How To Soften Dry, Cracked Heels

This five-step process will make your feet sandal-ready

Woman wearing red towel applies lotion to her feet
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Dry, cracked feet are never attractive. While scaly feet tend to be a summer hazard, it can happen year-round. If you can't afford a fish pedicure, get your feet sandal-ready with this five-step homemade foot scrub recipe.

The added effects of milk (a natural exfoliant), combined with sugar, oil and a pumice stone works wonders on feet. You can skip parts of this process if you choose. If you continue to wear the foot mask every night for a week, your problems should be solved.

Don't have time for a process? Scrub off flaky skin in the bathtub at the end of a long soak by using a pumice stone and thick moisturizer, The key is to let your feet soak for at least 15 minutes before scrubbing. 

What You Need

To get the full effect of this scrub, you'll want to head to the drugstore or shop on Amazon for a few key products. 

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Sugar or salt (either will work)
  • Baby oil, sweet almond oil or coconut oil
  • Pumice stone, like this one from or this very popular lava stone from
  • Stridex, found in the acne section of any drugstore or buy it from Amazon
  • Thick moisturizer or foot cream. I love Eucerin Plus Intensive Repair Cream, buy it from Amazon.
  • Salicylic acid cream like Keralyt Gel, an OTC salicylic acid, buy from Amazon, or Clearasil Ultra Rapid Action Vanishing Acne Treatment Gel, buy from
  • Socks

Step 1: Soak Your Feet

The key here is to soak feet for at least 15 minutes in a warm foot bath made with 1 cup milk and five cups warm water.

The longer you soak, the more your skin softens, allowing you to scrub away the dead bits. 

Step 2: Foot Scrub

Create a homemade foot scrub by putting four tablespoons salt or sugar in 1/2 cup oil. Baby oil, sweet almond oil or coconut oil or even vegetable oil works well.

Massage the homemade foot scrub in a circular motion into bottoms of feet.


Use or pumice stone or lava stone to scrub feet. Rinse and dry feet.

Step 3: Stridex Time

Before you go to bed that night, try this tip from beauty guru Paula Begoun: rub a Stridex pad over dry areas of feet. Stridex, a product found in the acne section of any drugstore, contains 2 percent salicylic acid. Salicylic acid naturally exfoliates dead skin and works on the feet.

Step 4: Apply a Thick Moisturizer OR Salicylic Acid Cream

You have two options after the Stridex dries (don't wash it off). For best results, alternate the following:

One night, apply a super-rich foot cream thickly on feet and sleep with socks on. The next night, apply a thin layer of salicylic acid cream on feet, along with a dollop of Vaseline and sleep with socks on. 

More on skincare:

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