How Do I Choose the Best Foot Balm?

Megan Shoop

Foot balms are generally a curative for many ailments of the feet, including cracked dry heels, athlete’s foot, sore joints or muscles, and even perpetually cold feet. The correct foot balm should help heal and soothe your particular foot ailments. Therefore, you need to understand the ingredients in the foot balm products you consider, and choose the correct formula for your needs.

It's best to use foot balms with witch hazel to treat fungal infections.
It's best to use foot balms with witch hazel to treat fungal infections.

Most people want a foot balm that will moisturize and nourish the skin on their feet. Feet take a lot of abuse because you stand, walk, and run on them all day, every day. This often results in hard calluses and excessive dryness. Wheat germ oil is an extremely hydrating substance that is the main ingredient in many foot balm recipes. Beeswax may also be included because it melts easily and helps the oil soak into your skin. Balms with a paraffin base usually don’t sink into the skin as well, so you may want to stick with beeswax.

The above-mentioned mixture is relatively simple and may work well for mild dryness. If you have extremely dry feet, you may want a foot balm that includes other oils and hydrating ingredients as well. Avocado, coconut, and jojoba oils are highly moisturizing. Chamomile extract is extremely soothing to sore, cracked skin, while sweet almond and apricot kernel oils also give foot balm mixtures a boost. You may also want to look for vanilla extract and shea or cocoa butters. These ingredients smell pleasing and usually leave feet silky smooth.

If you have a fungal infection of any kind, choose a foot balm that includes tea tree oil, witch hazel, or honey. All three ingredients are antiseptic and antibacterial, meaning they can help fight infections without drying out your feet. Honey will also infuse your feet with moisture. Make sure to gently work these medicinal foot balms into the affected areas and cover them with a plastic footie sock and a thick, warm slipper-sock for best results.

Sore and tired feet are a common complaint among those who have to walk to work or stand all day at their jobs. Ginger, cinnamon, and peppermint not only help soothe dry skin, their tingling, spicy oils also may reduce inflammation and soothe painful joints and muscles. Foot balms containing these ingredients may also work well if you have perpetually cold feet, since the tingling stimulates blood flow, which thereby increases circulation and warmth in that area.

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