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Clarisonic Pedi or Emjoi Micro-Pedi: Which Foot Buffer is Best?

Got dry feet and calluses? I put the two most popular electric foot files to the test!

You know what's not fair? Men generally have a lot nicer feet than women. Yep, even with hairy toes and possibly long toenails. Maybe you've noticed how their feet tend to be super-soft, smooth and without a callus or blister in sight.

Meanwhile, us ladies—probably because we like pointy toes, high heels and complicated strappy sandals—often have feet that show signs of wear and tear. Maybe it's a callus that built up from a favourite shoe, or maybe it's dead skin on the backs of our heels (since our skin tends to be on the drier side, too).

Buffing away all that grodiness is just another task on the Female To-Do List. It is what it is. I'm just thankful that electric gadgets now exist that make the task a heckuva lot easier than sawing back and forth with a manual file.

Recently, Clarisonic introduced its much-anticipated pedi set in Canada and I was SO excited. But as you may know, I'm also a huge Micro-Pedi fan. Which one would win me over? Keep reading...

The Clarisonic Pedi Foot Transformation Set

Clarisonic's sonic cleansing brush for the face has been a game-changer for a lot of people's complexions. Naturally, I assumed this foot-buffing set would do the same for my poor, callus-prone feet.

This isn't simply a gadget, however; it's an entire system, as you can see above. Besides the actual buffing device (which looks and feels just like a regular Clarisonic, save for the different heads), you also get a Pedi-Buff scruff, a Pedi-Boost peel and a non-greasy Pedi-Balm cream.

I LOVE the Pedi-Boost (which is also sold separately). It's a lactic and glycolic acid-based serum, that comes in a bottle with a dropper just like a face serum, and it helps to dissolve stubborn dead skin cells. You're meant to use it after buffing your feet, before you layer your Pedi-Balm cream over top. I really do think using it has made a difference in keeping my feet soft and smooth this summer.

The Pedi-Balm and Pedi-Buff I don't feel strongly about... they're okay, but nothing all that special compared to others that you'd buy. And a foot scrub certainly isn't going to make too much of a difference on dry, callused feet.

Nor is the actual Clarisonic buffing device, I'm sorry to say. It comes with two sonic-powered heads: one is a stiff brush that can be used wet or dry, and the other is a metal smoothing disc. You're supposed to use the brush daily and the smoothing disc twice weekly.

I found the brush a bit scratchy and irritating on my skin, without getting much (if any) payoff in terms of how my feet looked. But it was the smoothing disc—the supposed innovation in this system—that disappointed me most of all. I was told at the press launch that the advantage of this buffer is that it has tiny holes in it for the dead skin to go through and collect in a reservoir underneath. That way, the dead skin doesn't collect in between the ridges to make the buffer feel dull; they say it stays "sharp" for a full three months.

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Unfortunately, I just found that whatever buffing it did was so mild, it's basically pointless. I was so sad. Would've been even sadder if I'd spent $200+ on this system, which is the going rate (wow!).

The Emjoi Micro-Pedi

Moving on to the Micro-Pedi. It's no secret I love this thing to pieces. (And that's why I had such high hopes for the Clarisonic Pedi—I assumed it just HAD to be even better.)

But no. The Micro-Pedi is pretty much perfect already. Also handheld, it features a roller with micro-mineral particles that pulverize dead skin instantly and safely. Think of it like a traditional manual foot file, except automated and way stronger. I never get tired of using the thing.

The only downsides are that it turns the dry skin into white dust that lands all over your floor; it's a little messy. But hey, at least you know it's doing something! Also, if your feet need a lot of TLC, you can easily go through rollers every couple of weeks, as they can get dull pretty quickly.

If you're one of those people and looking for some heavy-duty filing action, then my tip is to invest not in the original Micro-Pedi, above, but this guy:

Yeah, it's for men. What of it? I was told by the PR that it's actually a more powerful machine, and now that I have one, I prefer it. It seems to go faster, and therefore the results are faster, too.

You should also buy the men's Super-Coarse refill rollers if you need maximum smoothing. (They fit in both devices, by the way.) I couldn't believe the difference when I upgraded from the rather wimpy original pink rollers to the very gritty guy's ones. I think you can do a better job with this thing at home than you get from a professional pedicure. Really!

Economically, this is the lower upfront investment (around $50 for the device)... but the rollers are around $20-25 for two, so it just depends on how often you need replenishments. But it's still the better deal compared to the Clarisonic. Sorry Clarisonic!

The Winner: Emjoi Micro-Pedi Man

It's obvious; Emjoi Micro-Pedi Man is The One if you're in the market for an electric foot file. Consider also investing in the Clarisonic Pedi-Boost, to apply after you've Micro-Pedi'd and before your foot cream of choice. As I mentioned last week, lately I'm loving the Weleda Foot Balm.

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