How to Remove Dead Skin from Feet: 7 Methods to Try

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Remove dead skin from your feet with an at-home DIY foot soak. 3 easy foot soak recipes: Epsom salt soak, vinegar foot bath, and baking soda with lemon.

I don’t know about you, but my feet could use some TLC before I slide on my flip flops this summer! The good news is it’s easy to get your feet summer ready without a pricey trip to the salon.

It’s simple to do an at-home DIY foot soak to remove dead skin from your feet. So grab a book or turn on your favorite podcast, let your feet soak and treat yourself to a mini at-home pedicure!


what can i soak my feet in for dry skin

Vinegar soaks may help soften feet and allow you to remove dead, dry, or cracked skin. You can use almost any type of vinegar. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar are popular options, and you may already have them in your kitchen. Use cool water to create the soak, as hot water may dry out the skin more.

1. Pumice stone

A pumice stone is a natural lava stone that can help remove dead skin and callouses from your feet.

  • Dip the pumice stone in warm water. You can also soak your feet in warm water for 10 minutes to soften them.
  • Gently move the stone in a circular or sideways motion around your foot to remove dead skin. Focus on removing the top layer of the skin and not the entire area of dead skin, which will help promote healthy cell turnover.
  • Apply lotion or oil afterward to help soften your feet.
  • Never use a pumice stone on injured or sore areas.

    2. Paraffin wax

    Many nail salons offer paraffin wax as an add-on for a pedicure treatment.

    Paraffin wax is a soft wax that’s melted at a medium temperature of around 125°F (51°C). The wax shouldn’t be hot enough to burn or irritate your skin.

    You can also do a paraffin wax treatment at home using an at-home paraffin wax bath, or you can melt the wax in a sauce pan and then transfer it to a bowl for dipping your feet.

    During a paraffin wax treatment, you’ll dip your feet in the wax several times. After several layers of wax are applied, wrap your feet in plastic.

    After the wax hardens, you can remove the wax. Any dead skin on your feet will be removed along with the wax. Your feet should feel soft afterward.

    Do not use paraffin wax if:

  • you have poor blood circulation
  • you have a rash or open sore on your feet
  • you’ve lost feeling in your feet, such as from diabetic neuropathy
  • If you use paraffin wax at home, be very cautious and monitor the temperature of the wax with a candy thermometer.

    Most pharmacies and drug stores sell different foot scrubs over the counter. Look for one with granules that will help scrub away dead skin.

    Or, you can even make your own by diluting two tablespoons of sea salt into equal amounts of baby oil and lemon juice.

    To use a foot scrub, apply the scrub directly to your foot and rub gently with your palm. Or use with a foot scrub brush or sponge to remove dead skin.

    Rinse scrub thoroughly with warm water after use.

    6 DIY foot soaks for dry skin, pain, relaxation, and more

    Do not rub or scrub the skin during the foot bath, and avoid using soap or harsh cleansers.

    A person may also wish to massage their feet during this foot soak. They can add marbles to the bottom of the basin and apply gentle pressure, or use oils to massage the feet by hand when they are dry.

    A 2017 review notes that there is currently no strong evidence that the skin absorbs a significant amount of magnesium from bathing. However, some studies suggest the skin may absorb small amounts, so people may feel some benefit from Epsom salt foot soaks.

    Some people use foot soaks as an opportunity to relax, and certain essential oils may boost this effect. According to a 2015 review, geranium, roman chamomile, and lavender have links with relaxation.

    However, as these are laboratory studies, they do not prove these ingredients can treat or cure fungal infections in people. However, a person may find that they discourage fungus growth.

    Listerine & Vinegar Foot Soak Recipe

    To start, add one part Original Listerine (or other yellow antiseptic mouthwash*,) one part vinegar, and two cups warm water to a foot bath big enough to fit two feet.

    *Note: Any kind of mouthwash will work for this purpose, but the bright blue or green ones often have a tendency to stain skin. The stain fades pretty quickly, but if you want to avoid the issue entirely, use a yellow mouthwash instead!


    It’s so simple to make your own foot soak. I love that any of these foot soak recipes can be customized to meet your individual needs or mood.

    All of these homemade foot soaks start with warm water. From there you can add salt, baking soda, vinegar, herbs, or essential oils for the perfect foot soak for you.

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