A pumice stone is formed when lava and water mix together. It’s a light-yet-abrasive stone used to remove dry, dead skin. A pumice stone can also soften your calluses and corns to reduce pain from friction.

You can use this stone daily, but it’s important to know how to properly use it. If you’re not careful, you can remove too much skin, cause bleeding, or increase your risk of infection.

You can purchase a pumice stone at local beauty supply stores or grocery stores. Some stores offer a double-sided pumice stone. These stones have an abrasive side for rougher skin and a softer side for more sensitive areas or buffing.

To safely exfoliate your skin, you’ll also need a large bowl or basin of warm, soapy water. This is especially important for exfoliating your feet or hands. If you want to use a pumice stone on your elbows, face, or neck, consider using this stone while taking a shower.

Other accessories you need include:

  • soft towel
  • moisturizer (cream, lotion, or oil)
  • moisturizing socks (optional)
  • bristled brush to clean the pumice stone

These instructions will help you to properly remove your rough skin. If you begin to experience pain or irregular symptoms, stop using the pumice stone immediately.

Preparation

  1. Gather all of your materials in one place. Make sure that your stone and water are clean.
  2. Soak your dry, callused skin in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes. This will help to soften your hardened skin. Add soap or an oil to your water for extra softening and to increase moisture. If you’re using a pumice stone on your elbows, knees, or face, complete this step in a warm bath or shower.

Using the pumice stone

  1. While you’re soaking your skin, also soak your pumice stone in warm water. Never use a dry pumice stone on your skin. A wet pumice stone will glide across your skin easily and will reduce your risk of injury.
  2. Remove the target area from the soap bath and pat dry with a towel. If your skin is still rough, soak for a few more minutes before patting your skin dry.
  3. Remove the pumice stone from the warm water and apply it to your skin.
  4. Rub the abrasive side of the pumice stone over your skin in a circular motion with light pressure. Massage your skin for two or three minutes. If your skin begins to feel sensitive or sore, stop immediately because you’re most likely using too much pressure.
  5. For your feet, focus your attention on your heels, the sides of your toes, and other dry areas you recognize.
  6. Continue rubbing the pumice stone on your skin until you’ve removed the dead skin and revealed softer skin underneath.
  7. After two to three minutes of light rubbing, rinse your skin. If you still see patches of dead skin, repeat this process. Also, rinse your pumice stone for every session to keep the surface clean.
  8. You can repeat this process daily or a few times a week to maintain soft, supple skin.

Finishing up

  1. When you’re done, apply a moisturizer or oil to your skin to maintain moisture and keep your skin soft. For a boost, put on moisturizing socks after moisturizing your skin.
  2. Clean your pumice stone after every use. Under running water, use a bristle brush to scrub dead skin off of the stone. Apply a small amount of soap to make sure it’s clean and free of any dirt. Bacteria can grow on the surface.
  3. Do not share your pumice with other people. Each family member should have their own.
  4. Allow the stone to dry on its own. Set it in a dry area away from moisture to prevent bacteria growth.
  5. For deep cleaning, boil your pumice stone in hot water for five minutes. Allow it to air dry away from damp areas.
  6. Your stone will wear down over time, becoming too smooth to remain effective. If your stone becomes too small, smooth, or soft, replace it.

Find a great selection of pumice stones here.

For your face and neck

Your face and neck are more sensitive areas. If you apply too much pressure, you can cause redness and abrasions. To use a pumice stone on your face or neck, consider purchasing a double-sided stone.

Repeat the same steps as above. Instead of using the abrasive side of the pumice stone, use the softer side. Rub the stone in a circular motion for about 15 seconds. If you notice any redness or feel any burning, stop using the pumice stone immediately.

After exfoliating your skin, rinse your face and neck with warm water and apply a moisturizer. Only use a pumice stone on your face once per week.

For hair removal

In addition to removing dead skin, a pumice stone can also remove unwanted hair.

You can follow these steps for hair removal:

  1. Soften your skin in warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
  2. Wet your pumice stone.
  3. Lather soap on your skin.
  4. Apply the pumice stone to your skin, rubbing in a circular motion with gentle pressure to remove hairs.
  5. Rinse and repeat until all hair has been removed. If you notice any irritation, stop using the pumice stone immediately.
  6. When you’re done, rinse thoroughly with warm water to remove any excess hair or skin.
  7. Apply a moisturizer or oil to your skin.
  8. Repeat this process every few days until all hair has been removed.

These instructions should guide you through using a pumice stone safely and effectively for hair removal or exfoliation. After you use a pumice stone, always moisturize your skin and clean the stone. Remember that your results may not reflect those of someone else.

If you begin to experience any irritation or pain, stop using this stone immediately. People with sensitive skin may not be able to use a pumice stone. If you break the skin during this process, apply an antiseptic and discontinue use. Discuss other options with your doctor or dermatologist.

Healthline and our partners may receive a portion of revenues if you make a purchase using a link above.