When my daughter Eden Lipke told me about these miracle foot peels from Korea that are all over Insta and Pinterest, I scoffed of course. Then she picked up two Kocostar Foot Therapy kits at Urban Outfitters for $8 bucks and we decided to give it a try.
This little cure for calluses comes in a mint green packet and is like a sheet mask for your feet. Open the packet to find a white plastic bag filled with a gooey clear gel. You open the bag and stick your tootsies in so the gel covers your whole foot from heel to toes and tape it in place. It is a makeshift occlusive dressing to cover the peel so it penetrates well. You need to put a sock over each foot to keep the bootie from falling off and gel getting all over your floors.
90 minutes later you unwrap, get into the shower or tub, wash the gel off thoroughly and dry your feet. Then it’s just a waiting game. The peeling effects are supposed to start in 2-4 days.
Impatient as I am, by day 3 I texted Eden – #EpicFail. No sloughing in sight, no peeling or curls of dead snake-like skin coming off in sheets, nada, zip, zilch. I was bummed, but then again, I started this exercise with low to no expectations. Afterall, what could I expect from $8, right?
Fast forward to the evening of Day 4 and #OMG! I was at the W Montreal, and the carpet in my room was charcoal gray with white gangster pinstripes. I noticed white flakes scattered on the rug, and was about to complain that the housekeeping staff had not vacuumed my room. Then it hit me – the white flakes were coming from my feet. And by flakes, I mean pieces of skin that were literally dropping off. About 5 days later, the peeling finally tapered off and my feet felt smoother and softer than, well, my hands. I was sure I had lost at least 3 pounds in dead skin alone.
So just in time for summer, Kocostar Foot Therapy Foot Exfoliation Wrap ($8.00 – 9.50), is manna from heaven. In fact, I ordered 4 more kits from Nordstrom.com so I don’t run out and have some extras to give to my sandal-wearing besties. I am so hooked. For less than $10 bucks and an investment of an hour and a half, this ranks among the beauty bargains of the decade, right up there with Brazilian Keratin.
I asked my trusted podiatrist who I credit with keeping me in Jimmy Choos, Krista Archer, DPM, what she thought about this product. I described it as being like paint thinner for your soles. She had a healthy dose of skepticism and was most concerned about side effects and overzealous peel-ees causing tears and infections. The active ingredients are lactic acid, glycolic acid, and urea, for a total of 33 ingredients that are mostly variations of plant and fruit extracts. I have been informed by Kocostar’s Canadian distributor that their peel does not include salicylic acid, which other variations does.
The other brand I picked up is called Baby Foot ($19.95 – 25.00). On the face of it, Baby Foot doesn’t look like much. The packaging is made from flimsy paper, and the name is a bit of a giggle. Unlike Kocostar, the Baby Foot kit comes with pre-filled red and white booties (one-size-fits-everyone-but-Big-Foot). The gel is already in the bootie so you dip your foot in, and wrap up the plastic with the strips that are included. If you don’t wrap your ankle tightly enough, your foot will slosh around in the bootie and may not get covered sufficiently with gel. The entire process is pretty equivalent to Kocostar.
The only downside is that you’ll have to stop yourself from peeling off your skin (busted!), and you will be flaking on the foot and in between the toes for the longest time, so a mild exfoliant and a good foot cream are musts if you plan to wear sandals. The results will last well if you take care of your feet and repeat treatments can be done in about 3-4 weeks.
WARNING: These treatments are not recommended for diabetics, which makes one wonder why…