Curious if the Listerine vingar foot soak for soft, smooth feet is help or hype? Read on to hear from a dermatologist (and myriad readers who’ve tried it).
Thousands 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
I 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. If nothing else, the soak could help with smelly feet, which I write about in this post.
Hope this helped,
Hi….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
For quick foot soaks, I use an aluminum pan, but for DIY “pampering,” I invested in this Brookstone Foot Spa, and I feel like I have a bona fide pedicure soak any time I want one. Water can be heated to several temps, aqua jets can be turned on or off, and foot massagers and a pumice stone are placed inside also. Below is a photo of how I do my foot soak with the foot spa.
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). If you don’t want to make your own scrub, I link to my fave store bought scrub below.
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. But does the soak cause dry, dead skin to “peel off?” Nope. That’s totally hype.The Bottom Line: This foot soak won’t cause dry dead skin to “peel off.” This process of exfoliation requires bigger guns, but thankfully, they are readily available and quite affordable. Best of all, they don’t require a trip to the spa or a doctor’s office.
Below are some of the products that are very effective at removing dead skin, removing and softening callouses, and keeping feet soft.
Disclaimer: If you have diabetes or foot conditions that require medical supervision, always consult with a doctor before self treatment.
My “Big Guns” for Soft, Smooth Feet
- For removing dry, dead skin, one of the best products I’ve found is Baby Foot . 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
All of the products that I use (with a few more faves) are below. I have all of my items in one drawer in my bathroom that I’ve call my “foot spa drawer.”
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.
- EVERY 3-4 Months–foot peel using Baby Foot (or every night use Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair treatment with cotton socks).
- EVERY 1-2 Weeks–Best Ever DIY pedicure.
- EVERY DAY or AS NEEDED–Listerine Vinegar Sugar Scrub for Feet and FootMate System clean & massage with rejuvenating gel.
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!
Note: Some links are referral links. My full disclosure policy is here.