Merissa Principe
Updated June 10, 2020
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Although it’s been a while since I’ve had a haircut or a manicure due to quarantine, what I miss the most about going to the salon is getting a pedicure. While my toenails might be enjoying a nice break from the polish, my heels, on the other hand, look like a dry riverbed in the desert—they’re cracked, dry, and desperate for moisture. And apart from being dry and feeling scratchy, they’ve now formed thick calluses, too.

A callus is the thick and hardened part of the skin tissue which forms in areas that are exposed to chronic pressure or excessive friction, like the bottoms of your feet. Barbara Close, the founder of Naturopathica, points out that there are over 250,000 sweat glands in the soles of our feet. So when our feet are constantly exposed to friction and the airtight humidity of our shoes all day, it’s no wonder they start to look neglected.

I’m a big fan of DIY beauty—I spritz carrot juice on my hair and slather my acne-prone skin in grapeseed oil to moisturize it—so I know my way around natural ingredients. A good DIY foot scrub can render the same results as some of the most popular foot masks and treatments out there, and they’re much cheaper and are so easy to make. Recently, I’ve been using this DIY foot scrub recipe from Close, and my feet look and feel better almost instantly. It’s too good not to share, so here it is.

First, you’ll need to make a DIY foot soak.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda

Then, you’ll make Close’s rosemary-peppermint DIY foot scrub.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1/2 cup coarse sea salt (or Epsom salt)
  • 3 drops rosemary essential oil
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil

Now the magic starts.

In a large bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, warm water, and baking soda. Then, combine the sunflower oil, sea salt, and essential oils in a small bowl. Once you’ve set up all your ingredients, lay a towel down to prevent accidental spills, then soak your feet in the apple cider mixture for 20 minutes. After soaking them, use an exfoliating mitt to apply the scrub to the bottoms of your feet. For 5 to 10 minutes, scrub your feet gently as you buff away dead skin cells, flakes, and calluses. Once you’ve finished scrubbing, rinse your feet clean and finish exfoliating with a pumice stone to really make sure you get off all those layers of dead skin. Then, once you’ve scrubbed your feet smooth, apply a heavy foot cream or balm and follow up with a hydrating oil to hydrate and seal in moisture (coconut oil or jojoba oil will do). For best results, Close recommends wearing thick socks for 20 minutes until the oils have had time to absorb into the skin. The results are smooth, soft, and hydrated heels that look like you just left the salon.