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What Are the Best Tips for Foot Exfoliation?

By Amanda R. Bell
Updated May 17, 2024
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One of the best tips for foot exfoliation is to soak feet for several minutes prior to exfoliating in order to soften up callouses and the skin. While there are a variety of foot exfoliation products available, using several different types in stages from most harsh to the gentlest can help each product work to the best of its potential. Working in small, circular motions when exfoliating is also a good tip, as this tends to remove rough patches and callouses most effectively, and working over a tub or bowel filled with warm water can help to keep the skin softened while working.

It is extremely common for rough spots or callouses, caused by a buildup and hardening of dead skin cells, to develop on the feet. Depending on their location, they can be unsightly or uncomfortable, and difficult to get rid of in some cases. Soaking feet in warm water with a small amount of fresh citrus juice mixed in can help to soften the areas, making it easier to remove rough patches. In general, a 15- to 20-minute soak will make most areas easier to exfoliate.

In most cases, one type of exfoliation will not work on all areas of the foot or for all problems. One of the best tips for foot exfoliation is to use a variety of products in different stages, working from the harshest to the most delicate. In general, using a pumice stone or foot file to remove tough areas, followed with a granular exfoliator, and then a product containing glycolic or lactic acid is a good regimen for foot exfoliation. Using the products in this order helps to prep the skin for every stage, allowing each product to work to the best of its ability.

Whether one is using a foot file, granular, or acidic exfoliator, small circular motions are typically best when doing foot exfoliation. This allows for concentrated pressure in one area, and helps to loosen up dead skin cells more effectively. It is also often less tedious than simply filing or rubbing back and forth, a method that often takes longer for the same effects to be achieved.

During foot exfoliation, it is important to keep the feet soft with warm water even after one has already soaked them. Using this method makes it possible to keep the foot that is not being worked on soft by soaking it while the other is being worked on. Working over a bowl of water also makes it easier to rinse products or dead skin off while exfoliating, saving trips to a tub or faucet.

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