Extreme temperatures, aging and even the shoes you wear can lead to dry, cracked skin on your feet. Dry skin isn't a serious problem, but it can be unattractive and uncomfortable. Treating dry skin yourself is a three-step process that requires exfoliation, softening and moisturizing.
Exfoliate with Sugar
Combine equal parts olive oil and brown sugar to make a thick exfoliating scrub. Use your hands to rub the mixture all over your clean feet, focusing your scrubbing efforts on your heels and any other places that are particularly dry. Massage your feet with the scrub vigorously for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse the mixture off completely with cool water. Pat your feet dry with a clean towel.
Soften with Honey
Soaking your feet is the first step in soothing dry skin, and it's easy to concoct an effective foot soak from simple ingredients. Add a cup of honey to a gallon or warm water and soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. If your feet are seriously dry, you may want to soak them even longer. Honey's natural enzymes help speed up healing and bind moisture to your skin. If you need to clip or file your nails, do it before you soak; your nails will be soft after your soak. Soaking your feet helps improve circulation. Because poor circulation is one of the causes of dry skin, regular foot soaks can help prevent dry skin.
Protect with Petroleum Jelly
Rub petroleum jelly generously all over your feet, massaging the thick jelly between your toes, all over your heels and on top of your feet. Petroleum jelly moisturizes your feet and seals the moisture inside your skin to promote healing. Have a pair of socks handy to put on so you don't slip--petroleum jelly is slippery. Do this before you go to bed so you can let the petroleum jelly work overnight, then rinse your feet completely in the morning.
- "Natural Beauty at Home: More Than 250 Easy to Use Recipes for Body, Bath and Hair" (revised edition); Janice Cox; 2002
Holly Roberts is an award-winning health and fitness writer whose work has appeared in health, lifestyle and fitness magazines. Roberts has also worked as an editor for health association publications and medical journals. She has been a professional writer for more than 10 years and holds a B.A. in English and an M.A. in literature.