Small Measures: Honey Foot Care

Hello, mid-September! Where did you come from, and how did you get here so fast?! Seems like just the other day I was putting away our flannel sheets and retiring my trusty Blundstones for the season in favor of flip-flops and garden clogs. Suddenly the leaves are mustard and ochre tinged at their tips, the mornings are characterized by a nip in the air and I’ve begun the slow, steady switch from cold cereal to hot Scotch oats for breakfast. The days, they sure are ‘a changin’!

Meanwhile, I’ve suddenly realized that my feet have taken an intense summer-induced licking. Perhaps you’re finding yourself in the same boat. Beach outings, pool excursions and barefoot frolics in sultry, steamy weather can easily take your feet from lovely to Leatherface during the stretch from June to September.

I’m here today with a remedy, and an easy, homemade one at that. Honey has a long and storied reputation in health and healing, and its applications for foot care are vast. As you bid adieu to the hot pleasures of summer, thank your weary dogs for all they’ve done this season by giving them a honey-laden soak and scrub. It’ll make the transition to cardigans, scarves and boots a whole lot smoother (at least, that is, underfoot!). — Ashley English

The full post continues after the jump . . .

Honey has been used for body care since ancient Egyptians got wise to the fact that the sticky stuff healed their rough-living wounds, and quickly at that. Research has since identified antibacterial properties that demonstrate its ability to expedite wound healing, including a hygroscopic inclination to pull moisture from substances, causing dehydration and hindering the growth of bacteria in the process. Whatever the scientific variables may be, the simple truth is, honey heals.

When applying this honey regimen to your feet, be sure to begin with clean toenails. If you’re due for a trim, now’s the time to hop to it. Then slide your feet into this warm foot bath, which combines the healing properties of honey with those of apple cider (also antibacterial and antifungal) and lemon (the fruit’s acids slough off dead skin cells).

Honey & Lemon Foot Soak

The Goods

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1–2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, sliced into thin rounds

The Deal

1. Fill a large container or tub with warm water.

2. Pour in the honey and vinegar. Whisk to combine.

3. Top the water with the lemon slices.

4. Soak your feet for 15–20 minutes.

5. Remove from soak, dry thoroughly with a towel, and then apply Honey & Sugar Foot Scrub (below).

After soaking, your feet will be primed and ready for a hearty scrub. My mixture of brown sugar, honey, coconut oil and peppermint works in concert to smooth, moisturize and invigorate your weary feet.

Honey & Sugar Foot Scrub

The Goods

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 3 drops peppermint essential oil


The Deal

1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.

2. Stir to fully combine.

3. Using firm strokes, massage the scrub into your feet.

4. Rinse off with warm water and dry feet completely with a towel. Save any unused portion in a lidded container and use within one month.

What about you? Have any tried-and-true go-to foot remedies? I’d love to hear about them. Otherwise, I’m off to slip into some warm socks and comfy slippers, with my honey-healed feet cradled softly inside.

*Photos and styling (and foot modeling!) by Jen Altman.

  1. how2home says:

    This is AMAZING!! I just a similar method at home and it works fabulous :)

  2. bebe pies says:

    Wow! This sounds great. I will have to try it this weekend.

  3. Sounds fabulous! As someone deeply committed to spending as little time in shoes as possible, my feet are lookin’ a little rough and could use a good dose of love. I usually rub olive oil infused with a few drops of lavender essential oil when they’re dry, but it’s definitely scrub time. Thanks for the weekend inspiration :)

  4. sonia says:

    i use a similar scrub for my feet…
    but i use brown sugar, olive oil, honey and black tea…
    sounds weird but it really feels great :)

  5. Francie says:

    I live in Scotland, and I LIVE in my Bkundstone’s. Except we didn’t have any summer weather where I was slipping them away for the season in favor of sandals, and just wore them all summer long

  6. T. Smith says:

    Those purple doors rock!

  7. What a great post – I would never think to scrub my feet with honey and sugar. I’m inspired to try it before my next pedicure!

  8. patricia says:

    I had something very similar to this done to my feet at Kukuila Spa on Kauai last month as the prelim to a massage. Wonderful! I think if I were doing it at home today, I would use ice water. 100 degrees in Los Angeles.

  9. Sally Cheung says:

    Love this post. Simple yet fabulous. After a hot summer with flip-flop and sandals. I’m inspired to try this and pamper the poor tire feet.

  10. Rita says:

    This is great, I love home beauty recipes! Two days ago, I’ve made some lips salve and this foot treatment sounds wonderful. From time to time I sprinkle some rose water with drops of fresh lemon juice mixed on my face. It helps tonifying and cleaning. After half an hour I wash it off with tepid water.

  11. Rita says:

    This is great, I love home beauty recipes! And our feets always need to be spoiled after Summer!
    Two days ago, I’ve made some lips salve and this foot treatment sounds wonderful too. From time to time I sprinkle some rose water with drops of fresh lemon juice mixed together on my face. It helps tonifying and cleaning. After half an hour I wash it off with tepid water.

  12. Karen says:

    Mmm, I’m definitely going to try this. Ashley, do you have any recipes for home made facial moisturiser please? We live near the sea and with autumn rushing up I can already feel my face drying out, would love to try something home made and lovely!

  13. Jena says:

    For extra pampering, put marbles in the bottom & let them massage your soles.

  14. This sounds amazing!! My feet need a nice scrub…and this sounds like such a great idea for my next ‘me time’ :)

  15. MIO says:

    My feet are in an awful state after the summer months and I was considering splashing out at a foot-care salon, but this is much a cheaper option! Thanks for the information, will try it out soon :)

  16. Can’t wait to try this!
    I have another foot-soaking regimen.
    I take a cup of milk, heat it, mix it with warm water and a spoonful of honey.
    I mix salt with cocoa butter for the exfoliant.


  17. Cindy Cooper says:

    Can you store the foot scrub? How long does it stay good?

  18. Kirsty says:

    I can’t wait to try this out! Thank you for sharing :-)

  19. Rachel says:

    I just used this on my feet and what a difference! My feet feel so relieved and heavenly soft. I am a believer!

  20. Nik says:

    question: you said use scrub within one month.. is that because it will become moldy/rancid? is there a way to stretch the shelf-life? (I am a beekeeper so loving the recipe with honey!) I plan to make gift baskets to sell and one of the products I’d like to make is a sugar scrub but I don’t want to put in a product that will spoil quickly.


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