How To Use A Pumice Stone For Your Softest Feet Ever

Megan Decker

You can’t discount the simple pleasure of baby-soft feet, especially in mid-July, when your body temperature starts rising just thinking about socks. It’s not only the appearance of pedicured feet — though, yes, white toenails definitely pop against a summer tan — but the feeling of butter-smooth arches, heels, and toes that makes you want to putter across your floor totally barefoot.

Of course, this summer, with many nail salons still closed for business, soft, un-calloused feet might sound like a pipe dream. But according to Miguel Cunha, DPM, podiatric surgeon and founder of Gotham Footcare in NYC, there’s a simple at-home answer: pumice.

Now, while you can DIY your way to a salon-quality pedicure, it’s important to note that you have to be super careful when wielding a pumice stone. If you’re too rough — for example, just scrubbing away absentmindedly in the shower — you’ll end up in a worse place than when you started, with over-exfoliated, hyper-sensitive feet. The prep and specific type of pumice you use is important, too.

The Prep

Just as you would while getting a pedicure at the salon, you’ll want to soak your feet before doing any scrubbing. “First, I suggest soaking your callouses in apple cider vinegar, water, and epsom salts for about 20 minutes,” Dr. Cunha says. “Then, dry your feet and apply a natural anti-fungal oil like castor, tea tree, or eucalyptus oil directly to the dead or calloused skin before pumicing.”

The Pumice

Following the foot soak, you’ll want to grab your non-synthetic, volcanic pumice. “I always recommend a pumice stone that’s made from actual volcanic material as opposed to a synthetic file, to avoid subjecting your skin to any chemicals,” Dr. Cunha explains, adding that your exfoliating process should be gentle. “Wet the pumice stone, then rub it over your calloused area in a circular motion, using light pressure.”

When To Stop

According to Dr. Cunha, you can pumice your feet for up to two minutes daily, but if your feet have ever felt itchy or raw after a pedicure, you know that overdoing it should be avoided at all costs. “Stop using your pumice stone if your skin starts to feel sensitive or sore, as this may be a result of applying too much pressure or excessive exfoliation of normal skin,” Dr. Cunha warns. “Also, do not use a pumice stone on open wounds or if you have any kind of nerve damage, because you won’t be able to accurately determine how hard to pumice.”

In the end, foot pumicing is like any other kind of physical exfoliation: key for softness and the removal of dead skin cells, but should always be practiced very gently.

At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.

Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

13 Nail Polishes That Are Perfect For Summer

7 Pro Tips For The Perfect At-Home Pedicure

Half-Dip Nails Are Blowing Up This Summer

More From

  • Score A Deal On R29’s New Home Decor Collection — For A Limited Time Only!

    Ok so maybe your coastal vacation plans are off the table for the time being, but that doesn’t mean a summer spent at home can’t be plenty glamorous too. In fact, that’s all the more reason to devote a little extra energy to revamping your apartment. This August, embrace the Chaotic Good journey that is a home makeover, and introduce some new color to your space with R29’s very own home decor collection. Throughout the course of the past year, Refinery29 has been working hard to create a joyful line of home goods curated specifically for our audiences. And for a limited time, everything is 10% off at Amazon — no promo code needed, just clip the onsite coupon!Designed in partnership with VCNY New York, the full collection is curated by women — and it features an exciting line-up of bright statement pillows, textiles, and sheet sets. Check in here for a look at some of our absolute favorite pieces, or head straight to Amazon to snag your own. Then, once your goods have arrived, revel in the knowledge that staycations just might have a merit of their own. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

  • These 15 Slip Dresses Will Be A Breeze To Wear From Now To Fall

    While there was a time when the slip dress was considered strictly bedroom — a hidden inner layer normally associated with curlers and fuzzy slippers — the lingerie-inspired frock has shed its pajama moniker to become a bona fide stand-alone dress. The slinky, Victoria's Secret catalog-bound number of the '90s has evolved past adult sleepover jammies. In fact, it's even evolved beyond the Céline and Saint Laurent chemises that kickstarted the trend a few years back. Nowadays, the dress is being reimagined into velvet dinner party frocks (yep, at-home ones too), happy hour attire, and house dresses. It's a four-season buy because you can wear it solo in the summertime, then layered it with a white tee as it got cooler and eventually a giant chunky sweater on top when it's freezing. For 15 slip dresses that say cozy day sleeping on a picnic blanket, rather than mood-lit bedroom, click ahead. At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?29 Cute Fall Dresses From Amazon33 Oversized Dresses To Waft Around The House In14 Plus-Size Dresses To Breeze Through Summer In

  • The Stars Want You To Open Up This August

    The month starts on an expansive note. We're encouraged to open our minds on August 3, when the Moon waxes full in forward-thinking Aquarius and creates a square against change-loving Uranus at 11:58 a.m. EST. This is a day to absorb what is happening around us and focus on flexibility. Chatty Mercury speeds into the proud sign of Leo on August 4, altering how we share our thoughts. We’ll enjoy a new sense of confidence while the messenger planet moves through this sign, but we’ll have to be prepared to put a little extra effort into listening. Charming Venus makes her way into sensitive Cancer on August 7, helping us be gentler with our loved ones. We may notice that we’re more doting toward our partners, or that we’re feeling more open to new relationships. August 15 offers us an opportunity to manage our energy, as change-loving Uranus stations retrograde in reliable Taurus. We're feeling a little jittery as this planet moves in reverse, and find it more challenging to tether our ideas. It’ll take more intention to center our thoughts, but if we make the effort it’ll pay off when Uranus stations direct in Taurus. Ready to get organized? The Sun enters Virgo's practical sign on August 22, helping us figure out where loose ends can be tied up. We can use this transit to figure out how we can become more efficient and save time for what matters.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The 2020 Revolution Was Written In The StarsHow Uranus, Planet Of Rebels, Rules A GenerationLeo Season Is Here, And It's Bringing Burning Love

  • Your Horoscope This Week

    The week could kick off with a little whiplash. On Sunday, the Sun forms a square against enigmatic Uranus, setting the stage for sudden changes that may feel a little overwhelming. We’ll get through it by taking the time to understand our evolution and allowing ourselves to be fluid during this transit. The Moon waxes full in intelligent Aquarius on Monday at 11:58 a.m. EST, creating a square with unpredictable Uranus. It’ll be a challenge to keep a cool head during this powerful transit, but we’ll be able to use the excitement to reflect upon our growth. Exercise empathy, as others may be experiencing intense changes. We should be prepared to forgive ourselves on Monday, while messenger Mercury opposes taskmaster Saturn. It's easy to focus on our mistakes and shortcomings as these planets clash — take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture. It could be tempting to act impulsively on Tuesday, when warrior Mars creates a square against abundant Jupiter. Make sure that the juice is worth the squeeze, and take extra time to make decisions during this transit. Chatty Mercury makes his way into Leo's charismatic sign on Tuesday, helping to elevate our thoughts and words. For anyone who’s wanted to amp up their public speaking skills or try their hand at acting, this is an excellent opportunity to get in front of an audience or a camera. We're feeling more in tune with our emotions starting Friday, as charming Venus enters the sensitive sign of Cancer. The planet of love and beauty encourages us to protect ourselves and express our most honest feelings to those closest to us.Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?The 2020 Revolution Was Written In The StarsHow Uranus, Planet Of Rebels, Rules A GenerationMercury Retrograde Doesn't Deserve All The Hate