How to Properly Moisturize Dry Feet

Updated on September 28, 2012
Image © Redberry Sky, 2012.
Image © Redberry Sky, 2012.

Feet love a little care and attention, but just a little! Feet are sturdy, and carry us around all day, but they are also very delicate and complex. They have 26 bones, two hundred and fifty thousand sweat glands, and if feet could dream, they would be dreaming of warm, clean dry socks and a little daily moisturizing attention.

Overenthusiastic foot care is as bad as none at all, and can cause ingrowing toenails, Athlete’s Foot, and myriad other problems. So how do you give your feet what they want, make them soft and supple, and care for dry or hard skin without making things even worse?

Important Things to Know About Washing and Moisturizing Feet

Don’t moisturize between your toes! And when you dry your feet after washing them, pay particular attention to this area, as moisture here creates the perfect conditions for Athlete’s Foot and other infections to breed. Moisturize the soles of your feet and your heels.

Don’t over-soak feet! Use warm water, rather than hot, so that you don’t strip away the natural oils. If you have Athlete’s Foot, use cool or cold water instead and don’t apply moisturizer, but use surgical spirit, or ask your pharmacist for a specialist anti-fungal ointment for feet.

Feet should be kept warm, dry, and comfortable. Don’t apply so much moisturizer that your feet are squelching in your slippers! A little foot moisturizer goes a long way, and if you do apply too much pat off the excess and try to let your feet dry out a little for a few minutes before putting socks or slippers on.

Feet need Gentle Love and Attention! It can be tempting to snip-snip at toenails until they’re cut right down, but too much will lead to ingrowing nails; and it can be equally tempting to go to town with the pumice stone to get rid of hard skin, but this can cause soreness and broken skin, which leaves your feet open to infection, so if you do use a pumice stone, use it gently and regularly weekly or monthly, and if hard skin is a particular problem see a specialist chiropodist or podiatrist, speak to your GP, or see your pharmacist for advice.

Image © Redberry Sky, 2012
Image © Redberry Sky, 2012

Nightly (or Regularly, 2-3 times a week) Foot Care Routine

Try to spend a few minutes before bed every night taking care of your feet. Wash them in warm water first, using ordinary soap or a foot wash product, then pat them dry (especially between the toes), and apply some foot cream – these are thicker than other moisturizers and often have Tea Tree Oil or Peppermint as an ingredient, which have antiseptic qualities and can keep odour and infection at bay. Work the cream into the soles of your feet, but, as with any foot moisturizing routine, try to avoid putting moisturizer between the toes.

Alternatively, use moisturizer and moisturizing Socks – Some specialist foot creams come with lightweight ‘socks’ that you put on after applying the moisturizer. The ‘socks’ keep your feet a little warmer, which means that the creams absorb better into dry areas. After applying moisturizer, put your feet up for a few minutes with the socks on, but just for a few minutes, and when you remove the socks pat any excess moisturizer away using a thick towel. Remember that ordinary socks won't do for this! The special socks are very thin and the material is smooth - normal socks will just rub the moisturizer off before it has a chance to work.

Weekly Foot Care Routine

Soak your feet in warm water – having a long luxurious bath using bath oils or bubble bath can make this easy, but the UK’s Society for Chiropodists and Podiatrists warns against ‘soaking’ feet too much as it strips away your natural foot oils, so save soaking for a weekly treat.

While your feet are still wet, use a pumice stone and gently rub any hard skin away, or alternatively, wash them with a ‘foot scrub’ product. Don’t ‘scrub’ with a pumice stone, and if your feet feel sore or tender, stop using it straight away.

Now is a good time to trim those nails, while they’re soft from soaking in the bath. Trim them in a straight line and don’t trim too close to the toes – ‘digging in’ and cutting them too enthusiastically, especially at the corners, can cause ingrowing nails, which are very painful and in severe cases may need surgery to correct the problem.

Weekly Foot Moisturizing Massage

A weekly treat for feet. While your feet are still damp from bathing them, massage them with Baby Oil or other skin softener. Take your time and massage your feet and toes gently and thoroughly. When your feet are positively tingling with relaxation, pat off the excess oil. Since with a foot massage the oil will get everywhere, and because feet don’t like too much moisture, it can be a good idea to gently wash feet after a massage and apply just a little foot moisturizer to the soles after drying them with a warm, thick towel.

Overall: Your Foot Care Routine

The most important thing about foot care is to do it regularly. Gently pumice (or better, use a foot scrub product that gently exfoliates feet) and massage your feet with baby oil once a week, and try to apply a little moisturiser to the soles of clean feet every night, or at least 2-3 nights a week.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Redberry Sky profile imageAUTHOR

        Redberry Sky 

        5 years ago

        Cheers LA :) I didn't know either, a few years ago, and I definitely think I did more harm than good at one stage, overdoing things on the moisturizing front!

      • LA Elsen profile image

        LA Elsen 

        5 years ago from Chicago, IL

        My feet are victims of abuse. I didn't realize you could over moisturize! Eeek! Well I am glad you wrote this hub. I learned so much with this information. Great tips.

      • Redberry Sky profile imageAUTHOR

        Redberry Sky 

        5 years ago

        Hey Jackie - I'm with you, there's nothing so lovely as warm pampered feet when you go to bed :)

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 

        5 years ago from The Beautiful South

        I have never had athlete's foot or anything so serious but if my feet aren't lotioned before bedtime I most times have to do it in the middle of the night to get back to sleep. The want that moisturizing regularly.

        Important info, thank you.

      • Redberry Sky profile imageAUTHOR

        Redberry Sky 

        5 years ago

        You're absolutely right, Alecia :) and well-pampered feet feel so much snugglier in nice warm thick winter socks in the colder months too :)

      • Alecia Murphy profile image

        Alecia Murphy 

        5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

        Now that it's getting cooler outside, it's easier to neglect your feet since they aren't being shown as much. But I've realized that if you take care of your feet when it's cooler, you don't have to worry about trying to do a rush job when it's warmer.

        Great tips!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, bellatory.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://bellatory.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)