Healing Foot & Leg Balm
Skinfix's Healing Foot & Leg Balm is marketed as a healing product for the extremely dry, cracked skin that can occur on feet and legs due to poor circulation or diabetes. In many aspects, its formula is capable of benefiting skin, though there are a couple of ingredients that could be problematic for this sensitive skin concern, which is why this earns an average, two-star rating.
Healing Foot & Leg Balm comes in a short plastic squeeze tube with a flip-top cap. True to its claim, it's definitely balm-like, with a thick texture that still absorbs easily into skin. Allantoin is listed as an active ingredient here, and that's a good thing because it is an effective anti-irritant. Interestingly, Skinfix makes a point to note this formula does not contain urea, a water-binding and exfoliating ingredient common in many foot creams. The brand points out on its site that urea can be irritating at high levels, but those levels are not usually present in skincare products, so it's not really an issue. Even more interesting is that allantoin is actually a byproduct of the uric acid extracted from urea!
That aside, the rest of this formula is made up of anti-irritant like aloe and rich emollients like shea butter and sunflower oil. All of these can absolutely help repair severely dry skin, especially when used as part of a fragrance-free skincare routine.
The problem though is that this also contains the fragrant tree resins Oriental sweetgum, balsam tolu, and benzoin. They're not present in huge amounts, however they could potentially cause irritation in very sensitive or inflamed skin, which is what this is designed to treat. See the More Info section for additional details.
For that reason, Skinfix's Healing Foot & Leg Balm doesn't get more than a lukewarm recommendation from us. It's a pity as this had the hallmarks of a superior option for sensitive, very dry skin. You can find many more that don't share this formula's drawbacks, however, in our list of Best Body Care Products.
- Contains allantoin, an effective anti-irritant.
- Includes beneficial and healing emollients like shea butter and sunflower oil.
- Contains fragrant tree resins, which could irritate sensitive skin, i.e., what this product is designed to treat.
Irritation from High Amounts of Fragrance: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes chronic irritation that can damage healthy collagen production, lead to or worsen dryness, and impair your skin's ability to heal. Fragrance-free is the best way for all skin types to go for all skin types (Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2008 & American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003).
The sneaky part about irritation is that research has demonstrated that you don't always need to see it or feel it for your skin to suffer damage, and that damage may remain hidden for a long time (Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008).
In fact, the effect of inflammation in the skin is cumulative, and repeated exposure to irritants contributes to a weakened skin barrier, slower healing (including of red marks from breakouts), and a dull, uneven complexion (Aging, 2012 & Chemical Immunology and Allergy, 2012).
Canadian-based Skinfix is part of a growing number of skincare brands targeting a particular niche. Instead of trying to solve every skincare issue out there, it has a very specific target audience; in this case, its people who have chronically dry, sensitive skin thats prone to issues like eczema and contact dermatitis.
The brands site begins, as many do, with an origin story that relates the tale of Thomas Dixon, who crafted his own healing ointment for dry and cracked skin in England back in the 1850s. The formula was passed down for generations, and the Dixon family continued to make it after they moved to Nova Scotia decades later, where they eventually sold it in pharmacies. Skinfix as a brand didnt come into being until 2006, when Dixons great-great-great granddaughter decided to make the concept into a skincare company, with the focus remaining on treating chronic skin issues and very dry skin.
For the most part, Skinfix gets it right. The majority of its products are fragrance-free and contain beneficial plant oils, skin-identical ingredients, and anti-irritants in rich, thick balms that will serve to soothe and treat cracked, dry skin. The line also includes gentle cleansers that are mild enough even for use on babies and children, whose skin is still developing.
In fact, the only misstep is the inclusion in a handful of products of fragrant tree resins (such as balsam tolu and benzoin) that could irritate very sensitive skin. They arent in large amounts in any of those formulas, and those with normal skin should have no issues with them, but for the sensitive skin they are designed for, they are not ideal.
Aside from this, Skinfix is a promising brand, with many products we recommend. The brand is available in the United States at Target, C.O. Bigelow Apothecaries, and diapers.com.
Strengths: Mostly gentle, effective formulas to treat dry, sensitive, or eczema-prone skin; packaging keeps ingredients stable; most products are fragrance-free.
Weaknesses: Some products contain tree resins that could potentially irritate sensitive skin.
For more information, visit www.skinfixinc.com or call 1-866-92-PASTE.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.