I Tried Those Weird Skin-Peeling Socks So You Don’t Have To

So, that’s a nice photo at the top of the page, no? Well, nice-ISH, anyway. OK, kind of meh, really… but given that this post is about socks that make the skin on your feet fall off, when you consider the kind of photos I COULD have exposed you to here, I think you’ll all agree that this one is preferable, somehow. You can thank me any time.

(Oh, and, just to be clear, there will be no photos of feet in this post: because, a) GROSS, and b) I’ve already had one email from a foot fetishist this month, and that’s one too many for me, really. Sorry Brian-also-from-Scotland.)

Anyway, let’s talk about skin-peeling socks, shall we?

So, as you probably know, this kind of product has been on the market for a while now, and while there are a few different brands to choose from, they all seem broadly similar, in that you basically get a pair of plastic, gel-filled socks, which you wear for 60-90 minutes, before removing. And then all the skin on your feet falls off, the end.

OK, not quite: you actually have to wait another 7 – 10 days for the skin on your feet to fall off. Er, I’m not really selling this, am I?

It might sound odd, but, first of all, it’s not ALL of the skin on your feet that falls off, just some of it. And when I say, “falls off,” I really mean, “Peels or flakes off gradually, over a period of a few days, revealing the beautiful, baby-soft skin underneath”. So, it’s an exfoliating product with a difference, basically – the difference being that it sounds absolutely gross.

So, obviously I had to try it.

starskin exfoliating foot mask socks reviewI bought the StarSkin ‘Magic Hour’ Exfoliating Socks, purely because they caught my eye while I was placing an ASOS order one day. Here’s what the brand says about them:

This innovative exfoliation technology contains lactic acid to gently and effectively remove calluses and dead skin without any harsh scrubs or physical exfoliation. Its unique proprietary blend of 35 botanical ingredients includes soothing rooibos, softening soybean, brightening Acerola and calendula to rejuvenate tired feet. Dead skin and calluses will start to gradually peel away, unveiling the smooth, soft skin underneath.

I actually bought these a few months ago, but they’d been sitting in the bathroom cabinet ever since, because, well, there’s never really a good time to have the skin flake off your feet, is there? I mean, I couldn’t do it during the summer, because I wear sandals then, but there were a couple of things later in the year that I wanted to wear shoes rather than boots to, and, then, of course, we ended up going on holiday in December, so I couldn’t do it THEN, either.

And this, I think, is the biggest problem with this product: sure, the treatment itself might be as easy as popping a pair of socks on – because it literally IS popping a pair of socks on – but, a week or so later, your feet are going to start peeling, so you’re going to want to make sure you’ve blocked off a good few days in your diary under the heading, “GROSS, PEELING FEET: CANCEL ALL APPOINTMENTS.” (OK, OK, I’m exaggerating slightly: your entire LIFE won’t have to revolve around your peeling hobbit-feet, but your WARDROBE definitely will. Which is the same thing really, amiright?)

But I’m getting ahead of myself, here. To get back to the story, back at the start of January, I finally decided that if there was ever going to be a good time to have flaky feet, the coldest, dreariest month of the year was probably it. So, I opened up the packet, cut open the socks, and popped them on: at which point I realised I wasn’t going to be able to walk now for the next 90 minutes – whoops. (I didn’t take a photo of the actual socks themselves, needless to say, but just imagine two plastic bags tied to your feet, and you’ll pretty much have it…)

The socks are filled with gel, you see, so while they don’t feel unpleasant to wear, I wouldn’t really recommend trying to walk around in them either, or you’ll be sliding all over the place – as I discovered, when I tried to leave the bathroom with them on my feet. Luckily I’d chosen a day for this experiment when Max was with my parents, and I wasn’t going to have to move around much, so I shuffled awkwardly into the bedroom and pulled a pair of slippers on over the socks. Then I headed back downstairs to my desk (I found I could walk more-or-less normally once I had the slippers on. Squishily, obviously, but normally….) , and got on with some work, while the gel-filled socks did their thing. So far, so totally undramatic.

Now, one of the slightly stranger aspects of this treatment is that the results aren’t immediate: it takes anything from 7-10 days for the skin to start peeling off, so when you remove the socks at the end of the designated 90 minutes, you’ll see absolutely no difference at all, and will start to wonder if you’ve just been sitting there wearing a pair of plastic socks for no reason. Which would be exactly the kind of thing that would happen to me, huh?

In my case, nothing happened for the next couple of days either, and, even although I knew perfectly well that this would be the case, I was quietly convinced that nothing WOULD happen, and that this was another escapade I was going to have to file under, ‘Why Am I So Stupid?’

On day 3, though, I was trying on some new, ankle-length jeans when I suddenly realised they were providing the perfect showcase for my new, crocodile-skin ankles. I’d picked the wrong time to buy ankle-length jeans, obviously: and not just because the very first time I wore them, Max was to throw an entire bowl of cereal over my legs, but also because my ankles now looked straight-up SCARY, with the skin flaking and peeling all over the place. I was very, very glad I’d decided to do this in the middle of winter, when it’s possible to just wear boots and socks all the time, let’s put it that way.

(In this product’s defence, only one of my ankles was affected like this, and I suspect it was probably the fault of the slippers I was wearing, which are the type that come up to your ankle, a bit like UGG boots (Oh, don’t laugh, they’re super-cosy, OK?). I’m guessing one of them must have forced the gel inside the sock much higher up my leg than it was supposed to go, so worry not: I don’t think flaky ankles will happen to everyone who uses these socks… just the ones who are stupid enough to wear slipper-boots with them, really.)

Once my ankle started flaking, of course, my feet weren’t far behind, and within a few days I’d gone from worrying that the skin-peeling effect of the socks was never going to start, to worrying that it wasn’t going to stop. Guys, my feet were a MESS.  “Wow, your feet are an absolute MESS!” confirmed Terry one day, when he’d somehow managed to catch a glimpse of them, despite my best efforts to keep them covered up at all times. And he was right, too: they were gross and flaky, and, well, let’s just say this is definitely an, “It’ll get worse before it gets better,” kind of treatment. Like, much, MUCH wore.

The peeling went on for over a week, during which time you’re advised to soak your feet daily (I didn’t) and avoid using foot cream, even although your feet will look like they’re just crying out for a good dose of foot cream. I also started writing this post during that time, and, at the time, I was pretty sure the review I was writing wasn’t exactly going to be a glowing one, let’s put it that way. It’s a good job most of my posts take about four days to write at the moment, though (Thanks, Max!), because by the time I reached the end of this one, I’d completely reversed my opinion on this product.


Because it works – simple as that. And, not only does it work, it works at least 50 times better than anything else I’ve tried: and trust me when I tell you that I’ve tried it ALL – the Microplane Foot File, the Ped Egg, innumerable cheap rip-offs of both, various different things that look like this, sacrifices to the Foot Gods… you name it.  All of these have worked to varying degrees, but nothing – nothing – has left my feet as soft as they are right now, just around two weeks after using the StarSkin Exfoliating Socks. Seriously, I’m sitting here like a straight-up queen, who’s never had to walk anywhere in her life, and has just been carried around on a golden litter all the time. Here is an actual picture of me right now, in fact:


OK, I am, once again, exaggerating very slightly. HOW DID YOU KNOW? I’m not, however, exaggerating when I tell you how impressed I am with this product – and that actually leaves me with a bit of a dilemma, to be honest. I mean, on the one hand – or foot, rather – this is, without doubt, the best foot exfoliating product I’ve ever used. It’s also, however, a giant pain in the ass, what with the peeling, and the flaking, and the walking around in squishy, gel-filled socks for an hour and a half. So I’m torn, really. Because, I want to love it unreservedly, but I think I’m only going go be able to love it, er, reservedly – which is a shame, but what can you do?

Will I buy it again, though?

Er, probably, yes.  Most likely the very next time I find myself placing an ASOS order, in fact. Which kind of says it all, really, doesn’t it?

Ever tried skin-peeling socks in the name of beauty? What did you think of them?

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  • Myra


    Sounds gross, but great lol

    January 29, 2019
  • HAhahahaha! Just had to explain to Mr Mc what I am laughing at. Love this story. Now when have I got enough time to try this product out for myself.
    Thank you so much for sharing. Jill x

    January 29, 2019
  • Diana


    I was actually planning to buy foot exfoliating product at the end of the winter and was wondering which one, so your review is right on time for me! 🙂 I have used exfoliating socks before but since it was seven years ago it was a bit different – I had to have the socks on for an hour for seven consecutive days. And then to keep them covered for two weeks while the skin is peeling. So actually to me this product sounds like an upgrade – only one wear and that’s it.

    January 29, 2019
  • Karlie


    I love them. They really are the only product that removes all the rough skin. I am going to Hawaii in April and have already started working out when the best time to do this again.

    January 29, 2019
  • Miss Kitty


    This sounds exactly what I need for the horrible thick skin on the bottom of my feet – except I’m not sure how to cope with the peeling bit. My office dress code calls for flat black shoes and I normally wear a pair of ballet flats, but it might be a bit hard to hide the peeling! I think I will keep it up my sleeve and try it out in winter, when I might get away with wearing a thick pair of tights with my shoes. You’ve definitely got me interested though!

    January 30, 2019
  • I have tried a similar product… but it didn’t work! It was also half the price, which may have had something to do with it. Bookmarked! x

    January 31, 2019
  • Never even heard of exfoliating socks. Wasn’t aware that was a thing. And i can totally see the pain in the bum aspect. But am tempted to give them a try as well… since I am always desperately looking for something to help get pretty feet ready for summer. Do you know (yet) how long the effect is supposed to last? Thanks for being our guinea pig for weird stuff like this, always enjoy your reviews

    February 1, 2019
  • Vicky


    OMG, what a coincidence, I am literally sitting here right now with a pair of those squishy socks on, catching up on blogs because I can’t walk about and “do” stuff! I have never tried them before but am hoping for some serious peeling.

    February 2, 2019
  • Heidi L.


    Did this have any detrimental effect on nail polish on your toes?

    February 6, 2019