Snob Essentials

Shocking, Yet Satisfying Foot Peeling Mask

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The allure of baby soft feet is so strong that you’ll go down any road to achieve the look. At least I will. Since I do yoga every day, my feet need to be in tip-top shape so that the rest of me can be too. I’ve had a bi-weekly standing pedicure appointment for my entire adult life. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a fetish, but the feet are the grossest part of the body. Why not do something about them?

I’m almost stocked on summer shoes (I mean, when are we ever fully stocked on shoes?), so the only thing left to do is some crazy treatment like the Asian foot peeling mask. Leave it to the Asians to come up with the most unabashed way to pull out the gross in every beauty treatment. This is a major process despite what it advertises. The instructions? Leave the mask on for an hour and a half, and in five days, voilà! Once your gross dead skin peels off, you’re left with perfect baby feet. Well…not so fast.

The initial masking part is easy. Put it on, watch the final episode of Mad Men, time flies by, and then rinse. Easy peasy. It actually looks like nothing has happened. The day after, the skin starts to appear a little crusty, but there’s no peeling yet.

Then, for the next few days…I would suggest secluding yourself from society. Or wearing socks. But instead, I went about my business, including attending yoga class, as per usual; and this was on the day when the most peeling happened. I don’t have to tell you how horrifying it was. You know that feeling you get when you think everything is fine, and then you unexpectedly catch a glimpse of the nightmare-ish reality that is your leper-like, scaly feet? Okay, maybe this hasn’t happened to you, but it’s exactly like that. I assumed that the skin would peel off whole, like taking off a pair of socks. But oh no.

When I sat on my mat and looked down, it was shredded and curling up in all directions in the most disgusting way imaginable. At this point I couldn’t stop thinking about the uncontrollable urge to pick at the dead skin and try to hide my feet from the poor, unsuspecting eyeballs behind me. And then the worst possible thing happened. The instructor, who I’m friendly with, came to the top of my mat, and said, “Everybody gather around Kelly, so I can demonstrate the next pose.” Arghhhhh!!!! NO!! But what could I do? I swallowed my pride, and pretended like I didn’t just get attacked by a zombie who left my feet mangled.

Afterwards, I rushed home and aggressively used a foot file to get every single dead skin cell off. This process was deeply satisfying. And I’m happy to announce after a few rough days, I did truly have baby soft feet. It’s best to get filing as soon as the peeling starts. Soak your feet for 10 minutes, and as soon as you pull them out of the water, you’ll see sheets of skin falling off. The work with the foot file is then pretty easy. The hard part is getting between the toes, though, and smoothing out the edges; the top of your feet don’t get treated, so to get a smooth transition, a finer file is required. I have the best one that comes with a coarse side and a fine side, and it worked very, very well. This is super hard to find in stores, but of course, it’s available on Amazon ($12.11).

In the end, this horrifying experience is worth the mess, trouble, and embarrassment. But to avoid the worst of it, it’s essential that you use the foot file. And DO NOT moisturize your feet in the interim peeling process; the treatment is meant to completely kill and dry the top layer of skin, so that it comes off completely.

Here are some top choices of peeling masks:
Nature Republic Lemon Foot & Nature Peeling Foot Mask (on Amazon for $24.97)
Baby Shine Foot Exfoliation Peeling Mask Pack (on Amazon for $11.74)
Baby Foot Exfoliant Foot Peelicon (on Beauty.com for $25)

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