Listerine Vinegar Foot Soak For Soft, Smooth Feet: Help or Hype?

Is the Listerine vingar foot soak for soft, smooth feet help or hype, fiction or fact?  A dermatologist and Family Savvy readers weigh in…….

Listerine Vinegar Foot SoakThousands of readers have visited Family Savvy to discover if the Listerine Vinegar Foot Soak for Soft, Smooth Feet is help or hype.  In case you haven’t seen the viral thread on Facebook, read below:

Ideal to help with those crusty feet! Get it right ladies!! …the BEST way to get your feet ready for summer. Sounds crazy but it works! Mix 1/4c Listerine (any kind but I like the blue), 1/4c vinegar and 1/2c of warm water. Soak feet for 10 minutes–the dead skin will practically wipe off!

Sounds convincing…but is there any TRUTH to the claim? Dermatologist Dr. Jo Herzog gives her medical opinion, and I weigh in after trying the soak for myself. First, let’s hear from Dr. Jo….

Dr. Jo Herzog

Dr. Jo Herzog, dermatologistI have been asked to comment on a widely circulating Facebook post about an “amazing” new method to soften feet for the summer. It involves soaking the feet in a mixture of listerine, vinegar and water. So, is this truth or hype?

You can actually google this foot soak and find many old-time remedies for dry feet that include these ingredients. I guess you won’t know until you try it. It certainly couldn’t hurt, and it might even help.  Your feet will surely be clean and tingly when you are done, especially if you use cool mint listerine. The two main ingredients are inexpensive and readily available in most homes, so the most you can lose is ten minutes and a few cents.

Listerine contains Thymol, an ingredient that does kill some bacteria and fungi. Although the concentration is lower in this than in some prescription products, it probably does “kill germs.”  I am not sure, however, whether  it would cause skin to exfoliate.

Vinegar is acetic acid. This also has some antibacterial properties and in a high enough concentration can cause irritation. Acetic acid contributes to cavity formation by eroding enamel from teeth. This might lead some to think that in low concentrations it can work to soften the skin and make it easier to exfoliate.

There have been several things written supporting the notion that vinegar and water soaks can be used to soften dry cracked heals. Some even recommend this for mild athlete’s foot. As I said earlier, it is worth a try if you have the time and the ingredients readily on hand.

There certainly is nothing wrong with or worrisome about soaking your feet in something safe enough to put in your mouth, so why not try this and see for yourself. Let’s hear what everyone thinks of this foot soak.  Maybe I will try adding a touch of peppermint and eucalyptus to make my own foot spa.

Hope this helped,

Dr. Jo

Jamie TarenceHi….it’s me again. Now that we’ve heard from Dr. Jo. I’d like to share my experience with the foot soak, which I tried firsthand so that I could see for myself. ….Below is my “recipe’ of ingredients:

Listerine Vinegar Foot Soak
1 cup of listerine
1 cup of vinegar
warm water to cover top of feet

Updated Method: I used to put the Listerine Vinegar solution into an aluminum pan. But after the frustration of warm water turning cold, I invested in this Brookstone Foot Spa, and I feel like I have a bona fide pedicure soak any time I want one. This product is amazing. Water can be heated to several temps, aqua jets can be turned on or off, and foot massagers and a pumice stone are placed where feet can reach them (without my ever having to bend or look down). Below is a photo of how I do my foot soak with the foot spa. Of course you can use a pan, bucket, or anything else that works. I just recently upgraded to this real deal foot spa and absolutely LOVE it! The water temp is adjustable and stays the temp you choose~for the entire time. This was the bee’s knees for me, as a foot soak is only as good as the water temp IMHO.

Listerine Vinegar Foot Soak soft smooth feet

Note: When using the Listerine Vinegar solution in the foot spa, I use the heat function and soak for 20 minutes or so. I do NOT use the aqua jets, as it foams and bubbles. I only use aqua jets with plain water and Epsom or magnesium salts..

Following the foot soak, I exfoliate using the listerine vinegar sugar scrub for feet (get the recipe here). I love love this scrub and try to keep it in the shower to use every day. It is easy to make, inexpensive, and keeps my feet super smooth.

My take on the listerine vinegar soak? I do enjoy the tingly, fresh cool sensation of the soak, and I like the fact that vinegar can soften skin naturally. These are the reasons I love this soak. As for the claims of dead, dry skin coming off? Nope. Not for me.

The Bottom Line: A foot soak alone won’t cause dry dead skin to “peel off.”  This process of exfoliation requires more steps. Read below the 5 steps that I follow to keep my feet soft, smooth, and sandal ready.

  1. For removing dry, dead skin, one of the best products I’ve found is Baby Foot baby foot exfoliating foot peel. I blogged about my husband’s experience in Blown Away By Baby Foot. Baby Foot uses fruit acids to penetrate into the skin. It is basically a chemical peel for feet, and it really works. If you don’t want dramatic, messy peeling, you can do a gradual chemical exfoliation with Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair. Used nightly with cotton socks, it will gradually remove dead skin and mild callouses.
  2. For maintaing soft feet after a good peel or pedicure, I routinely practice my version of the Best Ever DIY Pedicure. The products that I use are inexpensive and really work if used consistently.
  3. The listerine vinegar sugar scrub for feet is a listerine vinegar combo that works to keep feet smooth and soft. It is inexpensive and easy way to keep feet exfoliated.
    Amope electronic pedicure file

    Amope Pedi Foot Fileabsolutely amazing! This scrub has gotten tremendously positive feedback from Family Savvy readers who have tried it and love it.

  4. For stubborn callouses, we pull out the big gun (pictured at right)~the Amopé Pedi Perfect Electronic Pedicure Foot File. I LOVE this and use it weekly to smooth rough heels and the tops of my big toes (which get very dry for some reason).
    FootMate System

    FootMate System

  5. For easy scrubbing of feet without bending over.….the the FootMate System is another “treat for feet” that I put directly on my shower floor. Used daily with the rejuvenating gel, it cleans, massages, and softens feet (without my ever having to bend over:-). It tends to “tickle” the feet at first and takes some getting used to, but it is refreshing once you learn to tolerate it.

So the bottom line on soft, smooth feet is this: there is no “magic pill” that will do it all. The key is using good products, consistently, and establishing a good foot care routine. Here is a system that works for me.

So….there you have it; my tried and true products and techniques for achieving and maintaining soft feet. I’d love to hear back from you if you try any or all of these. As always, thanks for reading, be blessed, and stay savvy!

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