On a recent holiday, I found myself checking out the fish tanks in Buddha Gallery & Spa, a boutique/spa I like to frequent when I find myself in Sayulita, Mexico. Though this store usually lightens my bag by more than a few pesos thanks to its gorgeously curated selection of jewelry, clothing, and textiles, it was the fish in the tanks that caused me to stop and pause this time. You see, they were chock full of garra rufa fish, beloved for their skillful nibbling on dry, dead skin. I’d been wanting to try this foot treatment since I’d first heard about it, when the first fish spa opened in the U.S. back in 2008.
Garra rufa fish are attracted to any dry, dead or flaky skin, but the beauty of the treatment is that they leave the live, healthy skin alone. Their tiny suction-cupped mouths don’t have teeth so they can’t bite you. After your feet are cleansed you dip them in the tank where the fish then proceed to suck and nibble your dry skin away. It does feel strange and slightly ticklish at first, but then it’s very relaxing and after a specific period of time you’re left with baby soft feet that seems nothing short of miraculous.
If you have the opportunity to give it a try, I highly recommend it. My feet were left soft and silky after just one session, and believe me that’s not how they started out when I arrived. If you don’t have the fish pedi treatment in your area and you do want baby soft feet too, a little care plus maintenance with the right products goes a very long way. You can stick with your usual salon pedicure or do it yourself and also use at-home manual or chemical exfoliation foot products.
When I’m not letting fish feast on my feet, here two other favorite ways to smooth:
Glytone Ultra Softening Heel and Elbow Cream ($54) softens, retextures and smooths dry, rough, callused skin thanks to a high concentration of pure Glycolic Acid. This type of acid is the alpha hydroxy acid with the smallest molecular weight so it can penetrate easily and effectively for maximum smoothing and softening. The way it works is it actually loosens up the glue-like substance that holds the skin cells together so that the old, dead, dry built-up cells can be properly shed and the newer, fresher, softer skin can be revealed. To do, simply massage onto dry and extra dry areas to return skin to a healthy, soft and supple state and continue using to maintain said state. Besides my feet, I also like to use it on my elbows and knees.
Emjoi Micro-Pedi Nano Callus Remover ($29.95) is a hand-held device that’s become my summer must-have beauty tool. Its unique roller with micro-mineral particles rapidly spins 360 degrees to easily, instantly and safely turns dry, dead skin to dust. Literally. It’s fast, completely painless and even accepted by the American Podiatric Medical Association as beneficial to foot health.
NOTE: Glytone and Emjoi products were provided for review. Opinions are my own.