Sandpaper, Feet, Skin oh my!

Lions and tigers and bears…….yes, I’m singing the wizard of oz because I feel like I’m in a fantasy world when I see our Professional technicians touting the use of sandpaper files.  Let me give you a little history;

The first recorded instance of sandpaper was in 13th century China when crushed shells, seeds, and sand were bonded to parchment using natural gum. Boiled and dried, the rough horsetail is used in Japan as a traditional polishing material, finer than sandpaper.


Sandpaper is produced by taking a large sheet and coating it with resin and statically charging the grains to adhere to the resin. Once the grains are attached to the backing, the sandpaper is then dried and cured. From there, it is cut into either sheets, rolls or discs. The grit size determines the smoothness or roughness of the paper.  The higher the grit, the smoother the sandpaper.

It is commonly known (in the carpentry world), if peaks (of grit) fall off, it will cause scratch patterns and a less than ideal finish.



I did my research on foot files many years ago when I was introduced to the AngelFeet file. I have a video on utube showing what the dead skin looks like when using a sandpaper file verses stainless steel, “tailored” grit.

The truth about foot files for some reason, continues to be ignored and the truth about what we as Technicians is causing on our clients feet, continues to be ignored. As I said in the beginning of this blog….why our so-called Professionals tout the use of sandpaper files is just mind boggling to me. They are not sanitary….nor are they safe.

Let’s go a step further. Glue dissolves in water. The glue which is used to adhere the sand, seeds and crushed shells Is NOT a thick glue. Consequently, it is only common sense, as the file is getting wet, the grit is loosening. In addition, common sense will tell you, there is no way to get an even surface when spraying grit. Therefore, it is almost certain these tiny grains of grit are falling off the file when being used.

Why is that important to know? We can’t see them! Where are they going? There is evidence the grit can, will and has embedded themselves into the skin. If you are an auto-immune compromised client with cracks on your feet…..this can be a huge problem. In fact, it has been. Infections have been caused by the use of a sandpaper grit file and sometimes leading to amputation and death.

In addition, the uneven grit on the file is causing tiny microscopic micro lesions on the skin of our clients feet. Micro lesions we can’t see without a microscope. These tiny micro lesions reflect rough, dry skin. Therefore, when you really think about it. WE…as Technicians are responsible for causing dry, flaky skin on our clients feet. This then leaves our clients susceptible to infection.

My knowledge of this information did not happen over night. It took years of research and education for me to confidently say THROW THOSE DARN THINGS AWAY! They are not doing you and especially your client, any good.

If you want to read the full article on “the truth about foot files”, You will find that article along with much more education.

Again……know who you are getting your information from. Not everyone you follow is accurate in their teachings and not everyone teaches for the benefit of others…they teach for the benefit of themselves.  If you would like to have a conversation about foot files and what is best….feel free to reach out

CJ Murray, President

8 thoughts on “Sandpaper, Feet, Skin oh my!”

  1. Great information. My go to file is the AngelFeet File. No grit to come off and you can clean and disinfect over and over and over again!

    1. Thank you Vincent. And yes, you are correct. Our AngelFeet files are 100% medical grade stainless steel and can be sterilized to the highest degree. Appreciate you reading my blog and taking the time to comment.

  2. I always appreciate your perspective. I know you probably disagree with me on this, but I believe that high quality sandpaper that is manufactured from corundum and made for use on human skin is safe to be used in pedicures on dry skin. Wet skin is much more delicate than dry skin, so I agree that sandpaper is not the ideal material for water pedicures. Cheap sand caps or sandpaper files are certainly not up to par for professional services or home use.

    I have searched far and wide for articles or studies about sandpaper leading to infections and amputations, but have not found any. Do you have some you could share? I’d also welcome seeing studies about what the skin looks like afterwards. As with most studies, I’m always curious about who the funders are and what the exact methods and tools used are.

    As there is a range of quality with most tools out there, I believe this to be the case with sandpaper tools, as well. In the right setting with the right type of tool with the right training, I think sandpaper can be appropriate, effective, and safe.

    1. Thank you Hope, as I do yours. And yes….I do disagree with you on this subject. Corundum is made from broken glass and still used for the purpose of grinding or sanding harder surfaces. There are corundum bits which are specifically designed for nail work, not for use on the skin. And, you still have to be careful where they are sourced from as bits vary in how they are made. Whether it’s a cheap quality or high quality sandpaper, it is still all adhered with glue (which dissolves in water) and there is no way you can get a level surface. These uneven surfaces or undulations as I like to call them, is also what shreds the skin. Our utube channel has a video which I personally did myself to test what I had learned. No one funded me, I was not asked. I wanted to see for myself if what I was learning was true. It is bluntly obvious as to how the skin reacted with a sandpaper file and how it looked in the end compared to a much safer file. Our higher end file was developed because of an infection caused by grit from a sandpaper file being embedded into the skin via a crack. As I’m sure you are aware, any open skin is a haven for bacteria or anything microscopic enough. In fact, I have seen clients who had a small hair from an animal get embedded in a crack….so why take the chance? I appreciate you as always, for reading my blogs and checking for accuracy. In this case, it sounds like we will just have to agree…to disagree. However, your input is always valuable.

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