Our feet take such a beating in the summer. I like to go barefoot as much as possible (I am from the South!) plus lots of sandal wearing takes a toll. Crusty, dirty feet are one of my biggest pet peeves so I've been trying various tools and remedies to keep them soft. These DIY foot mask recipes are an easy way to give your hard-working tootsies some TLC.
Because when you wear cute sandals you want to show off pretty feet, right? From dry skin to cracked heels, these pampering remedies will have your feet soft and smooth in no time.
Dry feet? Try a banana foot mask
When I read in Real Simple that bananas make an excellent skin softener I was skeptical. Who wants to slather a banana on their feet? Personally, I don't want my feet to smell like banana bread.
But it works! My soles were much softer and it made exfoliating so much easier. Don't you love little home remedies like this? All you need is a banana and some honey.
—½ teaspoon honey
Mash ½ of a banana in a small bowl and add the honey. Slather the mixture all over your feet and wrap them in plastic wrap. (If you have extra, it makes a great snack!)
Banana foot mask instructions
If you're having some issues with the plastic wrap slipping off, put a pair of old socks on over it. The slight pressure of the socks combined with the heat helps make the mask work even better, too. Read a magazine for at least 15 minutes then wipe off the banana and honey mixture.
Your soles will be much softer! Use warm water and be sure to get everything off before moving on to the next step in your self-pedi routine. If you have pesky calluses you can exfoliate with a pumice stone. Then slather on some moisturizer.
If you've done this mask just before bed, one of my favorite ways to really ensure that I wake up with super-soft feet in the morning is heaping on a thick layer of moisturizer, then popping on some socks. (Preferably not the same ones as before!)
I know, summer is hot and you don't necessarily want to sleep with socks on, but how your feet look afterward will be so worth it! Plus, it's not like you need to do this entire routine every night—once a week (or even once every 2 weeks) should be fine for your feet to be sandal-ready all summer long. Then, you can give yourself a pedicure with any color that you want or go all natural if you prefer!
Rough calluses? Try a pineapple foot mask
The layers of skin on heels can get thickkkk if you don't stay on top of it! Pineapple is a rich source of bromelain, an enzyme that helps break down dead skin cells, making it especially effective on the hardened spots of skin on our soles and heels. Start with a foot soak to soften things up, then follow the mask with a foot scrub to easily remove the skin buildup.
—½ cup chopped pineapple (fresh or canned)
—½ cup coconut milk
Pour the chopped pineapple into a basin big enough to hold both feet. Add ½ cup of coconut milk. Pack the mixture around your feet and rest for a minimum of 15 minutes.
Then scrub with one of these scrub recipes. Or if you were using fresh pineapple, take a strip of the peel and rub the flesh side onto calluses for a minute then rinse.
Cracked heels? Try an olive oil honey foot mask
Cracked heels are the worst! Combine hydrating olive oil with healing honey to repair the layers of dry skin and soothe painful cracks.
—¼ cup olive oil
—1 tablespoon honey
Combine olive oil and honey in a small bowl and stir together to combine. Rub onto heels and cover with a warm, damp towel for 10 minutes. (Or feel free to wear it overnight!)
Remove the towel and wipe away any excess (no need to wash it off). Then use a scrub or pumice stone to gently remove dry skin. Repeat twice a week.
Yellow toenails? Try a strawberry foot mask
Toenail polish and constant shoe friction can cause nail discoloration. To get rid of the yellow-ish tinge quickly, use the naturally lightening combo of strawberry and baking soda. Strawberry's malic acid and vitamin C remove stains and brighten nails, while abrasive baking soda removes any discoloring buildup on the nails' surface.
—2 strawberries, mashed
—1 tablespoon baking soda
Combine the strawberries and baking soda in a small bowl. Apply to toenails with clean fingers and rub the mixture into the nail beds. You can scrub gently with an old toothbrush if you have one. Then let the mixture sit for at least 15 minutes, then rinse.
Swollen feet? Try whipped coconut massage
I have been whipping up this coconut oil-based lotion for years, and it's still a favorite body moisturizer of mine. You'll need a KitchenAid mixer or a hand-held mixer.
Use it to massage feet and ankles to increase circulation and flush trapped fluids. Essential oils are an excellent addition to shrink blood vessels and help tissues release excess fluids.
Pour the coconut oil and vitamin E oil into the mixer and mix on high for 5-6 minutes. Add essential oil if desired and then continue to mix for another 2 minutes.
The consistency should change from translucent and thick to a whipped, fluffy texture. Transfer to a glass jar and store in a cool location.
To use, knead each foot with your thumbs, starting at the ankles, moving down along the top of the feet to the toes, then the soles. Do for 3 minutes per foot twice a week for the slimming and hydrating benefits.251