Feet - we all have them. Some of us are great at thinking on them; others are just finding theirs. You can be dead on your feet, get cold feet and sweep women off them.
Feet make up a large part of our lives, yet we often give them little thought - certainly less than they deserve.
Men take great pride in their appearance for things we display, hair, beards, your face, and teeth. The places we hide are easy to forget and get neglected, none more so than our feet.
Only when a problem occurs do we realize how much we rely on them.
Anyone who has suffered a broken toe or, worse, stepped on lego can attest to this. So it's best to make sure you take care of your feet now, and they will take care of you.
One of the most common problems among men is dry skin on your feet. If left untreated, this can lead to painful cracked heels.
Find out in today's article how to treat dry skin on your feet!
What causes dry skin on your feet?
Dry Feet Cause 1: Your Feet
Many things can cause dry skin on your feet, the most common being your feet themselves.
Unlike the rest of your body, your feet, especially the soles, lack the oil-producing glands found in the skin elsewhere on your body. This means that your feet cannot protect themselves or remove dead skin through the body's usual means.
Your feet rely on sweat glands to keep your skin hydrated; this is a feasting ground for bacteria that cause foot odor.
Dry Feet Cause 2: Pressure
Dry skin on the feet is also caused by pressure, from standing, running to intense exercise. All of this puts pressure on your feet and causes dry hard callouses to form.
The dry callouses can crack - especially for those men who spend all day on their feet or exercise regularly - this is painful and can lead to bacterial infections.
Dry Feet Cause 3: Heat
Other causes of dry skin include heat and humidity, particularly from wearing closed-toe shoes without socks. This causes your feet to sweat excessively, causing moisture to be drawn from your feet, further aggravating dry skin.
Age also plays a factor; as we age, our skin loses its ability to retain water, causing the skin to become thinner and more prone to drying out.
Dry Feet Cause 4: Soap
Lastly, certain soaps and body washes can cause dry skin due to harsh chemicals within.
Soap is great at getting rid of bacteria. Still, the problem is, it also gets rid of healthy bacteria and strips your skin of its natural oil (sebum).
It's time to ditch the soap in place of a body cleanser, which does the same job but keeps the skin on your feet hydrated and healthy.
Avoid body washes that contain alcohol, as this will also dry out your skin. In place of Alcohol, use Witch Hazel (a natural anti-bacterial cleanser) and Lemon Myrtle (a powerful anti-fungal, recognized by the aromatherapy industry for its natural uplifting aroma and freshness).
How do you treat dry skin on your feet?
When it comes to removing the dead skin on your feet, there are many options available. What works for you depends on the severity. For mildly calloused and lightly cracked heels, then follow the steps listed below.
If you have severe amounts of dry skin or cracked heels that hurt or bleed, then it's best to seek professional help from a podiatrist.
The first step to treating dry skin on your feet is to soak your feet to soften the dead, dry skin for easier removal. Take a long bath/shower or fill a bowl with warm water and soak your feet between 15 - 30 minutes.
Following this, you will need to exfoliate to remove the dry, dead skin from your feet.
For mild cases, look to use a men's body scrub that doesn't contain any of the harmful ingredients mentioned above. It will gently remove the layers of dead skin while helping to lock moisture into your feet.
For more severe cases, it's time to break out the tools...
A pumice stone is a stone made from natural lava and acts as an abrasive to treat dry skin. They can be commonly bought online, in most supermarkets or drug stores.
They are inexpensive, usually only costing a few dollars, and they last for a long time.
When using a pumice stone, dip it in water first and then gently rub your feet in circular motions over the affected area. The stone gently removes the top layer of dry skin and should only take a couple of minutes.
It's important to only remove the top layer of dry skin rather than trying to pull it all at once. This skin removal promotes healthy skin turnover. Trying to take too much off at once can cause injury.
The key to this and most methods is repetition. Make using a pumice stone a part of your shower routine, and you will have smooth heels in no time.
A foot file is what it sounds like, a file for your feet. Anyone familiar with woodworking knows that a file is an excellent tool for shaping and removing material.
A foot file follows the same principle but to a slightly less dramatic effect. Instead of a giant metal bar with sharp teeth, a foot file is a small handheld file that looks more like a miniaturized cheese greater than the sharp-toothed files found in your garage. However, they can be just as effective.
More aggressive than a pumice stone, a foot file will remove larger amounts of dead skin.
Therefore it is essential to be careful and take your time; again, repetition is critical.
Use a foot file to remove a few layers of dead skin, then wait a few days to allow your skin to heal itself. Repeat until you have baby smooth skin.
Electronic Callous removers
An electronic callus remover is a small handheld device with a cylindrical head that spins.
Similar to a sander, it uses varying grits of abrasive stone to remove dead skin. It's the same principle as a pumice stone but faster.
It's the difference between a manual and an electric toothbrush. A manual will do the job and costs very little. An electric will do a better job in half the time but is comparatively expensive.
There are other options to remove dead skin from your feet, chemical peels, and even razor removal.
But, we do not recommend these for home use. Never take a blade to your feet to remove dead skin. This is a horrible idea that is more likely to result in a hospital trip that smooth skin.
Chemical peels are the same and should not be done without a podiatrist or medical professional's expertise and approval.
After using one of the above methods, it is vital to apply a quality men's body moisturizer to lock in moisture and soften hardened skin.
How do you hydrate your feet?
When looking to apply a moisturizer to your feet, it's crucial to find a quick-absorbing body moisturizer.
Avoid moisturizers that contain harsh and synthetic chemicals and opt for natural ingredients.
Two great ingredients to look out for are:-
Natural butter from the Shea nut has excellent moisturizing, emollient, and humectant benefits.
Shea Butter accelerates cell renewal and repairs the hydrolipidic film that retains optimal moisture levels and gives the skin its strength. Shea Butter leaves the skin supple, hydrated, and protected.
Ideal for repairing damaged skin. It is an effective moisturizer suitable for all types of skin. It's a safer alternative to mineral oil for preventing dryness and flaking of the skin and delays wrinkles and sagging skin.
Coconut oil is also antimicrobial, meaning it kills bacteria. It makes it perfect for using on your cracked heels. The antimicrobial nature helps prevent open cracks from becoming infected and reduces bacteria that produce foul foot odor. It's a win-win.
For a quick-absorbing, effective and natural body moisturizer designed specifically for men, check out our Men's Moisturizing Body Lotion.
How to treat dry skin on your feet - the last step
When it comes to looking after your feet, it comes down to these three simple steps. Soak, Exfoliate, and Moisturize. But as mentioned several times already, repetition is key here. Moisturize your feet after your morning shower and before you go to bed.
Just using a pumice stone and moisturizer once is not going to solve this problem. It took years for your feet to become this hard and dry. It's going to take a couple of weeks to see significant improvements.
With a little diligence, patience, the right tools, and the right men's body moisturizer, you'll be putting your best foot forwards in no time.