Pumice stones are some of the best all-natural exfoliators for your feet, hands and skin. Pumice is safe, chemical-free and eco-friendly.
Pumice stone forms when lava from a volcanic eruption cools rapidly in water, causing gas bubbles to be trapped inside.
This results in a lightweight rock that’s porous and has an abrasive surface.
The abrasive nature of pumice is what makes it such a good exfoliator. You can use it to remove dead skin from your feet, as well as other parts of the body.
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Are All Pumice Stones the Same?
Pumice stones are available in different colours, sizes and shapes. But the most important difference is the size of the pores.
A pumice stone with large pores will be more abrasive. It’s great for thick, hardened skin on feet and for removing calluses and corns. But it can easily cause injury and irritation if you are not careful.
Pumice with smaller pores will have a smoother feel that’s safer for softer skin and everyday foot care.
If you have hard areas on your feet, or want to remove calluses and corns, get a rougher pumice stone. It’ll be more effective.
If your feet are already in great condition and you just want to keep up with regular exfoliation, a smoother pumice is better.
Alternatively, you can get a 2-sided pumice that’s rough on one side and smoother on the other.
How to Use Pumice Stone on Your Feet
While it may seem straightforward to use a pumice stone, you don’t just grab it and scrub away at your feet. You could easily hurt yourself, leaving your feet injured and sensitive.
The most important thing when using a pumice stone is water. It acts as lubrication to ensure the stone is gentle on your skin, and it also makes it easier to get rid of dead skin. You’ll need to wet your feet as well as the pumice stone.
The best way to wet your feet is soaking them in warm water for about 5 minutes. This softens your feet to make it easier to scrub off dead skin cells. If you have a foot spa, it’s a great way to prepare your feet.
Also wet the pumice stone.
Now you can go ahead and exfoliate your feet. Be gentle. Scrubbing harder won’t clean your feet any better, and could cause injury.
Using light pressure, move the pumice stone around your foot in circular motions. Pay special attention to areas that have hardened skin (called hyperkeratosis) such as the heels, the sides of the foot, and calluses.
Scrub gently for several minutes until the dead skin is gone and your feet feel smooth. Be careful not to over-scrub. If you start feeling pain or discomfort, stop scrubbing.
If you have a 2-sided pumice, you can start by using the rough side then finish off with the softer side.
After exfoliating, rinse your feet, dry them and apply moisturiser like cream or oil.
Tip: While pumice and water are usually enough, adding soap can help clean your feet even better. It can also get rid of stains on your feet.
Can I Use a Pumice Stone on My Face?
Pumice is safe for most areas of your skin including your face, hands, elbows and palms. The trick is to be gentle as these tend to be more sensitive than your feet.
You’ll also need a pumice stone with a smooth texture. If you only have a rough pumice, don’t use it. Buy a smoother pumice, or get one of those 2-sided pumice stones with a smooth and rough side.
Start by wetting your face or the area you want to exfoliate. Also wet the pumice stone.
Use gentle circular motions to exfoliate. Rinse your skin and apply moisturiser.
How Often to Use a Pumice Stone?
If you are careful to rub it gently, you can use a pumice stone daily after shower or after soaking your feet.
If you have sensitive feet, limit exfoliation to 1-3 times a week depending on how delicate your feet are.
Try not to go more than a week without exfoliating your feet with a pumice stone. The buildup of dead cells will re-harden your feet.
How to Clean and Store Pumice Stone
The porous structure of pumice stone traps a lot of dirt and provides a perfect habitat for bacteria.
That’s why a pumice stone smells terrible if not cleaned and stored properly. It can also get discoloured over time.
After each use, rinse off the pumice stone then store it somewhere airy and dry. This allows the pumice to dry, and denies bacteria a place to grow.
Once or twice a week, soak the stone in a solution of bleach and water to sterilize it. This kills any bacteria or mold that may have started growing inside.
You can also deep clean a pumice stone by scrubbing it with a soft bristled brush. You can also use an old toothbrush like in the video below.
How Long Do Pumice Stones Last?
As long as the stone is in a good condition and you are maintaining it properly, you can use it for as long as you want.
Just make sure you rinse and dry it after every use, and sterilize it 1-2 times a week.
Once the stone begins to break off or crumble, it’s time to get a new one. The sharp edges of a broken pumice could injure your feet.