Dry, cracked feet are more than just an eyesore, they are painful! Once you find yourself battling a cracked heel, you can feel it with every step (trust me, I know). Sore feet affect everything from your daily commute to your workout routine. Thankfully, there are plenty of cracked heels remedies that work wonders in restoring the softness and smoothness of your precious soles—even overnight.
The three tenets of healthy skin are: soften, exfoliate and moisturize. But adding natural remedies such as essential oils for your feet and soothing Epsom salt soaks to your repertoire can speed up the healing process exponentially. Follow the 3-step overnight remedy and you’ll be well on your way to flaunting baby-soft feet in no time.
What Causes Cracked Heels?
Contrary to popular belief, cracked heels aren’t just caused by dryness. Sometimes you can tell what’s causing your dry, cracked feet simply by looking at them.
For example, I always get heel cracks after a trip to the beach—a week of the dryness plus the wear and tear of walking barefoot on sand takes a toll! More common causes:
Lack of moisture
Just like with other parts of the body, when the skin on the feet doesn’t receive enough hydration, it becomes dry and loses its elasticity, leading to cracks and fissures. Also, exposure to dry or arid climates, low humidity, and cold temperatures can can strip the skin of its natural oils and moisture, leaving feet susceptible to dryness and cracking.
Open-back or poorly fitted shoes often fail to provide adequate cushioning, which can put excessive pressure on the heels. This may result in the thickening and drying of the heels, leading to cracks over time.
Too much standing or walking
If you have a job that requires you to be on your feet all day, the continuous pressure like the heels.
Yep, as we age, our skin naturally loses moisture and becomes less elastic. This can make those of use with a few extra years more prone to developing dry, cracked feet.
If you’re not sure what’s causing your foot issues, it’s best to talk to your doctor in order to get to the root of the problem.
The Best Oils for Cracked Heels
When it comes to cracked heels coconut oil is a godsend. Thanks to its high fat content, coconut oil helps replenish lost moisture, soften the skin, and improve skin’s elasticity. Regularly massaging coconut oil onto the heels can leave the skin feeling smoother, more hydrated, and less prone to cracking.
With its rich emollient properties and nourishing vitamins and minerals, olive oil makes a great cracked feet treatment. It deeply moisturizes the skin, softens rough patches, and helps restore the skin’s natural moisture barrier.
Neem oil is derived from the neem tree and has antimicrobial and moisturizing properties. Apply a few drops of neem oil directly to your cracked feet and massage it into the skin. Leave it on overnight and rinse off in the morning for its healing and hydrating effects.
Sesame oil is deeply moisturizing, and turmeric possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help to heal cracked feet.
Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E oil is a potent antioxidant that helps nourish and repair the skin. Applying vitamin E oil to cracked heels can provide deep hydration, promote healing, and improve the overall condition of the skin.
The Best Essential Oils for Cracked Heels
Many essential oils have moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which are highly beneficial to the skin. Here are four cracked heels essential oils you should always have in your medicine cabinet.
Lavender is well known for its antibacterial and anti-fungal effects [source]. Lavender essential oil can help alleviate inflammation, moisturize the skin, and promote healing, making it an ideal choice for soothing and revitalizing cracked feet.
Tea tree essential oil is renowned for its antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties [source], which can help address any underlying infections or foot conditions that may contribute to dry, cracked feet. It also has a refreshing and cooling effect, providing relief from discomfort and aiding in the healing process.
Peppermint essential oil has a cooling sensation that provides immediate relief to dry, cracked feet. It helps soothe irritation, moisturizes the skin, and improves circulation, making it an invigorating choice for revitalizing tired, cracked feet.
Frankincense works wonders on the skin, so why not use it on your feet as well? It helps promote cell regeneration, supports the healing process [source], and enhances the overall appearance and texture of the skin on the feet.
Soothing Cracked Heels Cream Recipe
With the right combination of ingredients, you can create a luxurious foot cream at home that will provide deep hydration, promote skin repair, and leave your feet feeling soft and supple.
In a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl, melt the shea butter and coconut oil completely.
Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before adding the sweet almond and essential oils. Stir well to combine.
Transfer the mixture to a clean, airtight container or jar and allow it to cool completely. This may take a few hours, so be patient.
Once solid, your foot cream is ready to use. Take a small amount and gently massage it into your cracked heels and feet, focusing on the areas that need extra care.
For best results, apply the foot cream before bed and wear a pair of clean cotton socks overnight to lock in the moisture. Repeat daily, to help heal and prevent dry, cracked heels.
Note: This foot cream recipe can be customized to suit your preferences by adjusting the number of essential oil drops or trying different essential oils known for their skin-nourishing properties. Always perform a patch test before applying the cream to ensure you do not have any adverse reactions to the ingredients.
How to Fix Cracked Heels Overnight in 3 Simple Steps
If you’re looking to give your cracked heels some extra care and attention, you can do this simple 3-step pedicure at home for cracked heels once or twice a week.
Regularly soaking your feet in warm water helps to soften the skin, making it less prone to cracking in the first place. A good soak also helps to remove dead skin cells, reducing the buildup of rough patches that can contribute to cracks.
Exfoliating the feet, either with a gentle scrub or a pumice stone, helps to further slough off dry and dead skin, promoting smoother and healthier feet.
Applying a heavy duty moisturizer that’s rich in emollients and humectants helps seal in moisture, soften rough skin, and prevent the formation of cracks. By keeping your feet adequately moisturized, you also create a protective barrier that reduces the friction that can lead to calluses and cracks.
Get the recipes below!
Step 1: Soften Heels with a Foot Soak
Fill a basin with warm water and add the Epsom salt, whole milk, and dried flowers or essential oils. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes, allowing the warm water and salts to soften the skin and relax your feet.
More Heel Softening Remedies:
Create a foot soak by combining equal parts warm water and white vinegar in a basin. Soak your feet in this solution for 15-20 minutes. The acidic properties of vinegar help remove dead skin cells and restore the skin’s pH balance, promoting healing and preventing further cracking. Note: ACV can sting (a lot!) so avoid it if you’re suffering from deep or painful foot cracks.
Brew a strong chamomile tea and let it cool. Soak your feet in the chamomile-infused water for 15-20 minutes. Chamomile has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate dryness and inflammation in cracked heels.
Blackstrap molasses is rich in minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium, which can help nourish the skin and promote healing. Add a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to warm water in a foot basin and soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.
Essential Oil Compress
Looking for a foot soak without the mess? Mix 5-10 drops of essential oil with some warm water. Then soak a clean cloth or towel in the mixture. Wring out the excess liquid and apply the warm compress to your cracked feet for soothing relief and enhanced absorption.
Step 2: Exfoliate Heels with a Foot Scrub
Revitalize your feet with an invigorating exfoliating salt scrub. The larger granules in salt are perfect for sloughing away dead skin cells and rough patches on tough soles, leaving your feet smoother and more receptive to the nourishing benefits of the moisturizing balm.
—2 tablespoons sea salt
—1 tablespoon olive oil
After the foot soak, prepare an exfoliating scrub by combining sugar and oil in a small bowl. Gently massage the scrub onto your feet, paying special attention to the areas with dry and cracked skin. Rinse off with warm water.
More Heel Exfoliating Remedies:
Make a foot scrub by combining ground oatmeal with jojoba oil to form a thick paste. Gently massage this mixture onto your cracked feet, then rinse off with warm water. Oatmeal acts as a natural exfoliant, while jojoba oil provides deep hydration and nourishment.
Apply a banana foot mask and let the natural enzymes and moisturizing properties of bananas can gently exfoliate and soothe cracked heels. Simply mash a ripe banana into a paste and applying it to the affected area and wrap in plastic wrap for 15 minutes.
Mix sesame oil with a pinch of turmeric powder to create a paste. Apply this paste to your cracked heels, allowing it to sit for 30 minutes before washing off.
Step 3: Apply Balm + Wear Socks to Heal Overnight
Complete the treatment by generously applying the cracked heels cream or this overnight mask for cracked feet, formulated with nourishing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E oil, to deeply hydrate and repair your cracked feet overnight.
Mix the shea butter and oils in a small bowl until smooth. Massage the balm onto your feet, focusing on the cracked areas. Put on a pair of clean cotton socks and leave them on overnight to allow the balm to deeply penetrate and moisturize your feet.
More Heel Moisturizing Remedies:
Honey has antimicrobial and moisturizing properties that make it an excellent way to heal cracked feet. Honey is also a natural humectant, which means it attracts and retains moisture. When applied to dry skin, honey helps draw moisture from the environment and locks it into the skin, making skin more supple and less prone to damage.
Aloe vera has long been used for its soothing and hydrating properties. Regularly applying aloe gel can help alleviate dryness, reduce inflammation, and heal cracked feet quickly.
Blend essential oils with aloe vera gel to create your own cracked heels lotion. Apply the cream to your cracked feet regularly for deep hydration and healing.
Calendula, also known as marigold, has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Look for a natural calendula salve and apply it to your cracked heels regularly. It helps moisturize, nourish, and promote healing of the skin.
No Time for a Pedicure? You Can Still Use Essential Oils on Heel Cracks
If you don’t have time for the full pampering pedicure, you don’t have to miss out on essential oils’ healing benefits. Follow this simple process for applying essential oils to the feet to soothe and hydrate dry skin:
1. Dilute the essential oil
Begin by diluting the essential oil of your choice in a carrier oil such as coconut oil, almond oil, or jojoba oil. The recommended dilution ratio is typically 2-3% for adults. For example, add 6-9 drops of essential oil to every 1 ounce (30 mL) of carrier oil.
2. Wash and dry your feet
Before applying the diluted essential oil mixture, cleanse your feet thoroughly with mild soap and warm water. Pat your feet dry gently with a towel, ensuring they are completely dry.
Take a small amount of the diluted essential oil blend in your palm and massage it onto the cracked heels, focusing on the affected areas.
Use gentle, circular motions to ensure the oil is absorbed into the skin. Continue massaging for a few minutes to improve circulation, enhance absorption, and promote relaxation.
4. Cover and rest
After applying the essential oil blend, you can choose to cover your feet with clean socks to help lock in the moisture and enhance the absorption of the oils. Leave the socks on for at least 30 minutes (overnight is even better!) to allow the oils to work their magic. If applying during the day, you may want to put on open-toed shoes to prevent excess moisture buildup.