A pumice stone -- a small block of lightweight, hardened lava foam -- sloughs off tough, dry skin and dead skin cells, usually from the feet, elbows or knees. Although regular use of a pumice stone two to three times every week improves the appearance of the skin, it also relieves discomfort caused by calluses. Use a pumice stone gently and be patient but persistent. A heavy buildup of hard, leathery skin may require several treatments.
Fill a bathtub or a shallow basin with warm, soapy water, then soak the problem area for five to 10 minutes to soften the skin. Add two to three drops of baby oil for extra softening and moisturizing, if desired.
Dip the pumice stone in the warm, soapy water, then use the wet stone to rub areas of rough skin gently for two to three minutes. Use light pressure and circular motions to remove the outermost layer of dead skin cells. Stop immediately if your skin feels sensitive or sore.
Rinse the area thoroughly, then pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Don't rub because the freshly pumiced skin may be sensitive.
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Massage a moisturizer such as a thick cream or vitamin E oil into the just-treated areas to return moisture to the skin.
Rinse the pumice stone in clear water, then store it in a dry location until the next time you use it.
Add one or two drops of lavender, jasmine or sandalwood essential oil to the sudsy water to provide extra soothing and relaxation. For a rejuvenating soak, use one or two drops of peppermint oil.
Don't use a pumice stone on sore, red areas or open skin.
Never attempt to remove hardened skin or calluses with metal tools, razor blades or steel wool.
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.