Do you ever have those mornings when you’re in a rush, so you don’t have all the time you need to properly perform your skin care regimen? On one of those mornings have you ever secretly used your hand or foot skin cream on your face?
You probably think “What’s the harm?” Here’s a look at why all skin creams aren’t the same and what you should be using to treat dry feet.
Skin Cream: Is Each One Equal When It Comes to Your Feet?
The simple answer is no, not all skin creams are created equal because each skin cream is designed to treat specific areas of the body. By their nature, the skin of your face and that of your hands or feet aren’t the same. The skin on your face is more delicate, while the skin on your hands and feet is thicker. Skin is actually different everywhere, which means different care and different formulas.
Hand and foot creams may have the same basis as face creams, and they have ingredients in common, but they have different concentrations of them, which is what makes all the difference.
Hand and foot creams need to work as barriers. For this, they need to have high concentrations of wax, greases, oils, and chemical exfoliating agents. If you use them on your face, you risk causing blocked pores and pimples. So, while you can use a face skin cream on your feet or your hands, you shouldn’t do it the other way around—even if you have a tiny dry patch. Foot and hand creams are just too rich, thick, and sticky to be applied to your facial skin.
Treating Dry, Cracked Feet at Home
With the cold weather just over the horizon, so too are dry feet. Here are some tips on how you can treat dry, cracked feet at home:
- Wash feet daily with warm, soapy water. Don’t use hot water because it dries out skin. Hot water is also harmful to diabetics and anyone else with impaired circulation to the feet.
- Exfoliate the feet, especially the heels, while washing. Use a warm cloth or pumice stone, and rub the skin gently to slough off dead skin.
- Dry feet thoroughly. Dry well between the toes since fungus and bacteria like to grow in warm, moist, dark places.
- Moisturize daily. Try using products containing urea, which is naturally present in skin cells. Using a product that has urea increases the skin’s ability to hold in moisture. Avoid moisturizer between the toes. Put on cotton socks after moisturizing.
- Soak your feet. Limit foot soaks to 10-15 minutes, three times a week. Soaking for long periods of time can dry out your feet. Use a solution of ¼ cup white vinegar and enough warm water to cover the feet up to the ankles. The mild acetic acid in vinegar softens skin.
Making Your Own Moisturizer
Here are some easy home-made moisturizers that can help heal dry, cracked feet.
Coconut Shea Butter—combine ¾ cup coconut oil with ½ cup shea butter in a sauce pan and place on low heat. Once they’ve melted, remove from the heat and stir in 15 drops of lavender essential oil. Store in a glass jar with a lid somewhere cool. Massage this foot moisturizer into feet, focusing on dry, cracked areas. Cover feet with cotton socks right away. Try this once in a while for some nice pampering or repeat on a regular basis to soften dry feet.
Honey Foot Cream—warm 1 cup of organic honey slightly to make it easier to spread. Stir in 2 tablespoons of warm milk and the juice of ½ an orange. Use a pumice stone or foot file to slough off some of the callused skin before spreading a layer of mixture evenly onto your heels, massaging as you go to help it sink in. Leave it on for 45 minutes and then rinse with warm water and dry thoroughly. Do this twice daily. If you prefer, you can apply this skin cream before bed and let it dry and then leave it on overnight.
Treating Dry Feet
If you are concerned about having dry feet or have any questions about what products are safe to use on your feet, then you should book an appointment with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie of the Superior Foot and Ankle Care Center. With years of collective experience in their field, they will be able to help you find the best products to use on your feet.