There’s no bigger buzzkill than dry feet during sandal season. Sometimes all that’s needed is a little moisturiser to get your feet beach-ready. However, some types of hard dry skin – like corns and calluses – require more intensive treatments.
In this article, we’ll explain what hard skin on your feet is and what causes it. We’ll advise how to remove and prevent hard skin forming on your feet, so you can rock a perfect pedicure with confidence in the summer months.
What is hard skin?
Hard skin on feet is caused by corns and calluses, which develop to help protect the feet from pressure.
Causes of hard skin
Whenever we move, we put pressure on the heel and ball of our foot. Movement increases friction between our skin and our shoes, or our skin and the ground. As a result, skin becomes harder to withstand more pressure and friction – so corns and calluses develop.
How to get rid of hard skin
Corns and calluses typically don’t indicate foot or skin health issues. However, they take a long time to disappear when you leave them untreated.
If you want to beautify your feet, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to remove hard skin at home:
- Soak feet in a bath or tub for approximately 10 minutes.
- Move a pumice stone or large file in circles, working the hardened skin at an angle.
- Use a moisturiser or a BHA/AHA acid exfoliant once the hard skin’s been removed and feet are dry. Acid exfoliants help to further remove any little bits of hard skin you might have missed with the pumice stone/file.
Alternatively, if the idea of manually removing your hard skin yourself makes you feel a bit queasy, some treatments make the process almost effortless.
Buy an acid exfoliant sock and wear it after a bath or shower. Around ten days later, you’ll shed all the hard skin on your feet like a snake. Splash a little bit more cash and head to a spa or beauty salon, as many offer callus removal treatments which remove all hard skin in an hour.
How to prevent hard skin
You’ll find it challenging to prevent hard skin entirely; it’s a natural process that aims to protect your feet from damage. It’s more realistic to incorporate intensive callus removals into your beauty routine once or twice a year.
However, reduce the severity of hard skin by wearing comfortable shoes which fit well and regularly moisturise. A standard moisturiser will help to keep your skin soft. Still, a BHA or AHA acid exfoliant will actually remove hard skin, while increasing suppleness.
Last updated: 27 November 2020
Author: Bhupesh Panchal, Regulatory Affairs
Bhupesh started his career as a clinical toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products. After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.
In his spare time, Bhupesh likes to cycle and has been learning to speak Korean for several years.