage for a couple of minutes, rinse, pat dry, and hydrate.
As weird as it may sound, banana is an awesome remedy for dry feet. It contains amino acids and vitamins that can soften your skin. There are actually 2 ways to benefit from this yellow fellow:
- Mash a couple of ripe bananas and apply the mask to your feet for about 20 minutes. After that, rinse it off with lukewarm water.
- If you like bananas in your stomach rather than on your feet, rub the inside of the peel all over your dry soles. The rest is the same: wait, rinse, pat dry. Easy!
8. ALOE VERA GEL
Well, we all know about the awesome moisturizing aloe vera properties, don’t we? You can either make some gel from your own plant or buy it (check if it’s pure first!).
You don’t even need a special recipe here — the gel can be applied either after a shower or a bath instead of other remedies or after them. You can make a foot soak, then go for some scrub, and use the gel as the finishing hydration step. Simply apply it to your feet, put on cotton socks, and go to sleep.
9. PETROLEUM JELLY
Petroleum jelly prepares your feet for further exfoliation. So all you need is a thick layer of jelly on your feet under your socks before bed. When you wake up in the morning, take a foot file and rub the rough skin until it’s smooth.
Surprisingly, toothpaste can actually help with several foot issues at once. It can become your last step to perfection.
- First of all, it can be a great cooling scrub as it contains abrasive particles that enhance the effect of a foot file or pumice stone. It’s amazing to use when exfoliating dead skin cells, making your feet baby soft. The only warning is: don’t use toothpaste if you have deep cracks — remember it contains menthol, which could burn.
- It whitens your toenails. Apply the paste and scrub with an old toothbrush.
- It can also help you get rid of nasty blisters. Simply apply some paste to the area and leave it for a couple of hours. Remove the paste with a wet washcloth and repeat a couple of times a day until it’s gone.
BONUS: DIY EXFOLIATING SOCKS
I bet you’ve heard of exfoliating socks that make your feet literally shed skin like snakes do. This DIY remedy looks as promising. To prepare it take:
- 4 liters (1 gallon) of warm water,
- 1 cup of Epsom salt,
- 10 to 15 Aspirin pills,
- and the juice from one lemon.
You’ll also need plastic wrap and a pair of cotton socks.
- First, prepare a foot soak, adding the Epsom salt to a foot bath filled with water. Dip your feet there for no less than 30 minutes.
- Now take the pills and put them in a bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice in the bowl and mix until it becomes a thick paste. Apply the paste to your feet (pat dry them first) and wrap them in a piece of plastic wrap. It’s time to put the socks on!
- Leave this on for 4 to 6 hours, then wash your feet with soap.
- Apply a layer of hydration and wear cotton socks again.
It’s better to leave the foot cream on overnight. The skin won’t peel immediately, it can take several days to feel the effect. So be patient and keep those sandals close!
Of course, you don’t need to use all the methods at once. That would be weird, right? Simply stick to a particular option you like: for example, you can choose a favorite scrub, the most appealing soak, and the best moisturizer…or pick several ways and use them alternatively according to your mood. The choice is all yours!