These Products Will *Actually* Give You Soft Feet, According to a Dermatologist

The ultimate self-care routine.

By Langa Chinyoka

Summer is over, and like many of you, I’m transitioning my skincare for colder, dryer weather. And if the warmer months included lots of carefree barefoot days, it might be time to channel some of that energy into the pursuit of baby-soft feet. Paying a little extra attention to the care of your feet is almost an annual rite of passage, and this year I’m determined to figure out exactly how to get soft feet.

Thankfully, my curiosity has led to a deep dive on the subject. To keep calluses, corns, and cracks at bay until next summer, know this: soft feet are built in the fall. If you spent your summer exposing your heels to the elements, frolicking barefoot, or whatever else you get up to in your flip-flops and strappy sandals, chances are, it shows.

And if you’re at all invested in skincare, body care, and even scalp care, then why would you stop at your ankles? Foot care is the next step to soft skin all over. Fall means flaky, dry skin for everyone. So, as you add body scrubs and body oils to your routine, start giving yourself at-home pedicures every so often to maintain soft, smooth feet.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

relaxing detox bath_how to get soft feet
Image by Hannah Haston

Upgrading your foot hygiene isn’t just about aesthetics. According to podiatrists, keeping your feet healthy is key to long-term foot health, fending off infections or fungus, and keeping your toenails strong and healthy. And one rigorous pedicure won’t fix your cracked soles. Regular foot care can be as simple as buying a few foot peels, trying out foot scrubs, and layering cozy socks over well-moisturized toes.

To discover how to get soft feet, I spoke to Dr. Sabrina Fabi, a renowned cosmetic dermatologist based in California. Turns out, a few intentional practices and carefully chosen ingredients can slough away the dead skin on your soles and reveal baby soft skin.

Dr. Sabrina Fabi

Renowned cosmetic dermatologist

Image by Michelle Nash

How do you deal with cracked heels?

“If your heels are cracked, it’s time to give them some special moisturization care,” says Dr. Fabi. But luckily, you can vastly improve dryness with at-home remedies and rituals like exfoliation and overnight moisturization.

“You can start with a foot soak for about 10-15 minutes in soapy warm water. Then gently scrub with a loofah or pumice stone to remove any dry skin. Once your feet are dry, apply a thick moisturizing foot cream, not lotion.”

How do you get rid of hard skin on your feet?

According to Dr. Fabi, you can polish away callouses and hard skin with chemical exfoliation as well as physical friction.

“In addition to soaking your feet and scrubbing them with a loofah or pumice stone, you can treat tough, flaky skin on your feet by using a product that will gently exfoliate the skin and contains lactic acid,” says Dr. Fabi.

How to get soft feet

Do you have any secrets for keeping feet soft?

“Like any other part of your body, it’s important to maintain moisture in the skin to keep it smooth and healthy. Using a good moisturizing cream daily right after your shower helps to prevent hard skin and keep your feet hydrated,” says Dr. Fabi.

What ingredients help soften feet?

Massaging moisturizing ingredients into your skin every day is key to keeping your feet soft. Dr. Fabi recommends products containing humectants—urea is one of her favorites—that draw moisture into the skin at least twice a day.

“Products that contain ammonium lactate and hyaluronic acid are key ingredients for hydrating the skin. This, combined with lactic acid, which exfoliates dead skin cells, prevents dry, flaky skin.”

Natural ingredients can also play a part in your foot care routine. Skip the DIY skincare for your face, but many natural ingredients might actually work on the tougher skin of your feet. Make a foot scrub, soak your feet in soapy water, then follow up with natural moisturizers. DIY ingredients include:

  • Brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Epsom Salt
  • Sea Salt
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter

But DIY is not the only way to go. There are tons of products to give you smooth, soft feet. From drugstore creams to exfoliators and foot masks, the ultimate guide to soft feet is here.

Shani van breukelen in bathroom_how to get soft feet
Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Products for How To Get Soft Feet

Isdin Uradin Podos Gel Oil

u003cpu003eFor a clinical fix, Dr. Fabi recommends this cream. It u0022contains the power duo of lactic acid and hyaluronic acid to exfoliate and eliminate rough, thick skin and help repair dryness and cracks; making feet feel smooth and soft.u0022u003c/pu003e

CeraVe Renewing SA Foot Cream

u003cpu003eWhere there’s a will, CeraVe has a way. This trusty foot cream uses the skin-softening power of salicylic acid and ammonium lactate to loosen u0026amp; exfoliate dead skin cells for a gentle, daily peel.u003c/pu003e

Glytone Ultra Softening Heel and Elbow Cream

u003cpu003eGlytone’s line of potent u003ca href=u0022 acid treatmentsu003c/au003e gives you smooth skin, fast. From cleansers to u003ca href=u0022 erasersu003c/au003e, they’re proof that glycolic acid is a u003ca href=u0022 AHA.u003c/au003e This cream targets your toughest skin with restoring results.u003c/pu003e

ELEMIS Treat Your Feet Foot Cream

u003cpu003eThis thick, intensely moisturizing cream melts right into your feet with its buttery texture, making it a great end to your nighttime routine. Follow up with socks to soak in all the conditioning benefits of shea butter and jojoba oil.u003c/pu003e

Buly 1803 Pommade Concrète

u003cpu003eThe prettiest packaging you ever did see—plus, the best cream for your hands and feet. I have tubes of this pomade everywhere. I carry it around in my bag, stock it in my vanity, and keep extras in my kitchen for when I run out. I use it daily on my hands, then nightly on my feet. A little goes a long way.u003c/pu003e

Susanne Kaufmann Foot Cream

u003cpu003eIf you’re looking for glamorous foot cream, well, here it is. Lather this luxe cream to hydrate and treat problem skin. Marigold extract boasts anti-fungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties, while camphor and menthol boost circulation to warm those cold toes. u003c/pu003e

Pursoma Bain de Pied Recovery Foot Soak

u003cpu003eNothing heals tired, sore feet like a long soak in a hot bath. This blend of minerals and essential oils helps ease tension and fatigue while moisturizing your feet with natural oils.u003c/pu003e

Skin BUTTR Au Natural Coffee Scrub

u003cpu003eThis is not your homemade coffee scrub. Packed with nourishing oils, shea butter, and vitamin E, it’s an advanced physical exfoliator and hydrator. Follow it up with a foot file or a pumice stone for added exfoliation.u003c/pu003e

Soft Services Carea Cream

u003cpu003eSoft Services is my go-to for body care. Their products promise smooth skin all over, bolstered by ingredients like urea—which is Dr. Fabi-approved. And this lightweight cream packs a punch.u003c/pu003e

Patchology PoshPeel PediCure

u003cpu003eOf course, the non-glamorous but u003cemu003esuperu003c/emu003e effective answer to most skin ails is a chemical peel. Luckily, foot peels can be done at home in little sock-like bags like this cult-favorite solution for silky skin below the ankles. In seven days, your excess skin will peel off to reveal the softest skin of your life. Just be prepared for skin flakes. Lots of skin flakes.u003c/pu003e

Aveeno Repairing Cica Foot Mask

u003cpu003eSensitive skin? Adverse to the aforementioned skin flakes? This foot mask is more of a balm than a peel. It’s a pampering prebiotic that deeply moisturizes with eczema-friendly oat lotion.u003c/pu003e

Supergoop! Cloud 9 100% Mineral Sun Balm SPF 40

u003cpu003eSunscreen for your feet? Yes! With all the exfoliating and scrubbing you’ll be doing this fall, be sure that come spring, any exposed skin on your feet is covered in SPF. This balm doubles as a healing ointment and suncare solution to keep feet soft and protected.u003c/pu003e