Okay. I think I’m finally ready to talk about my EXTREMELY enjoyable experience with Baby Foot (which I shall henceforth abbreviate as BF periodically throughout this post). I will admit that the process has been truly horrifying at times, even for me, which I thought was impossible (I’ve literally attended a live autopsy and I was fine), but at the end of the day, I’ve had a terrific time, and I want to do it again immediately.
OK – let’s start at the beginning.
I ended up using my BF the very same day it arrived from Amazon, which was last Wednesday. Having read such spectacular reviews, and being in such dire need of a fun activity and something to look forward to every day, I simply couldn’t wait any longer to get the BF show on the road, so immediately after I opened the Amazon box it came in (then washed my hands for the customary 45 minutes), I ran myself a super hot bath to put my feet in for my pre-BF foot wash and soak. This was Step 1 of the instructions that came in the product’s box. Also in the box were the two disposable (but durable) sealed, plastic BF booties, as well as six pieces of branded BF tape to use to cinch the booties tightly to my feet. I grabbed a pair of scissors to use to cut the booties open, as well as my most stretched out pair of fleece socks (I’m a big fan of fleece socks), and I headed into the bathroom to finally get my Baby Foot on AT LONG LAST.
After removing my toenail polish (also in the instructions), washing and then soaking my feet for 20 minutes, I towel-dried my feet and prepared for the main event. Then I cut open the first bootie and slipped my foot in. The gel exfoliant itself is pretty thick, and it completely saturates the inner lining of the bootie, which was the first thing I noticed. The second thing I noticed is that a Baby Foot bootie is so enormous that Lamar Odom could probably fit into one comfortably, maybe even with with a little room at the toe. This means that the tape it comes with really IS important, because you really do need to make sure that you tape the bootie as tightly to your foot as possible, so that your foot stays in place and the product can work its magic in all of your foot’s nooks and crannies (of which there are many, if you’re part crab, like me).
The toes of the bootie were a good 4 to 5 inches longer than where my toes actually ended after I used 3 out of the 6 pieces of tape to wrap the first bootie around my foot, keeping my heel in place at the back. At this point, I considered shuffling into the kitchen to get more packing tape to tape the toes of the booties tighter, but I soon decided against it because the BF booties were slippery as hell. Instead, I flipped the end of the bootie under my foot, then pulled on one of my fleece socks over the whole shebang to keep everything tightly where it should be. My foot looked large and square, exactly like the foot of a witch in The Witches, and I was feeling good. I did exactly the same thing with my other foot, and then I sat and waited for an hour, like I was supposed to.
It felt like a very, very long time. At one point during the hour, I slowly ventured into the living room to hang out with my husband, but I was worried the tape around the booties would come undone and I was feeling pretty antsy, so I quickly (very slowly) returned to my post in the bathroom, where it was easier for me to sit by myself and noodle on my phone while I waited.
As my feet soaked up the Baby Foot, I read an article by someone who had used it with much success. She said that you could leave the booties on for longer than an hour for it to work even better, but at the time, I didn’t know if I was going to have a bad reaction to the product, so I thought it was better to just follow the instructions. The next time I use Baby Foot, I’m leaving it on for an extra 20 minutes, like she said to – but when it comes to burning my skin off with chemical exfoliants that I’ve bought on the internet, I like to err on the side of caution the first time I use them, so no regrets (lots of regrets) here.
Once the hour was up (at 5:05pm on Wednesday), I took my feet out of the booties. They were very prune-ish and they seemed completely saturated with the gel, which was a good sign. I washed my feet with soap and water as per the final step in the instructions, and then I dried them and continued on with my boring current lockdown life, only now excitedly getting to wait for the glorious peeling I’d read about to begin to happen to me.
One thing about using Baby Foot is that you have to soak your feet every day after you use it (numerous times, in my case, as I’ve spent most of this COVID lockdown either in a bath or under my weighted blanket, because anxiety). If you want to have the most intense peeling action possible when it finally kicks in, you’ve GOT to get those soaks in. I made a point of taking two baths every day, starting the first morning after I used the booties.
Full disclosure: my heels that first morning were actually red and a little bit sore, and I could see a line where the redness and inflammation stopped that corresponded directly with where my foot had been submerged in the Baby Foot gel. This was Thursday morning, so ~15 hours after I’d removed the booties. Obviously, I overreacted and thought I was having an allergic reaction to Baby Foot, so I took a Benadryl after my morning bath and then slept for the next 10 hours of that day, which certainly helped pass the time but was also super depressing. By Thursday night, however, my feet felt and looked fine (maybe a tiny bit tight, but not painful), and all was well.
Friday was even less interesting; nothing happened during either of my baths. Saturday, though – Saturday is when my WORLD was ROCKED during my morning bath, and THE BABY FOOT FINALLY KICKED IN!
I discovered it had started working when I looked down at my feet in the bath and they were fucking FALLING APART. I could literally see my own skin hanging off my feet in sheets and swaying like seaweed underneath the water. When I first saw this, my heart simultaneously grew a thousand sizes with joy AND stopped beating with pure fear. I guess the latter response was because biologically, my subconscious human brain was programmed to respond with horror if I ever saw my skin hanging off my feet like that, because most of the time, it would mean that I’d just been horribly, horribly injured. Not this time, though – this was just glorious Baby Foot doing its job!
I quickly lifted my foot out of the bath water to make sure I wasn’t imagining it. I was definitely NOT imagining it. My toes were disintegrating. It reminded me of the ‘de-gloving’ process of easily removing a corpse’s skin after they’ve been floating in the water for a few days that they always talk about on old episodes of Law and Order: SVU. It was UTTERLY FABULOUS, and UTTERLY SHOCKING.
It’s a weird feeling, looking down and seeing your feet in tatters, but without any blood coming out of them. It’s a little disconcerting, actually, because it’s so unnatural. I’m ashamed to admit that I actually felt a little nauseated at the prospect of peeling the loose skin off my feet outside of the bathtub that first time, so I gently rubbed my feet in circles underneath the water while I was still in the tub. This got a lot of the skin off my feet without me having to experience the stark textural difference of doing this process on dry feet (for what it’s worth, I’ve never been a big sunburn peeler).
In hindsight, doing the manual exfoliation in the tub like that deprived me of SO MUCH FUN in the long run, and I shouldn’t have done it, because it shortened the amount of peeling time I’ve experienced subsequently. Still, at the time, I couldn’t handle the thought of picking the skin off dry, because I didn’t realize how painless it actually is to pick off the dead skin (completely painless; it’s dead). Now I know for next time: for the most fun, leave your zombie-ass feet alone in the tub, wait until you’ve gotten out, and then let your feet dry off for a few minutes *before* you get to work on the peeling.
Oh, and how glorious the peeling was. At one point, the pad of my middle toe slipped off in one goddamn piece! When I saw that, I got a little nervous that the Baby Foot was removing healthy flesh in addition to my callouses, but no – it was all dead skin! And given that my daily step count prior to this lockdown was about 300 steps a day, it’s not like I had that many callouses to begin with! Baby Foot almost makes me want to take up running so the next time I use it, it’s even MORE fun. Almost.
Now it’s Tuesday, almost a week after I first used Baby Foot, and my feet have all but stopped peeling. I never experienced the whole “shedding without stopping and having to wear socks 24/7” thing that other people talk about, probably because I removed all of the loose skin right after my baths, either by rolling it with my hand or by using a clean washcloth to gently rub my feet in circles until they were nice and smooth before leaving the bathroom after my soaks. All in all, this was a delightfully compulsive activity, and truthfully, it was some of the most fun I’ve had in years. I can’t recommend it enough!
In closing, here is my takeaway: Baby Foot is extremely fucking fun, but there are some tips I’ve picked up now that I’ve used it once that I feel compelled to share. First off, if you have a skin sensitivity to Salicylic Acid (which I do), you may also experience red, sore heels like I did, and depending on the severity of your allergy, you may want to reconsider using this product. However, my reaction on my heels was tolerable and went away within a day. If you have bad callouses, I think it would be fine to leave the booties on for an additional 10-20 minutes past the hour in the instructions, but only if you know for sure that you’re not going to have a bad reaction to the product. I’d advise any first-timer to soak your feet for longer than 20 minutes before you first wear the booties, and also to make a point of digging your heels into them while you’re wearing them, because I could’ve benefited from a little more heel exfoliation and feel like I didn’t do that enough. Packing tape could also come in handy if the boots are WAY too big for you – I wear a size 7.5/8 US women’s shoe, and they were enormous on me. Lastly, if you want to extend the amount of time and fun you have peeling your skin, don’t exfoliate them at all while you’re in the bathtub, and wait until you get out of the tub to do that.
Phew – that was exhaustive – but Baby Foot really was so, so much fun! Again, this is the product I used; the fact that it’s sold out and won’t be back in stock on Amazon until June 10th sucks, but clearly everyone else had the same thought I did – to use Baby Foot in lockdown, when no one has to see your grody feet. Still, honestly, it was so enjoyable that I’m considering ordering another box to use in June, just because. If you’re gross like me and love to peel and pick, or if you’re very calloused – ideally both – you should consider ordering it, too. I PROMISE it’ll be worth the wait!