Whether we have an active or a more sedentary lifestyle, we tend to put our poor feet through the wringer. We either squish them into shoes, suffocate them with socks, have them run us all over the place, or sometimes just neglect them a bit.  

You might have dry, hard, or cracked heels. Perhaps you have small nicks or cuts from running around barefoot, a case of athlete’s foot, an ingrowing toenail, or tired and achy feet from a hard day’s work. Whatever the case, give your feet the love they deserve with a well-earned foot soak.  

All you need to offer your feet a little luxury and care is a tub, a few simple ingredients that you will probably have around the house already, and a bit of time to dedicate to your toes!

What Should I Use in My Foot Soak and Why?

Source: Lauren Gamble/YouTube

First, find a bowl/tub large enough to fit your feet into. Fill it with just enough warm water (cool enough to put your feet into without scalding yourself) so that it won’t slosh out when you put your feet into it. Have a clean towel at the ready and choose from one or a combination of ingredients below that will help to relieve whatever malady might be afflicting your feet.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar- The acid properties of apple cider vinegar work wonders for moisturizing dry or cracked skin.  It can also help to eliminate bacteria that cause foot odor by restoring the natural pH of your skin. It is also an antifungal that may help to relieve symptoms of athlete’s foot and fungal nail infections. 
  • Epsom Salts–  You might already be accustomed to putting Epsom salts in your bath to ease aches and pains. Give your sore and tired feet some special treatment, and add half a cup of Epsom salts to your foot bath. They can also help to moisturize and remove foot odor.
  • Olive Oil-  Pouring a little olive oil into your foot soak will help to relieve dry and cracked skin. Olive oil contains antioxidants and vitamins that are beneficial to your skin, so perhaps massage a little extra oil into your dry skin for a boost of nourishment.
  • Bentonite clay- Bentonite clay is more commonly used as a face mask, but this clay can do the same job for your feet by helping to moisturize and draw out toxins. Either add some clay to the warm water, or you can make a “mask for your feet, allowing the clay to dry before soaking the clay off in a warm foot bath.  
  • Witch Hazel– Pour a little witch hazel into your foot soak to help relieve inflammation and mild skin irritations.  
  • Essential oils-  Adding a few drops of essential oil can help to heal various ailments and has wonderful aromatherapy benefits, too. Choose an oil that compliments whatever needs your feet have. You can use your essential oil alone in your foot soak or combine it with any of the ingredients listed above. Perhaps try adding tea tree oil to apple cider vinegar or extra fungal fighting powers, or combine lavender with Epsom salts for intense relaxation. 

Research each essential oil for its recommended usage and drop amounts, and do not put neat essential oils directly on your skin.  

    • Tea tree– Tea tree contains bacteria and fungus-killing compounds. Use this oil to help heal small wounds or fungal nail infections. Its antibacterial properties help eliminate foot odor, too. 
    • Eucalyptus– If you have aches and pains in your feet, use eucalyptus to help reduce inflammation.  
    • Peppermint–  The cooling effects of peppermint can help to relax tired feet and soothe irritated skin. Inhale peppermint’s powerful scent while your feet soak and benefit from its uplifting aromatherapy qualities at the same time. 
    • Cedarwood– Use cedarwood oil to help treat minor wounds. Its antifungal properties can help with athlete’s foot and other fungal infections.
    • Lavender– Lavender oil can aid in the healing of small cuts and nicks. It can help alleviate dry skin and also has antifungal properties. Its calming aroma will give you an overall sense of relaxation, too.  

Whatever combination you have chosen, submerge your feet for fifteen to twenty minutes in your homemade foot soak. You can add a regime of gentle exfoliation for hard skin by using a pumice stone or body brush. Once finished, pat your feet dry with a clean towel, and if you wish, help to lock in moisture by massaging your feet with body oil or your favorite moisturizer.  

Give your feet a little love and attention. They will thank you for it.

This article is for informational and educational purposes only. Do skin tests before applying anything new to the skin.  Research individual essential oils for usage recommendations. Consult a medical professional before using herbal remedies.

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