Do Detox Foot Pads Actually Work?

Yet another wellness trend that has taken social media by storm, detoxing foot pads usually show off a jaw-dropping result — pads filled with dirt and grime. With that stark image in mind, many users swear that these pads help remove toxins from their systems quickly. The idea behind this healing modality is that the pads help remove heavy metals, parasites, metabolic waste and more from the body just by placing them on the bottoms of your feet. Claiming to remedy even more substantial issues such as high blood pressure and anxiety, makers of detox foot pads may not have the scientific evidence to back up their claims. 

Byrdie explains that studies found no heavy metals or toxins on the darkened pads after a night of sleep. The color and dirty-looking substance actually came from sweat or wetness on the feet. Apparently, even when they applied steam, the pads darkened to the same color. Joshua Zeichner, M.D. explains to the outlet, "To my knowledge, there is no scientific data showing that detox foot masks have any true effect on the body. The only detoxifying organs in the body are the liver and the kidneys, which both filter the blood. While the skin does release sweat, it is not truly a detoxifying organ in the same way."

Other professionals also refute the manufacturers' claims, saying there is no evidence to support their detoxifying effect.

Massaging your feet could be more beneficial than using foot pads

While foot pads may have little more than anecdotal evidence to support their detoxifying claims, you can still ease your body and mind by soothing your feet. By massaging, rubbing and caring for your feet, you can help reduce tension and stress while taking pressure off of this area, Healthline explains. Furthermore, drawing a foot bath with Epsom salt or magnesium flakes may be a better alternative to the unsupported claims of foot detoxing.

By placing your feet in a solution such as this, they can readily absorb the magnesium present in the water. Medical News Today explains that this effect may be responsible for a decrease in inflammation within the body, as magnesium combats this issue. If you're looking to exfoliate dead skin cells, an old-fashioned pumice stone will do the trick with ease.

But, as far as detoxing goes, consider drinking more water, optimizing your gut health and getting quality rest before you reach for the footpads.