Smooth beautiful feet is the end objective with our concise guide to banishing cracked heals and dry feet using natural remedies and solutions.
Unlike the skin on the rest of your body, your feet are naturally dry. The skin on your feet has no oil glands, so relies on your sweat glands to keep them moisturised. Dry feet are a common problem for people of all ages and can sometimes be painful too. Dryness can vary from mild, temporary dry skin to severely dry skin that causes additional problems. Standing for too long, lack of moisture, accumulation of dead skin and improper care can all contribute to your skin becoming dry, calloused and cracked.
Treating dry feet usually begins with treating the underlying cause. This may involve checking to see if there is an underlying medical condition like thyroid disease or diabetes. Some people naturally have dry skin and must simply take extra steps to make sure their feet are moisturised daily.
Here's a good routine you can follow for keeping your feet moisturised, beautiful and smooth.
Soaking your feet will soften dry skin and soothe aching or tired feet at the same time. It also helps to loosen dead skin, remove accumulated impurities and deal with any bacteria or fungus thriving in the cracks. Making your own foot soak at home is easy to do; and you can alter the concentration of ingredients for the best benefits, while reducing any skin irritations caused by unnecessary chemicals and preservatives. Fill a foot-bath or suitable container with warm water. The container should be large enough to comfortably fit both your feet. It's best not to use hot water, as this could worsen dryness and cause tissue damage; the water should be lukewarm. Add 1 cup of Epsom salts and mix until the salts are fully dissolved. Add 1 tablespoon of baking soda per litre of water to banish foot odour. In addition to relieving dry skin, the baking soda makes the pH of your skin less hospitable to the bacteria responsible for foot odour.
Herbs and essential oils will add healing qualities and beautiful fragrance. Peppermint, aloe vera, chamomile and fennel help relieve dryness, and spearmint or lemon essential oil help soothe tired feet. Put 5 drops of each of the essential oils you'd like into your foot bath. Alternatively chop up the fresh leaves, tie them into a porous fabric and let them infuse into your solution. Another very simple recipe is ' cup of honey melted into warm water. This creates incredibly soft feet. Repeat your foot soaking experience 2 ' 3 times a week and follow it with a scrub to remove dead skin.
This soothing foot scrub is a great way to get a gentle and relaxing magnesium boost. It helps exfoliate dead and flaky skin accumulated on your feet and encourages the new and healthy skin cells to grow. Epsom salt or magnesium salts are rough on their own, but once you add almond, olive or coconut oil it makes an excellent exfoliator. In a small bowl mix together 1 cup of Epsom salt or magnesium flakes, 1/4 cup olive oil or almond oil, 1 teaspoon of liquid Castile soap (with no animal fats) and 10-15 drops of an essential oil of your choice. Once the ingredients are well mixed together store it in an airtight jar and use a teaspoon sized amount to exfoliate your feet as needed. Rinse well after use. You should not exfoliate more than 2 ' 3 times in a week. You may want to use a pumice with your scrub to make it more effective.
Foot masks have long-lasting benefits for all skin types, because they seal and retain moisture and prevent daily wear and tear. Applying a foot mask once in a while helps nourish and hydrate the skin. It's important to rejuvenate the skin with ingredients that get rid of dead skin cells.
The anti-inflammatory and moisturising properties of oatmeal help exfoliate dead skin cells and soften cracked heels while olive oil adds moisture. Combine 1 tablespoon powdered oatmeal with 10 ' 15 generous drops of olive oil. Apply the mixture onto chapped feet, leave on for 30 minutes and then rinse with cool water and pat dry. Use a foot mask once or twice a week.
Moisturising your feet after a shower or bath and before going to bed is key. Try this homemade shea butter foot cream as an excellent balm for cracked heels.
Add 1/4 cup of magnesium flakes to 2 tablespoons of boiling water, stir until it forms a paste, and set aside. Over low heat, melt 3 tablespoons beeswax and 1/4 cup each of Shea butter and coconut oil, consistently stirring to blend. Remove from heat and let it cool. Put the oil and wax mixture into a blender on low speed. Slowly pour in the magnesium flake paste and blend until the mixture has a butterlike consistency. Store in an airtight container in the fridge and use twice daily. At night you can lather it on thickly, put on some socks and then wipe off any excess cream in the morning.
DIETARY TIPS FOR CRACKED HEELS
Nutritional deficiency can also lead to dry and cracked heels. Make sure you get enough of the following food sources:
- Vitamin A: Important in rejuvenating and maintaining healthy skin tissue. Include vitamin A rich foods like carrots, eggs, milk, orange and green vegetables.
- Vitamin E: Protects skin from harmful free radicals and maintains the skin cells health. Vitamin E rich foods include nuts and whole wheat foods.
- Vitamin C: Helps maintain skin elasticity. Vitamin C can be found in citrus foods and green-leafy vegetables.
- Zinc: Beneficial for cell division, healthy growth of skin tissue and wound healing. Sea food, oysters, whole grains are rich in zinc content.
- Omega Fatty Acids: Helps to increase the skin integrity, speed up the healing process, improve blood circulation and reduce swelling. Oily fish and flaxseeds are good sources.
- Water: Drink plenty of water to maintain soft, supple and hydrated skin. This also helps prevent dry skin and cracked heels.