Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dry Feet

Do you suffer from dry feet? Have you tried different ways to make them smooth and soft but just haven't had any luck? Well I am going to give you some ideas to remedy your situation.  

Dry feet come about for a variety of reasons and most people would have dealt with it at some point in their lifetime in different severity's. Dry feet can be a problem for both men and women as well as all ages. The causes of dry feet vary from improper footwear, standing for long periods of time, to your age or some diseases and skin conditions.
I think taking care of your feet should be an integral part of your beauty routine no matter if it is summer or winter time. That can mean that maybe you go somewhere to have them taken care for you or you just do them yourself at home. I'm for the occasional pampering myself and having someone else do my feet but in general I like to take care of them myself.

If you have dry, rough skin then one of the things you are going to want to invest in is something to scrape off dead skin, an example of that is a pumice stone. You can find one with a handle or just the stone itself and they are usually sold in any beauty supply store.

The texture of the stone makes it perfect for an exfoliant and is effective at removing dry, flaking skin and even calluses. The ideal time to use the pumice stone is on dry feet, before soaking. Gripping the pumice run it along the problem areas of the foot, sort of like a shoe shining movement, until you get off most of the dry skin. If you have only a slight problem with dry skin then maybe after one usage it will be enough, but if not several uses will work to remove the problem.

Another alternative to the pumice stone is, the ped egg. It works similar to the pumice stone in that it helps scrape off the dry skin. It has some small metal blades similar to a grater and it isn't dangerous to use. The metal may seem a little daunting and in fact the first time I tried it was scared that I would cut myself, but I didn't. So long as you aren't so rough and vigorous with the scraping you will only remove the problem areas. What's great about the ped egg is that it has a cover that you can put on it when not in use but when in use it acts as a holding cell for all the skin that you scraped off. So in that sense you get to see how much dry skin you have taken off.

Alright so after you have used something to exfoliate your skin is when you can soak it in some hot-warm water. You can use regular water to soak it or add some other things into the water for added effect. Some suggestions are:

Adding some chopped parsley to a soak has the benefit of its antibacterial effect and also helps boost circulation. It also is good for any cuts or scrapes.
Tea Tree Oil is another option as it effectively fights fungal infections. So if you have any toe or foot infections a soak with some of this oil might be what you are looking for.

Another option is rosewater and glycerin. 100% natural Rosewater has antibacterial, healing, soothing and antispetic properties. Glycerin has antimicrobial, humectant (promotes retention of moisture), moisturizing properties as well as reduces irritation, bruising and swelling. So adding one or both to a foot bath has its benefits.

Apple cider vinegar is a very popular remedy for killing fungus and reducing inflammation. It is a strong astringent and has antifungal properties.The acidity of vinegar helps restore ph balance of nails and helps sooth any discomfort felt by a fungus infection.

So after exfoliating and soaking your feet the next thing you are going to want to do is moisturize your feet. You can use different things to do this, there are lotions and creams out there targeted for feet. 
The most important ingredient to look for in creams or anything designed for your feet is, alpha hydroxy acid. Alpha Hydroxy acid is designed to break the bonds that hold dry, damaged skin cells together. Once these bonds are broken then healthy, youthful skin can shine through.

A natural solution to making feet softer is, banana pulp. Banana's have natural moisturizing properties, and it's rich in vitamin and minerals that help promote healthy hair and skin. It is a storehouse of natural oils and potassium which makes it a perfect emollient (designed to make the external layers of the skin softer). Mashing a banana and using the pulp you can apply it to the affected areas and leave on for about 15-20 minutes. Then just rinse it off. 

Another option to moisturize your dry feet might be to use petroleum jelly or shortening. The natural oils in vegetable shortening or oil have great soothing and healing properties for dry cracked feet. You can apply a generous layer on feet and cover with thick socks or even plastic bags or saran wrap. Leave it on overnight and you can wash it off in the morning. Petroleum Jelly is an oil based emollient (it repels water) making it a long lasting lubricant to smooth and protect rough, dry skin.You can apply the jelly like you would the shortening except you don't have to wash it off. 
*Emollients help replace lipids by filing in gaps in between skin cells, resulting in soft, hydrated skin. 
*Lipids are organic molecules that are insoluble (cannot be dissolved) in water. 

Another option is Shea butter as a way to supply moisture to dry skin. Shea butter melts at body temperature, which makes it absorb quickly into the skin. Shea Butter is a natural moisturizer that is known to be the richest emollient in the world. It contains many vitamins and nutrients that do different things like soothe inflammation, relax muscles, aid in cell renewal and retain moisture. Apply a thick layer to feet after exfoliating and soaking, then slip on some thick socks and let it absorb overnight. By the morning your feet should feel much more soft and supple than previously.  

These are my tips and suggestions on getting your feet from dry to soft. Of course the dryer your feet are the more you should do these steps to ensure better results. Maintaining good foot care is the first step to reducing problems down the road. I suggest to follow these tips even if you don't suffer from dry feet often or at all, just to prevent any dry feet later. 

Hopefully you found this informative, and just give it a try!