Enjoy silky soft, smooth feet by following these guidelines to get rid of hard, cracked, dry skin that often occurs when feet are bundled up in the winter months. These great tips can be easily done at home by incorporating them into your daily routine.
1. Scrub your feet
Scrubbing with a volcanic pumice stone is an effective way of getting rid of dead skin and calluses and helping to promote healthy cell renewal and soft skin. It's best to wet the pumice stone in warm water and rub with gentle circular or lateral movements around each foot.
2. Soak your feet
Soaking feet in warm water for 10-20 minutes to soften them is another great way to get rid of dead skin. You can boost the effect by mixing in half a cup of Epsom salts – which contain magnesium sulfate and can help with inflammation and muscle soreness. Vinegar can also be added – which is acidic and acts better in cold water – or 2-3 tablespoons of baking soda. Use the latter with caution because it can alter the natural PH of your skin – avoid it completely if you have any skin irritation. For all of the above, add a half a cup or three tablespoons to the tub before submerging your feet. Finish up with a pumice stone.
3. Exfoliate your feet
Using a specialized scrub – preferably with granules – twice a week will help eliminate dryness and hardness. The key is to massage feet gently for a few minutes and then rinse with water. You can make a homemade scrub by mixing two tablespoons of sea salt with equal amounts of baby oil and lemon juice. Another alternative is an oatmeal paste with rose water or milk.
4. Hydrate your feet
The best way to prevent dead skin from forming is to hydrate regularly with a moisturizer. It's advisable to apply the lotion after showering or exfoliating so it penetrates deeply into the skin.
5. Massage your feet
Another way to pamper your feet is with a massage. Use your thumbs to perform circular movements to both the upper and lower part of the foot for 5-20 minutes. You can use oils or creams to make this more effective and relaxing.
6. Take care of your toenails
Finally, don't forget to pay some attention to your toenails to keep your feet looking lovely. Try to keep nails short and neat, and remember it's easier to cut them after bathing or showering. Also, apply cuticle oil to keep them nourished.
Consult your doctor or podiatrist if you have excessive dead or cracked skin and calluses, or if you have injuries or rashes which aren't healing.