7 Best Callus Remover Gels: Which Is Right for You?

callus remover gel

Your body forms a callus to protect you so why would you want a callus remover gel? Because calluses are jerks.

Calluses are like backseat drivers–they mean to be helpful but they’re ultimately annoying and potentially painful. If a callus isn’t helping you, get rid of it–but that can be easier said than done.

See my guide to the best callus shavers to use with these gels for the most stubborn calluses.

What Are the Best Callus Remover Gels?

green bottle of prolinc Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Professional formula
  • Breaks down thick calluses fast
  • Works for hands or feet
Price: $7.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
white jar of emu oil cream Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Deeply hydrating emu oil and lanolin
  • Great for hands and feet
  • Nourishing botanicals
Price: $25.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White jar of Bare 40 cream Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Moisturizes and exfoliates with BHA
  • Great for hands, feet, and anywhere dry
  • Free of silicone, PEG's, and gluten
Price: $17.49 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Love Lori bottle with calluses and smooth feet Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Large bottle
  • Breaks down calluses fast
  • Professional strength
Price: $7.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
white bottles of spa redi Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Big bottle for value
  • Different scents to choose from
  • Professional strength
Price: $12.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Tall clear bottle of majestic pure aloe gel Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Hydrating, soothing aloe
  • Tea tree and witch hazel fight bacteria
  • Made in America
Price: $17.50 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Green and white bottle of maccibelle gel Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Easy to apply nozzle
  • Works fast
  • Great for all-over tough skin
Price: $7.45 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Professional Formula Callus Eliminator by Prolinc

    Pros:
    • Removes calluses faster than most
    • Breaks down thick calluses
    • Professional formula
    • Easy to use nozzle
    • Bottle will last you
    Cons:
    • Need to let it sit then wash it off
    • Must follow up with a moisturizer
    • May be too strong for some
    • If you’ve got stubborn calluses or thick rough heels that other products haven’t solved, Prolinc’s Callus Eliminator ought to take care of all that in only a couple of applications. 

    Callus Eliminator uses potassium hydroxide to dissolve the dead skin and soften the callus. You know this stuff is going to work because unlike lotions when you apply this you only let it sit for a few minutes and then have to wash it off. They recommend you wash your hands off after applying or wear gloves. 

    That may have some of you a little nervous, but I’m betting some of you have been gearing up to break out the big guns on those calluses and this stuff will get the job down. 

    To use, it’s best to apply after soaking your feet or at least after a shower. Apply the gel to the affected areas. It’s a thin gel so have something to wipe up any drips onto the rest of your skin and do it over a protected surface. For best results, cover the callused area in plastic wrap and wait three to five minutes. (Don’t forget to wash your hands after applying.)

    When your three to five minutes is up, wipe off the excess and set to work with your file. By now the callus will have greatly softened so you can use something like a pumice stone or fine rasp. Harsher callus shavers will be overkill now. The majority of the callus should come right off in a gross but satisfying way.

    After filing, wash your feet to get any residual Callus Eliminator off and follow up with a deep moisturizer like their Dry Heel Eliminator. 

    It has a bit of a chemical smell to it but if you think that would bother you, spring for the Orange-Scented Callus Eliminator.

    VideoVideo related to professional formula callus eliminator by prolinc2019-03-21T10:10:57-04:00

  2. 2. Banish My Callus by Emu Joy

    Pros:
    • Emu oil, beeswax, lanolin, aloe, sunflower oil, sweet almond oil and vitamin E deeply moisturize skin
    • Made in America
    • Botanical extracts and oils including benzoin, comfrey root, clove bud, and chamomile
    • Awesome for hands, feet, and anywhere else feeling dry and chapped
    • Antibacterial
    • Emu Joy raises their own emus
    • Free of gluten, parabens, and added fragrance
    Cons:
    • Not vegan
    • Pricier than others
    • Not as fast-acting as exfoliants
    • Can feel a little greasy

    People rave about emu oil for its ability to soak deeper into the layers of your skin than most other oils so it’s a natural choice when fighting the stubborn dry skin of calluses.

    Banish My Callus by Emu Joy has an impressively long list of hydrating oils including emu oil, beeswax, and lanolin. While all three of these are known to fight dry skin like nothing else, keep in mind that they aren’t vegan, so if that’s an issue, you’ll want to skip this one. 

    This is a gentle callus removal process that will take longer than the exfoliating options but is easier on your skin. The directions say to apply two to three times a day and you should expect to see results within one to two weeks. Once the calluses are gone you can cut down to using it as needed.

    The thick cream softens the calluses slowly reducing them and making the dead skin easier to remove.

  3. 3. Bare 40 Urea & Salicylic Acid Corn & Callus Remover

    Pros:
    • Moisturizes with 40 percent urea and aloe vera
    • Exfoliates with salicylic acid
    • Antibacterial and antifungal tea tree oil
    • Awesome for dry skin anywhere
    • Cruelty-free
    • Made in America
    • Silicone, gluten, and PEG-free
    Cons:
    • Slower acting than potassium hydroxide
    • Contains mineral oil
    • Better for dryness than exercise calluses

    This thick gel is a one-two punch of moisturization and a mild chemical peel effect. Unlike harsher caustic callus dissolvers, the salicylic acid in here breaks down the bonds of dead skin but it’s not so strong that you need to wash it off afterward. Over time and use, the salicylic acid continues to break down the layers of the callus gently until it all begins to fall off. 

    At the same time, the gel contains 40 percent urea which is as high of a concentration you can get without a prescription. Urea is one of your skin’s natural moisturizers so it follows that introducing a synthetic version back into your dry skin can restore its suppleness.

    Because of its compatibility with our skin, urea soaks deeply into the layers of skin which brings the salicylic acid down with it. That also means it soaks in quickly reducing any greasiness you tend to expect from heavy moisturizers. If that wasn’t enough, aloe vera is substituted for water for extra skin-quenching goodness.

    Tea tree oil makes this one antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory as well. 

    This isn’t a quick fix but it’s a gentle one. Apply this where needed twice a day and you’ll see good results in two to three weeks.

  4. 4. Callus Remover by Love, Lori

    Pros:
    • Professional strength
    • Potassium hydroxide dissolves callus
    • You get a ton in the bottle
    • Fast-acting
    Cons:
    • May be too strong for some
    • Might be more than you need
    • Need to follow up with a moisturizer

    This is a huge bottle of callus remover gel that uses potassium hydroxide to break down the offending dry skin. This is a full eight ounces of the stuff and with how effective potassium hydroxide is, you should be set for life.

    To get the best results, apply to pre-soaked feet and allow to sit for three to five minutes. Make sure you’re either using gloves to apply it or wash your hands afterward. It doesn’t say to cover with plastic wrap while you wait, but this tends to help.

    Wipe off any extra at the end of your wait and set to it with your file or pumice stone. The skin should come off easily. When you’re done, wash with soap and water to remove any remaining gel and follow up with your favorite foot cream.

  5. 5. Spa Redi Callus Gels

    Pros:
    • Professional strength
    • Works fast
    • Different scents to choose from
    • Big bottle for the money
    • Choices of sizes
    Cons:
    • Hard to find ingredient list online
    • Too strong for some
    • Must wash it off and apply moisturizer

    If you’re looking for something for your pedicure salon or like the idea of using a professional grade product consider Spa Redi.

    I like that it comes in different scents because I’m a sucker for fragrances and it’s always nice to have options. It comes in Verbena Citrus and Mint Eucalyptus. While I’m partial to citrus, the Mint Eucalyptus has the added bonus of a refreshing zing on tired feet.

    But on to what matters. The remover is professional strength and needs to be applied with the included gloves to protect your hands. For some folks, that’s a bit much to deal with and a little intimidating–but I know some of you are all geared up and ready to go all out on your scaley feet. 

    Strong potassium hydroxide breaks down dead skin rapidly and only needs to be in contact for 30 seconds before being washed off. You can leave it a little longer for stubborn calluses but this stuff isn’t joking around keep an eye on the clock.

  6. 6. Tea Tree Callus Remover Gel from Majestic Pure

    Pros:
    • Hydrating aloe vera soothes sore feet
    • Tea tree and witch hazel are antibacterial and antifungal
    • Cruelty-free
    • Made in America
    • Gentle
    • Great for dry feet
    Cons:
    • Not as strong as others
    • Not sure why it says it's exfoliating
    • Gentle approach may take more sessions
    • Not for hand calluses
    • Not everyone loves tea tree scent

    If your callus issues are less extreme and are more on the built-up dry skin side of things, check out this gentle moisturizing callus remover. It’s a base of soothing aloe vera gel which is cooling on sore feet and soaks into the skin to soften calluses, making them easier to file.

    Tea tree oil and witch hazel are added for skin health as both of these are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-fungal. This can help prevent infections and soothe irritated skin.

    The product claims to be exfoliating, but I can’t find anything in the ingredient list that is a physical or chemical exfoliant. This is a deep moisturizer which will break down calluses, but that’s not the same as an exfoliant. 

    For best results, soak your feet or take a shower then apply the gel and let it sit for around 10 minutes. After that, your skin will have softened and you can work on filing down your calluses.

    It has a strong tea tree smell which a lot of people, including myself, love but if you don’t, maybe skip this one.

  7. 7. Maccibelle Callus Remover

    Pros:
    • Easy to use nozzle
    • Good for all-over tough skin
    • Works fast
    • Strong
    Cons:
    • Gel is very thin
    • Needs to be washed off
    • Follow up with moisturizer

    This simple but effective gel is a good choice if you have a layer of dry dead skin that covers most of your feet.

    It will work as a spot treatment as well but with its thin consistency, it’s best for spreading across your feet, letting it sit, and then washing off. The remover uses strong potassium hydroxide to break down dead skin and works best when applied to pre-soaked feet. You may find that you don’t even need to pumice your feet if the build-up isn’t too thick.

    One thing is they do hide the instructions underneath the barcode label so be sure to read them before proceeding because this stuff is strong.

How do callus remover gels work?

There are several different actions these products can use to reduce and remove a callus. Many products combine more than one of these for a multi-angled approach.

Softeners are deeply moisturizing and sink down into the callus to relax the tough skin of the callus. This gives it more give and bend, reducing discomfort, and makes it easier for callus shavers and exfoliants to do their part of the job.

Beta Hydroxy Acids, like salicylic acid, act as a natural chemical peel. These BHA's dissolve the bonds that hold dead skin cells together and help break down the callus. Pliny the Elder used salicylic acid to remove calluses way back in the first century CE. 

Strong Bases are on the opposite side of the pH scale from acids but can be used for similar purposes. Potassium Hydroxide is a typical choice here for both callus remover creams and cuticle removers. You'd probably recognize potassium hydroxide from its more common name: lye.

But don't panic--lye in high concentrations is used in drain cleaner but in lower concentrations, it's used in soap and in foods as a thickener. Potassium hydroxide breaks down organic matter so it's ideal for dissolving your callus.

Just be sure to read the direction as some potassium hydroxide callus creams call for the cream to be washed off after a period of time.

See Also:

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