Looking for a fabulous natural product for your feet? It’s hard to beat shea butter for feet!
Shea butter has been used for skin care for centuries and is still very popular today. It’s used in many skincare and beauty products. It’s full of many nutrients that are great for your skin.
It’s also great for your feet and, as someone who suffers from dry, gross feet, I can say that I get great results using it on my feet especially combined with some other great ingredients.
Below, I walk you through exactly what shea butter is and the benefits of shea butter for feet, I then describe how you can use shea butter on your feet either by itself or through a great foot balm. Recipe below!
What Is Shea Butter?
Shea butter is created from fat extracted from shea seeds. These come from fruit from shea trees that are native to West Africa.
However, it’s not quite as easy as that sounds to get the great shea butter used in skincare and cosmetics.
Once shea seeds have been collected, they need to be dried out. At this point, they can then be refined in factories or they can continue to be processed by hand to make shea butter.
Shea butter which is extracted and processed in factories using high heat, and often chemicals as well, is called refined shea butter. This is the cheaper and easier way to make shea butter and produces a creamy, white substance that is odorless.
It is not the best shea butter for dry feet as the refining process strips out many of the naturally occurring nutrients and fatty acids found in shea butter.
Unrefined or raw shea butter is the name given to shea butter processed by hand or in factories that don’t use high heat and chemicals. In this process, the dried seeds are ground into powder and then roasted.
The roasted powder is then ground into a gooey-like substance which is kneaded while adding water.
This is then whipped while adding more water until all the oils form together on top and the water sinks to the bottom.
At this point, the oils are taken out and boiled to remove any remaining liquid and any impurities. The impurities rise to the top and are removed.
Shea butter is left behind. It is strained and then left to solidify. At room temperature, shea butter is solid, and raw shea butter is an off-white or ivory color. It’s easy to spread and is a cream-like consistency. Unrefined shea butter created this way is full of nutrients and fatty acids.
These nutrients and acids have ensured it has been used for centuries for many purposes including soothing, smoothing, and moisturizing skin. It’s also been used to fight acne, dry skin, and dandruff.
Shea Butter Benefits For Feet
Shea butter is used in many skincare products, and feet are no exception.
Raw shea butter contains a fabulous array of fatty acids, vitamins, and other nutrients which can give it superpowers when it comes to skincare.
Traditionally, shea products were known for being pain relievers and having anti-inflammatory properties being used for things like ulcers and nasal congestions. Shea butter can also be used to help heal wounds.
Today, shea butter is mostly used for skin care. Its main ingredients include linoleic, oleic, and stearic acid. These can be quickly absorbed into the skin and can help with skin issues like rashes and peeling after sunburn.
It also contains vitamins E and D as well as many fats and acids which can help with anti-aging and regeneration of skin. There are a lot of benefits to shea butter.
But can you use shea butter for feet?
Yes, just like shea butter is great for other skin on your body, it’s also great to have shea butter feet! In fact, it’s one of my favorite uses for shea butter since I do have problems with cracked heels and dry skin on my feet.
Here are some reasons why shea butter is great for feet.
1. Shea Butter Smoothes, Softens, And Moisturizes Your Feet
Shea butter is an emollient which means it softens dry, rough, and flakey skin so it looks and feels much better. It will fill in any open space in your skin to help smooth out your feet.
It’s also an occlusive agent which means it also coats your feet in a thin oily layer which helps seal the moisture into your skin. This helps keep your feet hydrated for longer.
Shea butter is great at doing these things and absorbs quickly into your feet to give these benefits.
2. Shea Butter Heals Your Feet
Shea butter has healing properties and can treat cuts, burns, and rashes. It can help heal cracks in your heels and also help with any flakiness from conditions like eczema.
3. Shea Butter Has Anti-Inflammatory Properties
This means it can calm any itchiness, redness, or discomfort in your feet.
4. Shea Butter Has Anti-Microbial Properties
Shea butter has anti-microbial properties which means that it has the ability to decrease the amount of microbes on your feet, such as bacteria. This helps protect your feet from infections.
5. Shea Butter Is Full Of Antioxidants
Antioxidants help prevent or slow damage to cells by free radicals. Shea butter has high levels of vitamins A and E which provide antioxidant properties. These antioxidants in shea butter work as anti-aging agents protecting cells from becoming dull and dry. They also help provide some sun protection.
How To Use Shea Butter For Feet
You can rub shea butter directly on your feet to get all the benefits mentioned above, although make sure it is unrefined/raw shea butter as the refined version loses up to 75% of its nutrients which means it does not work as well.
I recommend doing this at night right before you go to bed so you can keep off your feet for a while giving the shea butter plenty of time to work. You can put socks back on your feet to stop the shea butter from getting everywhere.
You can also mix shea butter with other ingredients to make a foot balm. This is what I highly recommend as then you also get the benefits of the products you mix with the shea butter to make an even better, moisturizing, and powerful foot balm for your feet.
How To Make DIY Shea Butter Foot Balm For Cracked Heels And Dry Feet
It’s much more straightforward than you might think to make a great foot balm for your feet.
In the recipe below, I walk you through how, what ingredients, and how much.
It mixes coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, beeswax (can switch for candelilla if you would prefer a vegan balm), and peppermint essential oil.
The coconut oil adds more moisturizing and healing properties. It’s also a great source of vitamin E and proteins and will help to repair any damaged skin on your feet like cracked heels.
Coconut oil also contains lauric acid which has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties – perfect for keeping away foot infections.
Olive oil also is great for moisturizing and softening your feet, especially cracked heels. It’s home to many antioxidants, squalene, and vitamin E, all of which will help hydrate your skin.
Beeswax is also soothing and will help protect your feet. It helps hold in moisture on your skin and also assists in making the foot balm last on the skin longer. This means it will help all the ingredients protect and repair your feet’s skin for longer.
In the recipe below, I add peppermint essential oil. This is good for increasing circulation, soothing and hydrating dry skin, and is anti-inflammatory. It’s also easily absorbed into the skin and is a pain reliever.
It is a stronger-smelling essential oil, and if you are not a fan, you can switch it for something else or not include essential oil. I also have the amount I like to use in this recipe. You can modify this to whatever best suits your feet.
This recipe is quick and easy – you are basically just melting and mixing it together. Make sure you have your container ready to go before you start. I like using a bail jar, but you can use whatever you prefer.
Shea Butter Foot Balm Recipe:
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon beeswax pellets
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- In a heat-resistant bowl, combine shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and beeswax pellets.
- Create a double boiler by placing the bowl in a larger container with warm water. Gently heat until all ingredients melt together.
- Stir the mixture thoroughly to ensure even distribution.
- Remove from heat and add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil. Mix well.
- Pour the melted mixture into a clean, airtight container.
- Allow the balm to cool and solidify completely before using.
How to Use:
- Wash and dry your feet thoroughly.
- Take a small amount of shea butter foot balm and massage it into your feet, focusing on rough and dry areas.
- For the best results, use the foot balm at bedtime to allow the nourishing and refreshing effects of peppermint oil to work overnight.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is shea butter suitable for all skin types, including feet?
Yes, shea butter is generally suitable for all skin types, including the skin on your feet.
Can shea butter help with cracked heels?
Yes, shea butter can be effective in softening and healing cracked heels. Its emollient properties help hydrate and repair the skin, reducing the appearance of cracks and preventing further dryness.
Should I use pure shea butter or a shea butter-based balm for my feet?
Both options can be effective, but shea butter-based balms often contain other beneficial ingredients like essential oils and beeswax, which can enhance their moisturizing properties.
Can I use shea butter for foot massages?
Absolutely! Shea butter’s smooth texture makes it ideal for foot massages. It not only hydrates the skin but also provides a soothing and relaxing experience.
How often should I use shea butter on my feet?
You can use shea butter on your feet as often as needed, but applying it at least once a day, especially before bedtime, can yield significant results. Regular use helps maintain soft and supple feet.
Can I combine shea butter with other oils for a more potent foot treatment?
Yes, you can mix shea butter with other oils like coconut oil, olive oil, or essential oils to enhance its benefits. These combinations can provide additional nourishment and therapeutic effects.
Is shea butter suitable for treating foot calluses?
Shea butter can help soften and moisturize calloused areas, making them less uncomfortable. For more severe calluses, you may need to use additional methods like exfoliation or pumice stone, along with shea butter for better results.
Can I use shea butter on other parts of my body besides my feet?
Absolutely! Shea butter is a versatile product and can be used on various parts of the body. It’s excellent for moisturizing dry skin, whether it’s your hands, elbows, knees, or anywhere else that needs nourishment and hydration.
I hope you find this guide to using shea butter for cracked feet and dry skin useful.
Shea butter is a great ingredient for skin, including feet and heels, and I recommend you give it a go. I especially recommend you try my foot balm recipe above – so good! Your feet will thank you.
Find more useful guides to using shea butter here and an in-depth guide to how to store shea butter here and how to use it on your lips here, your hair here, and on your body here. Have oily skin? Read whether shea butter is comedogenic here. If you would like my foot care tips, read our guide to using castor oil on feet here.