When it comes to hard skin or cracked heels, the obvious solution is to rush to the local convenience store and help yourself to creams and lotions. This sounds great on paper but when you have to pay the bill, the enthusiasm turns to sadness. Add to this that not all creams are just as effective and most of them only work on short term, and you’ve got several reasons to be on a constant search for homemade alternatives.
Even if you are on the right track and fully immersed in the exploration of do-it-yourself remedies, there is a good chance for vinegar to never cross your mind. More sympathetic I can’t be, as my first reaction when hearing about the beneficial effects of vinegar on hard skin in general and cracked heels in particular was a silly smirk. My doubts were amplified by my visceral dislike for vinegar smell, but I am not ashamed to admit that I was as wrong as one can be.
Soften Tough Calluses + Pedicure Soak
To start with, rice vinegar is higher in vinegar content but less acidic and not so intense in flavor plus it has the ability to change the PH value of the skin and acts as a softener. It can tackle the issue of cracked heels when being used regularly. Moreover, rice vinegar has anti-bacterial properties so it makes a great foot treatment because it can help to prevent and get rid of any nail fungus. The commercial alternatives deliver similar results but since this is not a problem likely to go away in a short period of time, costs also mounts.
For the Soak:
1 part rice vinegar
1 part warm water
The first step in this treatment requires softening the calluses and removing the dead skin. Just use equal parts of warm water and rice vinegar and soak your feet for about 30 minutes. This will help soften the hard skin on your heels at the same time.
Then put your feet in cold water so that the blood circulation in your feet gets better. Pat dry your feet and exfoliate using the ingredients below or you may apply petroleum jelly and wear a pair of socks immediately to lock in the moisture.
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp course salt (I used the epsom salt)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
Take the Dead Skin Off – Soften Your Feet
After the soak, try mixing the above mentioned ingredients and make a watery paste and use it to scrub the cracked heels and hard skin on your heels. I noticed my heels are a lot softer even after the first soak + the scrub and if you’ll do this regularly for about few weeks, the improvement will be visible as the honey helps the skin rejuvenate and olive oil provide moisture to the feet while salt and vinegar have exfoliating properties that keep dryness at bay while scraping away the top layer of the dead skin.
I keep this combination in a small jar in the bathroom. The honey helps the skin rejuvenate and the rice vinegar helps balance the skins alkalinity.
Vinegar is a key ingredient in homemade skin care remedies but you have a lot of freedom in choosing the rest, with anything from olive oil to salve being appropriate.
Petroleum jelly/ Vaseline does the trick for me as well if I don’t have much time to soak my feet – after a hot bath or shower, while I’m cooling off, I rub some Vaseline into my dry as corn husk heels, put on a pair of bed socks or foot warmers (washable, of course) to lock the moisture in. Works wonder for me each time.