Don’t buy detox foot pads or patches
We trialled two brands so you don’t have to. We got the same result adding water to the foot detox pads as we did wearing them on our feet.
While researching detox kits, I came across Hodaf Detox Foot Pads ($29.90) and Healthy Bod Co Detox Foot Patches ($25). A lot less hassle than the internal cleanse I put my colleagues through (cutting out caffeine, alcohol and certain food groups, washed down by a handful of supplements), editor Ella and I put our feet on the line trialling them.
What are detox foot pads and patches?
Detox foot pads and patches are like a large plaster with an infused absorbent pad in the middle. Both brands we trialled included wood vinegar, bamboo vinegar, tourmaline, and vitamin C in the ingredients list.
For five nights, you stick a pad or patch on the soles of your clean feet and leave them while you sleep. When you peel off the patch in the morning, it’s stained a dark brown/black colour.
Ella – Healthy Bod Co Detox Foot Patches
Price: $25 for 5 days
The patches were easy to use – the only instructions were to clean and dry my feet before putting them on.
There was no explanation on the packaging about what the patches do. However, the words “Detox” and “Bamboo cleanse” on the packaging and the photos on the back of the packet showing a used dark green patch gave me the impression toxins would be released through my feet.
Each morning my patches were dark green or grey and my feet felt sweaty. The sweatier my feet were, the darker the patches, so I thought the sweat was causing the colour change.
On the last day, I tested my theory with water and got a very similar result.
Although the packaging doesn’t make any claims, online claims include “promotes sleep, relieves fatigue, increases energy”, “can help reduce foot odour, bad breath and constipation”, “improves mental function and efficiency” and “improves sleep and reduces anxiety”.
I didn’t notice a difference in these things and wouldn’t buy this product.
Belinda – Hodaf Detox Foot Pads
Price: $29.90 for 5 days
The patches were easy to use – the only instructions were to clean and dry my feet before using. The packaging had no information about how the pads work or what to expect. A quick online search told me the pads will turn dark after use.
Night one: in the morning my feet felt sweaty under the pads. When I peeled them off, the pads were a gross dark green colour. They also had a horrible smell – a bit like burnt smokey wood.
The following three mornings, it was a similar result – the colour change and strong smokey smell.
I didn’t notice any changes after using the pads, so I gave the last night a miss and sprayed the pads with water instead. What do you know – exactly the same result!
I won’t waste my money on this product – it felt like a giant rip-off and my feet felt horrible and sweaty afterwards.
What are the claims?
Apart from “detox” in the product names, companies are careful not to make any claims on the packaging.
But New Zealand websites selling these products make a number of claims.
Claims we found for Hodaf Detox Foot Pads include they are “an effective and natural method for the detoxification of your body”, “help to support detoxification, joint health, metabolism and energy levels”, and “removes toxins, enhances metabolism and alleviates fatigue.”
We found similar claims for Healthy Bod Co Detox Foot Patches, such as “promotes sleep, relieves fatigue, increases energy,” and “can help reduce foot odour, bad breath and constipation.”
Do they work?
We couldn’t find scientific evidence to support using food detox pads or patches.
The experts we spoke to for our detox kits article told us there’s no need to spend money on detox products. Detoxification occurs continually in the body. The gut and liver break down unwanted and potentially damaging compounds, which the kidneys eliminate.
Don’t be fooled that the dark patches are proof toxins are being removed from your body. The dark patches are a result of the wood vinegar they’re infused with. When this reacts with sweat from your foot, the colour change occurs. We got the same result when we added water to an unused patch.
Can you clean your body with a detox kit or juice cleanse?
Detox products sound like the perfect quick fix for an unhealthy lifestyle or pick-me-up. But do they work? We asked a medical expert and trialled detox kits and juices to find out.