The Great British Summer doesn’t last for long, so the last thing you want to do is waste it worrying about the state of your heels.
Dry cracked heels aren’t just a sandal-blocker – they can actually get really sore, especially when you’re wearing shoes that expose them to hard ground, or you’re standing for a long time.
A number of factors can affect your likelihood of developing cracked heels, including your weight, your choice of products like moisturiser or soap, and dehydration, but ultimately, anyone can get them, and most people who develop cracked heels want them gone.
However, there’s no need to shell out for expensive lotions and potions to get your heels back into tip-top shape – in fact, we’ve found five easy-to-use remedies that you require nothing more than a few ingredients you’ve probably already got in the cupboard.
Time to get those soles summer ready…
Lemon juice and aspirin
This tip comes from dermatologist Dr Joshua Zeichner, who recommends because it helps with ‘the removal of excess oil’ and to ‘exfoliate dead cells’ on the skin’s surface. All you need to do is grind around 10 uncoated aspirin into a powder, mix with lemon juice and then soak a cotton wool pad with the mixture – this makes it easier to apply to your feet. Use clingfilm or sellotape to secure to your feet overnight, and in the morning, your heels should appear softer and smoother. Who knew?
Many people’s cracked heels stem from a lack of moisture, so in addition to finding out how much water you should be drinking every day and sticking to it religiously, it helps to apply a really rich, thick product to the area. Coconut oil is a natural balm that helps to retain moisture and strengthen the tissue under the cracks – slather it on your heels before bed, then cover with some thick socks and let it work its magic.
You probably know Vicks best as a stuffy-nose reliever, but it turns out that this little pot of wonder has got many surprising uses. For years, people have been swearing by its methol-infused properties to heal their fissures – use as you would the coconut oil and when you remove the socks in the morning, they’ll be looking better already.
Honey isn’t just delicious on porridge or toast – it’s actually a brilliant moisturiser, and has antibacterial properties, which will help to reduce the risk of infection on any open cracks in your heels. To use, add a few spoonfuls of honey into a tub of warm water, and soak your feet for 20-30 minutes. Not only will the sticky stuff relieve your cracks, they’ll be germ-free and protected as well.
Vinegar and mouthwash
Okay, so this won’t be the best smelling remedy for the issue, but bear with us – there is some method behind the seeming madness of this popular Pinterest hack. Add one cup of antiseptic mouthwash and one cup of white vinegar to a tub of warm water, and soak in the same way you would the honey, for around 10-15 minutes. Use a pumice stone to slough away the dead skin, and hey presto, you should find you’re able to buff enough to give your heels a smooth, healthy appearance. Now, where did you put those flip flops?