Cure Dry, Cracked Heels with this Lavender-Mint Foot Soak
We’re nearing sandals season, which means all those rough spots and dry patches on your heels will have no place to hide. Eek! But there’s no need to panic: this restorative sea salt foot bath is just what you need to keep your feet looking healthy, smooth, and soft.
If your heels could use a little TLC after this harsh winter, you’re not alone. Because feet have no oil glands—only sweat glands—they’re difficult to keep properly moisturized, and the freezing temperatures and harsh indoor heat of wintertime makes it even harder. These dry conditions make you more susceptible to cracked heels, or heel fissures, which occur when the dry skin at the bottom and sides of your heel become broken and inflamed and begin to flake, peel, and thicken. The condition can also be cause by a fungal or bacterial growth, poor circulation and foot hygiene, skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, or even diabetes or an underactive thyroid. Nutritional deficiencies in zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, or magnesium can also be to blame, as can the way you walk! Runners who repeatedly put pressure on the same spot on their heels may develop fissures, as may those who tend to walk around barefoot. Cracked, dry heels aren’t just an aesthetic issue, either; if left untreated, your condition can become painful or even infected.
The first step toward getting your feet into flip-flop form is to soften and cleanse your skin. This fragrant, spa-like soak will make your feet feel more silky and smooth so they’re easier to treat. It contains mineral-rich bath salts; baking soda, a natural exfoliator and deodorizer; lemon, a fruit-based cleanser and acid that clears away dead skin; and a blend of essential oils to relieve discomfort and remove impurities. It’s my go-to recipe for happy heels, and I hope it becomes yours, too!
Minty Lemon and Lavender Foot Soak
(adapted from Tidy Mom)
1 cup Dead Sea salt
1 cup epsom salt
½ cup baking soda
Zest of one lemon
2 drops peppermint essential oil (or make your own mint oil)
3 drops of lemon essential oil (or substitute lemon extract)
2 drops of lavender essential oil
1. In a large bowl, combine the salts and baking soda. Then add the zest and oils and stir with a spoon to mix thoroughly. Pour contents in a large mason jar.
2. Fill your foot bath, or a plastic tub large enough to fit both of your feet, with warm water and add ½ cup of the sea salt mixture to it. Place your feet in the warm, aromatic bathwater and let soak for about 20 minutes.
You can store your jar of bath salt in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
After your refreshing foot bath, use a natural pumice stone or foot file to gently remove any dead skin on your heels. Then, moisturize your foot with a natural oil such as coconut, jojoba, or calendula by placing a few drops in the palm of your hand and liberally massaging it on your heels. These oils all have antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic qualities that work to cleanse and protect your skin. Lock in moisture with a natural salve such as beeswax or cocoa butter. You can apply this right before bed as an overnight treatment, and just rinse it off in the morning.
Do you have a natural cure for dry, cracked heels? Tell us about it in comments!