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Ask Belle: Caring for Your Feet in Winter

Dear Belle,

My wedding is in three weeks and I’m wearing a pair of slingbacks with an open toe.   The problem is that my feet are very calloused and rough.  My mom suggested a trip to the nail salon, but that barely scratched the surface of the mess on my heels.  How do you keep your feet looking pretty during the winter?

Sincerely, Sheepish Bride

During the winter months, many of us pare down our personal grooming.  We’re not as diligent about our highlights.  Tights make shaving less of an issue.  And the need to keep warm takes precedence over having “pretty” feet.  But when it comes to feet, undoing the neglect takes a bit of effort.

If your feet are really rough and calloused, you might consider an Asian product called Baby Foot.  I used it this summer before my vacation, and it was…an experience.  The product causes the skin on your feet to fall off in huge pieces over the course of several days.  But the result is the softest, best looking feet you have ever seen.

Some ladies on Pinterest claim similar results from a soak in Listerine, but all that did was lightly exfoliate my heels and turn my toes blue.  But if you want to give it a shot, just look for the old school yellow Listerine, so you don’t look like a Smurf.

Not up for molting like a snake?  The solution will be not in a single product, but in an everyday routine.

The first thing you need to do is remove some of the dead skin.  When I’m doing an at-home pedicure, I use a Ped-Egg for this task.  You don’t need to remove all of it at once, just as much as you can comfortably get to in one sitting.

Then, apply a powerful skin-softener like Eucerin Aquaphor or O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet Creme.  You want to slather it on before bed, then put on a pair of cotton socks and go to sleep.  (You can also buy softening socks, which will supercharge the process.)  Sexy?  No.  Effective?  Yes.  Repeat this process every night until your feet are callous free.

If you’re dealing with a DEFCON 1 situation on your heels, you can also speed up the process by soaking your feet in Epsom Salt.  Yes, the stuff your Nana keeps under her bathroom sink.  It softens callouses and rough patches, and just makes the whole process a bit faster.

Given that some of us will be wearing heel-bearing shoes to holiday parties, it’s a good idea to engage in a bit of pedi-maintanence.  A little scrubbing, a bit of lotion and some fresh nail polish is all you need to keep your rough heels from distracting from your hot shoes.



  1. saramel says:

    A good slather of a strong AHA lotion and a pair of socks at bedtime is a miracle worker for me. I currently love Ponds Rejuveness (Walgreens also has a generic cream that works well). After weeks of neglect I was able to get great results in just two nights.

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  2. Shay Lianna says:

    I use Bag Balm on my feet in the winter. It smells AWFUL and is a greasy mess, so make sure you put on socks, but it works wonders!

    xo Shay

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  3. julia says:

    I’ve been a big fan of foot products from The Body Shop. They have a foot scrub that contains tiny pumice stone. I rub that on with exfoliating gloves while i’m in the shower. Then, I put on their peppermint foot lotion and some cotton socks overnight. It makes your feet really soft and it smells amazing.

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  4. Megan says:

    Volcano from Lush is a foot mask that does wonders…my roommate swears by it.

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  5. RMR says:

    Has anyone tried the new Clarisonic for feet? I saw it at Nordie’s and was very intrigued.

    P.S. The ped-egg is one of my most favorite CapHillStyle recommendations EVER (coming from someone who bought two of Belle’s most recommended Clarisonics since they are so super). Bonus, the Ped-Egg is only $10.

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  6. PK says:

    My favorite foot product is Footlogix callus softener. I buy mine via HSN. Use this with a foot file and you will see amazing results! I had sandpaper feet before this in the Minnesota winters.

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  7. Justine says:

    I read several blogs written by dermatologists and here’s a suggested kit:

    Glytone Heel and Elbow (the product recommended above) is available for cheaper (because of coupons, cash back, whatnot) at dermstore, skinstore, skincarerx, lovelyskin, etc.

    December 18, 2013/Reply
  8. Ann says:

    Get the Emjoi, the one with the AC adapter, not the one the runs on batteries.

    December 19, 2013/Reply
  9. espie says:

    My dermatologist recommended AmLactin Lotion-available at CVS, Walgreeens etc for calloused/cracked heels. Put it on for 2 nights in a row before bed and you’d be surprised what difference it makes!

    December 19, 2013/Reply
  10. JK says:

    Glytone is a miracle worker!

    December 29, 2013/Reply