It’s not often that I would dedicate a blog post to a week in the life of my feet – but they have had a fairly exciting time recently as I decided to try a pair of Footner exfoliating socks. That’s right – there are socks that pedicure your feet. How genius is that? The experience went something like this….. (warning, there may be ucky foot pictures ahead!)
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What are Footner Exfoliating Socks?
They are basically a foot peel mask that magically exfoliates off all your dead skin.
Rather than applying the mask directly to your feet though, you place your feet into plastic covers – rather like those booties you wear at the swimming pool over your normal shoes – and let the mask do its thing.
How Does Footner Work?
I just told you, magic.
Jus shout ‘dead skin expelliarmos’ while wearing the booties and off it goes.
Oh all, right, I’ll do science.
All foot exfoliating socks, work by using hydroxy acids to break down the bonds that stick dead skin cells to your feet. Without these bonds, the skin cells start to shed.
You wear the Footners for an hour, rinse things off, then over the next two weeks you start to flake off the old dead skin and reveal new baby soft feet.
What are the Ingredients in Footner Socks?
Footner contains …
Aqua, Mandelic Acid, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Allantoin, Aqua & Propylene Glycol & Cucumis Sativus Juice, Sodium Lactate, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid.
Here’s what most of those do…
Of those, the main active ingredient (as its highest on the list) is likely to be Mandelic Acid which is an alpha-hydroxy acid also found in skincare. Other acids include Lactic Acid and Glycolic Acid. These help loosen the skin bonds and trigger the peeling.
Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate is made from liquorice and has anti-inflammatory properties. I’m guessing it’s used here to help calm the skin and reduce risk of irritation from the acids.
Sodium Hyaluronate is a derivative of hyaluronic acid – a substance found naturally in the skin that provides moisture.
Propylene and Butylene Glycol help ingredients penetrate the skin. Depending on your beauty knowledge, you might have read some negative things about these because they are derived from petroleum. Here’s an independent review, from a chemist, about why that might not be as scary as it might sound.
Allantoin. Usually comes from plants. Helps speed up cell renewal.
Cucumis Sativus is cucumber juice! Again, I’m guessing this is here because of its skin-soothing properties.
Sodium Lactate helps balance PH – handy if you’re using products with acids.
They do contain alcohol and so aren’t recommended for anyone who is sensitive to this on their skin.
Like many foot products, you also shouldn’t use them if you’re are diabetic. Pregnant women also shouldn’t use Footner.
Also, avoid them if you have Athlete’s Foot or any other kind of skin problem on your feet.
What Happens When You Use Footner Socks?
Here’s a week in the life of my feet after using them.
Last Saturday: Pop my feet into the Footner. Instructions are simple. Put on the socks, relax for an hour. Rinse.
They’re made of plastic so it’s kind of like sitting wearing a carrier bag full of nasty smelling gloopy gel.
You can move around the socks, but they’re a bit slippy so, best stay put if you can. Also, unlike the photo below you’re best to sit with your feet horizontal so the gel doesn’t drip.
Wednesday. I went to London wearing plimsols and tights – it was a bit warm for that. I then got home, went to rinse my feet off and realised bits of skin were peeling from the soles.
My brain, of course, has erased all memory of the sock wearing hour.
A brief scream and quick brain scan of the symptoms of athlete’s foot/leprosy, I then remembered. The Footner Peeling Process had begun.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Attempt not to pick at peeling feet – fail miserably.
Resort to setting a ‘you are only allowed to pick for two minutes – and you mustn’t pull anything that doesn’t flake off easily’ rule.
Discuss peeling feet with other journalists on twitter – seriously, if there’s a meeting of beauty journos in the next few days, there will be a lot of closed-heel shoes.
Sunday – the peeling process is nearly complete other than a tiny bit of really hard skin at the base of my heels which should fall off in a day or two according to the instructions. I am virtually sandal ready!
Easiest. Pedicure. Ever.
I have however found a list of things that you can’t do while peeling is in process…
Wear any kind of sandal, unless you want people to think you have leprosy
Go swimming or to a spa – see above
Go shoe shopping – seriously, they will throw you back out into the High Street before you can say ‘it’s cosmetic honest’
Diet – you spend a lot of willpower trying not to peel off the skin. This uses up any you may have required to cut calories.
Stay at a friend’s house or visit people who make you remove your shoes – you will leave traces of yourself on their carpet!
My Footner Verdict
Okay, this is supposed to be a Footner Review so, best I get to the actual review bit.
I loved them.
I’m a runner and I wear flip flops most of the time which are dreadful for triggering hard skin build-up on your heels. My feet are, frankly, hoof-like and getting them under control normally involves professional intervention from a podiatrist using something that looks like something out of the Black and Decker catalogue.
These sorted them out and all it involved from me was an hour sitting still and keeping my shoes on in public for ten days.
They probably aren’t right for you if you normally keep your feet sandal-ready (just in case you need to don a slingback or jet off to Bali or something) as there won’t be enough of a build-up to warrant the acid attack – but, if like most people you develop a dead skin build up over the winter and only confront the horror when there’s a chance that you might actually have to reveal your feet, it’ll save you endless initial scrubbing (which can make things quite sore after all).
Where to Buy Footner Exfoliating Socks
In the UK you can buy Footner in Boots, Superdrug and Lloyds Pharmacy.
Of, if you want to have them delivered to your door in a jiffy, click here to buy them from Amazon.
9 Tips For The Best Footner Results
If you’re going to try a Footner foot peel there are a few tips that help improve your results.
Spend a bit of time getting them in place and make sure the socks are in contact with all of your feet. The gel has to soak in properly to work. It can help to wear normal socks over the top of them to keep them firmly in place.
Allow two weeks to get results – if you’re going to have to wear sandals on a specific date allow the time so you’re not still scaly and disgusting.
3. Don’t Moisturise
It might feel like a good idea to apply foot cream after the treatment – or, during the 10 days, you’re waiting to peel – but don’t. It’ll reduce the effects.
4. Protect Some Areas
If for some reason you don’t want to remove the skin from an area of your foot – maybe you’re a runner who has built up a protective callous in one place then put Vaseline on that area before putting the socks on and Footner say it will help reduce peeling in that area.
After the treatment, Footner says there’s no reason why you shouldn’t do sport, but, once you have peeled, if you are prone to blisters or rubbing in an area you might want to protect that with some padding or Moleskin (like this one from Dr Scholl) after peeling as now the area is thinner it may be more prone to damage from rubbing.
5. To Speed Up Your Results
If you need/want to speed things up, soak your feet in hot water for 30 minutes a day for the first 4-5 days after treatment.
6. Wear Sunscreen
If you’re peeling before your beach break, make sure you put sunscreen on your feet – because you’re revealing new fresh skin it will burn more easily than the old hard stuff.
7. Maintain Things Easily
You can use Footner socks about once a month. In between, use manual exfoliators like a foot file or Ped Egg to keep things under control afterwards.
Or, try the Emjoi Micro Pedi which is probably my favourite foot product after the Footner Socks.
Main image: Freedigitalphotos.net
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster, and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail, and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.