Published 3/30/14 by: Kaitlin
Confession time: I have incredibly sensitive and dry skin. My mosquito bites flare up to the size of a quarter when itchy, I get random bumps on my arms, and rashes when I shave my legs. Basically, I should just sit in a vat of lotion on the regular. Additionally, living in New England only multiplies these skin maladies. Next confession: if you haven’t noticed yet, based on previous blog posts, I’m a bit of a consumer. I’d like to think my being a teacher balances out the producer aspect of my somewhat balanced humanity, but I’m not sure it works that way. In any case, I like to buy things, try things and wear things. This is who I am, and I’ve come to accept it. So when my heels start cracking so deeply that I can fit my fingernail in-between the slits, I instantly go out and buy salves and lotions that supposedly will solve my feet problems. I am here to tell you, that the majority of them don’t work, and the ones that do take some serious consistent use in order to pay off. I’m horrible at adding new things into my routine, such as slathering up my feet and wearing socks to bed, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Below I have listed the successful and unsuccessful products that have helped with my skin (specifically my feet). I’d also love to hear from some readers what products I should avoid or purchase in bulk.
*Editors note: I have not been paid by any of these companies to endorse them, but if someone wants to send me free things, I’d dig that.
The Body Shop’s Peppermint Foot Rescue – This is an entire line of foot repair items. They have a “foot mask” that exfoliates your hooves that’s a grainy type of ointment, and then you coat your feet afterwards in their extremely thick peppermint foot lotion. Seriously, the stuff won’t completely soak in for hours. At first I thought that this line of products would solve all of my problems, but really it just made the skin on my feet feel like silk, and my heels still cracked, dry, and hard as rocks. In others words: it didn’t repair much. I will say this: if you started this foot remedy treatment before your heels crack, it could be a really solid preventative tactic. I haven’t gone that route, so if you’ve found success in doing that, please chime in! Product grade: C
Skin Fare Lotion Sticks: Heal – This is a line of lotion sticks (think of Push Pops from back in the day), that vary in what they help protect, prevent and soothe. I chose the one called “Heal” because it claims right on the label to help with wounds, cracks and damaged skin. It’s essentially a tube of chapstick for the heels of your feet. When you start to rub it on your feet it feels like a chunky lip balm, but as you rub it becomes very oily and soothing. I highly recommend putting socks on immediately afterwards to keep it absorbed. I have found a fair amount of success with this product because it does soften your skin. My only complaint is that if you do it inconsistently, or if you’re not generous with the amount you lather on, it doesn’t work. Plus the stick is no bigger than a chapstick, so you go through it fairly quickly. Product Grade: A-
J.R. Watkins Foot Repair Salve – This stuff is super oily and greasy. I’ve wrecked a few pairs of socks with how oily it is, because in the directions it tells you to cover your heels in it, throw on some socks and go to bed for “overnight repair”. While this stuff is magnificent, and probably the best foot item I’ve ever purchased, I would’ve liked to have known that I should wear really thick socks that I don’t give a crud about with this salve. I suppose it’s a bit my own fault for not thinking it through, but this stuff is aggressive! Again, consistency helps, but I see drastic differences even when I remember to do it once a week! Product Grade: A
The Body Shop’s Pink Grapefruit Body Butter – This stuff is the best overall body lotion I’ve ever encountered. All of the scents are phenomenal and may as well operate as perfume, but the grapefruit is my favorite. While this lotion doesn’t necessarily repair severely cracked feet, it definitely rejuvenates my wintery skin throughout the coldest months of the year. You really don’t need to consider any other lotions, because this is as good as it gets. It’s also an excellent post-shave moisturizer on your legs. For the gentlemen: if you’re shaving your face, I wouldn’t recommend using this stuff because it’s really thick, and may be a bit too oily for facial skin. Product Grade: A+