I Tried Two Of Those Weird Foot Exfoliating Socks – And Peeling My Skin Was Oddly Satisfying

How did Poundland’s Foot Peel product perform compared to Footner’s £20 version?
HuffPost UK

In Spenny vs Penny we compare the products we love, with those following in their (sometimes pricey) footsteps. Here I try exfoliating socks, supposed to reveal smooth feet by sloughing off the gnarled top layer of skin. I compared Footner’s Amazon best-seller to Poundland’s offering – which won?

I’m no ophiophilist (a person who loves snakes), but the idea of shedding a layer of skin is, weirdly, quite intriguing. Which is how I find myself on the sofa one evening wearing exfoliating socks, with the promise they will remove any dead cells to reveal lovely smooth skin underneath.

Compared to some of the hideous trotters out there, I’d say my feet are quite nice – a bit on the wide side, which makes them look like slightly square – but the skin is perfectly fine. While I wouldn’t ordinarily have bought these socks, the internet seems to be going mad for them and it’s sandal-wearing season. And, crucially, I am the only idiot on my team willing to give them a go.

The socks come in pairs, obviously, so I decide to try a different brand on each foot. I rope my boyfriend into testing the socks alongside me: he runs and plays football a lot, so his feet are… not so nice, making a good test subject.

We put the more expensive foot peel socks onto our right feet, and the cheaper socks onto our left feet. How would the products compare?

No, I'm not including pictures of our feet – this illustration will have to do.
Ceneri via Getty Images
No, I'm not including pictures of our feet – this illustration will have to do.

The first thing to say about these socks is that they are more like weird plastic boots. They’re quite large, meaning you have to slide your foot in, then secure them by folding the excess plastic and fastening with a sticky label. You need to keep them on for an hour, which doesn’t feel too much of a stretch – I won’t lie, I was quite content watching Killing Eve and sharing half a packet of biscuits. Going to the loo is a pain though: I ended up walking to the bathroom like a newborn pony.

According to the instructions, your skin should start to peel off 7-10 days after donning the ridiculous boots – but four days later, and mine had started to shed. It began peeling from the middle of my sole, eventually reaching my heel and my toes a few days later. Underneath was super-smooth skin, like a baby’s foot just in a UK size 6, waiting to be revealed.

The packaging warns against peeling your skin off, in case you get carried away and hurt yourself. The temptation, however, was impossible to resist. Most satisfying was peeling the big strips of skin from the middle of my foot, but peeling it around the nail was also fun. I would highly recommend trying this with someone you live with, because then you can also peel the skin off of their foot too. My idea of heaven.

But while my feet did look lovely, a week after trying the boot I got an almighty blister from my Birkenstocks, which I wore all summer last year without any problems. It made me question whether the socks were actually worth the flakey hassle.

Penny: DermaV10 Exfoliating Foot Peel, Poundland, £1

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, this version looked and felt cheaper than the Footner equivalent. My sticky label kept unfastening (although this is likely due to poor application than anything else) and the liquid inside also made our feet feel quite sensitive – something you might overlook if you had both your feet in the Poundland boot, but you really notice the difference when the tingling is only happening on one foot. This product also had to stay on for 90 minutes, which felt like a long time – especially as we were watching the underwhelming second series of Killing Eve.

One week later, no skin had come off. I was so impatient, given the pure joy of removing the skin from the other foot, that I started picking prematurely and made the skin between my toes bleed. Gross, but that was the kind of detail you came for.

It took more than a week for our feet to start peeling fully, which was mostly annoying as it coincided with the heatwave, meaning our flakey feet were on full display in the park. Three weeks later, and they still aren’t fully shed. If you’re using your foot peel ahead of an event or holiday, plan ahead – otherwise your feet could be at a stage which is worse than when you started.

So which would I recommend? Probably neither, I’m not sure after weeks of flakey skin and blisters from well-worn shoes either foot peel is really worth it. But if you’re still keen to try, the end result looks the same with both socks – if you’re on a budget, try Poundland; if you’re short on time, go for Footner.

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