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Do You Suffer From Cracked Heels?

By Mikhaila

Good news! Your feet aren’t dry. It’s not from wearing “bad shoes”, they don’t need moisturizer, and Lufa isn’t going to help. Fortunately, it’s easier than that. This actually wasn’t even a food problem for me. It was a chemical problem.

Soaps made by the companies Palmolive (and I also believe Dove), seriously irritate my skin. Mom and Dad both had cracked heels too which resolved when they changed shampoos and soaps. I just suggested to one of my friends that she switch soaps and see if her problem disappears (will update in a month on whether or not it worked). So try it out, (even if your products aren’t from Palmolive or Dove), and let me know. I think it’ll take about a month to resolve itself, but comment below and tell me if it worked or not. It might take a bit longer but I doubt it.

1. Rinse your shower or bath floor to get rid of the leftover shampoo/soap scum that might still be bothering you 

I try and buy pure olive oil soaps but they’re kind of hard to find. There are some links below for suggestions. If you do try it out, comment below with the soap you were using when you had cracked heels and the soap you switched to. Palmolive has sodium bisulfite in it, which I know I have a huge problem with if I ingest it, so maybe that’s the problem? I know Palmolive is a problem, and I’m weary of Dove products. Soaps irritate my hands as well but I seem to be able to tolerate Dawn dish detergent (which is a pretty intense detergent and not natural at all). Dove and Palmolive both make a number of soaps under different names. They make my hands extremely dry, but my heels get in worse condition (from standing in the soapy water in the shower).

2. Buy soap, shampoo, and body wash that’s natural (see links below for suggestions).

If I use a public shower with soaps that have whatever the chemical is that bothers me, my heels get dry and cracked again and it takes about a month for them to “heel” – hardy har har. I’m really tired. Don’t get the eco-friendly stuff, some of those still dry out my skin, use Dawn, or a castile soap.

ANYWAYS having cracking heels is gross and not fun and no amount of pedicures seems to fix it. Switching soaps and shampoos should. I don’t have a before picture of my heels, unfortunately.  Try it out and let me know!

3. Wait a month and rejoice at your baby smooth heels

Typing “Castile oil soap” in Google or Amazon should get you to more natural soaps that should be okay… Just check the ingredients and make sure they seem reasonable. No sulfites (although I’m not 100% certain that that’s the chemicals causing the problem…). I’ve linked to soaps I know are okay and the shampoo and conditioner I use (and love)

Bronner’s soap (scented is no problem)

Kirk’s Castile Soap

Carina Organics Shampoo

Carina Organics Conditioner

If you go to whole foods they sell all of the above there. If you can’t find it, just look for an unscented shampoo and conditioner with reasonable ingredients, that should be fine too. Same with soaps. Ones made from coconut oil or olive oil seem to be the gentlest. I think it was mainly the soap that was bothering me, but I switched shampoos and conditioners just in case. Avoid Palmolive and Dove if you have cracked heels and dry hands!

UPDATE: 2022 – I use tallow soap now. It’s available from a bunch of different companies.

Join the Conversation


  1. Thank you for all the helpful information. I like to go on EWG’s skin deep site and plug in the product to see a green dot before purchasing a product, but often they dont have it in their system if it’s a Canadian product and I can’t always find the American products that they offer the all clear to. I wish we had a similar site. Reddit recommended one to me, but it was giving low toxicity level ratings to just about everything ….a mainstream copy cat to skin deep.

  2. In my experience cracked heels are more pronounced in people that wear flat, open backed and flexible shoe gear; think flip flops, sandals and crocs. Shear forces around the heel first cause callus build up then pull the calluses apart which then in turn pulls the live skin apart, causing pain. A quick fix is to superglue the cracks together or a strong tape perpendicular to the cracks! Letting your foot rest in a stability athletic shoe (like asics gt 100) can be beneficial for a sore foot.

  3. My NP identified cracked heals as Athletes Foot Fungi, beware and check between your toes for flaky skin

  4. Hi Mikhaila, Four weeks ago I completely switched to your way of eating and cut out all my beauty products and switch to your list of suggested products. I LOVE the toothpaste (though it was a bit of a challenge getting the SPEARMINT flavour as you recommended), the Carina shampoo and conditioner are great and Kirk’s soap…well I made a mistake and ordered the ‘original’ in the white package to find out when it arrived that it contained fragrance. I’ve reordered the blue package which is unscented. My skin has already started calming down and my feet are indeed getting softer. I really appreciate your recommendations; you have saved me a lot of trial-and-error and time. Thank you!! If you have any suggestions for home-cleaning products I think that would be very interesting too. Also, I would be curious whether you use any lip balm or face cream in the winter and what brands of makeup you use as I’ve seen you wearing it on some of your interview. For now I’m staying away from all of those things.

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