PHOTOGRAPHERImage by Eda Onay for COOLS

Like most New Yorkers, my will to walk knows no bounds. A mile to a Trader Joe’s, an evening neighborhood stroll, oh right, that mile BACK from Trader Joe’s. New York’s charm is the ability to walk anywhere, but what long-term havoc am I delegating to my poor feet? Sure, I get my monthly pedicures, I have a secret Chinatown foot massage spot, I slather on Mrs. O’Keefe nightly, but the beauty freak inside of me is demanding more. There must be more I could be doing for my feet.

Alas, I found a little secret acid peel for those to dare to slough away years of penance in exchange for brand spanking new pups. This won’t cure bunions, corns or anything medical that requires a podiatrist, but it will take YEARS off your feet. Enter Lavinso Foot Peel.  

Knowing what I know now, I’d highly recommend timing this out. The peeling process took a hell of a lot longer than expected, and a few yoga classes were missed because my feet looked like a werewolf attacked them while I was sleeping… but I’ll get to that in a bit. For now, plan out your acid trip 10-12 days ahead of any show-stopping footaction plans.

The breakdown:

I tried the Lavinso Foot Peel Mask because I love a good crowdsource “Amazon Best Seller” assurance, but, I initially heard about this whole phenomenon via the brand Baby Foot.

How it went down:

Step one is to put on these janky plastic “socks” that reminded me of an ER bootie. An omen? They have some suspect white liquid inside (the all-natural acid) and it’s best to just embrace the weirdness and literally get your feet wet. Dunk in, tie up the plastic with the nifty red tape provided and prepare not to move for the next hour. Literally, Netflix and chill.

Step two: after an hour of some squishy squashy time, shuffle to your shower for a good rinse. It is advised to not moisturize and to let them dry out. At this point, I can best describe that my feet felt “funny.” Not hot, but something was brewing and there was just the slightest tingle.

Step three: the waiting game. Instructions on the box advised that there would be peeling in 3 or so days, but it definitely took me around 5 days to see the real action. At one point I even had the thought, should I do the second mask? To my better judgement, I decided to just ignore this thought. What was weird is that the tops of my toes started peeling first, as if shedding past blisters that had hit each toe from past sandal seasons.

By day seven, I was a full-fledged (still walking) science experiment. My feet began to look like a topographical map, and layers and layers of skin began to peel away and showcase what’s been buried underneath all these years. There were no blisters or large sheets to peel, but more annoyingly short snippets to pick at. This made for thrilling TV time where I would create a small mountain of dead skin in the over the course of an episode of Handmaids Tale. Praise be bitches.

By day ten, I was kinda sick of sending dead skin flying in all directions each time I took off my socks. I was mortified to see the inside of my loafers. Yoga, pilates, anything requiring bare feet was still strictly off limits. At this point, I started applying lotion on my feet to ease up the stage five clingers. Though it was forbidden to exfoliate with a pumice stone, I found the next best thing: elbow grease and a loofa. Progress was happening.

By day 12, there were some stragglers but overall, I’d made it to fresh skin! Zombie feet be gone, welcome Benjamin Button. My feet were exceptionally smooth and free of any major blisters. My mountains of calluses whittled down to serene plateaus. However, despite the trauma induced, the corn on my pinky toe survived.

I gave it an extra week or so before taking my new feet for a pedicure. The sensation of newly smooth skin on a nail file was bewildering and made me cringe, but thankfully momentary. All in all, I would definitely do this again.

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