May 02, 2007

Getting Rid of Cracked Heels The Cheap & Easy Way

Fancy getting rid of the hard callous skin on your heels, but not willing to pay for a pedicure? Well, I'm going to show you how it's done, with cheapo but good products, which will guarantee good results (but you gotta be hardworking and stick to the regime, of course).

Now I had seriously UGLY heels. I'm talking about extremely cracked heels, till they're bleeding, that kinda thing. I reckon I took after my dad, who has very dry, cracked heels as well. You know lah, women with dry, cracked heels can't wear mules or sandals without the cracked heels exposed for all to see. I was always very embarrassed in trying on new shoes at the shoe shops if I'm not wearing long jeans, because I was afraid people might look at my ugly heels in disgust.

The problem with cracked heels is that it's not only an indication that your heels are very dry, but when you walk barefoot, whether it's at home, or even outside, the dirt tend to get trapped at the cracks, which makes it very difficult to remove. Trust me, it's bad enough that the cracked heels look ugly (with the dry whitish dead skin); it's even worse when it's cracked AND grey with difficult-to-remove dirt.

If you've been to a nail salon for pedicures, you'll know that the pedicurist always rub your skin raw till all the dry, dead skin is removed before they slather your legs and feet with cream and paint your toe nails. To be honest, I wasn't really all that keen on the colouring of toe nails when having a pedicure; it's the removing of the hard skin which I wanted. But then I realised, paying RM38 (Nail Hansen, Gurney Plaza) for a pedicure almost once a month just to remove the hard skin's a bit expensive, when I can do it myself at home. Of course, it is a totally different thing when you're there to splurge and indulge ;)

After long and hard observation at what the pedicurist did to my feet, I realised that, hey, I could do that too, and thought I'd try it out at home (without the painting of nails). Lo and behold, in less than 20 minutes, I had smooth heels!

Enough already, get me some smooth heels now!

Okay, okay, let's get started. First of all, you need a pumice. I do NOT recommend the pumice stones you see at drugstores; they are TOO hard, and more often than not, you end up over-scrubbing the heels till they're practically bleeding. Try the softer ones, like the one they sell at Watson's.

Pumice

This is about RM8, if I'm not mistaken. It's not as hard as the pumice stone, and it works wonders.

Before you start scrubbing the dead skin away with the pumice, wet the feet and legs. By the way, this is best done when you're taking a bath or shower ('cos you already wet anyway). Lather your feet with shower gel, making it nice and slippery. Next, and this is the fun part, scrub away! I recommend lathering the feet with shower gel first so that it's easier for you to scrub at the stubborn hard skin, and also it's less damaging to the skin. Scrub a little harder if the dead skin's still a bit too stubborn to let go, but continue to keep lathering the feet with shower gel if they get rubbed off. Don't forget the areas such as the balls of the feet, and the side of the big toes.

Once you're satisfied that the hard skin's been removed, wash the shower gel and skin residue off your feet. Next, it's time to apply a scrub on your feet and legs. I use St Ives' Invigorating Apricot Scrub (agak RM17 per tube) for this.

St Ives Apricot Scrub

I know, I know, this is a scrub meant for the face, but honestly, I do NOT recommend this on the face, as I find it too harsh on the skin (there's a Gentle version for the face which I have not tried though; anyone who has used this, do share your experience on whether it's good or bad on your face). Use a dollop of the scrub (about the size of a 20sen coin) for each foot, and scrub away. Do not forget the legs, as they need the exfoliation too. Pay more attention to the heels, and the balls of the feet. Do not forget to scrub in between the toes either. Great way to remove trapped dirt. After you're done, wash.

After your shower and skincare regime, it's time to moisturise the feet. I'd recommend you use a proper foot cream for the heels, as they're richer, and would work better than regular body lotion. There are a lot of foot creams out there, cheap ones, expensive ones. Do use what you're comfortable with. There are medicated ones too, as offered by Scholl and Ellergy, which are good for very cracked heels (you know, the cracked-till-they-bleed kinda heels). I'm not keen on the smell though; it smells like medicated powder to me, which I'm not too fond of. Plus the smell stays on my hands and fingers after application, even after I've washed them. As for me, I use Ginvera's Green Tea 2-in-1 Cracked Heel and Elbow cream (less than RM30 per tube; can't really remember how much it costs though).

Ginvera Green Tea Foot Cream

This cream's not as rich as the other foot creams, but it works. Plus, it smells good, which is a huge plus in my book. Apply the cream generously on the soles of the feet, paying extra attention to the heels. Rub the cream in. Do it twice, as the cream's not very rich. Rub the excess cream on the balls of the feet, and your elbows if you want.

Now comes the hard part, which I almost always forget. You have to use the cream on your feet (after you clean it, of course) EVERY DAY. Use the scrub on your feet once a week, and the pumice stone once a month. After a week, you'll emerge with nice smooth legs, and better still, smooth heels. I'd recommend wearing bedroom slippers at home. It's better for your feet to have as little contact with the hard floor as possible.

There ya go. Hope this tutorial helps those with callous heels. It certainly helped me BIG time. Plus, you can get all of these at Watson's, so it's quite a good deal. These items will last you for months. Cheaper than going for pedicures, right?

Strap on your heels

Now strap on your favourite mules or sandals, and flaunt your pretty (and smooth) heels ;)

8 comments:

Neo said...

Thanks for the tips. I will try Ginvera Green Tea 2-in-1.

Paris Beaverbanks said...

And who was it who said she didn't know if she could do product reviews? :) Great post and great tips! Do you mind me linking back to you from my other blog? I don't have cracked heels but I do tend to forget my feet. Its time to pamper them now!

Tine said...

Neo: Hi, thanks for dropping by :) No worries, hope it helps. I wouldn't normally use Ginvera (okay, okay, I'm a snob :p), but I do like this one as it smells quite nice.

Paris: Aww thanks!! :D Yeah sure, go ahead. Gimme some linky love! Hahaha, kidding, do share if you like :P

Kok said...

tine,
Great one! I think now, you don't have any problem in the shoes shop eh? Or maybe one, most of the people will stare at your heels. haha!:P

Daniel said...

Allow me to share this with everyone. For many years I have suffered in silence as my cracked heels worsen every single day. Tried so many products to no avail. Feeling frustrated but luckily I fond this product on the Net recently called Bencoolen Virgin Coconut Oil Cracked Heel Repair Cream. Have used it for 2 weeks, I am proud to say it really works! Most of my cracks have cured almost fully.

You guys must really try this! http://www.crackedheels.net. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am so grateful to you for posting this information!! My heels hurt, but I walk barefoot a lot in summer!I live in the UK, and we don't have Watson's, but I do already have some apricot scrub, and am sure I can get some good foot cream... Thank you.

Jennifer Moore-Skallerud said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I was hoping to get some good ideas when I Googled "cracked heels dirt!" I'm going to get to work. My heels are such an embarrassment, and here it is, a beautiful day when I'd love to wear shorts and flip flops and yet I have these ugly heels with which to contend. I'm going to give your regimen a whirl!

Anonymous said...

Great suggestions,I've tried similar ones, but the cream came off unless I wore socks and if I wore socks they ate the cream...until my daughter gave me a pair of SoleMates for my birthday. They have a coating on the sole that keeps cream on your feet, but better yet, the coating stops moisture loss. My feet look great. Cheap and easy to use.