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11 Foot Peel Masks That Will Give Your Poor, Cracked Feet New Life

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Between hiking, our fancy summer sandals and barefoot frolics on the beach, we must admit: Our feet are tired. They're dry, they're cracked, they hurt, and at this point, they may even be beyond the miracle work some of the best scrubs on the market can accomplish. If all of this is hitting a little too close to home for you, it might be time to pull out all the stops with one of the best foot peel mask around.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Heidi Prather is a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas, and a member of the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) with a background in biomedical engineering. Dr. Prather regularly participates in clinical research to bring new dermatology treatments to the market.

How We Chose the Best Foot Peel Mask

We chose our best foot peel masks based on ingredients our expert, Dr. Heidi Prather, specified to look for, personal experience with the products and thorough research into what each foot peel mask claims to do versus what it actually does, according to those who have actually tried them.

What Is a Foot Peel Mask?

This at-home treatment is essentially a chemical peel for your feet. Before you run away screaming, however, allow us to explain. Essentially, these mildy gross-yet-satisfying shedding treatments, which went viral a while back, come in the form of little booties that contain ingredients like glycolic, malic or lactic acid. When soaked into the foot, they act as a catalyst for your skin to shed its old, rough top epidermis layer, helping to rid you of calluses and flakes in the process. The result is softer feeling and better looking feet as you start fresh with the healthy layer beneath the one that's been sloughed off.

Are Foot Peel Masks Safe?

According to Dr. Heidi Prather, a board-certified dermatologist at Westlake Dermatology in Austin, Texas, foot peel masks are great for the overall health of your skin. “Most people forget about their feet and tend to treat them just when needed," she tells PureWow via email. "It would be great to keep our feet on our radar and nurture them with daily skin creams and regular peels."

However, there are some instances in which foot peels should be used with caution. She recommends consulting a physician if you have open cracks or sores on your feet before applying a foot peel mask. If you have sensitive skin or a history of allergies, she suggests doing a “patch test” at the top of your foot to see how your body reacts to the ingredients. For those with diabetes, which may cause numbness and poor circulation, as well as increase risk of infection and make it more difficult for wounds to heal, foot peel masks should be avoided.

When it comes to what ingredients to look for in a foot peel mask, Dr. Prather says the most effective products will include glycolic, salicylic, uric and lactic acids, along with cane sugar. Foot peel masks should also be only done around once a month to avoid overtreating the skin. “Follow the directions closely to be sure to neutralize and remove the peel,” she explained.

How to Use a Foot Peel Mask

After purchasing your product and reading the instructions carefully, you'll want to slip your foot peel mask booties on as directed and wear them for the recommended length of time. It's important to note that you should take them off if you have any kind of pain or adverse reaction (the solution should not hurt). Afterward, rinse your feet, and within a few days, the dead skin should start shedding and peeling away. (Read: Buh-bye, scary scalies.)

Now that you've boned up on how to (safely) say goodbye to dry, callused feet and hello to silky tootsies, check out our recommended list of 11 incredible foot peel masks below.

The Best Foot Peel Mask at a Glance


Top Pick

1. Baby Foot Foot Peel Mask

Baby Foot

  • Pros: Calming lavender scent
  • Cons: Overnight application

If there's one foot peel mask you've heard of, there's a very good chance that it's this one. One of the original and most popular options around, Baby Foot's glycolic, malic and lactic acids combine inside these socks to work their magic on your feet. They're also scented with lavender for a nice, relaxing element. Note that since these socks are meant to be worn overnight, when you may not notice any adverse reactions, so it's a good idea to patch test them during the day.

  • Pros: Fast-acting, works for all skin types
  • Cons: Tea tree can be a potential allergen for some

Ideal for all types of skin, these have a gentler alpha hydroxy acid complex than most, plus tea tree oil—an ingredient known for its anti-inflammatory properties (it's also antibacterial and antifungal for those dealing with more than dry skin). On top of that, you only have to keep these booties on for 20 to 30 minutes for them to start working.

  • Pros: Vitamins A and E, no down time
  • Cons: Takes off toenail polish, daily foot soaks recommended to encourage peeling

While making sure your feet are super soft, why not keep them healthy, too, by using a peeling mask with added vitamins? Along with hydrating aloe vera and anti-inflammatory jasmine oil, this two-pack has vitamin A and E, which aim to speed up the regeneration of the skin underneath the peeling layer and enhance its elasticity. For the best results, the company recommends soaking your feet for 15 minutes prior to application and to continue to soak your feet daily until your top layer has peeled off as expected. 

Most Famous

4. Plantifique Foot Peel Mask

Plantifique

  • Pros: Proven results, smells nice
  • Cons: Peeling process takes up to two weeks

If you're looking for an option with solid proof of effectiveness (like that seen in this TikTok review, which has racked up 9.9 million views), look no further than the OG Plantifique foot peel mask. In addition to the "plantis complex" it relies on to get rid of your tired calluses and the like (lactic, malic, citrus and salicylic acids are all listed as ingredients), it's made with natural peach, the kernel oil of which is said to help to strengthen your skin cells

Best Clean Ingredients

5. Patchology PoshPeel Pedi Cure

Patchology

Best Clean Ingredients

  • Pros: Clean, vegan product,
  • Cons: Tingles a bit, booties must be positioned exactly right

A fair share of these peel masks are made up of chemicals you can't even begin to pronounce (something that tends to give one pause when you're about to douse your foot in it). With this option, which has a whopping four acids (glycolic, salicylic, lactic and citrus) to rid you of your detritus, you can be sure they're not only clean, but vegan. While it does tingle a little, and you'll have to be careful to position the booties just right, according to our Commerce Director, Nicole Briese, it didn't hurt, and within four to five days, the (also non-painful) peeling process had begun, taking with it a decent amount of what she describes as her "nasty heels that looked like [she] took a romp through Where the Wild Things Are." Enough said.

  • Pros: Added shea butter and essential oils, gentle on skin
  • Cons: Doesn't peel as much as other brands

This one goes one step further than "moisturizing." Its proprietary blend, which is made up of a multi-blend oil complex of lavender, shea butter and peppermint oil, as well as urea and hyaluronic acid, works extra hard to add the kind of "ultra-hydrating" power that your dry tootsies may desire and require. While most shoppers agreed that it will get the job done to make your skin extra-soft, some say the peel process didn't work for them with these, so they may not be for you if you've got stubborn callouses to tackle.

Most Hypoallergenic

7. Scala Foot Peel Mask

Scala

  • Pros: Gentler on skin, larger boot than most
  • Cons: Won't penetrate skin as deeply, requires 30-minute foot soak post-treatment

Do you have sensitive skin or particularly tender tootsies? Then you should definitely try out this hypoallergenic option. It's hero ingredients are lactic acid, which is one of the more gentler acids, due to its larger molecule size that won't penetrate skin as deeply as, say, glycolic acid, and glycerol, which are used along with milk protein extract to give you a powerful peel that's less likely to cause adverse reactions. This pack also offers a larger sock than most. The one downside? The company recommends a 30-minute foot soak after you've completed your treatment, making it more of a time commitment than other brands. 

Most Animal-Friendly

8. Summer Foot Foot Peel Mask

Summer Foot

  • Pros: Cruelty-free, effective
  • Cons: Peeling takes a while to start

You can feel good about getting "summer feet" all year long with this two-pack, since you'll be using a completely cruelty-free product: The brand has committed to refraining from testing its products on our animal friends. While it takes a while to start working (some have said up to seven days), its glycolic acid is definitely effective, as seen in the many photos buyers have uploaded for proof. 

Best K-Beauty Foot Peel

9. Elixir Premium Lab Foot Peel Mask

Elixir Premium Lab

  • Pros: Botanical-powered
  • Cons: Booties are delicate

If you're a fan of Korean cosmetics and skincare, then this K-beauty foot peel mask is for you. Boasting a roster of all-star ingredients you'd find in your local spa, this baby has 18 botanical extracts, including calming lavender oil and anti-inflammatory rosemary, as well as fruit acids (kiwi, banana, peach) for what may be the most zen-like treatment on the list. The company also claims that 93 percent of buyers are satisfied with the product, so you can get your money back if you happen to fall into the anomalous 7 percent.  

  • Pros: Included cleanser and cream, pleasant scent
  • Cons: Need to soak feet for 30 minutes every day until peel complete

In addition to offering you the same kind of benefits that other foot peel masks do, this option comes with a revitalizing mousse to deep clean the pores in your feet and a post-treatment foot cream with essential oils and vitamins to really seal the deal. Happy buyers also say that it has a nice scent.

Best Value

  • Pros: Four types of acid
  • Cons: Doesn't smell great

You'll get a lot for your money with this little two-pack: In addition to the four types of acid (lactic, glycolic, citrus and malic) this one has to get a handle on your rough, cracked skin, it's rich in moisturizing olive oil and olive leaf extract. 


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