Dry, calloused, and cracked feet are a reality for many of us, and things only worsen in winter. When you do want to show your feet off in sandals during the warmer months, you want them to look and feel as soft as possible. When you ignore their needs, however, it’s more than unattractive – it can get painful. Here are the best tips to get your baby-soft feet
Use a foot file/pumice stone
For an instant pedicure minus the nails, using a pumice stone or foot file can help soften the bottom of the feet and slough off dead skin cells while softening them. This works best when you do it after a bath or a shower, which is when your skin is softest. Rub it in circular motions, finishing off by rinsing your feet, patting them dry, and putting on some moisturizer.
Stick to warm or cool water with foot baths
Although hot water can feel good on tired muscles or on a cold night, going too hot will dry out your skin and worsen existing issues. Cool and warm water can be just as effective, especially if you throw some Epsom salts or essential oils in there.
Apply an exfoliating scrub
You can make a DIY scrub at home with ingredients like salt, sugar, honey, or coffee as an exfoliating agent, but there are also plenty of effective exfoliating scrubs for sale that smell and feel amazing and, best of all, require zero effort on your part.
Moisturize with shea butter or coconut oil
This is especially important in the winter and after exfoliation, but regularly moisturizing your feet (or even mixing the two ingredients together) can make a major difference in softness. Our favorite hack? Apply the oil or body butter, and wear soft cotton socks afterward. It’s even better if you can keep them on overnight to maximize that moisturizing power.
The Best Ingredients To Maintain Soft Feet:
By mixing one part water with three parts baking soda, you can create a powerful but non-abrasive exfoliator. Mix this solution in a bowl, and afterward, rinse feet with warm water, applying moisturizer. Besides massaging your feet in this solution, you can make your own foot bath by filling up a container with a few tablespoons of baking soda and some warm water, stirring, and then soaking your feet for up to 10 minutes. As always, repeat with your favorite cream.
Apple cider vinegar
This strange soak combined one part apple cider vinegar with one part Listerine and two parts warm water. Together, the ingredients can help soften callouses. Don’t soak them for less than 10 minutes or for any longer than 20 minutes. Afterwards, pat them dry and exfoliate with a foot file or pumice stone to remove the dead skin. Another low-maintenance way to use ACV is to soak a cotton pad in the solution and place it on the area, securing it with an adhesive bandage so you can sleep overnight with it.
When creams, nut butter, and lotions feel too heavy, olive oil is your best bet. It applies luxuriously and is one of nature’s best natural moisturizers – no recipe necessary. Just rub some oil on your feet (massage them if you have time), rubbing the oil in. Apply a pair of cotton socks afterward.
Honey is a fantastic ingredient that can moisturize when combined with exfoliating agents. Honey traps moisture in the skin and makes a luxurious foot soak/scrub when combined with a quarter cup of brown sugar, a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil, and some invigorating peppermint oil. Mix these ingredients and rub the scrub on your feet before rinsing and towel drying.
Soaking your feet in water can get boring, so instead, blend four cups of whole milk and a couple of handfuls of baking soda, blending with your favorite essential oil. This at-home spa treatment gives major Cleopatra vibes. Be sure to warm up the milk beforehand. After soaking in the milk for about 10 minutes, massage your feet with a handful of baking soda before dipping them back in the milk for a few more minutes.
It might sound weird to mash your feet into some mushy bananas, but the vitamins and amino acids in them can help in multiple ways. You can either mash them up and apply this “mask” to your feet for 20 minutes before rinsing off or rub the peels all over the dry bottoms of your feet.
Although this shouldn’t be used on deep cracks (menthol won’t be comfortable), toothpaste is a surprisingly cooling scrub with abrasive particles that can do the same things a pumice stone or foot file does. It can exfoliate dead skin cells and has a surprising perk of brightening your toenails and removing blisters. For blisters, apply a paste to the area and leave it on for a couple of hours. For whiter toenails, apply the paste to the nails and scrub them with an old toothbrush.