Moisturizing Monday: In search of happy feet

feetOur poor feet. We run, walk, stand on them constantly, dance and play other sports in them sometimes, and in general, keep them busy. They take a lot of abuse. We try to take care of them but sometimes, it’s just too much, at least for me. Like right now.

Regularly, I use a professional foot file on my heels and sides of feet before the shower and cover them with a good lotion afterward. But it seems that our recent slate of nights with temps in the teens (and a few days) have done in my poor tootsies. My regular lotion doesn’t appear to be making much of a dent. I’ve tried sleeping in socks after slathering, but my feet get fussy and want to breathe, so I’ve abandoned that. And I can’t afford regular pedicures, save for a few in spring/summer to maximize sandal season, so my efforts right now have to fall into DIY territory.

I’ve been using Neutrogena’s foot cream, and that seems to be fine much of the time, alternating with my regular body lotion in the daytime, but even that isn’t keeping the dryness totally at bay lately.

I’m wondering about applying facial skin-care techniques here. Should I get some kind of an AHA lotion and use that regularly? But having sensitive skin, I do worry about possible irritation. Or would applying a body oil first and then a moisturizer help? Although I’m usually in such a hurry that it’s all I can do to get one product on my feet before throwing on socks and shoes and rushing out the door.

So if any of you have any super products to recommend that don’t cost the earth, or fabulous feet tips/tricks to share, I (and I’m sure many of us) would be most grateful.

  • Karen says:

    File feet, slather on Aquaphora and then put on socks for the night. Do this on a regular basis and your feet will be as soft as when you were a child.

  • Bonnie Anne says:

    Another vote for Amlactin foot cream or body cream. Slso wanyed to mention Shikai’s original lotion or hand cream (both unscented, in a green bottle or tube). They’re the only reason I don’t have hard, cracked, bleeding cuticles. I think these two products play nicely on hands or feet. FWIW, my alien feet laughed at O’Keefe’s, but a few swipes of a Microplane foot file slapped them back into their place. That file is worth the price.

  • Petunia says:

    Hi Ann, I use an inexpensive hyalauronic acid cream during the day. When I am settling in for the night, I apply calendula oil to my feet and follow it immediately with a waxy balm to seal in the oil. I wear peds until the oil is absorbed, about an hour, and kick them off as I get into bed. I think any type of oil will work, even olive oil. My feet were extremely rough and the cracks in my heels bled and were very painful. I like to walk barefoot in the summer which made my feet even rougher. This method works for me above all other over-the-counter remedies. The key is doing it faithfully. Once my feet were soft, I maintain by using this method 3xs a week and heavy lotion on other nights. I highly recommend it.

  • LaDona says:

    I almost never give advice, because mine generally sucks, ( yes, you should buy that Porche ! …just use your retirement fund!) However, in this, I feel confident. There is a company called Dr. D Schwab that makes a product called Rescue Cream. Last time my heels cracked I used it and they stopped hurting the next day. They stopped snagging my socks after 2. Marvelous stuff that they give to cancer patients for radiation burns. And by give, I mean the company sends it to them free, anywhere in the world. Fantastic emollient, fantastic company. Try . No, I don’t work there. Swearsies.

  • Diana says:

    I tried that Babyfoot stuff that makes your feet peel. It works somewhat, but not for the thicker callouses on the bottom of the foot. For those, a regular nightly application of Flexitol works wonders. If you do them both (Babyfoot peel and then after 10 days or so, start with the Flexitol) your feel will be baby soft in no time.

  • I had an exfoliating cream that I got at Walgreens that worked pretty well for me.. And of course I can’t remember what it was called right now.. it came in a beige tube, and I believe it had uric acid in it.. (Mrs. Honey’s mention of it brought it to mind)

  • Pixel says:

    I use a pumice stone (on wet skin) and Body Shop Body Butter (pick your favorite flavor, mine’s olive) on feet & hands every night when I turn in. Works for me!

  • Deva says:

    O’Keefes Healthy Feet- about 8-10 bucks at my local Target and it is a miracle worker! It has urea in to which really penetrates and softens. I use an electric pedi device on my dry heels and ball of my food and then put a little of the O’Keffes on and it is transformative 🙂

  • Mrs. Honey says:

    Sea Spa foot cream is the best thing I ever used. It is nearly impossible to find. Ahava does not work as well for me. Based on my experience with hand cream, I think that it is the uric acid that makes the difference.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Mrs. H! Nice to see you. I’m glad you mentioned the uric acid; I think I may have something around here with that in it. I have to agree about the Ahava — it’s fine, but only if your hands/feet are already in decent shape. Will poke around for the Sea Spa cream. Thanks!

  • tammy says:

    Gurrrl, go on and get you some of the Jergens Face Cream our darling Musette spoke so eloquently about awhile back. Miracle worker!

    Also, CervaVe cream. Which will also make your hands look 10 years younger. (It made my face look amazing for a month, then started breaking me out, but my hands still look incredible)

    I think those foot scraper s make the skin harder. I regret ever letting manicurists ever use one on me.

    • Ann says:

      All righty then, Tammy — let’s hear if for the Jergens 🙂 I would never have thought to use it on my feet. And thanks for reminding us about the CervaVe cream; I remember hearing about it and seeing it in stores but need to get some. And my hands could really use a minus-10 year makeover, ha!

    • Gwenyth says:

      One of my “pet peeves” is dry, crusty feel. Ugh…..hate ’em.
      I’ve become dedicated to the care of my feet year ’round.
      After a shower or bath I use a foot file to remove the hardened skin (sounds yukky, I know….), then I use creams, and then wear some old socks to keep the creams off the tile and carpets in my house.
      I swear by:
      CeraVe Renewing SA Creme (contains salicylic acid)
      Flexitol Heel Balm (truly amazing stuff! – find it at Walgreens)

      I can’t sleep if my tootsies are chilly, so in the winter I slather on more cream and wear thin low-cut socks to bed.

      • Ann says:

        Hi, Gwenyth! Another vote for CeraVe; and that Flexitol sounds like I’ll have to hunt it up. Thanks!

  • tfk31 says:

    Barefoot Venus makes a fantastic line of mustard products, which smell a lot better than they sound and contain a hand and foot cream that is amazing. Softens and deodorizes.

    Also, the Gehwol line is fantastic, especially the salve for cracked skin.

    • Ann says:

      Thank you for the suggestions — I will check out both lines. In fact, I think my manicurist’s salon carries Gehwol, if I’m not mistaken.

  • donnakitt says:

    I can’t afford regular pedis but I memorized a couple of tricks from the pros: Always put moisturizer on immediately out of the shower when feet are still somewhat wet. Stand on a bath matt or towel or you risk skidding across the floor (learned THAT the hard way). I used to use the foot file on dry skin before the shower but found that using it after the shower works best for getting all the gnarly stuff off. I use the file every few days. Call me a nut but my feet feel so much better. And, if you get cracks, you have to remove the dead stuff or they won’t heal. For Julie, it might take a couple of weeks of filing away but once under control, you’ll need to do very little maintenance. Hope it helps!

    • Ann says:

      Ooh, Donna, thanks for the great tips! I hear you on the slippery feet — I had a little slide myself a while back. I will try the foot scrubber AFTER the shower now.

    • malsnano86 says:

      The dry skin on my feet (there’s a LOT of it) shreds and does not come off cleanly if I file after getting my feet wet. It’s terrible…

      • Ann says:

        Oh, dear, Mals, hadn’t thought of that. So do you file before showering/bathing?

        • malsnano86 says:

          Yes. It’s helpful – I do it every other day if possible, and if I get behind the dry skin gets much worse. I’ve been moisturizing with Curel, but I don’t think it’s doing the trick, and I’m going to check out the AmLactin as soon as I can.

          • Ann says:

            Me, too! BTW, happy belated birthday! Sent you a FB message on the day of but not sure if it made it through.

  • I use Deep Steep peppermint foot cream every night, and I can really tell the difference when I go without it for a week on trips, etc.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, Louisa! I am not familiar with that line so will have to check it out. My feet would love some peppermint 🙂

  • Gigi says:

    Gold Bond foot cream. Cheap as chips and really does the job.

  • Kitty says:

    I use Amlactin foot cream. No scent, rich and it seems to help my dry sensitive feet

    • Caroline says:

      2nd AmLactin–my local Bed Bath & Beyond carries it, so I use the 20% off coupons they always send. I switched to the Ultra Hydrating Body Cream, as it contains the same ingredients as the foot cream, and it comes in a much more economical size. Honestly, you have to use something with AHA to cure calloused feet. Use the AmLactin under lightweight socks at night, then use a foot file during the morning shower–problem solved!

      • Ann says:

        Good to know! Iwas thinking I’d have to use something with more oomph than regular lotion or cream. Thanks for sharing, Kitty and Caroline!

  • Lavanya says:

    Whipped shea butter!

    • Ann says:

      That sounds nice, Lavanya. What brand(s) do you recommend?

      • Lavanya says:

        Hey Ann- I used to whip my own which is not very difficult if you are so inclined. If you want to go the DIY route let me know and I can give you a recipe. Nowadays I use the whipped shea from nkuto organics ( I found her at a farmer’s market and really like the butter and its consistency (she whips it with olive oil). Chagrin valley ( also has a minty foot balm that might work- I generally love their other products though I haven’t tried this one. And I love cocoa pink ( body butters so that is an option too.
        But unscented shea butter is a great all round product that I use even on my face when it is acting up so it might be a good place to start?

        • Ann says:

          Thanks so much for sharing! I have used a few shea butter products in the past and really liked them but don’t currently have any. II will definitely look into the nkuto and the others as they sound terrific.

        • Alison says:

          I also highly recommend shea butter. I buy my own in bulk from fair-trade company, I have been using them for many years. The 14 oz size is $12 plus postage and will probably last you 18-24 months. You can mix it up with your own oils and EOs to your heart’s delight.

          • Lavanya says:

            ooh- that is where I bought my raw shea too years ago when I wanted to whip my own!! what a coincidence..:D
            I agree-super cost effective!

      • There is a company based here in TX called Ingredients to Die For that sells shea butter, both refined and unrefined. 8oz will run you about $5 and 16oz is about $10.

  • Julie L says:

    I use FUll ON Ponds face cream, then put on socks until I can’t stand them anymore, lol. My feet are just gross, dry, itchy, crusty. Blech. But the Ponds helps!

    • Ann says:

      Pond’s, you say, Julie? I would not have thought of that. But glad it helps — will have to look into it. Thanks!