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I’m pretty sure my husband can set some records for cracked heels. While I’ve created a cracked heel salve for him, a DIY foot scrub with magnesium is another good way to tackle those heel callouses.

I love using it to exfoliate feet, but it makes a good face and body scrub as well. The scrub leaves skin tingly and smooth and is completely natural. So no more waking up to scratches on my legs from my husband’s heel-knives (my loving term).  

This homemade magnesium scrub is a perfect solution for cracked heels, calluses, and dry skin. Hello, smooth skin and soft feet.

Why Magnesium?

Experts estimate that 80-95% (or more) of adults are deficient in magnesium. This can have dire consequences! Our bodies use magnesium to regulate heart and mental health, and blood pressure.  In fact, magnesium is one of the most-needed minerals in the body and is involved in hundreds of biochemical reactions.

I use a magnesium spray on my skin each day to help optimize my magnesium levels. But this soothing foot scrub is a great way to get a gentle (and relaxing) magnesium boost.

The Benefits of a DIY Foot Scrub

I probably don’t have to tell you feet can really take a beating. Our family is outside a lot, especially in the summer, and I often don’t have shoes on. It’s easy to end up with dead skin cells and dry feet that badly need some foot care.

A homemade foot scrub can work as well as a pumice stone without being so harsh on the skin. I like to follow it up with some foot cream for added hydration. A lotion with shea butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter, like this one, is a good option.

Epsom salt or magnesium salts would be rough on their own. But a few extra soothing ingredients create a scrub that’s both exfoliating and moisturizing. The essential oils give this a cooling sensation to ease dry skin and irritation.

Almond or olive oil deeply moisturizes skin, while the roughness of the magnesium exfoliates. For something lighter, grapeseed oil works too. This scrub is naturally unscented, though you can add essential oils for even more health benefits.

A pinch of cinnamon powder and a few drops of peppermint oil make a festive scrub. Rose petals and lavender oil make a floral version. Some other great combinations include:

Don’t want to use salt or magnesium in the scrub? Sugar or brown sugar will also work. I have a recipe for a simple sugar scrub here with lots of custom options for scent and color.

Soothing Magnesium Foot Scrub Recipe

DIY Foot Scrub With Magnesium

Katie Wells

This soothing recipe helps restore damaged feet for smoother, softer skin.


To use: Use a small amount to exfoliate the feet or body as needed, rubbing the scrub in circular motions. Rinse with warm water after use.
Shelf life: 6 months if the soap is used, longer if the soap is omitted. 
Get magnesium flakes and almond oil here. 


In general, scrubs are some of the easiest DIY beauty products to make. There are so many options and customizations that I often get these questions:

How Long Does the Homemade Foot Scrub Last?

It depends. Without the liquid soap, it lasts indefinitely, as both oil and Epsom salt have a shelf life of several years. The liquid castile soap introduces a liquid element, so I don’t keep it longer than 6 months in this case. Though it usually gets used up long before 6 months anyway!

Best Time to Use It?

I prefer to use any type of scrub right before a shower for the easiest cleanup. Magnesium is especially helpful at night because it’s relaxing, but this can be used at any time of day.

Can I Use Magnesium Oil in Place of the Olive Oil?

Technically Magnesium Oil isn’t an oil at all but a liquid salt solution. Magnesium oil works differently than an oil would but it can definitely be used in a scrub like this. Over time, some of the Epsom salt may dissolve in the magnesium oil. The end product will be much higher in magnesium and is safer for drains and septic systems.

If you want to try this version, I’d recommend a smaller batch and use 1 Tablespoon each of magnesium oil and Epsom salt. Here’s a tutorial for making magnesium oil and this is the brand I use.

What Kind of Liquid Castile Soap is Best?

Whichever one you prefer! This recipe uses such a small amount that any scent of liquid castile soap will work. I like to use it because it makes cleanup easier and my skin softer. It isn’t necessary though and can be left out if you don’t have it. My personal favorites are this bulk unscented one and peppermint Dr. Bronners.

Can I Use Sea Salt Instead of Magnesium?

Absolutely! This will technically make it a salt scrub and not a magnesium scrub, but it will still make skin silky and soft. Here’s my recipe for a Himalayan salt scrub if you want to try it out.

Can I Use Sugar Instead of Magnesium?

Sure! Again, it will no longer be a magnesium scrub, but sugar is great for skincare (just not so much when eaten!)

Can I Give This as a Gift?

Of course! Homemade gifts are my favorite. I’ve given this scrub to friends, especially pregnant friends, as it seems to help ease their pregnancy leg cramps. I make sure it either has an expiration date or I leave out the liquid soap to ensure it lasts a long time. With the soap it lasts about 6 months and without it should last a year (or more).

Where Do You Get Cute Jars?

Everywhere. My name is Katie and I am a glass jar addict. I have a whole cabinet of jars I’ve purchased online, at thrift stores, and antique stores. I’ve even rescued jars from friends’ kitchens when they were going to throw them out. I always prefer to reuse a jar if possible and give many gifts in mason jars. I also have some of these cork top jars with a wooden spoon that are perfect for DIY gifts like this. I also like the cork jars for homemade bath salts, clay masks, etc.

Is This Safe for Drains and Septic Systems?

Yes and no. Of course, check with your specific system if on septic before using this or any product that goes down the drain. I’ve never had trouble with it clogging drains or messing up our septic system and I think the soap helps this.

Ever make a DIY foot scrub? What did/would you use? Share below!

This homemade foot scrub is easy to make and super moisturizing and exfoliating. It contains all natural ingredients and provides magnesium.

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