I always say that teeth are important, but you know what else is important? Feet. Call me a control freak, but few things make me feel more gross than having unpolished toenails and rough, dry, callused heels and soles. Having well-groomed feet is like wearing nice underwear—even if nobody else sees them, you just feel better knowing they're there.
Last December, when I spilled the goods on my top 10 beauty products of 2012, I included a gadget that helps with the roughness and dryness part of the equation (you're still on your own for applying the nail polish). I've used it every single week for probably 12 months, so I have no idea why it's taken 'til now to give it its very own post.
If you haven't already met, it's time to get acquainted with the Micro-Pedi:
I rarely say this, but I think everyone needs one. (Okay, maybe not if you have perfectly soft, smooth, foot-model feet... but you lucky people are few and far between.) For the rest of us, it's pretty much the best thing ever to get rid of all the dead skin that builds up on the bottoms of your feet. It's so much more effective (and less annoying to use) than regular flat foot files, which never did much for me anyway, and just make my arms tired.
This thing is actually... FUN. And there is no pain at all.
How the Micro-Pedi works
What it is is a battery-operated spinning roller that does the dead-skin buffing work for you. Each device comes with two rollers made from micro minerals; the blue is extra-coarse for your most stubborn, dry areas and the pink is coarse for a lighter exfoliation.
I've been using the blue one, but they're easily interchangeable and slide into place at the top of the gadget. They also make a men's one–super-coarse—that I want to get my hands... er, feet on!
Each device takes two AA batteries; there's no cord so you don't have to worry about being near an outlet.
Once you turn it on by sliding the button on the front of it upward, the rollers start spinning at a rate of 30 times per second. That's fast enough to quickly and gently smooth any rough areas—and it's way safer than using a metal file or (gasp!) a blade. (If you've ever injured yourself by scraping away too much—or had a nail technician who's done that to you—then you know how painful it can be.) With the Micro-Pedi doing the gentle rolling for you, it's just about impossible to hurt yourself, and there is no risk of getting cuts.
Depending on the state of your feet, you should be able to buff 'em to smoothness in just a couple of minutes.
How to use the Micro-Pedi
1. Insert your batteries and the roller of your choice.
2. The dead skin that you buff away turns into white dust that will fall on the floor as you work—gross. So, go somewhere in the house like the bathtub to do it, or lay down a towel underneath you.
3. Make sure your feet are completely dry. You should never use the Micro-Pedi on wet skin or in the shower or bath, or on skin that is red, irritated, inflamed, infected or blistered.
4. Turn it on and gently rotate it (back and forth or side to side) over your area of hard skin or callous/corn for two to three seconds. Don't press hard; just gently glide it. Run your fingers over the area to check if it's as soft as you want it; if not, you can go over the area again for another two to three seconds. You can continue this way until you're satisfied with the level of softness. Once you're done, you'll probably want to rinse off your feet to get rid of that white dust, and then apply moisturizer.
5. If your feet are very callused, you may need to wait a day or two in between repeat sessions. Otherwise, the Micro-Pedi is meant to be used once or twice per week to keep your feet soft and smooth.
6. You can clean the rollers with the provided cleaning brush. Never immerse them or the gadget itself in water. How long the rollers will last really depends on how often you use the unit; once it starts becoming less effective, it's time to switch to a new roller. (Replacement sets of two are sold separately.)
I'm not about to throw my gross feet on the Internet to show you my before and after, but here's a look at someone else's so you can see the difference it can make. The before:
And the after:
These pics are 100 percent legit, BTW, as I experience the same transformation when I use this thing. It's really helped me maintain my feet in between pedicures—heck, if you're good at applying polish on your own, it may even eliminate the need for pedicures altogether.
One more thing! Word on the street is that Clarisonic is coming out with something verrry similar (it's actually already out in the U.S., and will be in Canada in spring 2014). At $199.00, it has a lot more bells and whistles, but it's also quite pricey and I can't imagine it would buff any differently than this guy does, for only $39.95. But I will report back!