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Home Remedy for Cracked Heels
 By Rob Hardwicke, President and Product Master

"Hydrate & Heal." That's our mantra at Awakening. No, we don't sit cross-legged with our eyes closed chanting "Hydrate & Heal, Hydrate & Heal..." But it's our guiding principle, and it's the secret behind our award-winning formulas. It's also the secret to curing cracked, dry, and painful heels. There's a little more to it than this, but just hydrating your feet properly will actually get rid of most of the pain you may be experiencing. As for healing, you just need to be diligent and follow the easy program below.

Here's what you'll need:

1. Dead Sea mineral salts
2. A pumice stone
3. A square plastic dish-washing bucket (perhaps not available at drug stores, but you can sure find 'em at the supermarket).
4. A nice clean towel or two
5. Sleep socks or thicker non-absorbent socks (Google "sleep socks" and you'll find plenty)
Dead Sea mineral foot balm

Act 1: Soaking and Pumicing

Once in the morning and once at night, soak your feet for 20 minutes in enough warm water to cover your feet, with a half-cup of the Dead Sea salt crystals added. Now that's a little more than will probably be recommended on the jar or bag, but this is about emergency care, not relaxing baths. You need to go concentrated. As an added benefit, soaking in Dead Sea salts improves circulation, and proper circulation is integral to healing, no matter what ails you.

After 10 minutes of soaking, pop the left foot out of the bucket and rub the callused area with the pumice stone gently for about two minutes. Then put the left foot back in the water, switch over to the right foot, and then do each foot once more. Your objective is to get off all the callused skin. But hold on! This isn't going to happen in one treatment. You'll need to do this twice a day for probably two weeks. But for now, once you're done with the treatment described above, you're ready for Act 2.

NOTE: Don't rinse your feet after soaking! The penetrating minerals salts will continue to work on your cracked heels after you take your feet out of the water.

Act 2: Mineral Foot Balm

Okay, now that you've soaked, it's time to take those refreshed, softer-than-they've-been-in-a-long-time feet out of the water and dry them off with your nice clean towel. Start with your left foot, then move to the right foot. Once dry, apply a good dose of FEET to your entire left foot. Wait about a minute for it to soak in, and then apply another dose. One more minute, then apply a third dose just to the callused, cracked part of your left foot. This is where the magic happens, because your skin cells are very open after the soaking, making an easy path for the Dead Sea potassium - nature's own hydrating mineral - to make its way deep into your skin. Once you're healed up, you can just use FEET once or twice a day and you'll be fine, without the soaking. For now, though, you need to heal as fast as possible. Not to mention be able to walk again.

Now, do the same routine with your right foot, and you've completed the balming act of our three-act foot repair drama. (By the way, some of you might have wondered why it was so important to do the left foot first, then do the right afterwards. Actually, it doesn't matter in the slightest. It's just fun to be a control freak once in a while.)

Act 3: Socks

Okay, Act III. Put on the socks. Non-absorbent (i.e., not cotton) socks will lock in the foot balm moisture and thereby speed up the process of healing quite a bit. Now, you may have just balked at the socks. Obviously, it's just not going to be realistic for every single person in every single season to do the sock part of the treatment. You should really try (at least at night), because you'll get MUCH faster results, but hey - maybe it's summer and you're just not into the black socks and sandals look popularized by many octogenarian residents of Miami Beach. We understand.

In fact, our web marketing guy, David, had a terrible case of cracked heels one September, after a whole summer of running around on dirt trails or whatever it is people do out there in Boulder, Colorado. Well, it turns out David followed this remedy and got great results, and even though he did the socks at night, he refused to even consider a daytime sock situation. Apparently he only wears flip flops from March to November.

"Socks," he said, "were not an option."

And although we wouldn't necessarily recommend it, he did seem to hit upon an interesting solution. "I just slathered the heel area of my leather flip flops with FEET. My heels were totally moisturized and my flip flops were softer than ever!" David thinks the avocado oil in FEET was responsible for softening his "Chacos, dude." We're not about to recommend that you start oiling your belts and leather jackets with mineral foot balm, but we can assure you that it will cure your cracked feet.

So where were we? Right. After you apply the foot balm, put on the socks (if you're going that route) and get on with your day. If socks are not part of the plan, be sure to hold off a few extra minutes before putting on your shoes so the excess FEET will soak in (that is, unless you're pulling a David).

If at all possible, take five minutes at lunch and apply FEET once or twice more to each foot. This is actually more important if you're not wearing the socks.

Okay, fun day? Great! Now, before bed, just repeat what you did in the morning. That's really all there is to it. However, a word of warning. If you really want to be DONE with the cracked feet, you need to be diligent. Soak and balm as indicated at least twice a day (if you can figure out how to do three times, that's even better). After one week, you'll most likely see about a 75 percent improvement. From there, continue at your own pace until you're at one hundred percent.

On a more serious note: You may find, after a couple of weeks of this, that you've developed a certain "attachment" to the calming evening ritual of soaking your tired feet in Dead Sea salts. Awakening Mineral Therapies is not responsible for any addictive tendencies that may arise from irresponsible and/or deliciously inviting foot-soak behavior. Use at your own risk.

Epilogue: Maintenance

Now that the layers of cracked calluses are gone, and your feet are softer than a baby's proverbial bottom, you need to make sure you don't let them slip back into disrepair. This is easier done than said: Just apply a pearl-sized drop of FEET in the morning and at night, and you'll never have to deal with cracked heels again. Walk on!

Just in case there is any question on this matter: we are not doctors or health care professionals. The information provided in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions. If you suffer from diabetes or a circulatory disorder that affects your feet, or if your feet are badly cracked (like to the point of bleeding), you need to get a doctor's advice before using this (or any other) remedy for your feet.