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. Tabania Avatar

    QUESTION: Can I use Magnesium sulfate (epson salts) instead of magnesium flakes?

  2. Karen Mitchell Avatar
    Karen Mitchell

    Diseases like diabetes and cancer can have a huge effect on a person feet too.. I’ve been healing my partners feet lately. Its been a challenge as he’s had an ingrown toenail as well. His feet are looking heaps better since I’ve been treating them. The 3 different antibiotics weren’t working!!!

  3. Myrna Avatar

    Can I use this for very dry fingertips and cuticles or do you have a different recipe?

    Thank you,

  4. Sophia Avatar

    Ummm thankyou??

    I used a smiley emoji and it turned into question marks x2 !

    So to clarify……..Thankyou (smiling)


  5. Sophia Avatar

    This is my first post. I’ve been reading, using & applying a lot of your wonderful recipes, advise and product recommendations. It’s changed the way I live, think and even look. Thank you!

    Now to the topic…..Cracked Heals.

    Nothing has worked on me like Urea.
    I gave it up when I read about the formaldehyde releasing properties. But later when my feet started peeling back fresh skin I decided to investigate further.

    From my understanding now…. Urea USP is safe to use. I’d love to hear your views on this ingredient.

  6. Camille Avatar

    I’m wondering if this can help relieve symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome or PLMD. It seems like magnesium is the key…

  7. Amena Avatar

    I love your blog and all natural recipes (especially makeup) but I’m deathly allergic to coconut! And the majority of these recipes contain coconut. What can I use to substitute in most recipes?

  8. Terri Avatar

    Could glycerin be added to this? I mix it with body lotion and it’s the only thing which stops my skin flaking, and I have ichthyosis, which is kept under control with that [moisturising every time I can during the day eg when I wash hands i moisturise then rub some cream into arms, legs, whatever feels dry]. Feet and hands are worst, and I’ve just got some beeswax and coconut oil and olive oil… made one batch but it’s too hard.

  9. Rebecca Avatar

    What properties do the oregano oil and peppermint oil have that make it part of this recipe? Could they be optional?

  10. Kellie Avatar

    I can never get my magnesium flakes to dissolve with 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Very frustrating 🙁

  11. Stephanie Avatar

    I have recently used leftover Lansinoh lanolin cream on my cracked heels with great success (as long as I keep applying it regularly and doing soaking and exfoliating). For mamas who have extra nipple cream, don’t throw it out! Save it for your feet!!

  12. Leigh Avatar

    I used a pumice stone and a ped egg, both with very poor results. Instead use a callus remover. Looks like a wood rasp, only not so rough.

  13. DONNA Avatar

    Hi Katie,
    When I click on the Real Dose Nutrition the website that comes up is showing the Jarrow Formula for Omega 3. I had to key in Real Dose Nutrition in a new tab to get that website.
    Just a heads up.
    Thanks for your articles. So informative.

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      I found one with the same type of omega 3s and dosage on Amazon and that is cheaper which is why the link is different. Looks like I forgot to change out the name though. Thanks for the heads up.

  14. Mary Carkhuff Avatar
    Mary Carkhuff

    I add yet another reason for cracked heels, most shoes and insoles use latex products, such as latex based glue. I have an allergy to latex as well as to micro fibers so wearing my shoes cause my heels to thicken and split as well as a rash on my feet. I recommend daily use of coconut oil as well as hemp seed oil when the skin flairs up.

  15. Susan Smith Avatar
    Susan Smith

    I just started the new exercise program, T-Tapp, recently and noticed getting a deep painful crack in my left heel while exercising and walking after exercising. I have always tended to have dry cracked heels due to Hypothyroidism and now Hashimoto’s and have used non-toxic salves and scrubs in the past on my feet. I am now into making more of my own non-toxic personal care products to save money, so your DIY Cracked Heels Salve recipe, DIY Magnesium Foot Scrub recipe, and Foot Soak/Detox Bath recipes couldn’t have come at a more opportune time! 🙂

  16. Hélène Avatar

    I have found exfoliating n using coconut oil works as well as anything. The key is using the pumice stone consistently. I use it wet too when Im in the shower. In winter i can take off my socks and put the oil on at nite with bed socks but Im barefoot MidMay thru Sept lol So I’d have to wash my feet every nite…not happening with this tired momma!

  17. Jody C Avatar
    Jody C

    I find that when summer time comes, my feet get extremely dry from wearing sandals or going barefoot. For me, I must consistently cream my feet before bed ever day or night. I started using your magnesium butter on my feet a year or so ago and it has done wonders for my feet. Plus I like the benefit of absorbing the magnesium through the skin. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes with us.

    Have you written anything about using vegetable glycerin on the skin and hair?
    Thanks, Katie!

  18. Dawn Avatar

    The tap water from our shower is probably the main cause, and I used to use petroleum jelly before I became more health consensus about ingredients. Now, organic castor oil rubbed on around the foot, and practically to the ankle after a shower works well just before retiring for the night. Those soft fuzzy socks cover up and will protect the castor oil from spreading on the sheets. Often I add a few drops of organic peppermint essential oil, or organic lavender essential oil to relieve stress and sweeten the aroma to compensate for the thick castor oil, works exceptionally well. The only drawback is that a treatment of once a week may be required.

  19. Donna Avatar

    I can’t find magnesium flakes or premade, can you tell me where you get them?

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