Lately, my feet have been feeling a lot like stone. They're hard, rough, and dehydrated. I naturally suffer from dry skin, but this NYC cold weather has been particularly cruel to my heels. Despite my attempts to moisturize, wear thick socks, and walk around in wide, roomy boots, the scratchy, angry heels still remain. That is, until I discovered the extraordinary smoothing powers of a pumice stone (ironic, I know).
Up until a week ago, I always went to a nail salon and tried whatever callus treatment my nail tech recommended. But after using the Bathing Culture Mt. Shasta Pumice Scrub, I can confidently say I’ve found a new way to keep my heels baby soft—and it’s only $10.
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For those unfamiliar, a pumice stone is a type of volcanic rock that forms when lava and water mix. It’s porous and lightweight like a sponge, but still has a rough surface. As a result, it's a great natural exfoliator to use on dry and really scratchy patches of the skin to help make it smooth. In fact, they are particularly effective on "areas that are prone to calluses, like your feet, knees and elbows," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Melanie D. Palm, MD, MBA, FAAD. "Pumice stones are a natural exfoliant that offer mild to medium exfoliation, and can be effective in removing dead skin if used correctly."
Essentially, the rough surface (when you use it to scrub skin) works to break down the build-up of cells on the outer layer of skin, otherwise known as hyperkeratotic tissue. When used carefully with soapy water, the stones can easily slough off dead skin.
This is exactly what happened when I used Bathing Culture Mt. Shasta Pumice Scrub on my feet for the first time. As I hopped into the shower, I used the stones on the feet to give them some TLC. After about 15-20 seconds of scrubbing each foot, I could feel my skin immediately beginning to soften. I took one stone, wet it, and began to rub it against the problem areas on my feet (aka, my heels and big toes). And after about 10 seconds of gently scrubbing, what once felt like sandpaper was now silky smooth. The stone is also pretty easy to grip and doesn't feel uncomfortable against your skin.
To get the best results, be sure to soak your feet in warm water before you exfoliate, and try not apply too much pressure. This way you don't take off too much skin or cause unnecessary irritation. Additionally, it's a good practice to use the stones only on thick and rough areas of the skin. "I would recommend avoiding using pumice stones on areas with thinner skin, like your face, as this could cause tears or microabrasion in the skin, which could lead to scarring and pigmentation," Dr. Palm warns.
You can find pumice stones just about anywhere (Amazon, Target, probably your local market), but I really love Bathing Culture's (their eco-friendly body washes are wonderful and smell amazing). For the uninitiated, Bathing Culture is an all-things-bathing company that prides itself on putting the environment and sustainability first. This is evident by its use of 100 percent pre-existing recycled material for its other soaps. And these stones are yet another eco-friendly option to keep your body clean and smooth.
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