Best Foot Creams for Dry Feet and Cracked Heels

Dry feet and cracked heels can cause discomfort and even pain, making finding an effective foot cream an important task for those looking to alleviate these symptoms. The best foot creams for dry skin contain ingredients that moisturize deeply and restore the skin’s natural barrier leaving you with soft feet. 

These creams often have emollients such as shea butter, urea, and glycerin that draw moisture into the skin and occlusive agents like petrolatum and lanolin that create a protective layer to prevent moisture loss and are kind to rough skin.

For individuals dealing with cracked heels, a foot cream specifically designed to address this issue is key. 

These specialized products like coconut oil usually contain higher concentrations of active ingredients to help repair the fissures and promote the healing of the skin. The best creams for cracked heels might also offer antibacterial or antifungal properties to prevent infection.

A good exfoliating foot cream will assist in sloughing away dead skin cells in rough heels, making way for healthier skin to emerge. 

Such creams typically feature alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) or beta-hydroxy acids (BHAs) which gently exfoliate without mechanical abrasion. Those in search of a non-greasy option will appreciate foot creams formulated to absorb quickly and leave a matte finish. 

Meanwhile, the best value foot creams deliver quality results at a cost-effective price and produce the best results, making foot care accessible to a wider audience. 

Furthermore, creams for calluses often include keratolytic ingredients to soften and break down the thick skin. With regular use, an overall foot cream that addresses a variety of issues may offer comprehensive care, improving skin health and elasticity even on the most dry heels.

Understanding Dry Feet and Cracked Heels

Dry feet and cracked heels are common conditions affecting many individuals. These issues can cause discomfort and may require specific care.

Causes of Dry Skin and Heel Crack

Dry skin on the feet and cracked heels can be attributed to several factors. A lack of moisture is the primary cause, often exacerbated by the skin’s reduced oil production. 

Environmental conditions like low humidity and cold weather contribute to dryness. Additionally, standing for long periods, walking barefoot, or wearing open-backed shoes can increase the risk of developing cracked heels and sore feet.

Overweight individuals may also experience increased pressure on the heels, leading to cracks.What are your best Foot Creams for Dry Feet and Cracked Heels? how do you choose?

  • Environmental factors: Low humidity, cold weather
  • Lifestyle choices: Prolonged standing, barefoot walking, open-backed shoes
  • Physical factors: Age, pressure from body weight

Symptoms and Complications

Symptoms of dry feet and cracked heels include a feeling of tightness or roughness, flaky or peeling skin, itching, and the formation of calluses.

Cracked heels may have fissures that can become deep and painful, possibly leading to bleeding or infections if left untreated.

  • Dry Feet Symptoms:
    • Tight or rough feeling
    • Flaky or peeling skin
    • Itching
  • Cracked Heel Symptoms:
    • Calluses
    • Visible cracks
    • Pain or bleeding (in severe cases)

The Importance of Choosing the Right Foot Cream

Selecting an appropriate foot cream is crucial for managing dry feet and cracked heels. The ideal foot cream should provide ample hydration, support skin repair, and create a protective barrier. 

Ingredients like urea, glycerin, and lanolin are effective in retaining moisture. What are your recommendations for Best Foot Creams for Dry Feet and Cracked Heels? I`d really like to know.

Exfoliating agents such as alpha-hydroxy acids can help remove dead skin cells, while emollients and humectants aid in soothing and moisturizing the skin.

Essential Ingredients for Foot Cream:

  • Hydrating: Urea, Glycerin, Lanolin
  • Exfoliating: Alpha-Hydroxy Acids
  • Moisturizing: Emollients, Humectants

Key Ingredients in Effective Foot Creams

The right ingredients can make a significant difference in the treatment of dry feet and cracked heels. This section explores the key components typically found in effective foot creams.

Moisturizing Agents

Urea and glycerin (also used in body lotion)are potent moisturizers, drawing moisture into the skin.

Urea, in particular, is a renowned humectant and keratolytic, which means it can both hydrate the skin and help shed dead skin cells, making it ideal for tough, dry skin. 

Lactic acid is another humectant that aids in moisture retention and gently exfoliates.

List of common Moisturizing Agents:

  • Urea: Hydrates and exfoliates
  • Glycerin: Attracts water to the skin
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Maintains moisture with its ability to hold up to 1000 times its weight in water
  • Ceramides: Strengthen the skin’s barrier and retain moisture


While glycolic acid and salicylic acid are both effective exfoliants, they work differently. Glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA), helps to shed dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. In contrast, salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), penetrates deeper into pores to dissolve dead skin cells and unclog pores.

List of common Exfoliants:

  • Glycolic Acid: An AHA that peels away the surface of the skin
  • Salicylic Acid: A BHA that penetrates and unclogs pores

Healing and Nourishing Components

Foot creams often contain vitamin E and aloe vera, both known for their healing properties. Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant that protects the skin from damage, while aloe vera calms inflammation and expedites healing. Emollients like shea buttercocoa butter, and lanolin are excellent for their soothing and conditioning effects, and intensely hydrating foot cream helping to repair cracked heels.        

Table of Nourishing Components:

Vitamin EAntioxidant, protects skin
Aloe VeraAnti-inflammatory, promotes healing
Shea ButterConditions and repairs skin
Cocoa ButterSoothes and hydrates
LanolinMimics skin’s oils, locks in moisture
Jojoba OilSimilar to skin’s sebum, highly moisturizing
Tea Tree OilAntifungal and antiseptic properties
PetrolatumForms a barrier to hold in moisture

Each of these ingredients plays a vital role in crafting an effective foot cream that not only moisturizes but also exfoliates and nourishes the skin, promoting better foot health.

Recommended Foot Cream Products

When tackling dry feet and cracked heels, certain foot cream products stand out for their effectiveness and specific benefits. This curated selection is categorized to help consumers find the product best suited to their needs.

Best Foot Creams for Intense Moisturization

O’Keeffe’s for Healthy Feet Foot Cream is known for its high concentration of glycerin, which draws in and retains moisture, making it ideal for extremely dry skin.

Eucerin Advanced Repair Foot Cream incorporates natural moisturizing factors that hydrate and repair very dry, cracked skin, ensuring deep moisturization.

Top Exfoliating Foot Creams

CeraVe Renewing SA Foot Cream uses salicylic acid for exfoliation, sloughing away dead skin cells and softening rough areas without irritating sensitive skin.

Amlactin Foot Repair Cream contains alpha-hydroxy acids that effectively break down tough skin, making it a top choice for promoting natural skin renewal.

Foot Creams for Sensitive Skin

Aveda Foot Relief Foot Cream blends active herbs, exfoliants, and oils that soothe and cool sensitive skin, offering relief without harsh chemicals.

For those with sensitive skin, Aquaphor Healing Ointment uses a minimal ingredient list to protect and heal cracked skin, acting as a semi-occlusive barrier that allows skin to breathe.

Affordable and Versatile Foot Cream Options

Burt’s Bees Coconut Foot Cream packs antioxidants and vitamin E in a refreshing coconut scent, delivering quality moisture at a budget-friendly price.

Flexitol Heel Balm offers a clinically-proven formula that improves skin elasticity and hydration in as little as 1 day, known for its affordability and multi-functional use.

For all-around care, Vaseline Petroleum Jelly is a cost-effective and widely trusted option to seal in moisture, helping with dry skin and preventing cracks from worsening.

Application Tips and Additional Foot Care

Achieving smooth and hydrated feet requires proper application techniques and a routine of comprehensive foot care. The following tips can lead to effective results and overall better foot health.

Proper Cream Application Techniques

Before applying foot cream, it is advisable to exfoliate the feet, perhaps using a pumice stone, to remove dead skin cells.

This enhances the cream’s ability to penetrate and moisturize the skin effectively.

Apply the cream in a generous layer, ensuring to cover the entire foot, paying special attention to the heels and any cracked areas.

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For optimal absorption and a soothing effect, do this after a shower when the skin is soft and damp.

Exfoliation Method:

  • Before application: Soak feet in warm water and use a pumice stone from dr. scholl gently.
  • Post-exfoliation: Dry feet thoroughly, especially between toes.

Application Process:

  • Step 1: Start with a nickel-sized amount of cream.
  • Step 2: Massage into the feet, including the soles and between toes.
  • Step 3: For dry or cracked heels, apply an extra layer of cream for hydration.
  • Step 4: Wear cotton socks post-application to seal in moisture.

Complementary Foot Care Practices

Maintaining daily foot care routines with the proper foot care products can prevent common issues like athlete’s foot or fungal infections.

Hydration is essential; drink plenty of water to keep skin hydrated from the inside out. Use gentle, moisturizing soaps and avoid products with harsh chemicals that can strip natural oils.

For those with sensitive skin, select a softening cream formulated to avoid irritation. Additionally, wearing breathable footwear, such as sandals, can reduce moisture and friction that lead to foot problems.

Daily Routine Checklist:

  • Morning: Apply a hydrating lotion if wearing open footwear.
  • Evening: Use a softening foot cream before bed.

Footwear Advice:

  • Breathable options: Choose materials like leather or canvas.
  • Fit: Ensure shoes are not too tight to minimize friction.

When to Consult a Podiatrist

If self-care measures do not resolve issues of dry feet or cracked heels, or if there is concern about a potential fungal infection, it’s prudent to consult a podiatrist. But you have to understand that dry feet treatment  is not a single time job, you have to keep at it until all the dry patches are gone. 

It’s particularly important for individuals with diabetes or those experiencing severe pain, changes in foot structure, or persistent foot odor to seek professional medical advice. Podiatrists can recommend specialized treatments, prescribe medication if necessary, and provide guidance on exfoliating tools and moisturizing practices tailored to individual needs for smooth feet.

Signs to See a Podiatrist:

  • Persistent dryness or cracking not helped by OTC creams.
  • Suspected infections: Fungal or other skin issues.
  • Structural concerns: Pain, changes in shape, or alignment issues.
  • Foot odor: Persistent or severe, indicating possible infection.

2 thoughts on “Best Foot Creams for Dry Feet and Cracked Heels”

  1. A great and thorough guide! This too is a good reminder for me to exfoliate before using foot cream. I’ve tried the Burt’s Bees Coconut and liked it, but will be checking out the other ones as well as following the steps for proper application. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Rosie, I too love Burt`s Bees, their products are affordable and work so well most of the time,they also have hand cream for cracked working hands that i really love


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