As a competitive runner, I am constantly training for my next race. I have to be conscious about what I put in my body, stretch daily, and keep people around me who are on the same path — when I’m around people that participate in activities outside of my training routine.
I love everything about running: The mental endurance, motivation, focus, and ability to completely and whole-heartedly get in the zone. I love what it has done to the shape of my body and I love the runner’s high I get from completing a really difficult hill or improving my mile time.
What I don’t love so much is what it does to my feet. To say the least, running is really hard on the feet. For starters, feet are constantly enclosed—making them prone to bacteria and infection—and sweat can cause both. Although I change socks throughout the day, that is a lot of time for feet to be inside shoes, especially the days where I clock in over 11 miles.
I’ve invested in sanitizing machines to make sure no bacteria stays inside my shoes, bought medicated and drugstore lotion to keep up with hydration, and soaked my feet in Epson salt. Of course, you can’t always avoid bunions and calluses, but I find the below routine has been the most beneficial for my heels, sans cracks.
And now that it’s summer, I am almost doubling down on the below regimen so my feet can appear good-looking in sandals. If you have the same issue, or are just looking to give your tired summer feet some TLC, below is a great foot facial that I 100% recommend. PS: I know other runners who use this routine too, so trust, it works!
The best thing you can do for extremely cracked and dry heels is to exfoliate the dead skin away. And yes, you can totally purchase a foot peel from popular brands, but if you are looking to save some coin and create a DIY peel from the things you have in your kitchen already, then this one is for you.
All you really have to do is take an exfoliating serum (something you have laying around with salicylic or lactic acid), moisturizer (lotion or cream), and mix the two together. Then, massage it into your feet.
Next, soak your feet in a solution. The solution could be as simple as lemon juice and vinegar to exfoliate the upper layers of the skin and provide smooth, hydrated heels. All you need is part 1 part lemon, 1 part vinegar, and 2 parts warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes, then moisturize.
Lastly, you can use a pumice stone to exfoliate feet and buff away calluses. This is best done after the first two steps, so skin can be smooth and dewy enough to remove. Repeat this weekly or bi-weekly for best results.
Here’s a footcare 101 guide to help you even further.
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