Please don’t use a foot peel mask on your face, or any other part of your skin that’s not your feet.
Foot peels have concentrated acids so that they can peel off the hard dead skin off your feet. In contrast, your face has thin, more sensitive skin.
Using a foot peel mask on your face could cause irritation, increased sensitivity, and could lead to breakouts on some skin types.
Read on to learn more about foot peels, how they work, how to use them safely, and safer exfoliating options for your face and skin.
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What is a Foot Peel and How Does it Work?
A foot peel is essentially a chemical peel for your feet. It’s similar, though usually stronger, than the glycolic or lactic acid peels used on the skin.
Manufacturers will often boast about all the botanical and natural ingredients in their foot peel masks like aloe vera, lavender, and vitamins.
But at the core of a foot peel are AHA and BHA acids. These stand for alpha hydroxy and beta hydroxy acids, also known as fruit acids. Examples include lactic, malic, glycolic, and citric acids.
These are the ones that do the actual exfoliation.
Once you apply the mask and the acids soak into your feet, it takes a few days for them to work their magic.
After about 3-4 days, dead skin on your feet will start peeling off on its own.
Are Foot Peel Masks Safe?
Foot peels are generally safe for most people. If you look at the reviews of the most popular ones on Amazon, a vast majority of users did not experience any adverse side effects.
Doctors also say foot peels are safe for most people.
That said, there are instances when you should take caution. Diabetics should not use foot peels without consulting their doctor. The same goes for pregnant women – talk to your obstetrician before you use one.
If you have an open wound on your feet, wait until you’ve healed before using a foot peel mask. If you have sensitive feet, do a small test before applying the peel on your feet.
The other risk of foot peel masks is overuse. This can happen when you leave the mask on your feet for too long, or repeat the treatment too soon.
Overuse can cause increased sensitivity and leave parts of your feet feeling a bit too raw.
Why Can’t I Use a Foot Peel on My Face – and What Should I Use Instead?
A foot peel will probably be too harsh on your face. To reduce the risk of irritation and breakouts, we recommend getting a peel formulated specifically for the face and skin.
There are plenty of them online, including glycolic acid and lactic acid peels. These are formulated with a specific acid strength to protect your skin.
Also, it’s impractical to use the booties that come with the foot peel on your face. I’m sure there are some DIY hacks somewhere online for turning these booties into a face mask, but it’s not worth the trouble.
A facial peel is easier to use. It’s also safer for your skin and more effective.
How to Apply a Foot Peel Mask
- The first step is to soak your clean feet in warm water for about half an hour before using the mask.
- Dry your feet and then put on the booties that are provided in the package. Most people wear socks over the booties to keep them secured against their feet. Wearing socks also lets you walk around the house with the booties on.
- Check the product label for instructions on how long you should wear the booties. It’s usually 1-2 hours. Do not wear the booties for longer than instructed.
- Remove the booties then wash and rinse your feet. Dry them but do not apply any lotion or oil. In fact, you should not apply anything on your feet during the peeling period. They’ll get really dry, but be patient.
- Now you just wait for the peeling to start. To ensure all dead skin comes off, soak your feet for 20-30 minutes each day in warm water.
How Long After Applying Foot Peel Does Peeling Begin?
It varies depending on the kind of peel you used and your skin’s cell turnover rate. But most people start to see peeling after 3-4 days. For others it can take up to 7 days.
When peeling begins, fight the temptation to remove the loose sheets of skin by hand. This could cause injury if you pull on skin that has not yet detached.
Your feet will peel naturally for several days, and it can take up to 2 weeks for the peeling to finish. For an idea of what to expect, here’s a helpful video.
Because your feet may look like something from a horror movie, you may want to avoid open shoes when outdoors. Put on socks and comfortable shoes.
If you have to wear open shoes, apply sunscreen since your feet will be more sensitive.
At the end of the peeling, your feet will appear smooth and feel really soft. Peeling also gets rid of mildly cracked skin, hardened skin and some calluses.
How Often Should I Use a Foot Peel?
Generally, give yourself at least a month before using a foot peel again – and only do so if your feet feel hard again or have calluses.
Don’t think of a foot peel as a regular part of your foot care regimen. It’s more of a way to get your feet back to a better condition.
From there, you should have a regular care routine involving a pumice stone, foot cream, and lotions.
With good daily care, you’ll probably only need to apply a foot peel every 1-2 months.
Remember that the masks are not reusable. You’ll need to buy new ones for each new application.