The phrase “beauty is pain” has been drilled into my brain ever since my mom took me to get my first eyebrow wax at age 12. But as a full-fledged adult, the idea of suffering for beauty just feels straight-up silly to me. Because…why? I’ve got plenty of other things in my life I need to suffer through, without adding anything beauty-related to the list. With that in mind, I am constantly looking for ways to make elements of my routine less painful—whether it’s cutting down my skin-care sessions to 1-minute, or skipping out on shampooing for, like, a week on end.
While I’ve more or less gotten my beauty regimen down to an art, I’m still struggling a bit on the fashion front. And one thing I’ve never been able to figure out is how to comfortably wear high heels. In fact, most of the (really cute and really expensive) stilettos that I own wind up relegated to the back of my closet, because it’s just not worth it to me to suffer through hours upon hours of foot-related hell for the sake of completing an outfit. Which makes me sad! So recently, when I read that celebs prime their feet with CBD to make their own well-heeled lives more bearable, I knew I had to give it a try.
As someone who already uses CBD for the sake of sleep and anxiety, I was excited at the prospect of finding yet another use for the Internet’s favorite ingredient in my personal life. Studies suggest suggest that it could be helpful in mitigating some pain (though admittedly, more studies need to be done) so I swear I wasn’t just trusting the celebs that this was going to work.
According to the experts, the trick checks out. “CBD oil and its derivative can reduce pain and inflammation which can be the direct causes of any discomfort in the feet,” says Marcela Correa, the owner and podologist at Medi-Pedi NYC. “Using a CBD balm before putting on a pair of high heels can help aid in any discomfort you may encounter throughout the day or night. It works well since the balm is directly absorbed into the skin.”
For the sake of my experiment, I opted to slather my feet in a coat of Cannuka CBD Healing Balm ($58) and then I slipped into a pair of ultra-pinchy stilettos—and was shocked that three hours of standing later I still felt like I was floating on air. I ran around the streets of New York, and while my heels did happen to get stuck in subway grates on multiple occasions, my feet didn’t hurt. So, like countless celebs, I am hereby never going back to my pre-CBD heeled ways. Though, to be fair, I think that I might chock a bit of this up to lessening the friction between my foot and my shoe. Truth be told, applying any balm or salve to feet seems like it would help to prevent heels from gripping too much and causing feet to hurt. And there are countless anti-inflammatories out there that could also be helpful in formulas beyond CBD.
So if CBD isn’t your thing, Correa suggests finding shoes with proper arch support, and using a drugstore gel insert to give your feet some extra cushion. “Another great tip is to spray your feet and shoes with a foot deodorant that can provide protection against perspiration and unwanted friction that in turn can have you end up with painful blisters and calluses,” she says. So, sorry mom, but beauty doesn’t have to be pain. As long as you’ve got the right balms, that is.
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