Let’s face it: our feet do most of the work for us in our lives. They are under a lot of pressure, they need some “me” time too. They are also the most overlooked part of our body, at least, in my experience. (I know, guilty!) So it is only natural for them to need constant care because of all the wear and tear they go through the whole time.
Often times we get dry feet with cracked soles that seems to get even drier. The main culprit here is the dead skin build up that needs to be taken care off. Luckily, there are a few things you can do about getting rid of dead skin from feet. So, let’s get to the “WHY” first, shall we?
What causes dead skin on feet?
The most common reasons are:
#1. Lack of moisture:
There is a simple reason: Dead skin on feet (and in general) builds up when your feet lack moisture. If you don’t regularly exfoliate and moisturize your feet, it is bound to happen. Mainly, you would experience dryness, cracks, or loose or hard skin on your heels, soles or between your toes.
Did you know that the skin around your feet is the area that has fewer oil glands than the rest of your body? So, it makes total sense that the feet are the part of the body that needs moisture the most.
#2. Wearing poor quality shoes
Wearing poor quality shoes not fitting well cause friction can also contribute to excessive dead skin on your feet. That’s how you get those painful calluses on your feet too. If you are wearing closed shoes most of the time, it makes it even worse since closed environment causes humidity, which makes the skin even drier.
#3. Aging: As you get older, your skin loses moisture
Not to be the captain obvious here, we all know that the skin loses its moisture level as we age. It is only natural that the part that gets the least amount of oil glands tends to lack moisture. That’s why everyone needs a feetcare routine to tackle these problems.
People suffering from skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis also tend to have dead skin buildup on their feet.
Now that we have deciphered the whole “dead skin on feet” mystery, let’s move to actual solutions that will leave your feet soft and smooth.
So, these are the main ways to remove dead skin from feet:
#1. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate
Just like with any skin in our body, you need to remove dead skin from your feet too. Exfoliation helps the skin shed those dead skin cells off the top layer of the skin and renew it. In general, there are two ways of exfoliation: physical and chemical.
I am one of those people with sensitive skin, so physical exfoliators (like scrubs) with particles is a no-no for me. This is mainly because the skin on your skin is thin, so these scrubs can mess up with your skin and be too harsh. However, that’s not the case for the skin on other part of your body.
So, it makes sense to use scrubs on our feet. Other physical exfoliators include foot brushes, or callus removers.
Some feet creams include chemical exfoliators like glycolic acid, lactic acid or other AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids).
Then there is foot peels. I feel like they are getting more popular because they are very effective when it comes to removing dead skin from feet fast.
#2. Draw a foot bath/foot soak
It is no news that soaking your feet in warm water will soften those cracks and help remove dead skin from feet. You will also improve blood circulation around there.
You can take it up a notch and add vinegar to the soak. Vinegar is antibacterial and fights against any fungi or nasty odors. You can try these simple method:
- Take a basin, fill it with water.
- Add 1 cup of vinegar, 2 cups of warm water (1 part vinegar, 2 parts water)
- Soak your feet for 15-20 mins
You can also add lemon juice, tea tree oil or Epsom salt to “spice it up”.
#3. Get a pumice stone to make life easier for your feet
This one is my personal favorite. It works great on those lazy week days when I don’t have the patience to wash my feet properly in the shower.
It is excellent for removing dead skin from feet, dealing with calluses and hardened skin on the heels and feet in general.
Doing it in the shower daily will lower the risk of excessive dead skin buildup. Rub it on your heels and dry patches, pat dry. Always remember to use a lotion and moisturize afterwards.
#4. Foot peel mask is your friend
You have probably heard about these baby foot peels at least once in your life. There’s a good reason why it is buzzing around! It works great in removing dead skin on feet, even in the most stubborn kind. So, this one is for severe cases when you feel like that dry, cracked skin with dead skin needs the most care.
The thing you should know about these peel masks is that it is not a pretty process. These peel masks are gel-based, you leave it on feet for an hour and then voila! Your skin is literally going to shed itself, you will firsthand witness removing dead skin from feet. The peeling is real.
If you can put up with excessive skin peeling, the result is going to be worth it. The mask will leave your skin baby soft, just like the name suggests.
Some product picks to try:
The OG – Baby Foot Original Exfoliant Foot Peel ($25)
CÉLOR Foot Peel Mask ( $ 11.97)
#5. Moisturize your feet regularly
The truth is, dead skin on feet is always going to appear. It is the way your skin works. Best you can do it to prevent that from happening with a good moisturizing routine. Just like with your face, our routine starts with exfoliating and ends with moisturizing.
Moisturizing will prevent the dry cracks, flaking, and those painful calluses from happening. It will also keep your skin soft and smooth. Try to avoid irritating things like fragrance or alcohol, especially if the skin around the feet is too delicate.
Emollients (softening lotions, ointments) that contain oils like coconut oil or shea butter, avocado oil, jojoba oil. Some other known ingredients like aloe, urea, hyaluronic acid are also the A-list names when it comes to hydration and moisturizing.
Prevention is better than cure
Removing dead skin from feet shouldn’t be complicated and in a way, it isn’t. Dead skin on feet is our fate, but is a fleeting one for sure.
To recap everything we mentioned above, there are a bunch of things you can do:
- Pick a pair shoes that fit nicely, good quality is priority
- Exfoliate dead skin cells to renew the skin
- Use pumice stone, heel files or callus removers to soften the skin
- Run warm baths for your feet with vinegar or lemon juice, add some essential oils too
- Moisture is an answer to most of your problems
- Go ahead and use foot peel masks to achieve faster results