The 8 Best Foot Exfoliators for the Smoothest Soles Ever
Between walking the dog, commuting to work and half-marathon training, our feet go through the wringer. And we rarely stop to appreciate them along the way—until sandal season, that is. While the temperatures aren’t quite warm enough to bare our toes just yet, we’re using this time to prep our feet for summer, starting with exfoliation.
What causes dry skin on feet?
The pros at Baby Foot explain that people actually have fewer oil glands on their feet than they do on the rest of their body. So there’s not as much natural moisture. What’s worse is that we often overlook our feet when applying lotion. The only time they usually get moisturized is during a pedicure.
Then there’s the whole humidity factor. Wearing closed shoes (like sneakers and loafers) and synthetic soles without socks increases the humidity and draws moisture out of our feet. This means our feet are not only missing out on the hydration they need, but our footwear is also robbing them of the little moisture they produce.
We’re taking matters into our own hands and ridding our feet of their scaly skin once and for all. How? With these eight highly reviewed exfoliators, peels and scrubs (and a lot of lotion, of course).
1. Baby Foot Moisturizing Foot Mask
Behold the OG of all foot masks. You’ve probably seen the pictures of peeling feet that took the internet by storm a few years ago, and maybe you even tried the product for yourself. If not, you must. The formula includes a trifecta of glycolic acid, lactic acid and salicylic acid as well as moisturizing ingredients and natural extracts to slough off dead skin cells in the most satisfying sheets, while nourishing soles at the same time. Just pour the gel into the little disposable booties, let your feet soak for an hour and then wash it off. Your skin will peel (painlessly) for about two weeks, but it’s totally worth it for the level of softness that ensues. However, we suggest using this product now, before sandal season, to avoid leaving behind visible bits of skin in public.
2. Patchology Poshpeel Pedicure
Similar to the original Baby Foot, this foot peel contains AHAs (or acids) and moisturizers (think castor oil and rosemary extract). The combination of agents removes dry dead skin and calluses to reveal smoother, softer feet in no time. The product also comes with cute little booties for a mess-free application while the solution gets to work for up to 90 minutes (depending on how rough your feet are).
3. Sanitas Skincare PediMask
If you’ve ever applied Vaseline to your feet and worn socks to bed for a night, you’ve got the gist of how this one works. It’s made with lactic acid to exfoliate callused skin, plus glycerin and jojoba seed oil to deeply moisturize, and you slather it on like a foot mask, slip on some socks and let it sink in overnight. By morning, your feet will be smoother and softer, without any weird peeling side effects. Plus, at two ounces, the bottle is small enough to pack in your carry-on, ensuring foot model–worthy feet all vacation long.
4. TONYMOLY Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid
You know that scene in Mean Girls where Cady gives Regina a minty foot cream and tells her it’s face cream? This foot exfoliator smells like that, but we definitely don’t advise putting it on your face. Made with peppermint extract and argan oil to hydrate, plus glycolic and salicylic acids to exfoliate, it helps heal dry skin and soften calluses after two hours of treatment. You’ll notice mild peeling four to six days later that’s nowhere near as dramatic as the sheets of skin that come off with Baby Foot. But that means you can use this product in the middle of sandal season.
5. ProLinc Callus Eliminator
Don’t have two hours to sit and wait for your foot treatment to sink in? Try this quick, extremely potent gel instead. Just squeeze it onto calluses and let it sit for three to five minutes before washing it off and gently pumicing those rough areas to supersoft perfection. The $15 bottle will last you all summer and then some. One Amazon reviewer says, “This bottle has already paid for itself, because I no longer need to pay extra for callus remover when I get my pedicure.” Just note that it’s very strong, so don’t apply it anywhere that isn’t thick and callused or you risk burning yourself (it’s that powerful).
6. Rikans Colossal Foot Rasp Foot File and Callus Remover
Breaking out the cheese grater tool is a sign of a good pedicure, right? This one is definitely nothing fancy, but sometimes the tools that get right to the point work best. If you gently drag it back and forth over heels and calluses after they’ve softened a bit in the shower, you’ll reveal softer soles immediately. This specific foot file has more than 8,000 positive reviews on Amazon, with comments like, “Best foot tool EVER” and “Order this now!” Excuse us while we add to cart.
7. PurSources Urea 40% Foot Cream
If you’re looking for a satisfying physical exfoliation, this cream probably won’t do it for you. But once you apply it, you’ll get the hype. It comes recommended by podiatrist Sarah E. Haller, D.P.M., who uses it on patients with extreme dryness and cracked skin, and for her own foot health. It’s made with urea, an ingredient that treats skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, and when used in high concentrations it can help soften and exfoliate rough callused feet while also preventing dead skin from building up over time.
8. OPI Pro Spa Exfoliating Sugar Scrub
For a more classic exfoliation, try this sugar scrub from the nail experts at OPI. It’s made with, you guessed it, sugar granules, plus cupuaçu and white tea for a full spa-like experience. Just scoop out a bit like they do at the nail salon and work it into rough areas in circular motions for about three minutes before rinsing. While this product won’t tackle extremely hard calluses, it will keep your feet feeling smoother longer, so we suggest working it into your weekly rotation to keep dead skin from building up.