DIY 50% Salicylic Acid foot peel

My feet have always been my most disliked body part. One look at them, and you’d be inclined to think that I’ve been lost on the Kokoda Trail in the jungles of Papua New Guinea for years without shoes or medical attention.  Not exaggerating.

When I started hearing about foot peels like ‘Baby Foot’ on twitter, my ears pricked up and I started thinking that it was worthwhile giving a peel a shot. 

Because I’m young, foolhardy, and a DIY nut – I thought that I would try and create my own foot peel. That way I would have full  control of the acid concentration (I wanted the maximum % that I could safely do). Plus, my impression of that the Baby Foot peel is that it’s quite mild, and would take years to get through the layers of dead skin on my feet.

 After discussing this with some of the smarties on forum, I decided to go with 50% Salicylic Acid.


for one application of 50% Salicylic Acid foot peel

– 2g of Salicylic Acid (pure, powdered form)            from

– 4g of ethanol (you can use Isopropyl Alcohol instead if you don’t have a friend in a lab coat) 

that’s it!

Before you click on the rest of the post, I should probably say that I’m only posting what I did, and by no means am I encouraging anybody to do this. 50% Salicylic acid is a very strong peel, and has the potential to burn if you are not careful- use gloves!! And if you have ‘normal’ feet skin, perhaps try start with 30%, or use one of the premade foot peels.

Also- I have included a photo of my peeling foot. If you have a weak stomach, probably best that you stop here 🙂

Otherwise, keep reading after the jump!

 What I did…

1. Measure out your Salicylic acid, measure out your ethanol/isopropyl alcohol, combine. Ta da! You have PEEL.

Salicylic acid- just over 2g

Salicylic acid- just over 2g

testing pH of foot peel

testing pH of foot peel

2. Take a pH measurement to make sure you’re in the ball park and also to make yourself feel like a smug scientist.

3. Use a clean, dry brush (I got mine from the kitchen section of the supermarket) and apply the peel to the soles of your feet and toes.

4. I put a plastic refridgerator bag over my feet and then socks over the top. Leave for at least 2hrs before showering.

about to apply foot peel (note, this photo is of the second peel)

about to apply foot peel (note, this photo is of the second peel)

What to expect after the peel:

I noticed very mild momentary tingling as the peel was working (while I had my socks on) but there was nothing approaching pain or discomfort.

A few days later, the skin on my feet went dull and sort of shiny. About a week after the peel, the skin treated with the salicylic acid started to peel off in sheets which is really quite gross but I found it perversely satisfying to watch. The peeling process started slowing down 2 days after that, and was completed within a week.

At no point was there any pain.

I loved the results, and repeated the peel again the week after.



Approx 1 week after applying 50% salicylic foot peel

Approx 1 week after applying 50% salicylic foot peel

For those had just threw up their last meal- I sincerely apologize.

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Posted by on Jul 10th, 2011 in DIY Skin Care | 27comments

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