Whether you take care of your feet yourself or schedule regular pedicures, if you go too long without looking after them, dead skin can build-up. And if you’ve been slacking on your foot care routine, dry skin can lead to peeling feet and, even worse, cracked heels. While it’s physically uncomfortable and can be embarrassing (thanks a lot sandal season), the good news is, there are a variety of ways to upgrade your skin care routine to keep your feet in good shape. Ahead, we’re sharing what causes a buildup of dead skin on the feet, and five ways to remove it so you can have smooth feet that look and feel like you just got a professional pedicure.
What Causes Dead Skin On Your Feet?
According to the Mayo Clinic, there are a multitude of potential reasons for dry skin on the feet, including regularly exposing your feet to hot water during baths and showers and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. They also share that the weather and poor footwear choices like sandals or really tight shoes could be to blame for your dry feet. The wintertime combination of low humidity and frigid temperature levels can cause your feet to become extremely dry.
How To Remove Dead Skin On Your Feet
Below, we’re sharing five tips to help manage and get rid of that pesky dry, peeling skin on your feet.
1. Use A Scrub
Similar to how you might use a scrub to exfoliate dead skin cells on areas like your elbows and arms, this method can be effective for the feet. It’s best to apply a scrub to your feet in the shower or when the feet are damp as skin is easiest to exfoliate when it’s soft.
2. Try A Pumice Stone
Pumice stones are made from lava and water and together they make a solid stone with an abrasive texture. While they may be too harsh for areas like the tops of your feet, they’re great for buffing away hard, dead skin on the heels and big toes. Gently massage the pumice stone in circular areas on your skin to exfoliate.
3. Try Paraffin Wax
If you’ve ever gotten a pedicure where wax was applied to your heels and then wrapped in a plastic seal, chances are it was paraffin wax. It’s a malleable wax that when melted, applied to the feet and left to sit, will pull off the dead skin cells when removed. You can purchase an at-home kit or get this treatment done at a nail salon.
4. Do A Foot Peel Mask
A foot peel is a type of mask specifically formulated to remove dead skin from your feet, leaving you with baby soft, good as new skin. It’s a chemical peel that often comes in the form of what looks like plastic socks. You’ll leave them on for the directed amount of time, and over the next few days your feet will shed the dead skin.
5. Get Regular Pedicures
While not always feasible in terms of time or budget, getting regular pedicures is one of the best ways to keep your feet in prime condition. The consistent exfoliation and moisturizing ensures that dead skin cells don’t build up and harden over a long period of time, making it more difficult to remove.
Editor’s tip: Regardless of what method you use to remove dead skin from your feet, it’s important to follow up with moisturizer. Applying moisturizer after exfoliation is soothing and will help to keep your skin hydrated and feeling soft.
Edited by: Alyssa Kaplan, Photo Credit: Chaunte Vaughn
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