It’s a cruel bit of irony that our feet look their worst in the season they’re on display the most. Summer feet are often beset with callouses (damn you, strappy sandals!) and dirt (damn you, gardens!) and sunburns (damn you, too, ineffectual SPF 25!) — it’s enough to make you consider the interpersonal damage of declining all those weddings. And as someone who inherited a pair of gender-neutral canoes, size large, I regularly grapple with making my feet look more Swan Lake, less post–Swan Lake-bandaging-session. In that department, foot masks have been a real asset.
At first I balked at the idea of adult booties targeted to a little-seen body part. “Foot masks!” I raged, not-so-quietly. “So I’m supposed to be insecure about my toe skin now, Big Beauty?!” Thirty seconds later, I thought, Yes, actually, you should be insecure about your toe skin. It is objectively hideous. It’s a funny double standard: I’ll steep my face in actual charcoal and shellack on stinging oils, but I was indignant at the idea of wearing serum-soaked socks. Anyway, 20-ish minutes rendered immobile while a mysterious alchemy of oils and tonics bathed my feet turned my inner skeptic into a veritable foot-mask disciple. Here are three good ones, according to me, a hard-to-please recent convert.
Feetreat Pedi by Look Beauty Exfoliating foot mask, $10, Shoppers Drug Mart.
I’d recommend test-driving a skin-sloughing product at the outset. Any number of beautifying moisturizers, while potent, are no match for hobbit callouses. Exfoliate first.
Sephora Almond foot mask, $6, Sephora. (Available in July.)
Caution: You are not to walk around in foot masks. Take 20 to watch an old Friends rerun (or something) and allow the almond-y goodness to seep into your newly callous-free skin. Bonus: The pleasant, nutty scent is leaps and bounds better than Rub A535 or Polysporin.
Skin Republic Foot Active mask, $9, Shoppers Drug Mart.
This mask is for women who actually use their feet for exercise. I tried this after a particularly strenuous neighbourhood walk, and the peppermint and avocado extracts did a nice job of making me forget I had willingly participated in cardio. Also: Argan oil!