No known benefits

Pumice at a glance

  • Type of volcanic rock characterized by its porous nature
  • Often used to scrub rough, calloused patches of skin
  • Pumice powder (pumicite) is sometimes used as a manual exfoliant
  • Poses a significant risk of skin irritation and barrier disruption

Pumice description

Pumice is a type of volcanic rock characterized by its highly porous nature. In skin care, pumice stones are often used to scrub rough, calloused patches on feet; pumice powder (also known as pumicite) is also sometimes used in facial and body scrubs as a manual exfoliant. Whether used as a stone or a powder, pumice poses a significant risk of causing skin irritation, especially if used on delicate areas of the body such as the face, neck, and chest. This irritation can lead to barrier damage, which can cause a cascading effect of skin problems. It’s best to avoid pumice in skin care products. Note: Various sizes of pumice powder are available for use in cosmetics, some of which are indeed less abrasive than what you’d experience from a pumice stone. Despite this, it’s not possible to ensure the ground-up stone’s powder particles are of a spherical, non-jagged shape. This means that even so-called “gentle” scrubs with pumice can tear at skin’s barrier, especially if used with great zeal.

Pumice references

  • European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, July 2017, Pages 138-148
  • British Journal of Dermatology, April 2010, pages 812-818

Peer-reviewed, substantiated scientific research is used to assess ingredients in this dictionary. Regulations regarding constraints, permitted concentration levels and availability vary by country and region.

Ingredient ratings


Proven and supported by independent studies. Outstanding active ingredient for most skin types or concerns.


Necessary to improve a formula's texture, stability, or penetration.


Generally non-irritating but may have aesthetic, stability, or other issues that limit its usefulness.


There is a likelihood of irritation. Risk increases when combined with other problematic ingredients.


May cause irritation, inflammation, dryness, etc. May offer benefit in some capability but overall, proven to do more harm than good.


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Not rated

We have not yet rated this ingredient because we have not had a chance to review the research on it.