Foot peels – the dirty truth

Saturday night.

What did you do?

Whatever you did, I bet it wasn’t as down and dirty as my night, for it was…


TonyMoly foot peel


Just to reassure you, although this is a post about foot peels, I won’t be sharing one of those skanky-ass pics with all the skin hanging off my feet. It’s bad enough having to look at it myself, I’m not inflicting it on anybody else. There are more than enough of those on the internet already if that’s what you’re after weirdo.

What is a foot peel?

Very simply, it’s a skin treatment for removing hard skin from your feet, leaving them in baby-soft condition. Normally the treatments consist of two plastic bootees filled with a variety of gentle fruit acids, such as lactic and glycolic acid. You could try putting your foot in a banana skin but I don’t think it would be the same.

Wear the bootees on clean feet for around an hour or so, then wash off the fruit acid solution. At first nothing will happen and you will think you’ve wasted your money.

Then around a week later – BOOM – your foot explodes. From then on in,  if you walk around in bare feet you’ll leave a trail of white skin flakes. At this point in the process you’ll really find out who your friends are. Housemates may tend to back away, and hand you the hoover so you can clean up your own trail of flesh breadcrumbs.

Tips for doing a foot peel

  • Soak your feet beforehand
    This REALLY makes a difference to the effectiveness of the peel. If you have time take a bath, or otherwise soak your feet in warm water for at least 10 minutes.
  • It doesn’t hurt, but it is awkward
    Plan to move around as little as possible when you’re doing your foot peel. You can walk with the plastic bootees on but it’s kind of awkward and slippery. This is not the time to be chasing your toddler around the house. Put on a good movie and arrange your drinks and snacks around you before you start.
  • Wear socks
    For the extra-delightful Saturday night look I put socks on over the bootees to make them a bit closer fitting. Possibly this explains why my feet started peeling the next day, rather than the usual week.
  • Take a bath. Take a lot of baths
    The more you soak your feet, the more you’ll speed up the peeling process. If you don’t have access to a bath use a bowl. Maybe not the washing up bowl though.
  • Wear trainers
    Now we’re really at the grubby end of this. Trust me, you DO NOT want your feet exposed mid-peel. So don’t do it right before a holiday or when you want to wear sandals. Wear trainers, let your feet get really sweaty and at the end of the day your socks will be full of spare skin. NEVER TALK ABOUT THIS IN THE PUB. No matter how proud you are of the sheets of meat coming off your feet, the friend who is close enough to tell about this simply doesn’t exist.


foot peels


Recommended Dupes for Footner
The best known foot peel in the UK is Footner because it’s the only one sold on the high street in Boots. I’ve never used it because, frick, have you seen the price of that thing? It’s £20 when all the Korean brands are a fraction of that. That’s a lot of gin money. Hence I’m shopping overseas.

These are some more affordable foot peels I’ve used and would recommend:

  • TonyMoly Changing U Magic Foot Peeling Shoes – around £4.95
    This is the one I bought and used at the weekend. So far it seems pretty good. The peeling process started almost straight away, and four days in my feet are scabby as all hell. Result!
  • Holika Holika Baby Silky Foot One Shot Peeling – around £6.50
    Have used this one a few times and it’s a pretty good foot de-scabbifier too.
  • Random no name Japanese foot peel – £3.95
    The main appeal of these is that they come from a UK eBay seller, so if you would like your Saturday night to be as fun as mine, this is a quick way to get hold of a foot peel. The down side is that they come in plain silver packaging with no instructions, so you need to know what you’re doing. There are also instructions on the eBay page. I’ve bought and used a few of these with no problems.

And now we will never speak of this again. Though if you spot me wearing trainers in a heatwave, now you know why.

  • What beautiful imagery you conjure up. You gave me a good old chortle whilst simultaneously selling foot peels to me. My hoofs will take some peeling though.

    • Well if you have good old horny hoofs then you could probably get the best peel of all – plenty to come off. You could drop a shoe size if you’re not careful.

  • Emma King

    Oh my goodness, this is right up my street! Along with those YouTube videos of big pus filled cysts and ear wax extraction!!! Is that just me?! I don’t know?!!

    • I would call it a niche interest, albeit a mildly disturbing one.

      • Well, I’m a nurse….what can I say….we’re a weird bunch of individuals!

  • I’m absolutely fascinated by the idea of these, but haven’t been able to bring myself to spend the money on a Footner one. So thanks for the bargain basement grossness tips!

    Also, this post was hilarious and I love you.

    Lis / last year’s girl

    • Thank you so much Lis! Always happy to supply bargain basement grossness!

  • I really like the PureDerm ones on Amazon as an alternative. Good tip about trainers haha!

    • Oh yes I’ve heard of those but I haven’t used them. PureDerm is a pretty solid Korean high street brand. They do some good face masks too.

      • Hannah Hargrave

        just wouldn’t want to get the food and face one mixed up!

  • Rae Ritchie

    Do you think there’s any danger of them stripping too much skin off?! I’m always tempted by these but worry about doing damage. Don’t want to end up with sore feet!

    • Lyndsey Gilmour

      I was just wondering the same. I think my husband could really benefit from one but am wondering how much he’d hate me afterwards if it didn’t go to plan. He does a lot of sport and I can’t decide if that would make him more sensitive or less?

      • Rae Ritchie

        Could go either way with sports and feet! My partner could definitely do with one too.

        • Well I have done about half a dozen foot peels over the last few years and never found that to be a problem. One thing you have to watch out for it not doing them if you have any open cuts or sores, because that could be a problem. But over all it’s a pretty safe treatment to do.

          • Rae Ritchie

            Thanks for reassurance – good to know!

  • Hannah Hargrave

    I should have put my bagel down before reading this! BUT now you’ve got me intrigued.

    • Uh oh, sorry about that Hannah. Hope I didn’t spoil your bagel!

      • Hannah Hargrave

        takes more than that to put me off my food!

  • Rachel Spencer

    I need this, my feet are so disgusting, thank you for sharing!

    • If you do a foot peel they will get more disgusting, but it’s worth it in the end

      • Rachel Spencer

        Ok am sold – off to find one!

  • TheBrickCastle

    I can see why this post is so popular – no messing and you’ve actually converted me to the idea. I really want to try it now because my feet are blooming awful at the moment! 😀

  • Nancy | Map and Family

    Eek, I’ve never tried one, didn’t even know they were widely available and in fact i’ve just googled for more details. Do you get blisters though, when you put your baby-soft feet back into shoes?!

  • I got a 2 for 1 deal on Footner (still shockingly expensive), but my husband was so horrified by the whole skin-shedding experience that I’ve been reluctant to try it again! Did surprise me when it actually worked.