When we’re born, it’s not just our skin that is perfectly soft and smooth but our feet too. The ultimate blank space surface; free from dead skin build-up and cracked heels with no dryness in sight. Going back to our early days is not what we’re after but there’s something to be said for perfect baby soft summer feet all year long.
In search of the solution to any foot ailment, we put an array of products through the ringer by testing them on 3 sets of feet. Here’s what works (and what doesn’t) when it comes to getting your feet crack free and baby soft.
Skin Republic Foot Peel
The first step in getting baby soft feet is getting rid of all the dead skin, enter the Skin Republic Foot Peel. A foot peel will do what no cream, oil or scrub can achieve. It won’t soften hard and dead skin, it gets rid of it.
I’ve done foot peels before, which fall under gross but wonderful and oddly fascinating beauty treatments. But this was my first time using the Skin Republic peel, which gave me results far better than others I’ve used.
The packet comes with clear instructions on how to use it. To clean my feet properly before applying the booties, I used these Reydiant Foot Salts which smell heavenly and have become a go-to treatment for tired feet. Following the soak, I used the Reydiant foot scrub which contains essential oils so you get a scrub and a moisturise in one.
With ultra clean feet, I slipped on the booties, which are filled with a gel containing Alpha Hydroxy Acids and plant extracts to soften and shed skin, and settled in for the full 90 minutes recommended.
Tip: it’s easiest to wear them with your feet up, so lie on a couch or your bed (it’s not messy) with a book or something to watch while you wait. Once the 90 minutes are up, you remove, rinse your feet well and wait.
The package says that your skin peels within 7-10 days. During that time, I avoided using any creams on my feet, so as not to hamper any peeling. For 7 days the only difference was my feet feeling drier than usual. Not dry as in they needed to be moisturized, but dry as in when they are wet and have a dry feeling, almost like they were repelling water. On day 8 there was some very slight peeling on the top of my foot. By that time, Feige who did hers at the same time as me, was deep in the heavy peeling. Literal layers of skin shedding. As her feet peeled I convinced myself that it hadn’t worked on me.
On day 10, I stepped out of the swimming pool and so did half my foot. Literally I had half a soles worth of skin hanging off. Disgusting, delightful. It was working. It peeled for the next 3 days, peeling more aggressively after being immersed in water.
To help get rid of the peeling skin without peeling it off, I used the Reydiant Foot scrub which is gentle and anti-microbial.
Within 2 weeks my feet had completely transformed. I tend to go barefoot wherever I can and have an incredibly heavy foot stride when running, which doesn’t make for pretty soles. The peel had removed a great deal of dead skin, including the tough heel skin and reduced the cracks considerably. All I had left was a bit of hard skin on the side and small cracks on my heels.
Best For: Very dry or cracked feet. The Skin Republic Foot Peel is the best first step you can do as it removes all dead skin allowing you to use creams and files to achieve completely smooth and soft feet.
Cost: R109.99 at Dischem
Reydiant Anti-Microbial Foot Salts
You can add these salts to your bath or create an at home foot spa and fill a bucket with warm water, add salts and let your feet soak. I used this in a bucket to soak my feet prior to using the Foot Peel and every so often will add it to a bath after long runs to soothe tired feet and body.
This natural product is made by local brand Reydiant and has Lavender, Rosemary and Eucalyptus essential oils which not only makes it smell heavenly but also relaxes your body and has anti-microbial properties to help prevent athletes foot, infections and keep your feet smelling good. A little goes along way, so these salts will last you a while. I love the smell and the fact that just a few teaspoons in your bath helps you feel relaxed. It’s a great at home alternative to Spa Days.
Best for: Soaking in after long days on your feet. If you suffer from athlete’s foot or funky feet this will help prevent uncomfortable infections and keep smells at bay.
Cost: R75 at Faithful to Nature (now on sale for only R52)
Reydiant Anti-Microbial Foot Scrub
The Reydiant Anti-microbial foot scrub goes well with their foot salts. It exfoliates your feet thanks to the natural salts in it; whilst simultaneously moisturizing your feet with essential oils. Like the Foot Salts it’s anti-microbial which makes it great for athlete’s foot and cracked heels. The Lavendar and Rosemary Essential oils give it a heavenly smell.
I used it before applying the Skin Republic Foot Peel and during the peeling, to help loosen the peeling skin safely. Now I use it once or twice a week to maintain super smooth feet. I love its smell and how soft it makes my feet feel after using it.
Best For: weekly exfoliation to maintain smooth feet and prevent athlete’s foot. You can also skip the moisturizer when using it as it leaves your feet feeling soft.
Cost: R75 at Faithful to Nature
Reydiant Anti-Microbial Foot Oil
Like the Reydiant Foot Salts and Scrub, their Foot oil contains Lavender, Rosemary and Eucalyptus essential oils to relax your body while moisturizing your feet. It also has anti-microbial properties allowing it to treat cracked heals, athlete’s foot and prevent infection.
It’s a light oil and works best on feet that aren’t very dry. It has a strong essential oil smell which lingers for a few minutes before going away. I like using it as a quick moisturizer when I feel my feet just need a little extra TLC. It has a similar feel to facial oils so if you like those you’ll love this.
Best For: Light moisturizing and travel – it’s small size makes it’s the perfect addition to your travel cosmetic case. It’s small enough to get into hand luggage.
Cost: R100 at Reydiant
Scholl Electric Foot File
The Scholl Electric Foot File is the only foot file you’ll ever need. Seriously. You can get replacement file heads and once you’ve used it you’ll never want to go back to those manual foot files.
It’s a lot easier, faster and works better than any foot file I’ve used before. I used it after the peel had done its magic. This helps get rid of any rough edges and calluses. Do it whenever you feel your feet getting hard or callused; which for me is when I’m running a lot. If you also have a heavy stride and get callused feet on heavy training, a weekly use of the Scholl Electric File will get rid of them and make your feet feel more comfortable.
Best for: Getting rid of calluses and tough hard skin. Weekly use during heavy running training.
Cost: R199 at Dischem
Oh So Heavenly Sole Therapy Cracked Heel Repair Cream
This cream claims to be an intensive rescue for very cracked heels. It has 25% Urea which is meant to soften and repair the cracks. After the foot peel worked it’s magic and I filed away the remaining hard skin I was left with a few small cracks in my heel, so I tried this out. It’s a rich cream that has a minty smell. I used it nightly before sleep. I lathered it on thick and popped on some socks for 30 minutes so that the cream absorbed into my feet and not the floor. After about a week of daily use, the cracks disappeared. It does work, you just need to be consistent with applying it.
Best For: Lightly cracked heals, use consistently and you’ll see results.
Get it at Clicks
Oh So Heavenly Sole Repair Intensively Nourishing Foot Serum
This is a light serum that absorbs fast and has Shea which contributes to a heavenly Shea Butter Smell. In general, the Oh So Heavenly products actually smell Oh So Heavenly, so if smell is a big factor for you in creams they’re the brand to choose. It’s a great light moisturizer to use on dry feet and makes them smell amazing
Best for: Everyday use for normal skin and if you don’t like heavy creams. Travel, it’s small size makes it easy to add into your cosmetic case and the pump is pretty much leak proof.
Get it at Clicks
Oh So Heavenly Sole Retreat Indulgent Foot Butter
They don’t lie, this foot butter is incredibly indulgent. It has coconut oil and shea butter which makes it smell like a holiday. It’s heavier on your skin than a regular lotion and needs more of a rub in. It’s something I like using when my feet are feeling really dry or right after using the Scholl Foot file as your feet feel tender and need something rich and soothing afterwards. The best thing about this butter is that it doesn’t leave your hands with a bitter taste that I’ve found other body butters do.
Best for: Very dry feet, using after filing your feet or just before bed – apply, pop some socks on and wake up to super soft feet.
Get it at Clicks
Oh So Heavenly Sole Repair Ultra Moisturizing Foot Cream
The Oh So Heavenly Ultra Moisturizing Foot Cream falls between their foot butter and foot serum in levels of thickness and moisturization. It has shea butter in it, which makes everything smell delicious and feels amazing on. If you have dry feet or during the winter when skin is drier it’s a good daily cream to use. It really feels like it locks in hydration.
Best for: Daily use, dry skin and those who like the feel of a thick foot cream.
Get it at Clicks
Scholl Velvet Smooth Essential Moisture Cream
This is an incredibly light and fast absorbing foot cream. Careful when you use it as it is quite liquidy so you need to control how much comes out of the tube. It doesn’t have a strong smell, it smells… clean and has in it Vitamins A, E and Omega 6 to nourish your skin. It’s a great cream for those who don’t like “perfumed” lotions and want something more neutral smelling.
Best for: Light hydration and those who don’t want a perfumed lotion. A great choice for guys who feel most lotions have a very light and feminine smell to them.
R109.99 at Dischem
Scholl Fresh Step Anti-Perspirant
This won’t make your feet soft but it can prevent them from smelling bad. It’s an anti-perspirant made for feet for people whose feet sweat. It’s not something I’d use regularly but if you have a foot issue and wear shoes that don’t allow for good ventilation, this anti-perspirant can help you avoid sweaty feet which can lead to smelly feet, infections and blisters. It smells like a deodorant. I tried spraying it inside my running shoes which made them smell very clean; but I recommend spraying from a distance – it leaves a white mark.
Best For: People who have a history of foot problems which cause odour and those spending long hours in shoes that don’t breathe.
Cost: R74.95 at Dischem
Oh So Heavenly FootSpa Sole Therapy Odour Control Foot Powder
This foot powder is meant to be used as an everyday foot and shoe powder. It helps to prevent odours and moisture and keep your feet feeling cool and fresh. It also has Hygiene Activates to prevent germs. It has a similar fresh smell to the Oh So Heavenly Cracked Heel Repair Cream and reminds me of a shower gel. It’s great for people who struggle with smelly feet. Where I use it is in ballet flats or pumps which I wear without socks, so a little sprinkle of this keeps my feet dry and prevents blisters from forming.
Best for: sprinkling in shoes you don’t wear socks with and those who struggle with smelly feet
Get it at Clicks
Scholl Fresh Step 2-in-1 Powder
This is a foot powder which is geared towards absorbing moisture and removing odours. It can be used both directly on your feet or in shoes. It has a deodorant like smell and is something I’d use before races on my toes to avoid blisters which are caused by friction and moisture. It can also be used to help with smelly shoes or those who have smelly feet.
Best for: Runners to avoid moisture and the resulting blisters, smelly shoes and feet.
Cost: R94.95 at Dischem
The 4 Best Products to Achieve Smooth Summer Feet
While all the above tested products were good and worked, you don’t need to get them all to achieve summer ready feet. If you have cracked feet, these are the 5 products I’d recommend you start with – the 4 products that made the biggest difference in getting rid of the cracks in my heels, removing calluses and softening my feet.
- The Skin Republic Foot Peel – Start with the Skin Republic Foot Peel, just using this will literally transform your feet.
- Reydiant Anti-Microbial Foot Scrub – Together with the foot peel I’d Recommend using the Reydiant foot scrub. It’ll help to gently exfoliate your feet mid peel and prevent any infections
- Scholl Electric Foot File – once your feet have completely peeled, the Scholl foot file will gently and quickly remove any left over hard and dead skin. It’s also a great tool to have to keep your feet callus free.
- Oh So Heavenly Sole Therapy Cracked Heel Repair Cream – if you still have some small cracks left after the above, use the Oh So Heavenly cracked heel repair cream every day until the cracks have repaired themselves (it took me about a week)
A foot specific moisturizer is also key to smooth feet, however the right one depends on what you’re looking for in terms of smell and feel of cream. Drier feet are better suited to the rich creams and butters; while normal feet can use the serums and oils.