Homemade Heel Balm


With summer in full swing, my feet–particularly my poor, dry, cracked heels–need something even thicker and more nourishing than homemade body butter. I looked for a recipe online, but I couldn’t find anything that was just right, so I wound up adapting one that was intended for a cow’s udders, and it worked!

This recipe made enough to fill two empty deodorant containers (which are just perfect for application on the feet), and I poured the extra “balm” into a 2 oz metal tin. The thing is, when it hardens, it is very solid. Although it melts beautifully when rubbed directly onto the skin, it’s not the sort of thing you can dip a finger into to apply. So when I have used up both of my deodorant containers of heel balm, I will probably wind up melting what’s in the tin and pouring it into an empty deodorant container rather than trying to awkwardly rub it onto my feet by hand. You could also simply reduce the amount of wax used in your recipe if you prefer a softer “balm.”

The peppermint oil feels wonderful on tired feet, and I have noticed a significant difference since I started using this balm at night. I apply a thick layer after my shower (or a quick foot soak) and gentle exfoliation, then put on a pair of socks to keep it from rubbing off. In the morning, my feet feel noticeably softer, and the cracks are already greatly reduced and no longer painful. Oh, and it smells wonderful, too!

Here is the recipe:


1/2 cup carnauba wax flakes
1/2 cup cocoa butter chunks
3/8 cup calendula oil
1/8 cup coconut oil
1/4 tsp vitamin E oil
30 drops peppermint essential oil
30 drops melaleuca (tea tree) essential oil
30 drops lavender essential oil


  1. In a double boiler, melt the carnauba wax and cocoa butter over medium-high heat, stirring consistently. (You can also fill a small saucepan 1/2 way with water and place a Pyrex measuring cup inside, melting the ingredients inside the Pyrex cup.)
  2. Once the carnauba wax and cocoa butter are melted, remove from heat and stir in the calendula oil and coconut oil.
  3. Next, add the vitamin E oil and the peppermint, melaleuca, and lavender essential oils.
  4. Allow to cool slightly, then pour (or spoon, if too thick to pour) into an empty deodorant container, gently packing down to remove all air bubbles.
  5. Place in refrigerator (without lid) to cool until completely solid.
  6. Apply nightly to clean feet.

About Kim McCoy

Kim McCoy is a passionate animal and environmental advocate with a B.S. in Business Administration from UT Knoxville and a J.D. specializing in Animal and Environmental Law. She graduated with honors from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she served as Editor in Chief of the internationally acclaimed Animal Law Review and interned with the National Center for Animal Law and the International Environmental Law Project. Kim is a member of MENSA (the “high IQ society”) and previously worked for Sea Shepherd Conservation Society in a variety of roles, including Executive Director, Director of Campaigns, and Director of Legal Affairs. Kim is also the former Executive Director of the One World One Ocean Foundation and the proud mother of a healthy, thriving son who has been vegan since conception. Currently serving as Executive Director of Big Life Foundation, which protects wildlife and wild lands in Eastern Africa, Kim remains deeply committed to the defense of animals worldwide.
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5 Responses to Homemade Heel Balm

  1. Elle says:

    Oh wow! This is fabulous!! I must try this.

    Would you mind if I made this for one of the websites I write for? Really, it’s okay if you say no. 🙂 I will give you credit, of course, but will probably change up the recipe somewhat since I’d like to use the products I already have sitting around in a BIG box in the hallway closet. lol I was doing a “green it yourself” series on the site, but haven’t really felt motivated lately. Until now. 😀

    Here’s a link to the site if you’d like to check it out… http://whattheflicka.com/author/elle-davis/ and here’s my email (elle.mommyhood@gmail.com) in case you would rather correspond that way so I won’t be rambling in your comment section. hehe

    Thanks, Kim! So glad I found your blog!

  2. Kim McCoy says:

    Hi Elle, thanks so much for your sweet note! Of course, you are more than welcome to use this, and feel free to change it up however you like! Almost everything I share (including this heel balm) is something I’ve adapted from someone else’s original recipe, either based on what is in my pantry, or adapted in order to veganize, or both. I hope you’ll like the heel balm, and I can’t wait to hear how it turns out. I’ll send this note to your email address, too, just to be sure that you see it. Have a wonderful day!! 🙂

  3. Nicole says:

    Can you substitute beeswax for the carnauba wax? And any other oils in place of calendula?

    • Kim McCoy says:

      Hi Nicole, yes, absolutely! The original recipe that I modified called for beeswax, and I substituted carnauba wax to make it vegan. I also substituted cacao butter for the shea butter in the original recipe, simply because that’s what I had on hand. So I believe it’s very customizable, as long as you are substituting “like things” (a liquid for a liquid, a butter for a butter, a wax for a wax). Regarding the calendula oil, I don’t see why you couldn’t use other oils in place of that. The calendula oil I use is just olive oil that has been infused with calendula, so you could probably use another similar oil (like almond oil or even just plain olive oil) that is liquid at room temperature with equal success. Good luck!! 🙂

  4. Nicole says:

    Thank you so much, Kim! So excited to make these!

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