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As sandal season approaches a foot peel might be a wise purchase to help spruce up your feet. Foot peels are similar to face masks in that they add a dose of hydration to otherwise tired and dry feet. Some are a little more intense and actually help shed the dead skin on your feet while others just give you a serious dose of moisture while you sleep. Whatever your foot peel of choice—we have the perfect fit for your feet.
Best Overall: Baby Foot Original Exfoliant Foot Peel
The Japanese foot peel that started the craze–this pick might be a bit gross for some but oddly satisfying for others. You wrap your feet in plastic socks filled with lactic and glycolic acids, securing with an adhesive (some reviewers recommended soaking your feet beforehand to maximize the peel’s benefits). After an hour, peel off the socks and rinse. Then 4 to 7 days later your feet will start to peel off dead skin for a few more days, revealing "baby" soft feet.
This product has love or hate status but even those who hate the process love how their feet looked after all the skin came off.
Best Budget: ProLinc Callus Eliminator
This budget pick is, incidentally, also a heavy-duty one. The fast-acting gel gnaws at stubborn calluses and rough skin on your feet and heels, ideal if you’re an athlete or spend long hours standing for work. Reviewers recommend wearing gloves when applying the gel to your feet. After the gel’s been on your feet for 3 to 5 minutes, wash off thoroughly with soap and water.
There’s virtually no effort involved (other than safely handling the gel) —no aggressive scrubbing with a plastic egg-shaped grater, no pumice stone, no taking breaks because your hands cramped from clutching a tiny foot-grinding implement. The gel helpfully comes packaged in a squeeze bottle with a small nozzle to spread the gel.
Best Hydrating Peel: Boscia Baby Soft Foot Peel
If you want something a little more nourishing, the Boscia foot peel works virtually the same way as the Baby Foot, but with glycolic acid as a humectant. After washing your feet, you open up the plastic socks (printed with tiny green feet) and slide your feet in, at which point a mixture of AHAs and fruit extracts will gently slough off the dead skin. You’re good to go after 60 minutes, though you can leave them on for up to 90 minutes for further exfoliation, after which you rinse with warm water.
You can expect dead skin to appear after a few days (some reviewers were surprised, thinking the peel hadn’t worked). The peeling, like with the Baby Foot, subsides on its own. To make the treatment penetrate better, you can even put socks on over the plastic booties.
Best Foot Peel Mask: Tony Moly Shiny Foot Super Peeling Liquid
The argan oil and peppermint extract in these foot peel masks from Tony Moly add an extra level of pampering as your feet prepare to molt. It doesn’t work quite as well on calluses, but are fun, relaxing, and most importantly let your feet take in skin-softening, moisturizing treatment.
These are more leisurely than the other options on this list: You place the plastic socks over your feet, pour in a gentle acid bath of salicylic and glycolic acids, then wait for about two hours for the peeling liquid to soak in. The peeling action starts about four to six days later, though reviewers noted it comes off in smaller pieces rather than dramatic, feet-shaped husks.
Best Exfoliating Foot Peel: Patchology PoshPeel PediCure
This peel takes a little more work, but is a slower, easier way to tackle calluses if you don’t want to use the ProLinc gel. The PoshPeel not only exfoliates with AHAs and BHAs, but comes with added brightening benefits thanks to citrus extract. Like the Tony Moly mask, you have to pour the peeling liquid into the socks after you put them on, securing with small tabs by the ankles. The one downside is you can’t walk around too much, especially if you don’t like the liquid sloshing around your feet, so expect to set some time aside. There’s no accelerating any part of this process but that won’t really matter at the end, when you’re admiring your new soft, carefree feet.
Best File: Amope Pedi Perfect Wet & Dry Foot File
The Pedi Foot File, like the idea of vacuuming out your pores, satisfies a strange desire to clean up all your dead, flaky skin by hand (maybe for the satisfaction of watching it disappear?). The Pedi Perfect looks like a potato peeler, with a gritty roller that rolls along and gently shaves off the dead skin on your feet. It combines the satisfying immediate results of physical exfoliation with not having to do any of the work. While the Pedi Perfect is gentle, it’s best to keep the roller moving along your skin so you don’t end up with chafing. It comes with two settings but the light setting is more than enough for regular use (the heavy setting is best reserved for the most immovable calluses). Even better, it’s waterproof and rechargeable.
Best Lotion: Bare 40 Moisturizing Urea Gel
It’s not quite as trendy or sexy as the above foot peels (it is technically a foot cream, after all), but it does allow you to go about your day without the dramatic peeling phase. Urea is used in plenty of skincare products, and it’s included here for its effectiveness in dealing with dry, rough skin. This gel is pretty utilitarian in its packaging and smell (there’s a distinct tea tree scent with none of the olfactory engineering of fancier products), and its consistency isn’t the most elegant. The cream is sticky when you first apply, but once it absorbs, it begins softening even the toughest, scaliest skin. Tea tree oil and aloe vera not only soothe skin, but impart a cooling sensation.
Our writers spent 25 hours researching the most popular foot peels on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 18 different peels overall, screened options from 11 different brands and manufacturers, read over 50 user reviews (both positive and negative) and tested 2 of the peels themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.