Complete Foot Care Guide to Soft, Smooth Feet
Our feet have been through a lot throughout our time here on Earth. They carry us from point A to point B and encounter many, many obstacles (literally). A 2016 study showed that an American on average walks about 5,117 steps a day which is about 2.5 miles. That’s nearly 915 miles of walking a year, can you imagine how many miles that is in a lifetime? And that’s only the average person, let alone marathon runners and hiking people out there. They blow those numbers out of the water.
It’s not uncommon that everyone has suffered from dry, cracked, callous feet one time or another. If you have, don’t worry, it’s totally normal and there are a handful of reasons why dry skin develops on the bottom of our feet. If you desire soft, smooth feet you’re in the right place. Today we’re deep-diving into a complete foot care guide, starting from the basics like why we develop dry, cracked, callous skin on the bottom of our feet and how to get soft, smooth feet at home.
So what really causes dry skin on the bottom of feet?
Feet, especially in the heel and sole areas, have fewer oil glands than skin areas elsewhere on the body. With this in mind, it’s not surprising that our feet lack moisture and require a little extra TLC.
The shoes and socks we wear also play a huge role in the development of calluses and dry skin. Friction from walking/running long distances along with standing for too long and wearing poorly fitted shoes causes irritation leading to dry, cracked, or calloused skin in these areas.
Heat and humidity draw moisture from the skin, which is why a hot and humid environment should be avoided when possible. Sneakers and boots are the main culprits for the creation of this environment, but it’s really unrealistic to avoid these shoes. We’re going to cover some practices later to help combat unwanted effects from this environment.
Dry skin can also occur from a number of medical conditions such as athlete’s foot (a fungal infection), eczema, psoriasis, hypothyroidism, and diabetes.
Why should you care about taking care of our feet?
As we’ve already stated, our feet are our everything. These babies get us through the day. I’m sure everyone can relate to this one way or another but if our feet are in pain, it can make any day insufferable.
In all seriousness though, taking care of our feet is uber important, not only for avoiding dry, cracked skin but for our health and well-being as well. Taking proper care of our feet and showing them the extra TLC needed can help prevent skin ailments such as:
- Athletes foot: Fungal infection caused by damp, warm environments
- Corns and calluses: thickened areas of skin on the feet that can lead to discomfort
- Warts: Viral infection affecting the soft tissue of the foot
If you experience any of the above, it’s recommended that you go see a doctor or podiatrist.
Top Tips for Preventing Dry, Cracked Feet
Before treating dry, cracked skin we must first learn how to prevent it. It's all part of our master plan to deliver you the most complete foot care guide. Here are our top 5 tips for preventing dry cracked feet.
- Regularly change your socks - Especially if you’re sweating a lot or wearing sneakers/boots for a prolonged period of time. Changing your socks regularly can reduce your chances of developing athletes' feet and dry skin.
- Eat right and drink your fluids - Hydrate or die-drate, am I right? Hydration and vitamins help nourish the skin, including the skin on your feet.
- Lukewarm Showers - I know, I know– there’s nothing better than a hot shower after a stressful day BUT hot showers can actually suck the moisture out of the skin on your feet.
- Moisturize daily - Whether you use normal lotion or a foot cream, moisturizing daily will definitely help prevent dry, cracked feet.
- Avoid harsh soaps - Harsh and heavily fragranced soaps can irritate and dry out the skin. Consider switching to a milder, fragrance-free soap to reduce skin irritation.
The Ultimate, Complete Foot Care Guide
Even if we practice the best preventative habits, everyone’s going to encounter dry skin on the bottom of their feet. It may be a hassle or too costly to take 2-3 trips a month to the nail salon to get a pedicure to rid our feet of peeling, which is why we’re laying out step by step the ultimate, complete foot care guide (product recommendations too!) so you can achieve soft, smooth feet in the comfort of your own home.
Step 1: Wash & Exfoliate your feet thoroughly (through a soak or shower)
- Whether you opt to soak your feet or wash & exfoliate them in the shower make sure to use lukewarm water.
- You can soak your feet by filling your bathtub or purchasing an at-home foot spa such as MaxKare’s which can be found on Amazon.
- Two of Allure’s favorite foot exfoliants that are cost-friendly are Palmer's Cocoa Butter Foot Magic Scrub ($4) and Kuu Cares Natural Earth Lava Pumice Stone ($5.99)
Step 2: Dry your Feet
- Thoroughly too! Make sure to dry in between the toes, a spot that is often neglected. Any dampness left in between the toes leaves breeding grounds for fungus and discoloration of the nails.
Step 3: Apply Cuticle Cream
- Cuticle cream softens the skin and prevents hangnails. A fan favorite cuticle cream is Sally Hansen’s ($12)
Step 4: Moisturize
- Apply your favorite foot moisturizer after drying your feet. Some of the best foot moisturizers out there are Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream ($8) and O’Keeffe’s Healthy Foot Cream ($7). Of course, try out some different products and find which works best for you and your feet!
Step 5: Wear moisturizing socks to bed
- Wearing moisturizing socks to bed is an ultimate game-changer. They’re soft to the touch and help you achieve the soft, smooth feet you desire.
- You can purchase moisturizing socks such as the Barefoot Scientist’s that can be worn a dozen times and have a hydrating formula built into them already. Or, if you prefer to go the DIY route, add a little bit more of the moisturizer you used in step 3 and follow with a pair of socks.
Having dry, cracked, callus feet is not ideal however it’s bound to happen. Don’t beat yourself up! Following the complete foot care guide and implementing preventative practices can help reduce the likelihood of the development of skin ailments and dry, cracked skin. Cheers to our feet for always being there for us and cheers to a routine to show them the TLC they deserve.
Written by Lauren Conklin
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