Summer is just around the corner. Very few people want to wear heavy socks and shoes when it’s a sauna outdoors. Sandals and flip-flops are the popular summer footwear choices. But most people don’t include their feet in their skincare routine, especially in the winter months.
Pedicures are meant for your toenails to look colorful and clean, but what about your heels and arch? Our bodies secrete natural oils that keep the skin moisturized and smooth. While the oils on the face and hair are more well-known, the feet have them, too. However, the aging process causes less oil productions, which can result in dry, cracked skin on our feet, the most neglected part of the body.
After an invigorating DIY foot peel, you’ll be saying, “Sun is out, toes are out!” all summer long. (Please don’t say that out loud.)
What Causes Extremely Dry and Cracked Feet?
Cracked heels can be embarrassing and painful. Dry skin is, obviously, a huge culprit, especially if you live in cold climates or areas of low humidity. However, there are a few other things that could be causing the skin of your feet to crack.
Other possible causes for cracked heels include:
- Standing for long periods of time
- Walking around without shoes on or wearing open-back sandals
- Long, hot showers
- Improperly fitting shoes
- High heels
The above list is full of environmental or lifestyle choices. Sometimes dry feet are caused for medical reasons, such as:
- High blood sugar
- Poor circulation
- Nerve damage
- Vitamin deficiency
What is a Foot Peel?
To put it simply, foot peels are basically chemical peels for the feet. The foot peels can help nourish dry skin and remove painful calluses. The drugstore foot peels contain several acids, alcohol and fragrances. One popular brand is called Baby Feet and has been used by celebrities on social media, including Disney star Zendaya.
However, if you prefer not to use harsh chemicals, you can make your own foot peel and apply it yourself. The drugstore foot peels are essentially chemical-laden socks that you put over your feet for a few hours. With the DIY peels, you use plastic wrap or baggies that you place over your feet with socks on top of the plastic.
Once you’ve soaked your feet in the foot peel solution, the skin of your feet doesn’t begin to peel immediately. The dead skin peels off in big flakes for up to two weeks. Foot peels are not for those with squeamish stomachs. The end result is smooth, fresh skin on your feet. Perfect for sandal weather!
Foot Peel Benefits
After reading the benefits of foot peels, you’ll add the skin rejuvenating peels to your skincare routine:
The foot peels are probably the easiest part of your skincare routine; foot peel socks and chill. After soaking your feet in warm water for 5-10 minutes, you put the exfoliating paste onto your feet and wrap them in plastic wrap. Then you queue up your favorite show and sit back while the dead skin is broken down.
You don’t have to scrub or slough off the dead skin. Nor will you need a cheese grater, which is apparently a thing people use to remove the flaky skin.
Once the dead skin has been broken down, the new skin cells can replace them. It does take a few weeks to for your body to ‘shed’ the dead skin cells, so you’ll want to hold off on wearing those sandals until the process has been completed.
Since you are making your foot peels at home instead of buying them in the stores, you need to moisturize with vitamin E during the process of removing the dead skin. The foot peels manufactured by cosmetics companies often include moisturizing vitamin E and plant oils in the peel ingredients to keep the skin on the feet well-nourished.
Most people forget the feet when exfoliating their face or bodies. Our feet are fundamental to our mobility and we expect a lot out of our feet without taking very good care of them. In prehistoric times, calloused feet allowed our ancestors to walk around barefoot without any trouble. Of course, now we have shoes to help protect our feet.
While the skin of our feet is often the most ignored, it is also the toughest skin on the body. The soles of our feet literally have the thickest skin, but it can still be damaged from neglect.
When you exfoliate your face, you often have to use a brush of some kind or something that helps slough off the dead skin. Foot peels don’t require any of that, but you might want to exfoliate by hand to help the process along. Or you can let the dead skin cells naturally fall off the feet, but that will leave your skin flaky and scaly for weeks.
Poorly maintained toenails can be embarrassing and make you feel self-conscious about wearing toe-bearing shoes. Dry, cracked skin can have the same effect. DIY foot peels are much more manageable than at-home pedicures.
Foot peels result in fresh, smooth skin that will allow you to wear sandals or flip-flops without a second thought.
Some people even get a perverse satisfaction over their feet peeling in large flakes of dead skin. There is an entire show dedicated to watching someone pop their pimples, after all.
The dead skin peeling process can take several weeks. But after the process is complete, you will be rewarded with soft, fresh skin on your feet. Say goodbye to flaky heels and painful calluses and hello to rejuvenated feet.
Once your feet have stopped shedding the dead skin cells, the resulting soft, smooth feet last almost as long as it took for the skin to become dry and callused in the first place.
Foot care experts recommend the foot peels once a month at the most, but that might not be necessary because the foot peel can last as long as three months.
You will feel the effects of the foot peel for longer if you use lotion or moisturizer on your feet every night before bed, just as you would for your face and body. Even after the dead skin cells are gone, you can continue to exfoliate weekly with a foot scrub.
DIY Foot Peel
If you want to exfoliate the old, dead skin from your feet without purchasing drugstore products, you can make a DIY foot peel. Aspirin is the main ingredient in a DIY foot peel because the aspirin is rich in salicylic acid that removes layers of dead skin as a natural exfoliant.
- A small bottle of non-coated aspirin, crushed
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons of water
- Plastic wrap
- Old pair of socks
- Jojoba oil
- After-treatment moisturizer
- Mix crushed aspirin, lemon juice and water into a paste
- Apply paste to each foot
- Cover feet in plastic wrap
- Put socks on over plastic wrap
- Let mixture set for 1-2 hours
- Remove socks and plastic wrap
- Rinse feet in warm water
- Rub jojoba oil onto your feet as a moisturizer
How to Prevent Cracked Heels
After you’ve done the foot peel treatment, there are things you can do to prevent cracked heels in the future, including:
- Avoiding standing for long periods of time
- Choose comfy shoes with good arch support
- Add moisturizing your feet to your nightly beauty routine
- Drink more water to prevent dry skin
- Exfoliate dead skin cells from your feet with a pumice stone