Foot peels are a great way to get rid of dead skin and calluses if you want to avoid the attention of a pedicurist armed with a pumice stone, and hydrating foot masks soften tough skin with rich ingredients like shea butter and avocado oil. Both foot peels and hydrating foot masks are superb additions to your at-home DIY pedicure. Which should you choose when you are ready to ditch your winter boots for strappy sandals? Here’s how to get baby-soft feet before spring.
What to look for in a foot peel
Look for foot peel products containing ingredients like glycolic and lactic acid if you want to shed skin. These various alpha hydroxy acids get into the top outer layer of your skin and break up connections between dead skin cells. One to three days later, the outer dead layer of skin peels off. Some people see nothing but powdery flaking, while others see the figurative snake shedding.
Check with a medical professional before using a chemically exfoliating product. Avoid peels if you have any warts, corn calluses, or skin sensitivity. Don’t use a chemical peel if you’re pregnant or your foot has open sores. Both lactic acid and glycolic acid can irritate sensitive skin. Ultimately, tough skin and calluses are the body’s way of protecting pressure points and bones in your foot. They will build up again.
Foot Peel Masks
Baby Foot Original Exfoliant Foot Peel, $25 (click here)
This is the foot peel that broke the internet last summer as we searched for ways to shed boredom along with calluses. It contains 16 types of natural extracts and a higher concentration of alpha-hydroxy acids than you would find in facial peels. Lactic acid, glycolic acid, and alcohol act as potent peeling agents that leave only soft, new skin behind. The gel formula assures maximum absorption.
Suntoria Exfoliating Foot Peel Mask, $14.94 (click here)
Sunatoria’s formula balances exfoliating ingredients with soothing, hydrating botanicals to minimize irritation. It will get the job done, but it’s also one of the few foot peels considered mild enough for sensitive skin. This mask is particularly effective at targeting calluses.
Tony Moly Changing Magic Foot Peeling Shoes, $6.50 (click here)
This budget foot peel is an effective dupe for Baby Foot, with ingredients like lactic and glycolic acid. You might need patience, though, as this formula takes a little longer to work its magic. One reviewer noted that their calluses were completely gone by the end of day nine.
Hydrating Foot Masks
A hydrating foot mask can give you spa-quality feet for a fraction of the cost and help prevent dry, cracked skin. If harsh winter air has done a number on your feet, a hydrating mask can help heal and soothe those dry patches. Apply the mask, put on some socks, and relax for a few minutes. For your best sandal-ready feet, follow up your acid-laden foot peel with a hydrating mask once the skin has stopped shedding.
Here are our favorite foot masks in each category.
Holler and Glow Avo Good Day Nourishing and Hydrating Foot Mask, $3.99 (click here)
Give your feet the moisture they need with avocado oil, grape extract, and hyaluronic acid.
Aveeno Repairing Cica Foot Mask, $5.74 (click here)
These masks are plastic booties loaded with oat and shea butter to moisturize and repair dry, rough skin. The 10-minute treatment pampers the skin and leaves feet feeling refreshed and soft. This formula is gentle enough for sensitive skin and are both paraben and fragrance-free.
KISS K-Beauty Foot & Toenail Mask Socks, $4.99 (click here)
These mask socks are infused with deeply moisturizing shea butter and nutrient-rich macadamia oil. Your feet will feel fabulous in just 15 to 20 minutes. This spa-worthy treatment is lightly scented with lavender for a calming aromatherapy experience.