How Exfoliating Socks Work & The Best To Try

How Exfoliating Socks Work & The Best To Try

Sandal season is here, so it might be time to give your feet some attention. If you’ve neglected yours, foot peels and exfoliating socks offer a minimal-effort solution for some at-home maintenance. Alpha hydroxy acids and hydrating glycerine work to break down the top layers of your skin, with the results usually lasting for months at a time. Keen to give them a go? Here are the ones we rate…
Photography: ISTOCK

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.


Footner Exfoliating Socks, £9.99

BEST FOR: Long-Lasting Results

WHY WE RATE THEM: Considered the ‘OG’ of foot peelers, these clever socks are pricey, but so worth it. The mandelic acid-formula works hard to remove dead skin, so leave them on for an hour before rubbing in any excess formula for optimum results. After about four days, the peeling and shredding will begin, revealing super-smooth skin underneath. Just don’t be tempted to peel anything off yourself – leave the skin to flake naturally, instead.Available at


Holika Holika Baby Silky Foot One Shot Peeling Mask, £9.95

BEST FOR: Speedy Peeling

WHY WE RATE THEM: Designed to bring puffy, swollen feet back to life, this Korean mask sheds dead skin within ten to 14 days. It can be used monthly for ongoing maintenance, but the smooth and hydrated results should last for at least two months initially. Try wearing a soft loose sock over your booties to ensure the liquid is distributed evenly. We also love how well the non-sticky formula absorbs, so you’re never left with any tacky residue when you put your shoes on or go to bed. Available at


Oh K! Peeling Foot Mask, £6.80

BEST FOR: Those On A Budget

WHY WE RATE THEM: One of the best budget options out there, this affordable foot mask is great for getting rid of hard, dry skin quickly. Using exfoliating AHAs, it’s gentle, while still providing effective results. Pop the socks on and leave them for at least an hour. Immediately after, they’ll feel smoother and flake-free, but in terms of the shedding process, be patient – you’ll find results take at least a week to manifest. When they do begin to work, skin will appear fresher and feel softer to the touch. They work particularly well on cracked heels, too.Available at



Skin Republic Foot Peel Mask, £9.99

BEST FOR: Skin Softening Benefits

WHY WE RATE THEM: If you’re after a peel that isn’t too intense, this is the one for you. Brimming with fruit extracts and AHAs, it offers light shedding in just a few days. It doesn’t just exfoliate though – it also deeply hydrates thanks to vitamin E, rosemary leaf extract and olive fruit extract, providing instant relief to hard, dry soles. Added anti-inflammatory ginkgo biloba leaf extract makes them a treat for overly hot feet, too. Available at


Beauty Pie Dr Glycolic™ Soft Feet Peel Socks, £15 

BEST FOR: Dry Callused, Dehydrated FeetWHY WE RATE THEM: Designed to give you baby soft feet, these comfortable socks pull on like boots, then you simply tape them around your ankles and wait an hour. After washing them, you'll wonder if anything is happening, but allow at least four days. Gradually, you'll start to see skin shed - don't worry it satisfying - thanks to exfoliating glycolic and lactic acids, as well as natural fruit extracts which lock in some moisture, too. Unlike similar foot masks, the peeling is impressive, but it doesn't go on for days, which is great if you feel self-conscious of your skin shedding. The only key thing to note is you should avoid moisturising your feet for seven days post-use - this will only interfere with the process, so hold off. Available at

*PLEASE NOTE: The skin on your feet should be treated the same as your face. If you’re suffering with any skin conditions, inflammation or irritation, always speak to a professional before applying exfoliating socks. Likewise, if you have a reaction, speak to your GP or local pharmacist immediately.

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