Soothing DIY Salve for Cracked Heels

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Soothing DIY Salve for Cracked Heels

When I married my husband, he had horribly cracked heels. Apparently, he’d had these most of his life, but as we learned more about natural living, I set out to find natural remedies for it. In the summertime especially, when feet are more exposed (hopefully barefoot or in minimalist shoes), cracked heels can be a problem.

Beyond appearance, cracked heels can be really uncomfortable and can mean anything from minor discomfort to pain and bleeding. My husband and I met walking across the country (true story!) and cracked heels (let alone blisters, shin splints, and other ailments) were our constant companions, so we have a little experience with this.

Why Do I Have Cracked Heels?

Cracked heels can be the result of several things:

  • the way a person walks
  • poor circulation
  • a skin problem like eczema or psoriasis
  • fungal infection
  • nutritional deficiencies, especially omega-3 or zinc deficiency

It’s not something we think about every day, but feet do need special care just like other parts of our body… if not more, because they work harder!

Let’s see how to size up the situation.

Cracked Heels: The Cure Fits the Cause

Since cracked heels have a variety of causes, it is important to find the root of the problem.

The condition of skin often reflects internal health (or problems). Deficiencies of zinc, magnesium, and omega-3 can contribute to chronically cracked heels. I’ve seen this condition improve with dietary changes, such as adding fat-soluble vitamins and getting gelatin in the diet.

Personally, we take omega-3 supplements daily and make it a point to consume wild-caught fish to maintain omega-3 levels. Since zinc is important for men’s health, my husband also takes a zinc supplement regularly.

Externally, cracked heel causes can include skin conditions or fungal infections. Often these can be helped with regular detoxifying foot soaks or a concentrated salve.

As a general rule, I suggest trying any remedy for at least a few weeks to see if it is working. For best results, try external and internal approaches at the same time.

Cracked Heel Remedy #1: Diet

  • Consume enough zinc, magnesium, and omega-3s in food or supplement form
  • Consume gelatin and vitamin C (which increases skin elasticity) to help reduce cracking
  • Optimize fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D and vitamin K (found in grass-fed butter or supplements)
  • Consume foods like bone broth and organ meats
  • Drink more water and increase intake of trace minerals

Cracked Heel Remedy #2: A Little TLC

The Recipe: DIY Foot Salve for Cracked Heels



  1. Pour 2 tablespoons of boiling water into the magnesium flakes in a small container and stir until dissolved. This will create a thick liquid. Set aside to cool.
  2. Set a quart-size mason jar inside a small pan with 1 inch of water. Add the coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter to the jar. Melt slowly over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. When melted, remove the jar from the pan and let the mixture cool until room temperature and slightly opaque. At this point, put into a medium bowl or into a blender.
  4. If in a bowl, use a hand blender or immersion blender on medium speed and start blending the oil mixture.
  5. Slowly (starting with a drop at a time) add the dissolved magnesium mixture to the oil mixture while continuing to blend. Continue until all of the magnesium mix is added and it is well mixed.
  6. Add the oregano and peppermint essential oils (if using) and whip until combined.
  7. Put in the fridge for 15 minutes and re-blend to get body butter consistency.
  8. Store in fridge for best consistency (and a cooling lotion feel), or at room temperature for up to two months.

To Use:

Apply the salve to cracked heels at night.

For best results, a few steps are needed:

  • Exfoliate feet while dry, using the pumice or Ped Egg.
  • Do a detoxifying foot soak. Let skin dry fully.
  • Apply a thick coat of salve. Wear socks to bed to keep salve where it’s needed (and to keep sheets clean).
  • Repeat as needed until problem resolves!

Note: Do not use oregano or peppermint essential oils on children or while pregnant. As with any medical condition, check with a doctor if things don’t improve or if you have any specific concerns.

That’s it! Show your nails some TLC and you have a pair of beautiful and healthy feet ready for summer!

Do you have cracked heels? What natural remedies have you tried? Share below!

Cracked heels can be frustrating and painful. These homemade remedies like detoxifying foot soaks, supplements and DIY salve can help cracked heels.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


112 responses to “Soothing DIY Salve for Cracked Heels”

  1. Charu Jain Avatar
    Charu Jain

    Hi, would I be able to substitute anything else for the Shea Butter? Thanks.

    1. Jamie Larrison Avatar

      You could use mango butter but it’s more drying than shea. Cocoa butter is more intensely moisturizing, but it’s harder and would result in a firmer recipe so I’d cut down the beeswax to maybe 2 TBSP if using cocoa butter.

  2. Gillian Jones Avatar
    Gillian Jones

    You suggest 3 tbsp of beeswax. Is this pellets? As I am a beekeeper I have wax in a block and usually grate it to use in products. Can you say how much 3tbsp weigh please. Thank you.

  3. Taylor Avatar

    Hi Katie,

    I read a lot of your posts and make a lot of the products. One thing that I find difficult/frustrating is that your posts don’t state how much your recipes will make. Are you able to add how much is made of the finished product?

    1. Alice Avatar

      Hi! Will a preservative be a necessary addition as we are mixing the magnesium with water? Thank you

  4. Kimberly Avatar

    Hi Katie! How do you wash/clean bowl and jar etc after making this?

  5. Susan Avatar

    Cracked heels (I?ve had them) are a Vitamin B3 deficiency. Take nutritional yeast, a good tablespoon a day for months; that?s what?s healed mine.

  6. anna burns Avatar
    anna burns

    For cracked heels, I use a product called Blue Goo. I buy it on Amazon, but you can find it other places online. It is very sticky, but for whatever reason, it works! I don’t have to buff my heels at all, I just use this every evening. I put it on pretty heavy all over my feet, including toenails, cuticles, heels and ankles, and then put on a pair of socks for about an hour. Sometimes I just go to bed with them on. After a week or two, you will begin to notice a big difference! I’m older, and older people tend to have really bad feet…..but not mine, as long as I use the Blue Goo. My heels are nice and smooth, with NO crack.
    It is sticky and does not smell pleasant, but it’s so worth it. It’s inexpensive.

  7. Elna Avatar

    I’ve had those for a while now and I have no idea why. I’m going to try your balm and see how it goes. Thanks for sharing.
    Cheers, Elna

  8. Mary Avatar

    I have used Vitamin C oil from rosehips. Best ever. My cracked heels/feet became so soft and smooth. When I stopped using it, of course, the cracked roughness came back. It’s the only thing that has ever worked for me; time to get more vitamin C oil. Very cheap, too.

  9. Jessica Avatar

    The podiatrist I work with will recommend urea or Ammonium Lactate on patients with severe dry skin and thick calluses. Small amounts of formaldehyde are considered not toxic enough but, it is often found in beauty products as a preservative.

    Urea has been around for centuries as a salve but, you won’t like knowing what it is made from.

    1. KIT Avatar


  10. Jessica Avatar

    Depends on the infection not all antibiotics work on every bacterial infection. However, your friend is very lucky to have you helping. As a diabetic, foot care is one of the things they have to be upon. If they don’t already see a podiatrist they should.

  11. Jessica Avatar

    Some of the reasons you listed above are also diagnosed that indicate you should see a podiatrist. I’ve seen patients who have not cut their toenails in years. Part of it is they can’t or they just are not cognitively with it. However before getting to those points, one should take the time to care for their feet! I’m totally going to try this! Thanks

  12. Jamie Jo Avatar
    Jamie Jo

    Does this have to be stored in a glass jar, or can it be stored In a metal container?
    Thank you so much. This lotion is the only thing that has helped my severely cracked heels!

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