As if the freezing winter temps aren’t painful enough, this time of year tends to also wreak havoc on our skin—especially out feet. You might be thinking: Who cares? It’s cold out and I’ve got socks on! But it’s important to keep your feet moisturized year round, especially in the winter, to avoid calluses and cracked skin. Yahoo Beauty talked to Nadine Abramcyk, co-owner of New York City nail salons Tenoverten, about how to care for dry feet in the winter.
What causes dry feet?
The number one reason for cracking and dry skin on your feet is lack of moisture. “It’s worse in the winter because the months are drier,” says Abramcyk. She notes that people with skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis may also be more prone to dry or cracked feet as well as people with diabetes. So, what exactly can you do about it?
Grab a pumice stone. Using a pumice stone or foot file directly after you shower or soak your feet will help to remove dead skin on your feet. Your pumice stone or foot file will grip the best if it remains dry and you use it on damp skin. “You should do this at least once a week to avoid the dry skin building up,” says Abramcyk.
Moisturize. Keeping feet hydrated is the most important thing you can do when it comes to treating and preventing dry, cracked feet. Apply your moisturizer right after you’ve used a pumice stone or file. “If you’re applying moisturizer right before bed, sleep with cotton socks on to help lock in the moisture,” suggests Abramcyk. Her moisturizer of choice? Coconut oil.
Related: 6 Ways to Winterproof Your Skin
Get a monthly pedicure. “In the winter people tend to get less pedicures because they think no one is looking at their feet,” says Abramcyk. “They think, ‘oh, I’ll give them a break from polish’ but it’s good to still try and go once a month for a pedicure to really take care of your feet.” Even if you’re not getting a polish on your toes, the foot care that happens during a pedicure is still valuable when combined with taking care of your feet at home.
Try paraffin wax. Many salons offer a paraffin wax treatment to add on to a pedicure. “Paraffin is great because it really locks in moisture,” says Abramcyk. “If you have severely dry feet, this is a good thing to do monthly.” You can also find paraffin baths at most drugstores to do the treatment at home.
Stay away from skin shavers. Avoid using any kind of skin shaver on your feet as they tend to take off too much skin, which can result in calluses.Abramcyk explains that when you shave off your skin, your skin typically will grow back worse due to your body overcompensating for the removal.