The Easiest Way To Get Smooth Feet Right Now


This isn't a post for anyone with a baroque foot care ritual. If though, like myself, you regularly forget that you even have them...willkommen. I don't obsess over feet, but when sandal season comes along I typically make some last-ditch effort at presentability. If this were most beauty stories, I'd now go on to detail some 16-step exfoliation and rehydration process culminating in a two-hour paraffin bath and immortelle flower oil soak. But this is a me kind of beauty story, so what I actually do is make a doctor's appointment, show up, then sit around while receiving one of modern science's best inventions—the 'podiatric peel'.

Have you ever had a chemical peel? Well, this is just like that, but with someone who spends the rest of their day treating bunions. I'm sure that foot peels so powerful they require a physician's oversight were designed to treat some actual medical problem, but damned if I haven't been blithely misusing 'em for years. I'm not the first person to employ foot peels for purely aesthetic reasons, of course—there's nothing some beauty-hungry, probably drunk lady or gent hasn't had the bright idea to off-label experiment with in the pursuit of looking younger or softer or maybe just less sunburned. But do I have a platform and exceptionally patient friends willing to let me make bad decisions? Indeed I do!

Plus, this isn't exactly a complicated procedure. If you've ever seen the legendary (and legendarily gross) Baby Foot Peel, you'll be familiar with the concept behind all chemical sole exfoliation: apply acid to foot, foot peels off, nice foot ensues. With an at-home foot acid treatment, you put baggies full of AHAs on for an hour, and then the skin sloughs off on its own over about a month.

Going to a doctor is much, much faster. The peel itself only takes a few minutes, and instead of hiding like The Phantom of The Baby Foot Opera for weeks until your feet flake off entirely, you reap immediate benefits from the terrifyingly powerful acids medical professionals keep lying around their offices. It's a fun, sexy time (Author's Note: As I write these things and later re-read them, I become increasingly convinced I'm probably going to wind up like one of the characters on Absolutely Fabulous. Not because I'll be some femme d'une certaine age who owns a chalet, but because I'm an increasingly ridiculous caricature of a human being).

I don't know if doing this makes me seem completely off my rocker, but I can tell you that it definitely is efficient, easy, and makes me feel significantly less terrible going into the salon for a pedicure (I would not want the nice ladies there subjected to my feet after like half a year of outright neglect). Oh! And it's also not expensive. I paid like $60 last time I went, and it was worth every penny. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Please chat/berate away.

—Lacey Gattis

Edie Campbell photographed by Venetia Scott for Self Service Magazine.

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  • LD

    I just did a Baby Foot treatment and cannot BELIEVE how well it worked. My feet peeled for like two weeks, and now my cracked heels are gone. 100% recommend this.

  • Sara Shabtai

    I've been dying to try the Baby Foot Peel as the idea of my foot peeling and becoming like a baby's foot sounds awesome. But you're totally right, who has the time to wait while it peels off like an old man running a marathon?

  • ygriega

    interesting... where does one get one of these peels- your podiatrists office? does one even have a podiatrist prior to retirement age?

    Sounds like a cool idea, and certainly is alike in price to a "spa" pedicure at a schmancy salon

    • ITGLacey

      Hey! The only time I go to a podiatrist is for the fool peel, but some dermatologists offer them as well. Any medical practice that gives a medical grade pedicure will probably do peels!

      • Lexi

        Thanks for this! Am going to do it!

    • LD

      I bought my Baby Foot from Amazon. I'm Canadian and had to use the terrible, and even then it was like 20 bucks.

    • Kirochka

      Oh yes. All you need to do is tear some ligaments in your foot, and you'll have a podiatrist *way* before retirement age. Signed, a woman sitting on her couch with a cast on her foot.

  • Danielle Villano

    "The Phantom of the Baby Foot Opera." Thank you. I just giggled at my desk.

  • krnx

    I just googled some pictures of this and damn near threw up. If you do this, let the professionals at a doctor's office handle it, ladies! It's f*%^ing disgusting!

    • LD

      It's just the skin on your feet, not that big a deal. You just put some socks on and go about your life. I'm not paying $60+ for something I can do at home -- watching TV, in my sweats, no less -- for a third of that.

  • Evelyn Brockmann

    Happy, sexy feet times ahead! :D

  • Cindy-Leigh Murphy

    The North American version of Baby Peel is a company called Footner, and it is exactly the same thing, one can buy it at Shoppers Drug in Canada. I did this a couple of weeks ago, and although I do a regular pedi every couple of weeks it still removed a satisfying amount of dead skin. I looked like I was decomposing from the ground up for a week or so, and now my always nice feet are freaking fabulous! :-) (No I don't have a foot fetish) I wouldn't subject the innocent public to the sight of my feet if they weren't in good shape; and I only wear sandals in the summer so this stuff is fantastic. Run out and get it now; summer is almost upon us!

    • LD

      Footner, you say? Whereabouts in Shoppers did you find it?

  • Jessica

    I just use that Ped-Egg thing. It's a cheese grater for the feet. Works great. Very satisfying, too.

  • Sophie Zebell

    I very nearly laughed out loud at work at "The Phantom of the Baby Foot Opera." You rock

  • thunderlegz

    Oh my Gentle JC! There are peeling foot pics in the Amazon reviews!

  • Clever Girl Reviews

    Miss Lacey you crack me up! I need to do this. I have an injured toenail from a well heeled woman in Venice that I got back in November when her 5 inch stiletto met with my Nike trainers. I don't want to risk bacteria growth under the injured nail but my feet are in need of shaping up for sandal season! This might be a good answer to my conundrum!

  • Cat

    I have another method that nobody will like, but is 100% effective: Use crutches for a month or two putting minimal-no amount of body weight on your feet. Baby feet AND killer arms guaranteed for summer! I tried it, not voluntarily of course, but can testify to its effectiveness.

  • Nina

    How long does the peel at the podiatrist office take? I don't want to wait weeks as it is already summer.

  • Lena

    How do you keep your feet smooth after doing this? Like, how do you avoid being in this situation again? I don't understand why my boyfriend, who doesn't do anything to his feet, has super smooth feet and I don't...



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