Stepping Out IV, The Finale

Date Sat, June 7 2008

You might want to lavish some special attention on your feet, especially as warm weather invites us to don our peds with oh-so-revealing sandals and heels lest you become like many celebs whose lack of foot care becomes infamous online. I kid. Obviously, paparazzi aren’t busy following all of us around to snap pictures of our feet faux pas.

In reality, I am not a fan of sandals or even open toes shoes because I don’t like my feet. Partly due to the fact that feet look, well, just weird and partly due to my feet having stubborn calluses as a result of many years running around outside barefoot.

However, I am always looking to remedy the latter issue and I’ve used several foot care products in the search of the “one” that will leave my feet silky soft and ‘smooth. I’ve used foot files, buffers and pumice stones along with various lotions to achieve varying results.

Pumice stones are one of the older methods of softening and smooth hard and dry calluses on feet. They’re pretty straight forward; it’s a stone made out of pumice. Sometimes they’re called “pumice sticks” when a handle is attached and sometimes they come with a brush or file attached to do multiple duties. Sometimes it comes in pretty colours or shapes and sometimes it looks like a lump of grey rock because, oh wait, that’s what pumice is (“a porous or spongy form of volcanic glass, used as an abrasive”). Pumice stones are natural and can be used as part of a green lifestyle!

I’ve used one from Avon Foot Works attached to a handle and had little luck. Part of achieving good luck with pumice stones is finding a stone that is rough enough and that product just wasn’t. The other factor in good exfoliation is effort applied to the stone itself which might be a little easier to do without a handle though this may possibly be rough on the hands where skin is not callused.

I picked up my favourite stone from date in the dollar bin at the local store. (It was mislabeled and came up $2, though, humph!) It was a round stone with two sides and no handle, one the typical gray and the other yellow and was labeled “silver and gold.” The ‘silver’ was intended for abrasive exfoliating and the ‘gold’ was intended for moisturizing afterward even though it seemed to be pretty much the same as the other side. Despite its cheap packaging and price, it worked wonders (until breaking in my luggage on vacation!) and made me feet feel much softer and smoother. As it was a no name item, I have yet to find it again.

On the other hand, foot files are man-made, almost always have a handle and usually have 2 sides: 1 for abrasive filing and one for smooth buffing. Sometimes the files are metal, plastic, emery or even glass with have a sand-paper like look and feel.. I’ve used several, usually drug or dollar store brands, but not to much avail. It seems that pumice stones do a better job for me but, again, that may be because I’m not a fan of the handle. Also, foot files often have a finer grain than pumice stones.

Overall, I prefer the stones to the file because the stones do the work for you. Top it off with a daily lotion like Suave Skin Therapy Advanced Therapy lotion, and calluses will be greatly improved!

So, my recommendation? Avon Foot Works Sloughing Cream and Intensive Callus Cream work well together but for a less messy and easily attainable solution, the classic pumice stone with lotion also works well.

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