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Feet and heels that are dry, cracked and thick with calluses are notoriously difficult to hydrate and smooth out. For those instances when no amount of lotions, balms or cheese-grater-like instruments can do the job, you might need this heavy-hitting exfoliating treatment that I keep in my bathroom cabinet, especially around summertime.
I initially heard about the Baby Foot peel a few years ago, and was intrigued not by so much by its name but by the incredibly gross-yet-satisfying before-and-after images that users would post online. Progress photos depicted heels that started off impossibly hard and deeply cracked, then showed those same layers of skin peeling off in sheets to reveal soft “baby-like” skin underneath.
Manual callus removers have always made me cringe and I was terrified of accidentally cutting myself. This peel offered a solution that was much less effort and, in my opinion, delivered better results. It uses a blend of powerful natural acids such as lactic, malic, glycolic and salicylic to slough of dead skin. If these names sound familiar, it's because they are often found in some of your favorite facial skin care products in smaller concentrations. This heavy dose of exfoliants is also rounded out with soothing leaf extracts and hydrating oils to keep skin comfortable and nourished.
Each kit comes with two disposable plastic booties filled with the herbal-scented peeling gel. You place your feet inside the booties, secure them with included strips of tape, then leave them on for an hour before removing and washing the remaining solution off of your feet. After about five to seven days is when the exfoliating magic happens. Your feet will continue to peel for about another week or so, depending on how thick your calluses were before use, and ta-da! You are rewarded with fresh, silky and smooth feet that required zero scrubbing at all to get there.
A few tips when using this peel: You should never use it on freshly shaved or compromised skin. The treatment should feel slightly cooling and comfortable, but can cause a stinging sensation when exposed to broken skin — far from the pleasant spa experience that was promised. Additionally, you’re going to be tempted to peel the dead skin. Don’t. Those pieces will come off on their own without any force. Once I spot the first signs of peeling, I like to put a thin layer of lotion on my feet then pop a pair of socks on. This will prevent any little flaky bits from getting into my bed or being left behind on the floor, and, in my experience, will reduce the temptation to pick at your skin.
If you’re pregnant, nursing or have highly sensitive skin, the company advises caution in using the mask. Additionally, if you’re a diabetic like me, consult your doctor and get the green light from them before trying this peel.
You can order yourself a treatment from any of the retailers below, or, if you need more than just my word for it, you can keep reading to see why other people have put down the foot files for good and use the Baby Foot instead.
You can buy the Baby Foot peel for $25 at Amazon, Ulta, or Target.
Here are some promising reviews from Amazon:
“WOW. Just WOW! I rarely take the time to write product reviews, but, honey, this stuff is the real deal. My feet were gross. Thick skin, crusty looking. And, to make matters worse, the salons here do not allow razors to be used when getting a pedicure. I have tried using blades myself to no avail. Then a friend told me about this stuff, so I decided to try it. I showered, and then put on the “boots” and taped them closed and covered my feet with two layers of socks so the gel wouldn’t seep out. I waited for an hour, then took them off. They didn’t look any different. So, I patiently waited to see some action. Today is the third day and I cannot believe my eyes! The skin is literally coming off in big sheets.
If you are the kind of person who loves peeling skin and wants to see a drastic difference, you should buy this stuff. I love it so much I want to buy it for people. Even people I don’t like.” –– Annie
“My husband’s feet shedded like a snake and it was AWESOME! He has serious calluses on his feet from daily work boot wearing and I am happy I finally found something to help. I read many reviews including people who developed chemical burns so I had him use Aquaphor on the tops of his feet and toes to protect his non callused skin and that worked perfectly. He soaked his feet for 30min prior to applying the baby foot product and used a sock to keep them in place. After two hours he removed them and washed it all off. Peeling started on day four and was done at day eight. His feet are way softer than they have been in years but I would say he needs a second treatment for his feet to be completely soft and free of dead skin. He says he has more feeling on the bottom of his foot and is really happy with his results.” –– emily brook
“After reading the reviews I decided on this foot peel because it seemed to work for everyone else. I followed the directions and put on the booties (smelled heavenly and felt soothing) for an hour then washed my feet. According to the directions I would see my feet peeling in about five days. I kept forgetting to moisturize my feet properly after my showers but remembered once or twice. I had totally forgotten I even did the foot peel until I took off my black socks on day six and noticed a bunch of skin had flaked off onto the sock! I fixed myself a foot soak with warm water and sat my feet in it for about 10 minutes. When I pulled them out the peeling was insane! No pain, irritation or discomfort of any kind at all. I scrubbed gentle at my feet with a foot loofa and when I was done my feet were brand new and baby soft. I honestly cannot believe how amazing this product is!! Will definitely be treating myself to a peel every few months.” –– massielfelix
This article originally appeared on HuffPost.