I tried the cult-fave foot peel that’s known to make your skin…molt

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Photo: Stocksy/Simone Anne

Even though each month I spend three hours at a nail salon getting new nail art masterpieces carefully drawn onto my fingertips, I vehemently refuse to get a pedicure. As someone with extremely ticklish feet, I’ve found that it’s best to just skip the chaos that this would bring on all together. The only hitch? I also wear Dr. Martens and socks—no matter the season—and that means my feet are in less than stellar condition. So when the internet-famous Baby Foot ($25) came up in convo with my fellow editors, I enthusiastically offered to test it out.

Let’s pause here to talk about the peel: It’s a combination of lactic and glycolic acids that get dripped into two plastic booties, which you cut open before putting on and tapping closed around your tootsies. To my nose, the formula smelled rather strongly of an astringent, but once I sealed them around my ankles, the scent went away. Then, I just sat like that with the plastic sacks around my feet for about an hour. Yes, it was mushy. Yes, it was moist. Yes, it made me imagine that I was soaking my feet in snail slime. No, I couldn’t walk around—but this was perfect timing for me A) to polish off a few episodes of The Office  and B) to Google what was in store for my feet.

According to Google images: So much peeling. There are images of skin coming off feet in sheets. In other pictures, heels flake up and look as though they’re deteriorating before your very eyes. It’s not for the faint of heart. After my hour was up, I waddled to the bathroom to take off the sacks and used a towel to wipe off the sludge and see if my feet would start peeling (despite the fact that the box told me this would last a few days). They had not.

About five days later, I had completely forgotten about the whole thing until I took my socks off and realized like my feet were—how should I put this?—flaking off. Like dandruff. And the more I touched them, the more the skin on my feet flaked. Instead of shedding foot dust all over my carpet, I opted to get into the shower and give them a proper scrub down. Half an hour later, I emerged with mildly softer and more buffed feet.

They didn’t exactly remind me of the feet of a baby, but they were noticeably less scratchy and more well-groomed, especially on my outer heel, which can become rugged and rough, resembling something like a single giant callus.

I didn’t experience any of the insane peeling that makes for ASMR viral internet videos (not sure whether this is a testament to my feet being in better or worse condition than I thought) but I suspect that should I keep this up with the same frequency and fervor I devote to face masks (once a month while nodding off to Queer Eye), I could be mistaken for someone who very regularly has pedicures.

It’s not an instant cure but it is a(nother) pretty easy way to make it seem like you weren’t completely surprised by the sudden appearance of sandal season.

For more foot related news, see the most common issues a pedicurist sees and the weird reason your pedicure seems to last longer than your manicure.

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