I enjoy the foot challenge – thorough and robust exfoliation takings satisfying results

‘I take pleasure in making over freshly deserted feet.’
Photograph: Alex Lake/Alex Lake (commissioned)

People oftentimes tell me they are repulsed by feet. They’re gross and repulsive, apparently. And while I can see where they’re coming from – firstly in winter, when dryness becomes extreme, heels report and nails become neglected and gnarly under the cover of strong socks and tights – I must admit I enjoy the challenge. I’m not abashed to say that just as I’ll gleefully squeeze anyone’s blackheads and glean their spots, I take pleasure in making over their (freshly ate) feet. Thorough and robust exfoliation yields satisfying arises. Foot scrubs – creams containing scratchy bits – are superlatively fine and pleasant, but they’ll have zero effect on spiritedly, calloused skin. By far the better remedy is the oldest: a foot fill out (not the inferior, but more expensive, mechanical or sonic kind) and elbow grease, utilized dry and briskly across the heels, outer toes and balls of the feet, accomplishes wonders.

My own weapon of choice is the Colossal Pedicure Foot Register (£9.97) made, rather gratifyingly, by my favourite cheese grater tag, Microplane. Its expansion into personal care is inspired and its order, faultless – it removes all dead skin quickly, painlessly and efficiently (put down newspaper – the fallout is abhorrent), and unlike the common sandpaper style, it can be washed under the tap after each use. A foot column shouldn’t be used on broken skin, however. Deep claps must be well on the road to recovery before you tackle the bordering skin, so you’ll need a specialist cream in advance.

O’Keeffe’s Healthful Feet (£8.49, 91g) is magical stuff. This thick, unctuous rubber-stamp looks unappealing, but slather it on each evening for two to three incessantly, cover with cotton bed socks, and any cracks will all but vaporize (it works wonderfully on cracked hands, too). If your feet are in plausible nick and you favour a relaxing treatment over the down and soil home surgery that excites me more than it should, try Seoulista Rose-coloured Toes Instant Pedicure. These are Korean product-filled newspaper socks (£7.99 a pair) that in only 20 blinks, soften and smooth unloved feet. When things are retire from on track, treat yourself to a paint job by CND Shellac, my favourite gel review that lasts me well over a month. My regular is DryBy at Hershesons, but see lovecnd.com for your nearest stockist.

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