In a world of vitamin C serums, neck creams, retinol, body scrubs, and even hand creams, when it comes to skin care, it seems there’s one part of the body that we tend to neglect: our feet. “Many people forget to moisturize their feet. They don’t see their feet as an important area to moisturize as their face and hands,” says Debra Jaliman, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and the author of Skin Rules.
But that’s a huge mistake, since your feet are naturally drier than other parts of your body. That’s because the bottom of your foot has a thicker stratum corneum (a.k.a. protective dead layer of skin on the surface), which is “designed to protect the surface on which we walk,” says Heidi Waldorf, M.D., founder of Waldorf Dermatology Aesthetics and clinical associate professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York.
Think about it: Your feet go through a lot. Chronic pressure from walking, rubbing from your shoes, trauma from exercise, skin conditions like psoriasis, or infections like athlete’s foot can all lead to flakes, cracked heels, and calluses.
And just like a lack of moisturizing can cause dry, flaky skin on your face, it doesn’t do your feet any favors, especially during winter when the air becomes dry or during the summer when you’re constantly wearing sandals, says Dr. Jaliman. The fix: Invest in a hydrating, healing foot cream and add it to your nightly routine.
How to choose (and use) the best foot cream to heal dry, cracked feet
Look for hydrators: A good foot cream needs the right cocktail of ingredients. The dermatologists we talked to recommend looking for humectants (substances that draw water into the skin), like urea, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid. You’ll also need occlusives (to seal in other ingredients and moisture), such as petrolatum, ceramides, dimethicone, and shea butter.
Don’t forget skin-smoothers: An effective foot cream also contains exfoliating ingredients that help speed skin cell turnover, like salicylic, glycolic, or lactic acids. “Getting rid of dead skin is important to keep feet looking their best,” says Dr. Jaliman
While it’s tempting to just use a pumice stone to remove flakes and scale, make sure you’re always following with a foot cream. “Otherwise, you aren’t changing the root of the problem,” Dr. Waldorf says.
Apply before bed: You can lather on a foot cream whenever you want, but a beneficial time to apply one is after a shower, when the skin is still moist (but not wet), says Ramsey Markus, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Westside Dermatology in Seattle. Put some socks on afterward and head to bed. This ensures your skin has enough time and ability to really absorb the product as you sleep.
“For an extra boost, stick your moisturized foot in a baggie or plastic wrap under a sock for all or part of an evening,” adds Dr. Waldorf. She also recommends applying foot cream whenever you’re going to be wearing gym socks (say, before a hike) to reduce friction and blisters, and to moisturize while you’re working out.
Not sure which foot cream is best for you? We asked the dermatologists above to recommend their favorites—and you can find most of them at drugstore prices. Here are the best foot creams to moisturize and soothe dry, cracked skin.
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BEST OVERALLAquaphor Healing Ointment
“I like heel balms,” says Dr. Jaliman. “Creams and lotions are good but look for balms because they are richer.” She recommends Aquaphor for dry, cracked feet because it contains panthenol (a form of vitamin B5 to help retain moisture) and glycerin (to draw in water from the air into the skin’s outer layer). The best part? The multipurpose product can be used beyond your feet on dry, cracked, or irritated hands, elbows, and even lips.
BEST VALUEVaseline Petroleum Jelly
“Vaseline petroleum jelly is still a go-to and will soften, smooth, and soothe,” says Dr. Waldorf. Whether you have cracked heels, a minor cut, or rough calluses, Vaseline will bring relief, even if your skin is sensitive. Petroleum jelly (a.k.a. petrolatum) forms a protective barrier on the skin to prevent moisture loss. Apply on its own or over another lotion for double duty power.
RAVE REVIEWSO’Keefe’s for Healthy Feet Foot Cream
With more than 32,000 reviews and a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, it’s clear that O’Keefe’s is a tester favorite for cracked feet. Its formula contains a “high concentration” of glycerin, along with allantoin (a skin-protecting compound) to boost moisture levels in rough, dry skin.
“THIS STUFF WORKS. Like most everyone else, I have tried every paste, cream, solution, pumice stone, skin grinder etc. to find something that would get rid of the thick, ugly and painful cracked skin on my diabetic feet,” one reviewer wrote. “I AM ABSOLUTELY AMAZED! After two weeks (with only one daily application) my feet looked and felt like a baby’s. I am not kidding.”
BEST UREA FOOT CREAMPurSources Urea 40% Foot Cream
You don’t have to spend a ton of money to find a quality foot cream, says Dr. Markus. For less than $20, he likes this tub from PurSources, which contains 40% urea. “Urea is the most popular ingredient [in foot creams], as it smooths rough skin and kills the fungus responsible for athlete’s foot,” he explains. It also contains nourishing botanical oils, tea tree oil (which has natural antibacterial properties), and soothing aloe vera.
BEST FOR SENSITIVE SKINCeraVe SA Cream for Rough & Bumpy Skin
Dr. Jaliman recommends this cream from CeraVe because it contains salicylic and lactic acids, which gently buff away dead skin cells on rough feet, along with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to deeply hydrate. The formula is also very gentle, fragrance-free, and non-irritating—it even earned a seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association.
BEST NON-GREASY FOOT CREAMEucerin Advanced Repair Foot Cream
Eucerin’s foot cream has the perfect combination of ingredients to smooth and moisturize dry feet: urea and glycerin to draw in moisture, ceramides to repair the skin’s natural barrier, and lactic acid to gently exfoliate. The best part? Unlike many foot creams, this non-greasy formula absorbs quickly and never feels too thick.
BEST MULTI-PURPOSE CREAMWeleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Body Cream
If you haven’t yet been influenced by the cult following of Skin Food, now is your time. This thick, emollient cream can be used on the heels, elbows, hands, and even the face, and sits at a 4.5-star rating on Amazon with more than 11,000 rave reviews.
BEST EXFOLIATING FOOT CREAMAmLactin Foot Repair Foot Cream Therapy
This cream from AmLactin “exfoliates and moisturizes,” says Dr. Jaliman. “It has lactic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid, and it helps to get rid of the rough skin on your feet.” This hydrating formula also contains a blend of humectants and emollients to effectively moisturize and smooth cracks and roughness. Bonus: It’s completely fragrance-free.
BEST FOR CALLUSESOpen Naturals Urea 40% Foot Cream
Dr. Markus also recommends this urea-based cream to improve callused areas, repair cracked heels, and hydrate dry skin. Tea tree oil and chamomile extract also join forces to soothe skin and repel bacteria to keep feet feeling soft and healthy. “I am a nurse and I am on my feet constantly. I have had calluses on my feet forever, probably from years of wearing poorly fitting dress shoes when I was young woman,” one reviewer wrote. “It is a very nice, rich moisture cream with the addition of urea which, when used daily, is effective in eliminating calluses.”
BEST SHEA BUTTER FOOT CREAML’Occitane 15% Shea Butter Foot Cream
Shea butter’s occlusive properties are a godsend when it comes to foot creams, and this one packs a punch with 15% of the ingredient. It also contains a blend of arnica and lavender essential oils to soothe and relax tired feet.
BEST NATURAL FOOT CREAMBurt's Bees Coconut Oil Foot Cream
Glycerin, lanolin, and coconut oil make this foot cream more of an oily balm in all of the best ways. Added oat and rosemary oil will make you feel like you’re at the spa while applying it. Slip some socks over it, snooze, and wake up with silky-soft skin.
BEST INVESTMENTNeoStrata Problem Dry Skin Cream
“Neostrata PDS cream contains 20 percent glycolic acid and improves even the thickest scale after a few days of use,” says Dr. Waldorf. It’s also packed with lactic and mandelic acids, nourishing vitamin E, and dimethicone to seal everything in. The fragrance-free formula really buffs away roughness, so feel free to use this one on your elbows, knees, and any other persistent dry patches.
Alisa HrusticDeputy Editor, PreventionAlisa Hrustic is the deputy editor at Prevention, where she leads the brand’s digital editorial strategy.
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Mayo Clinic Q and A: At-home treatments often heal dry, cracked heels
DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My heels get very dry and cracked, and are sometimes painful. What can I do to help make them better?
ANSWER: There are several things you can do to help heal the skin on your heels. Cracked heels usually develop when the skin around the rim of the heel is dry and thickened and increased pressure applied to the fat pad under the heel causes the skin to split. To prevent this, moisturize often. Moisturizers provide a seal over your skin to keep water from escaping and your skin from drying out. Try rubbing your heels with a thick moisturizer, such as Eucerin or Cetaphil, several times a day. Some moisturizers contain keratolytic agents — such as urea, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acid — that help soften and exfoliate the skin, but they may cause slight stinging or irritation.
Foot soaks — in warm, plain or soapy water for about 20 minutes — may be helpful. Follow up with a loofah or foot scrubber, then coat your heels with a petrolatum-based ointment, such as Vaseline or Aquaphor. You might want to use petrolatum-based moisturizers before you go to bed, as they can feel a bit greasy. Slipping on a pair of socks over your moisturized feet may help lock in moisture overnight.
If these measures don’t help, or if your heels become swollen or inflamed, talk to your doctor or a dermatologist. You may need a prescription ointment with stronger moisturizers or a steroid cream to relieve inflammation. Bandages or a special tissue glue can protect and hold the edges of the cracks together so that they can heal. Wearing supportive shoes and losing excess weight also may help relieve pressure on your feet.
If you have other skin conditions, such as psoriasis or eczema, you’ll want to consult with your doctor as well, as this may affect treatment. If you have diabetes, it’s especially important to take good care of your feet. Cracked heels that are left untreated may lead to infection and ulcers. (adapted from Mayo Clinic Health Letter) — Lawrence E. Gibson, M.D., Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn.
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Product name: Cetaphil, Intensive Moisturizing Cream with Meadowfoam Oil, 3 oz (85 g)
Quantity: 3 oz, 0.11 kg, 6.4 x 6.4 x 14 cm
Categories: Cetaphil, Bath, Personal Care, Body Care, Lotion, Foot Care, Foot Cream Creme, Fragrance Free
Body- Dry, Sensitive Skin, For Skin’s Driest Areas: Hands, Feet, Elbows and Knees, Helps Restore the Health Protective Barriers of Your Skin, Meadowfoam Oil Locks in Moisture for Softer Skin, Specially Selected Ingredients That Moisturize and Nourish the Skin to Help Prevent Dryness, Fragrance-Free – Non-Irritating, Dermatologist Recommended Brand, This non-greasy protective cream is specially formulated with moisturizing and antioxidant ingredients to hydrate and soothe dry, cracked skin.
The eucerin diabetic lotion is fast-absorbing and this guarantees you quick results. Right out of the shower, dry feet and apply cream and then put gel-heel socks on and go to bed with them. Mallow (Malva sylvestris) featuring excellent moisturizing, soothing and anti-reddening properties, thanks to the presence of mucilage, it is particularly indicated in cases of dry, delicate and easily reddened skin. Dive foot first into this luxuriously rich treatment made with nourishing shea butter, conditioning avocado oil and refreshing eucalyptus extract to smooth away rough spots and drench dry skin with unbelievable moisture. Do yourself a favor and buy the tub of cream where you get a lot more product for the price. Moisturizing foot creme with exfoliating fruit acids and jojoba and castor oils softens and smooths dry feet. The result is that this cream will restore dry, cracked feet to a healthier condition in only a few days. It can easily take care of cracked heels, dry feet, eczema, psoriasis, and even dermatitis. They are just too rich, thick, and sticky to be applied to your facial skin. It is a perfect pain reliever cream if you experience cracked skin. Now anyone with itchy, dry skin can get some relief using this high-quality cream.
Cetaphil, Intensive Moisturizing Cream with Meadowfoam Oil, 3 oz (85 g): Foot Cream Creme, Foot Care, Lotion, Body Care, Personal Care, Bath
Ideal for treating delicate and sensitive skin for it’s soothing and protective action that combats redness and skin irritation. It is enriched with coconut oil and a blend of botanical extracts that prevent dry skin and heal your feet. This cream helps soften and smooth my feet within 2-3 days. Organically grown, the variety chosen for this care line relieves foot fatigue and soothes and relaxes your feet. Let me just say that this cream is legit – coming from a skin care guru. I also tried a micro-plane designed to shave off dead rough foot calluses and skin. Topricin diabetic foot lotion helps to heel the pain in your feet, legs, and ankle particularly for people experiencing peripheral neuropathic pain. I have excema on one foot and this does not irritate my foot, in fact it helps by softening the skin. I had sore cracked heels that had th8ck dry skin around them, often times not wanting to wear sandals. Whether you are running in heels, lifting weights or gardening, our hand and foot care will prevent and heal calluses and rough skin. Even though this can be applied to your body skin to help treat psoriasis, it’s far too heavy for your face and may even clog your pores, leading to breakouts.
Then i saw this product mentioned in reader’s digest in a blurb about how to take care of your feet, so i bought some and tried it. Not only is the scent yummy and subtle, this product is amazing it keeps my skin super smooth shinny and soft and extremely hydrated with moisturized. My right foot is still there i feel because it was deeper than the left, but it is in fact getting less and less prominent. I usually purchase my eucerin creme in a 2-pack because i use it a lot, but this time i decided to just purchase one tub of it. I’d actually been using the foot cream on both my feet and hands after noticing it worked even better than working hands. I tried a couple other foot creams and, while they did feel refreshing, moisturized and made my dry cracked heels a bit smoother, they did little if anything to exfoliate the dry cracked skin from my heels. For the ultimate pep in your step, begin your foot treatment with our rosemary mint pumice foot scrub first! Using a foot cream at night before sleeping may help moisturize the cracked heels and prevent further damage to the skin. Follow by either spraying pedibon on feet or massaging with pedicream foot cream to relax feet. Etc and this cream has made a tremendous difference in all of these problems, including my acne, yes my acne. Olive leaf vegetal water is particularly rich in flavonoids, hydroxy acids, sugars and tannins that topically play a crucial moisturizing, protective and toning action on capillaries, soothing and encouraging skin renewal.
Did you know that cocoa butter and avocado oil are two of the richest, most concentrated, emollient botanical skin softeners? Formulated from a special recipe, this foot balm is designed to provide the natural foot care that people need out of one of the best foot creams. When i received this hand repair lotion in my ipsy bag a year ago, it became my go to before bed in the dry fall/winter season of northern ga. Bee naturals is committed to formulating and producing skin and body care products that have a specific therapeutic purpose and are made with the highest quality ingredients that promote healthy skin and body for overall well being. 40% Urea cream is the only thing i have found that consistently improves my skin. People with this condition also know that many of the foot creams available are unable to deal with the problem. I packed it into her deep cracks to make sure it was getting under the skin and began heeling.
So i ordered this cream and started using it sunday. I used to have wrinkles on my face, not anymore and the rest of my body feels just as youthful. 1, Dry cracked feet – at night, shower to soften skin on heels, scrub bottom of feet with pumice stone. Should use this diabetic foot cream for diabetic neuropathy? Enriched with sweet almond oil and shea butter, which is nourishing and moisturizing, the cream is a significant support in counteracting chapping, dryness and hardening of the skin, giving an immediate feeling of comfort and relief. I’ve used the gold bond foot lotion previously, and it’s a great product. Foot creams are designed to moisturize feet deeply by creating a barrier to prevent moisture loss.
Cetaphil Lotion Foot Cream Creme
It gives the skin a soft and silky feel, carrying out a firming and nourishing effect. Finish with a comforting foot massage with pedicream. Dissolve 2 tablespoons per gallon of water and soak for 10 minutes then exfoliate with pumice stone to remove excess callouses and rough skin. Diabetes is a serious ailment that can result to various foot challenges such as ulcers and small ulcers that can lead to amputation in the future. I had been using a different foot cream for a long time, to no avail. Explore intensive hand, foot nail and cuticle treatments that will protect and soothe. Plus, hair spray has repellents in it that could irritate your skin, leaving it red and bumpy. Fortunately, this foot lotion can deal with this condition. We have put our knowledge to work and created an effective foot care line containing rich lavender essential oils. He works 12 hour shifts in a foundry and his feet were a plethora of issues-athlete’s foot, scaling/cracking, raw spots, cracking heels-and his feet look like they belong to someone else. Exfoliated skin after birth and at bedtime, you will get your dry feet moisturized.
Just be careful getting in the shower afterwards – it can make your feet a bit slippery! Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) thanks to the high content of flavonoids chamomile has anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties making it particularly useful in cases of red, dry and skin. Tamanu oil and shea butter make this balm ultra rich and yet it quickly melts into skin to nourish parched feet fast. Menthol crystals: Promote lymphatic circulation providing a feeling of immediate relief and comfort, playing a toning and skin-stimulating role. To leave your skin feeling healthy, comfy, and hydrated all day long. Within one use, you will see immediate results and a lessening of cracked heels, painful calluses, dry skin and achiness. These are but a few of the premium ingredients that set our ultimate foot cream apart. I walk around barefoot all the time and almost always wear shoes without socks – flats, heels, flip flops, etc. I did not have to reapply anything and at the end of marathon my skin was perfect.
Informal studies have also shown that 9 out of 10 people who have used this foot lotion has been able to end their problems with dry skin on their feet. This product is designed to not only deal with dry feet but is also capable of dealing with cracked, rough and dead skin cells. Rich in fatty acids and unsaponifiable, shea butter is an ideal beauty ingredient that has been used for centuries by women in sub-saharan africa to nourish and protect their skin and hair. Before using this brand, i used two different prescription urea creams. Just because a formula has the word serum on the label does not mean it’s the same kind of serum that your skin can handle. Spa secret: Soak feet first in a soothing foot bath and then exfoliate with your favorite foot scrub for maximum moisture. For their decongestant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties they are effective for very sensitive skins, acting on skin dryness. No wonder so many people decide to grab this product for treating their dry skin and cracked heels. This foot cream is a unique blend of organic ingredients and oils that soothe the rough and dry skin of your feet. I had never tried the aloe lotion, but have been pairing it up with gold bond’s men’s lotion, and the combination has kept my hands from cracking and bleeding with the relentless cold this winter. I like the stronger scent of the oil for using on my skin and before bedtime.
It really works to get rid of dry skin and calluses on my feet. I am on my feet for 8 to 10 hours a day in my line of work, i started developing callouses under my second toe, initially it was just on my right foot and eventually my left foot, making it impossible for me to even walk barefoot.
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