I Tried The Viral Baby Foot Peel & The Results Surprised Me

Here’s what not to do.

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babyfoot peel before and after
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One thing to know about me is that I’m not someone who gets excited over viral beauty trends. I’m pretty much a loyal minimalist when it comes to my products. I’ve been using Cetaphil to wash my face since my 20s. I was teased for my bushy brows in middle school, but now thank my mother daily for not allowing me to over-tweeze them back then. And I find the prevalence of “clean girl” makeup eye-roll inducing at best and harmful at worst. So you shouldn’t be surprised to know that Baby Foot, the viral chemical peel that’s meant to make your feet molt like a snake, didn’t exactly pique my interest.

In terms of beauty years, I’m a dinosaur, and I first read about Baby Foot way back in 2015. The website I was working for at the time had one of its biggest traffic days ever when it posted its review. But even though I saw the images, I still wasn’t convinced that it was something that I needed to try. First of all, I am, as a rule, grossed out by peeling skin. And secondly, I got regular pedicures. So there was no need to buy an expensive product dedicated to turning my feet into a science experiment — right?

Then, a few months ago, I went on a trip to Italy that involved so much walking that my feet were in really rough shape. Along with the typical foot pain that accompanies this amount of activity, my heels were completely ruined. Deep, painful cracks had cropped up on the sensitive area, and after months, they still hadn’t healed.

I started my curing journey with a foot facial, which got me about 95% of the way there. My heels still had cracks on them, but they weren’t deep and painful like they’d been for months. Instead, they were surface-level with just a touch of dryness.

So, even though I was still a skeptic, I figured now was as good a time as any to give Baby Foot a try.

Courtesy of Maria Del Russo.

The instructions on the box are simple. After cleaning your feet, you apply the booties and let them soak for an hour. Remove the booties, rinse your feet with soap and water and then wait. After five to seven days, your feet are supposed to peel, and in two weeks they’ll be baby soft and gorgeous.

I followed the instructions to the letter. I took an extra-long shower to ensure my feet were nice and supple before slipping on the booties. The package recommends putting socks on to keep the plastic booties extra-secure, but I’d go the extra mile and suggest you don’t attempt to move at all. Just kick your feet up and let the chemicals do their thing. Once my hour was up, I removed the booties, gave my feet a rinse, and fell asleep dreaming of the day the skin on my feet would peel off in a sheet.

Except that day didn’t exactly come. On days one and two, my feet felt dry, which I took to mean that the Baby Foot was working. But by day seven, my feet still hadn’t begun to peel. So I continued to wait.

Around day 10 I had some light peeling around the cracks and on the tops of my feet that subsided just a few days later. And at the end of the two weeks my feet looked...basically the same. A little better? Sure. But I was robbed of the molting I’d been promised!

The photo on the left shows my feet on day one. The photo to the right shows my feet on day 14.

Courtesy of Maria Del Russo.
Courtesy of Maria Del Russo.

So where did I go wrong? I’ve since done a deep-dive into Reddit, where I’ve discovered a whole host of tips for getting the most out of your Baby Foot experience. So if you’re hoping to give this product a test drive, I suggest trying the following hacks:

  • Soak your feet before you put the booties on. Most reviewers suggest anywhere between 20-30 minutes.
  • Leave your booties on for twice the amount of time. Yes, you read that right. The majority of the reviews suggested between 90 minutes to two full hours to give the chemical peel plenty of time to soak in.
  • Soak your feet every day. Just making sure they’re wet in the shower isn’t enough. Plug the drain and let your feet stand in submerged water for at least 10 minutes, or pull out a basin and give your feet a good soak.
  • Keep your feet hydrated. I know, it seems counterintuitive but according to Redditors, putting lotion on your feet and keeping socks on will give your skin the extra oomph it needs to start peeling.

I’m still a bit of a skeptic when it comes to beauty trends like Baby Foot, and I’m still trying to nix the last remaining cracks on my heels. But I’ll definitely give Baby Foot another go following the above steps. And who knows? Maybe the next time I’ll finally fix my tired old soles.

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