by Lexi Novak
Between squeezing into dance shoes every single day when I was younger and walking several miles of New York City sidewalk every week now, my feet are what you might call slightly battered (if you were feeling generous). And I'm just not talking about a rough patch here or a callus there. This is a couple decades' worth of abuse that no "super-buffing scrub pedicure" at a salon can help. But recently, while perusing the Internet in my search for softness, I discovered Baby Foot.
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The product, which began in Japan several years ago and is now available in the United States, has a thick, gel-like consistency and contains a combination of extracts such as lemon, grapefruit, orange, sage, and ivy. According to the company, these natural ingredients dissolve the "desmosomes" that hold layers of dead skin together, resulting in peeling and, ultimately, supersoft feet. I know, it sounds too good to be true. But my question was: Is it safe?
"Desmosomes are intercellular bridges," says dermatologist Jeannette Graf. "They have to be broken in order for any exfoliation to occur." And just like in mild facial peels, lactic, glycolic, and salicylic acids (all present in Baby Foot) remove the upper layers of skin. "So I think it's safe," she says.
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I practically sprinted home to try this potential miracle product. Here's how it went down: I showered to soften my skin, slipped into the booties, taped them in place (tape is included), put socks on over them for a snug fit, turned on Shark Tank, and waited one hour. Then I washed the solution off with soap and went to bed to dream of callus-free feet. By day five the peeling began, and continued for about two weeks. This is the disgusting-but-satisfying part: I was literally pulling back sheets of dead skin. It was grotesque, but also strangely addictive.
Did it work? Was it worth it? Are my feet horrifyingly disfigured or radiant and gorgeous? All I have to say is, Baby Foot, I love you. You can dissolve my desmosomes any time.