By now, you’ve no doubt come across a thousand endorsements preaching the gospel of the Baby Foot peel, a pair of booties that slather your feet in a gel concoction designed to loosen dry and cracked skin. About a week later, the skin begins to fall from your feet in giant sheets, revealing the foot of a baby that was hiding underneath. It’s basically a chemical peel for your feet, and I love it — but I don’t use it on the regular, as it makes even the skin on the tops of my feet and my ankles peel. I’m more interested in removing the calluses that build up on my feet from walking everywhere I go, and getting relief from the intense dryness that is a direct result of wearing sandals and exposing my feet to dry air all summer long.
I’ve bought and tried almost every foot cream, and I’ve always found them a bit greasy and lacking in enough moisture to really kill the dry, ashy bits at the ends of my toes and on my heels. But then I was idly browsing at my favorite beauty shop in Little Tokyo where, lo and behold, sat this lone tube of foot cream made by the same manufacturer of the beloved Baby Foot peel kit. I snapped it up even though I couldn’t read a word of the instructions (it’s a Japan-only product, but of course some enterprising individual has made it available on Amazon). I figured it was foot cream, so what could go wrong?
Not only did nothing go wrong, it was better than I could have dreamed. Where most foot lotions are greasy for a good half-hour after applying (making it dangerous to walk around the house, and also a pain to put on shoes and head out the door), the Baby Foot Deep Moist Shea Butter goes on dry, but somehow moisturizes flawlessly. I’m pretty sure they mean for it to be used after performing the classic Baby Foot peel, but I’ve been using it as a stand-alone foot cream for a few weeks, and it blows any other foot cream I’ve previously used out of the water. The dry texture is a little disconcerting on your hands, so I use a butter knife to apply it (sorry, anyone I’ve invited over for dinner recently), then rub my feet together to get it into every nook and cranny. The weird callus I’ve always had on my baby toe is noticeably softer, and I don’t have those weird dry patches at the ends of my toes by midday anymore. It dries instantly, so I can apply it right before I throw on my shoes and race out the door, never worrying that my feet are slipping and sliding around like they do with other, greasier foot creams I’ve tried. I may not be able to read a word of what the tube says — but the results don’t lie.
More Strat-approved foot smoothers
Gehwol Fusskraft Blue Foot Cream
We did a very involved guide to taking care of your feet a few years back that’s still full of great nuggets. According to master pedicurist Lia Schorr, this is the ultimate foot cream: “This cream is natural and full of herbs. It has a strong medicinal aroma but will hydrate your feet, leaving them lovely and silky.”
ProLinc Callus Eliminator
Freer also told us about her pedicurist’s foot secret — the ProLinc Callus Eliminator. Here’s how to use it: “Soak your feet in a tub of warm water for five minutes. (I use this inflatable tub because it’s so easy to break down and store in between uses.) Apply a thin coating of ProLinc Callus Eliminator to your rough, callused foot parts, using a paper towel (you can also just use your hands, but make sure to wash them immediately afterward). Wait three to five minutes (no longer, as it could start to burn), then wipe any excess product off your foot with a tissue. Finally, it’s scraping time. I like using a pedicure-specific microplane rasp (though an old-school Mr. Pumice stone works well, too) and go to town. You’ll be shocked at how easily your calluses are turned to dust.”
CeraVe Renewing SA Cream
Beauty writer Hannah Morrill introduced us to this dermatologist-recommended cream that moisturizes while exfoliating during Feet Week last year. It also happened to be one of our best sellers of 2017: “The best contender I’ve found for this job? CeraVe Renewing SA Cream, which itself was developed with dermatologists and contains both exfoliant salicylic acid (that’s what the SA stands for) and ammonium lactate in the first ten ingredients, meaning the concentrations are significant, not an afterthought.”
Tweezerman LTD Pedro Callus Stone
Trust Kimbra Hickey — she’s a foot model. She told us about the best way she keeps her own money-makers looking camera-ready: “I exfoliate daily. This sugar scrub is grainy but not too harsh, and the ceramic stone is small, covered, and easy to travel with.”
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