Natural Remedies For Dry Feet
Limit the time you spend in the shower and use warm rather than hot water for washing your feet. Use a pumice stone, natural exfoliants like yogurt to slough off dead skin. After washing the feet, pat dry and slather on some petroleum jelly, sesame or coconut oil, honey, or shea butter to help seal in the moisture. Or try rubbing pure mashed avocado into cracked heels.
Your feet work really hard! It is estimated that you will walk more than 150,000 miles during the course of your lifetime – that’s equal to walking about five times around the world!1 Feet that work so hard surely deserve some TLC. And you can start by taking care of a common problem: dry skin.
Your skin becomes dry, scaly, and rough when it doesn’t retain enough water. This may be due to dry weather or because you wash them too frequently or use harsh soaps. Skin disorders like psoriasis or atopic dermatitis and medical conditions like diabetes and liver disease can also cause dry skin.2 But fret not! There are ways to fight dry skin and keep your feet smooth and beautiful.
Follow Good Foot-Care Practices
Even when we have elaborate grooming regimens, feet don’t usually get the attention they deserve. Start with some small, simple everyday steps to minimize the chances of your feet drying out in the first place.
1. Cut Bath Time
Don’t spend more than five to ten minutes in the shower and don’t soak your feet. This can strip away natural oils from your skin and make it dry and rough.3 Also, give up on your hot, steaming bath and opt for warm water instead. Hot water tends to strip your skin of oil, making it dry and rough.4
2. Seal The Moisture In
After you wash your feet and pat them dry, apply a moisturizer. This will lock the moisture in. But avoid moisturizing between your toes. This can leave them damp and prone to bacteria.5
3. Slough Off Dead Skin
You can get cracked heels if your skin’s dry or if you’re putting too much pressure on your heels. To prevent this, use a pumice stone when you’re in the shower to gently slough off the dead skin that can build up on your heels. Also, don’t forget to moisturize afterward.6
4. Use A Humidifier
Winter gets your feet all flaky and dry? If you are prone to dry skin, it can help to use a humidifier during winter. Set it at about 60% so the dry winter air doesn’t sap your skin.7
5. Don’t Scratch!
Take care not to scratch if dryness has made your skin itchy. Scratching can break the skin, leaving you open to infection. Moisturize instead to take care of that itch.
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
The supple, soft texture of your skin owes itself to the water content. Your skin produces an oily substance called sebum which forms a protective barrier and stops it from losing water.8 But as we’ve seen, things like harsh soaps and dry winter air can strip this protective layer and interfere with your skin’s ability to retain water. The result is unsightly, irritating dry skin. Moisturizing plays a vital part in taking care of dry skin. And there’s a whole lot of natural solutions you can use instead of expensive, chemical-laden products.
1. Apply Petroleum Jelly
Petroleum jelly can form a protective barrier on your skin, sealing in the moisture. Slather on some petroleum jelly after washing your feet. Petroleum jelly will lock in the moisture and keep your feet hydrated. And don’t be put off by its greasy feel – the greasier, thicker moisturizers usually work better.9
2. Use Sesame Or Coconut Oil
Natural oils like sesame oil or coconut oils work a treat at keeping your feet hydrated and baby soft. Sesame oil, which is rich in linoleic fatty acids, has been used for ages in Asian countries as a soothing emollient.10
Lauric acid, the major fatty acid found in coconut oil, doesn’t just moisturize, it also has antiseptic properties. It can protect your skin from infection if you haven’t been able to resist that dry itch and have scratched your skin raw. In fact, a study found that when participants applied coconut oil on their legs twice a day for two weeks, not only did their skin hydration improve significantly but the lipid (natural oils) levels on their skin surface also increased.11
3. Spread The Honey
Honey helps soften skin and preserve moisture. It also has an inhibitory effect on nasty fungi, yeast, and bacteria and can keep your skin free of infection.12 So apply some honey to your feet when they feel dry and wash it off with plain water after a while.
4. Try Shea Butter
Butter from the shea tree kernel is great for your skin. It treats dry and rough skin as well as cracks in your skin. It’s also considered to be good for wrinkles and itchy skin.13 So slather on some shea butter and watch it soften your feet!
5. Mash Up Some Avocados
Avocados have an extremely high fatty acid content which makes it a super moisturizer. Apply to clean feet and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes to get supple, soft skin.14
6. Go For Yogurt
Try applying some full fat yogurt to moisturize your feet. As a bonus, yogurt will also help you get rid of dead skin. Leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes and let the lactic acid in it gently exfoliate your feet. Doing this two or three times a week can give you well-hydrated feet.15
References [ + ]
|1, 6.||↑||Don’t Be Embarrassed By Your Feet Urge Podiatrists. The College of Podiatry.|
|2, 4, 7, 9.||↑||9 ways to banish dry skin. Harvard Health Publications.|
|3, 5.||↑||A Basic Guide to Foot Health. The College of Podiatry.|
|8.||↑||Helping Dry Skin. Harvard Health Publications.|
|10.||↑||Nasir, Mohammad Atharand Syed Mahmood. “Taxonomic perspective of plant species yielding vegetable oils used in cosmetics and skin care products.” African journal of biotechnology 4, no. 1 (2005): 36.|
|11.||↑||Agero, A. L., and Vermén M. Verallo-Rowell. “A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis.” Dermatitis 15, no. 3 (2004): 109-116.|
|12.||↑||Eteraf-Oskouei, Tahereh, and Moslem Najafi. “Traditional and modern uses of natural honey in human diseases: a review.” Iranian journal of basic medical sciences 16, no. 6 (2013): 731-742.|
|13.||↑||Oje, K. “Quality characteristics of shea butter recovered from shea kernel through dry extraction process.” J Food Sci Technol 44, no. 4 (2007): 404-407.|
|14, 15.||↑||Gibbons, Leeza. Take 2: Your Guide to Creating Happy Endings and New Beginnings. Hay House Inc, 2013.|