Gehwol Med Callus Cream

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There’re two ways you can see the next couple of months, when you’ll inevitably be wearing socks more often than not wearing socks: The first is as an easy excuse to neglect your pedicure duties, except for the occasional, merciful application of polish when you’re feeling festive. The second is as ample time to get productive. Socks may mask that nasty callous that calls the side of your toe/the ball of your foot/the entirety of your heel home. But! It also makes the perfect environment for some hardcore moisturizing.

Now, I've been underwhelmed with foot cream for the last decade or so, mostly because few do a particularly good job addressing aforementioned calluses. Save for the use of actual sandpaper, there didn't seem to be an efficient way to get rid of the problem—so instead I opted to wear my calluses proudly, as a testament to my discerning taste in footwear. But, as you may suspect, that gets old after awhile. Especially if people consistently look at your feet, crinkle their noses, and ask you how on earth they got so dirty (as a relevant aside: I've found that dry feet have a nasty habit of looking unwashed, even if they're super clean).

Last September, while browsing through a friend's medicine cabinet uninvited (the unfortunate habit of a beauty editor), I noticed the maybe-it's-a-perscription tube of Gehwol Med Callus Cream. Already familiar with the utilitarian virtuosity of the brand, I ordered a tube of my own and have yet to look back. It's not as creamy as what I like to use (in times of particular desperation, I resort to using very thick hand cream on my feet before bed). The magic ingredient at work here is urea—but there's also some silk extract added to make you feel fancy. Application may not feel so glamorous—certainly not after you then swaddle yourself in the finest camp socks your closet has to offer. And it takes about a month of steady usage twice a day for the really stubborn rough patches to essentially evaporate from your skin. But come April (or maybe more realistically, May), you and the rest of the people who experience your feet in any way will be quite happy you made good use of the previous season.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.