The One Thing That's Missing From Your At-Home Pedi

This foot peel is a bit odd, but oddly satisfying. More importantly, it actually works.

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Photo by Johner Images/Getty Images

After a summer of walking around in sandals, your feet might need a bit more than a pumice stone. Even if you manage to get beyond the anxiety that comes with shoving your beast-like claws (no, just me?), in front of that poor manicurist, you may walk away with slightly smoother soles that last for all of two blocks.



Enter Baby Foot; an at-home exfoliating treatment for your feet that’s been kicking around in Japan since 1997, but has recently amassed a cult following stateside for its ability to leave heels as if they’ve never been walked on. Each kit ($25, babyfoot.com) comes with two pre-filled plastic “boots” that are packed with natural extracts that slough off skin without being too drying or abrasive. We had our adventurous intern, Katy, put the peel to the test:

“I took a shower and washed my feet before putting on these boot-shaped pouches. Then, using the tape that comes in the box, I secured them at my ankles. I had to slide socks over the booties so I could actually walk downstairs. My mom could not stop laughing when she saw me, and my brother questioned, ‘What kind of internship is this again?’ I left them on for an hour as instructed, took them off, and rinsed my feet thoroughly.”

“After three days, light peeling began. It wasn’t too crazy or that noticeable. I mistakenly thought the process was in full swing and thought this isn’t too bad.

“By day five, I was pulling inch-sized pieces of skin from my feet. The top, bottom, and sides were all peeling profusely. It was so satisfying to watch the dead skin fall away.”

“A week and a half later, the process is finally complete. My feet are so much softer and less haggard looking. I keep running my hands over my heels because they're so smooth. I'd definitely do this again, but maybe before sandal season—not during!”

Some tips to consider:

  • Soak feet beforehand to maximize absorption of the treatment. Continue to soak feet in subsequent days to speed up the peeling process.
  • Your feet will shed like crazy for a few days (seriously, some testers liken it to a reptile shedding, or a penguin molting!) so it’s best to try this when you can hide them in closed-toe shoes. At the very least, we’d advise that you don’t do it before an interview—or first date.
  • Exfoliating foot peels may sometimes be TOO good at doing their job. “While they can soften and smooth the outer layers of the skin, if they remove too many layers, it can affect your foot's naturally thick, protective covering that makes walking comfortable. This is OK if you can afford to be extra careful with your feet for a few days, but if you have to wear those heels that always rub you raw, hold off on the peel,” advises Jessica Krant, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at the Laser & Skin Surgery Center of New York and Assistant Clinical Professor of Dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center.