Sh*tfit of the Day: Foot Files

Posted · 92 Comments

how to use a ped egg

Sh*tfit of the day is a bit like the commonly seen “Outfit of the Day”, except that it’s not about outfits and there’s much more sh*tfitting. Disclaimer: this is not intended to be a relaxing read.

Does anybody have any luck with foot files? What is the point of foot files? Unless you have a whole day to spare, they never make the slightest bit of difference. Perhaps I have particularly horny feet – and by that, I obviously mean that they are ‘thickskinned’ rather than sexually charged. The thing is, though, I know that I don’t have thickskinned feet, I just have a couple of stubborn patches that never get any softer! So if my feet, which are in reasonably good nick, don’t respond to a filing, then what about people with feet like hooves? And there are plenty of them, you see them on the tube in the summer, shamelessly flip-flopped.

My Mum has the most success with foot files out of anybody I know. She once rang me to say that she had foot-filed so much that smoke had started to appear around her heels – she must have been sawing back and forth like an absolute maniac! Perhaps I don’t have the patience for it, or perhaps – perhaps – somebody needs to invent a footfile that actually works. That doesn’t require 85,000kCal of energy just for the left foot. That spits foot-dust into the air so fast you’ll need to use breathing apparatus when you use it. I have an idea.

 Behold the Performance Power Detail Sander PDS260. If this can strip a door down in ten minutes, just think what it could do for your feet! Five seconds with this baby on full power and you’d probably lose a shoe size! And possibly maim yourself for life, but that’s obviously by-the-by.

I jest, of course – please don’t go and file your feet with the sander in the garage – but part of me is thinking; there must be a beauty equivalent of this. And don’t say “ped egg”, please. Satan’s parmesan grater. It’s awful.

A top podiatrist once told me that the only way to file feet properly is little and often and never with a metal file. The  ‘cheese-grater’ files don’t take off skin smoothly and you’re left with raggedy, uneven surfaces that are actually worse for your feet than just leaving the hard skin. The podiatrist said that once a day with a sandpapery footfile was the way forward.

BUT I WANT TO FILE IT ALL OFF AT ONCE! I DO NOT HAVE TIME TO SIT THERE SKIMMING OFF INCONSEQUENTIAL LAYERS!

So please can somebody invent a foot-sander? Perhaps it could come as an attachment for the Clarisonic? I’m accepting prototypes as of today, I’ll test them on Mr AMR.

PS: if you want to know which file the podiatrist recommended, it’s here: http://tidd.ly/b8bd1f9a

92 Responses to "Sh*tfit of the Day: Foot Files"
  1. GERA lAUREN says:

    i just used the worst worst on ever called instant dead skin remiver by Scholl, i feel so conned as all the reviews on amazon were great and i couldnt quite make out the device on the pictures shown so i decided to take a chance. Wrong move, £10.00 wasted on the worst thing ( i cant even explain how bad this is ) ever, that didnt work and was just dreadfully designed and it hurt my feet using it.
    I might send it back to Scholl and complain . Im not sure as to be horrified or horrified at just how crap this was. Soooo shit DO NOT EVER NEVER EVER NEVER BUY ONE OF THESE.

  2. Suzanna Banana says:

    Lady! I have been using this for the past few weeks, definitely worth checking out — I too found ZERO success with those “cheese grater” types as it left raggedy little bits. After seeing a blogger do a review, I HAD to purchase this, I will link the video xo

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WnbP2hTeck

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Emjoi-MICRO-Portable-Pedicure-Device/dp/B005XUNG5I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1408725139&sr=8-1&keywords=emjoi+micro+pedi

  3. Cindy says:

    A moisturiser with a decent percentage of glycolic acid has been my go to. Massaged generously into the callous-y areas at night (I usually do my entire foot as I have eczema and the glycolic helps keep the dry skin at bay which is half of the reason why I itch) and the next day they have softened. Do it after every shower/bath and the hardened areas will become more malleable. The best I have tried is the 10% glycolic body lotion by Bravura London, so very accessible for you located in UK.

  4. MissB says:

    Becca Antonio
    Podiatrist
    BSc (Hons), BA (Hons), HPC, MsCP.

  5. MissB says:

    Hi Ruth, love reading your blog and watching your vids, very entertaining!!

    I AM A PODIATRIST – so thought I should respond to this post and give you all some tips…

    Ok, first things first, you must make the distinction between THICK skin and DRY skin.

    THICK skin is typically found on weight-bearing or high pressure areas, such as the heel, ball of foot, side of big toe/little toe, and tops of toes. It’s thick, a yellow colour and is typically referred to as callous.

    Callous is caused by pressure – the skin thickens as a protective mechanism in response to excessive pressure and friction. If it didn’t thicken the skin would break down and be a bloody (literally) mess!!

    Please don’t go mad with scrapers or sharp implements when you have thickened skin. Remember that the skin has thickened as a protective mechanism, so if you take it all away you are removing your protection.

    The point is that it is better to leave a small layer behind, unless you have the necessary shock absorption to relieve the pressure.

    So how do you treat thickened skin? You need to look at PRESSURE relief, think about shock absorbing, you want something to absorb the excessive pressure instead of the skin, for example, gel insoles, heel cups, cushioned soled shoes.

    Alternatively you may need a biomechanical assessment with a podiatrist to look at the mechanics of the foot and leg, because in a normally functioning foot you should not be getting high pressure areas!!

    If you do have THICK skin I would always recommend getting it removed initially by a podiatrist, THEN to keep on top of it do the following:

    1. Moisten the skin with a baby wipe. The point is that the skin should not be bone dry or wet.

    2. Using a foot file with a fine grit (the sand paper type ones) NOT METAL!!!!!!! Apply very firm pressure and file vigorously – the skin will just roll off and look like the bits of rubber that you would get if you rubbed out pencil on paper.

    3. Apply a moisturiser that contains a minimum of 10% urea. Urea is found naturally in the skin, it is basically a magnet for moisture and increases the water content in the skin. Ureka do a good one. Apply daily.

    Remember that thickened skin does not respond to moisturiser alone, this is because it is the result of pressure.

    OK, now DRY skin….

    DRY skin is skin that is, well..dry! This means that it lacks moisture. Dry skin can appear anywhere on the foot and has more of a white colour as opposed to yellow.

    GOod news is that Dry skin is really easy to treat!! Just do the following:

    1. First you have to remove all the dry skin, because if you rely on moisturiser alone it ain’t ging to work. Why? Because it’s bloody difficult to rehydrate dead skin!

    The point is to remove the old skin and maintain and hydrate the new!

    I recommend filing the skin with a basic foot file With a fine grit (NOT METAL!!) you can do this dry, but I prefer to do this with a baby wipe to slightly moisten the skin ( also stops dust flying everywhere). It’s important to apply FIRM Pressure. Don’t be afraid to be firm and vigorous! You can do this with a fine grit file. It should not be sore.

    2. This is the most important part when dealing with dry skin- you need to apply moisturiser EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! Why? Because skin cell turnover ( this is when the Los skin cells are shed and the new skin cells come through) is ONCE every 30 days.Therefore, if you only apply moisturiser once a week that is the equivalent of 4 times a month. No wonder it ain’t working!!

    If you suffer from dry skin apply a moisturiser that contains 10% urea every day. Apply the cream everywhere EXCEPT in between the toes. NEVER apply moisturiser between the toes. If you do apply moisturiser between the toes you are increasing your risk of fungal infection (athletes foot!), think about mushrooms( they’re a fungus) what is their perfect environment in which to thrive?? DARK, WARM and MOIST. Hence between the toes is perfect if you want to grow your own fungus!! So dry them thoroughly and DON’t apply moisturiser there!!

    Sorry this is long, but I hope it’s helpful. Follow this advice and you should have lovely smooth feet :-)

  6. Joyce says:

    Hi, I’m not gonna read if anybody already mentioned the best solution in my opinion: Footner sock treatment. They’re plastic socks you wear for an hour, wash your feet and in the next 2 weeks your skin peels off. It sounds truly gross, but I’m usually between good-foot and omg look at those hooves. Now there is only one use in them, and where I live (the Netherlands) they’re expensive at € 20. I however live near the German border and buy them there for around € 12. Also, your feet aren’t immediately soft, but at least you’re not sanding your feet. Just as a disclaimer, I have never had a bad reaction to them, but I can’t guarantee it won’t ever happen.

  7. Jo says:

    Babyfoot is the treatment that peels off all the dead skin on your feet. Totally gross but wonderful all at the same time :D

  8. BeaBea says:

    Hi Ruth,

    You should try pedikur!!! It dissolves all the hard skin with no filing at all!!

    Hope that helps xxx

  9. Dorthe says:

    Hi.
    Just a little comment from Denmark:
    I’m using “1-2 Peel” every 4 – 5 month and it’s great. It is a Japanese formulated product which exfoliates dead skin, removes callus, helps cure your feet from bad foot odors and leaves your feet nice and smooth. AND IT WORKS. It’s a pair of sock containing extracts of Japanese herbs. You leave the socks on for 1.5 to 2 hours (apply a normal sock on top and you will be able to walk around) – wash the feet gently and after 4 – 5 days the skin begins to loosen. Your feet looks awful for the next 4 – 5 days but then your feet feels like baby feet and afterwards it is much easier to keep your feet nice and smooth.
    The product is available here – but maybe you can find it cheaper elsewhere: http://www.casada.co.uk/body/1-2-peel.html
    You will be able to see the effect on youtube (have to warn you – looks awful but that is how your own feet looks like during the process).

  10. Sera says:

    Also the best see immediate resuls foot lotion is Flexitol, again I swear by it! The only cure to mu stubborn feet!

  11. Sera says:

    You have to get the Emoji MicroPed! Its sold all over in health stores and is MAGIC!!! I have stubborn callous like no tomorrow, more than your average, and I am very OCD about it…discovering this device was my cure! I dont care for the dust it leaves, it does the damn job permanently!

  12. Flick says:

    Ha! another thing you should try is the soap and glory foot buffer – it has a massive following on mumsnet style and beauty and frequently sells out online. It is sort of cheese grater-ish but quite fine. I have one now and it is very quick.

  13. Hilde says:

    What you need is Baby Foot! It’s completely disgusting (but in a great way. Sort of.), but it really does the trick on those hard bits that never seem to improve. http://www.babyfoot.co.jp/e/product.html

  14. Katy says:

    I generally don’t fight the rough foot thing too much, but I must say a day running around barefoot on a sandy beach and being in and out of the sea water has an amazing exfoliating effect. Too bad I live 1000 miles from any ocean, but when I manage a getaway, my feet come back very soft!

  15. Wes says:

    My dermatologist went the topical route by prescribing a cream with a high concentration of Urea (39% to be exact). It works as a tissue-softener/moisture binding agent.

    I swear by sloughing this on at night and exfoliating with your usual tools the next day (or 2 days after). I have seen no problems in using the cream daily as well, despite the generic version (read: cheap) from the Pharmacy is slightly tacky. The name brand is called “Aluvea” and it quite elegant (and more expensive).

    Give it a try!

  16. Joanne Green says:

    In the US, Avon Foot Works used to do a product called cracked heel relief which contained lactic acid to exfoliate and soften hard skin along with 4% lidocaine which is a pain reliever for when your feet are really sore/cracked and an antiseptic to heal & moisturise. It’s harder to get hold of here in the UK but it’s a product that the make up alley reviewers seem to love along with Mr Pumi. Might be worth a shot for a cheap solution.

  17. Susie says:

    I always have luck with foot files :) haha. I’ve got feet that tend to build up a shell of thick skin along the heel. I’ve got a nice foot file from body shop, use it maybe 1-2 weeks (a little extra in summer) after a shower. Every so often, probably less often than my fool filing, I sleep with my feet enbalmed in body shop ‘peppermint intensive foot rescue’ – which has the added benefit of smelling amazing. Voila!

    Best of luck on your stubborn feet :)

  18. Julie says:

    Such a funny post..loved the part about the power sander :) I know what you mean too…the other day, I was visiting my brother, looked down at his feet and gasped in disgust (serious Frodo feet). So disgusted was I that I insisted he allow me to perform a general foot disinfecting, clipping, and sanding. The usual tools were ineffective on him so we bust out a janitorial pumice hard water stain scrubber. Obviously,not the intended purpose but it did the job…actually, what I have found helpful for myself is to keep one of those handled pumice foot scrubbers (mine is quite coarse) in my shower. By the time I have finished everything else, my feet are generally nicely softened so it is easy to just spend a minute on each foot every couple of days..your podiatrist may have a point about a little at a time. I became over zealous with the scrubbing once…just wanted it all off…was walking very carefully for a couple of days after :/… Just be careful (says the girl who just admitted to sawing calluses off her brother’s feet with a janitorial tool :)

  19. allytta says:

    I think the reason they don’t work for you IS because you have relatively soft feet, there isn’t much to file. It is design for people with bigger thick skin problem. I use AHA cream on my feet and the rest of my body – Neostrata 10% Glycolic. It’s meant for you face, but comes in 250ml bottle. That’s my answer to soft feet :)

  20. Ella says:

    (I’ve just re-read what I wrote and I’ve given myself a D for spelling. Terrible!)

  21. Ella says:

    Hi Ruth,
    as someone who is obsessed with chemical exfoliation I can’t believe you haven’t heard of Milky Foot. Not too sure of its availability in the UK but I’m sure you could find it online. Its and enzyme peel in a booty. You pop your feet in them for the required time and for the next 10 days you wander whether you have waisted your money. On the 10th day the entire sole of your foot comes free. In one big chunk. It happened to me at work. I was mortified. MAKE SURE YOU WEAR SOCKS!!

  22. Marsi says:

    This is so funny. I love your writing, Ruth. I too use the Diamancel No. 10, which I bought 11? 12? 15?? years ago and is still like new, despite the years of constant use.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: keep up the great work! Really enjoy your blog every morning.

    Marsi

  23. Halla says:

    Wow! I really do need that cup of coffee before I read. I went thru the entire read thinking you were saying “foot flies”. I was so confused…until I made it half way down my cup. Always great to start my day off with a laugh. Thanks!

  24. Sue says:

    n.b. do NOT use salt after shaving, and the gloves stop hands getting sore- not fun! xxx

  25. Ali says:

    Goodness reading all these comments I feel slightly left out. “I’m ali and I’ve never filed my feet” *in tone of self help group introduction*!

  26. phoebe says:

    noooo the revlon pedi expert is amazing- literally 10 seconds and your dead heels are gone!!! i would do this, then one of those silly sand paper like ones after, to smooth it up.

    it really is amazing! and only about $10!

  27. Anna G. says:

    Oh,no!Don’t test it on poor MrAMR!He must be so good-hearted if he lets you do all that product testing on him…Which actually sounds like a perfect match! >.<
    Love your sense of humour Ruth,clever and classy!

  28. Lisa says:

    I have always used a regular emery board type footfile and it definite works vetter on dry feet. I just do mine over the bath which is less messy and easier to clean. One little wonder I do use is Flexitol heel balm…best used at night .

  29. Laura says:

    Haha, how about an electric pumice stone? My mum has one, a little blue thing and the pumice rotates and gently buffs your heels…or even a stand alone pumice stone. There’s always the cheese grater ;)

  30. Sarah says:

    Also, try this foot cream http://www.ccsfootcare.co.uk. It’s really gunky but put it on after your bath/shower and put a wee pair of socks on. Do this as often as you remember and soon you won’t even need a footfile xx

  31. Ki says:

    I’d been in the same position with my feet for, blimey, must be years. That was until I thought I’d give the Emjoi Micro-pedi after seeing a glowing review.

    (http://www.boots.com/en/Emjoi-Micro-Pedi-rapid-hard-skin-remover_1245237/)

    The difference after using it once was pretty damn amazing and a week after using it my feet have never looked better. Well maybe when I was a baby, but you get it.

    My favorite thing about it, next to the results is you don’t have to give your arm the workout of it’s life to see results (which I swear reverse by the time you wake up the next day, gah -with foot files and the like.

    Even my Mum tried it out who is very much a beauty gadget skeptic (and must of had some of the hardest foot skin I’ve come across) and was pretty damn amazed with the results.

    One thing I didn’t really follow was the instructions to do a patch for a few seconds, turn it off, feel, and do it again if needed. I just went for it in bursts of about 60 seconds or so.

  32. Victoria says:

    Sounds disgusting, but I recently discovered that the scaly dry bits on your heel are often a type of athlete’s foot. Two weeks of Lamisil later and I finally have baby-smooth skin, no pumice required! I always thought athlete’s foot was peeling between your toes, but apparently not always!

    And my doctor said that “urea cream” softens thick dead skin too.

  33. Venus says:

    I don’t know much about good foot files, but I’ve recently bought this Japanese foot mask. They’re basically a plastic wrap thing in the shape of a sock. Inside are the “serum” thingo. The instruction says you just soak your feet in them for about 1&1/2 hour, then you wash your feet with cold water. Within a week, the old skin on your feet will come off and you are supposed to find new soft skin on your feet. I’ve yet to try it but I’ve read good reviews on the internet. lol

  34. Angela says:

    The body shop foot file is great!! Use it on dry feet though for best results! I’m in Australia and constantly in thongs and barefeet, so that wrecks havoc on my tootsies, but the body shop foot file keeps them in check! Worth trying it out!

  35. Steff says:

    I got my ped egg – sorry foot file! in the bargain bin at Superdrug, I quite like it I have to say! It did scare me at first but I only use it on the rougher bits, I love seeing the foot shavings, so gross I know! It isn’t particularly useful for the rest of the foot I agree but I do use it more than I did old fashioned pumices because I just never remembered to use them.

  36. Teresa says:

    Sadly clarisonic would never invent a foot sanding attachment due to liability issues, people accidentally sanding their faces and whatnot….;p

  37. Valens says:

    Hey Ruth!
    I have the same problem. :(
    I tell you how I do my pedicure at home (I do it once a week).
    It’s so simple and you can say goodbye to the dusty smoke ahah :D
    I soak my feet in a little basin with water and baking soda, then I use that sort of sandpaper tool. Since the skin is softer after the soak I can eliminate the dry skin layer quickly. I repeat this step twice, then I use a finer sandpaper tool and a cream from Pedikur.
    This process can look quite long but it’s relaxing ;-)
    I have a cheaper version of the pedegg (from Avon) and an electric multi tool for nails, toes and feet but I don’t like metallic files.
    Have a great day!!!
    xoxo

  38. Mia says:

    The body shop foot file is amazing its basically sandpaper and really effective, just make sure the skin is dry not wet. Wet skin and foot files do not mix the results are rubbish!

    • Susie says:

      I love the body shop one as well – I always use it after a shower, patting my feet dry. The hard skin disappeares in no time :)

  39. Lady Hirons says:

    M’Lady. I do believe thou hast not met the Diamancel number 11 file.
    It’s £40.00 worth of a lifetime of beautiful
    non-trotter-esque feet.

    Trust Le Hirons.

    http://www.blissworld.co.uk/diamancel-11-the-tough-buffer/

    • Lady Hirons says:

      OH AND!! Use it on DRY feet. None of this filing wet feet nonsense.

      DRY. FEET.

    • Ruth says:

      Oh my GOD. OK, I need this. x

      • Jen Mackay says:

        Lady Hirons is correct – Diamancel files are THE BUSINESS. I got the no. 10 from Bliss about 5 years ago (after having a prolonged sh*tfit) and it’s still going strong.

        There’s nothing worse than putting all that effort in and your feet still feel like a Hobbits on a forced march through Mordor.

        Don’t know if it’s just me, but I can’t sleep if my feet feel “wrong”. So buy a Diamancel. It will change your life and prevent further sh*tfits.

        Don’t know why I just started talking like a US commercial.Or why I brought up Hobbits…

        x

  40. Sara says:

    This literally bought tears to my eyes, I would totally reccommend the sander, not only did it get rid of my rough skin, but also 2 of my fingers! ;)

    I jest, I find soaking in the bath then pumicing the hell out of mine (and I’m a mountain walker) pretty much does the trick :)

    Sara x

  41. My god!!! You must be funiest model out there (and the most gorgeous, obviously ;-))

  42. Becky says:

    This is so funny! You always manage to make me laugh :) I hate using foot files that makes dust fly everywhere over the floor! x

  43. Mum says:

    Dearest Ruth
    I used to use a pumice stone, since I was a teenager! Then I bought some scholl heel softener which you leave on for a while and then rub off with a towel HOWEVER best ever is the black mitt from the Dolphin Spa I LOVE IT NO PAIN Thankyou Dolphin Spa for allowing us to take our MITTS home Don’t use them on your legs because I did so much damage trying to smooth out lower legs ended up with raw skin!

  44. Debbie K says:

    I think this is what you’re looking for!: Emjoi Micro-Pedi rapid hard skin remover. It should be available in Boots.

  45. Pip says:

    Hey, have you tried the micro pedi? It it the only thing that makes much difference to my feet. It uses batteries but I have never been able to do any damage to my feet. A miracle! Pip xxx

  46. Worth a go? Might take a couple of weeks to work but no breathing apparatus required! http://www.boots.com/en/Footner-Exfoliating-Sock_1275069/

    Or there does appear to be a rotary sander for feet!
    http://www.boots.com/en/Emjoi-Micro-Pedi-rapid-hard-skin-remover_1245237/

    Yes, I went to Boots today… Can you tell?!

  47. Upa says:

    This has got to be your funniest post ever. Excuse me as I get myself up off the floor.

    It is so true. Just last month I asked/begged my GP for a recommendation of a good podiatrist but he didn’t even have the name of anyone decent. Very frustrating but great to know that even an expert like you (honest, not kissing up) is having trouble.

  48. Lea says:

    There is an answer to your wishes….recently I discovered Emjoi Micro-Pedi, battery operated, cca 35£ at Boots or Amazon….luv it!!!

    • Ruth says:

      Looking it up now! x

      • Lea says:

        It has fab reviews, that is why I ordered it…and it works really well…two different cartridges- coarse and less coarse (almost polishing one). Just have vacuum cleaner handy – produces LOADS of white dust….

        • Ruth says:

          I can’t wait! x

          • Zoe says:

            AGREED! It’s used widely in the industries I work across – I found it through one of my professional journals! http://www.micropediprofessional.com/
            Would love to hear how long people are getting results for after one single use; I’ve been hearing too much of “addiction” in regards to the micro pedis’ use.. people really can get addicted to anything though! Exfoliation obsessions aside (;
            I’ve always filed with sandpaper type board files on a semi-regular basis – but this is FAR more satisfying (+ effective)and for me once every few months has worked well.

  49. Catriona says:

    I have a PedEgg and it does an okay job but I’ve also heard that they’re bad in the long run!

    My mum got an electric one (I think it’s yet another JML thing) and managed to draw blood…

    • Ruth says:

      UGH! No doubt that is what will happen to me! x

      • Isa says:

        For some strange reason I can’t comment on the post as such, only respond. So here it goes: I totally feel you there, even though my feet are not terribly, terribly bad, they are not a baby’s rear end, either. And my Mum literally did cut herself with one of these graters before!
        Personally I feel body lotion with AHA’s help the best. Just as mechanical exfoliation doesn’t quite cut it for me face-wise, feet files don’t either… Or they do and leave a lot of blood. No, thank you. I’ll use chemical exfoliation over that any day! The only problem: You have to be devoted and do it every other night or so. Uh – no pain no gain, I guess…

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