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Gross alert: I peeled off the skin from my feet and it was incredibly satisfying

By Grace McGettigan
26th Jul 2023
Gross alert: I peeled off the skin from my feet and it was incredibly satisfying

If you have hard or dry skin on your feet, an exfoliating foot mask is worth a try.

Disgusting alert: I’m about to talk about peeling off the skin on my feet. If you’re in any way squeamish (or you’re just about to have dinner), I suggest you stop reading now.

Still with me? Great. It all began on a sunny afternoon in Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin. While waiting for a local pharmacist to fill my prescription, I busied myself with an exploration of their beauty shelves. There, among hydrating face masks and cleansing foams, was a stack of exfoliating foot masks. Intrigued, I picked one up to learn more.

The packet claimed to “perfectly peel away calluses and dead skin cells” to reveal “beautifully smooth feet”. While my feet weren’t terribly “callusy” to begin with, I did have some areas of hard, dry skin that I wanted to get rid of. I mean, it is flip-flop season after all. Considering I don’t like pedicures and I’m willing to try anything once, I figured a €2.50 foot mask was worth a shot (gross or not).

The foot mask

Foot mask

Back home, I followed the instructions to a tee. First, I washed my feet thoroughly in the shower before heading back to my bedroom. The process takes 90 minutes so it’s important to be in a comfortable environment with something to do to pass the time. With Netflix to my right and snacks to my left, I was ready to go.

The pack contains two plastic sock-like masks; both of which are lined with liquid botanical extracts.

I slipped my feet inside and felt the water-like extracts (including papaya, lemon, and chamomile) engulf the soles of my feet. It felt weird in a cool and refreshing kind of way.

After 90 minutes, I removed the socks and rinsed off any residue in the shower. That day, my feet looked (and felt) very much the same as always.

The following day…

Day two; no change either. By day three, my skin felt oddly tight. Imagine trying to cover a kitchen plate with cling-film, only to find there’s not quite enough cling-film for the job. You stretch it out to the max, as far as it will go. That’s what my skin felt like.

Then, on day four, the skin couldn’t tighten anymore. Little cracks appeared and the peeling process began. From the tips of my toes to the back of my heels, strips of skin peeled away like sheets of wallpaper.

If you’ve ever experienced peeling skin from sunburn, it looked a bit like that. It didn’t hurt. There was no blood and no stinging sensation. Just strips of old skin peeling away to reveal soft, supple skin underneath.

The peeling process continued over the next few days. Because it doesn’t feel like anything, I forgot it was even happening. I took my sock off after work one night to find a layer of my skin still inside it. Nasty, I know, but satisfying. If you like squeezing spots or watching Doctor Pimple Popper on YouTube, you’ll love it.

By the end of the week, my feet were silky smooth and sandal-worthy.