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Has there ever been a year when summer seemed so reluctant to put in an appearance? I have to believe it can't go on like this forever and so I'm determined to be ready for the warm weather when it finally appears. I have lots of pairs of nice sandals and I'm hoping to give some of them a bit of a bashing when the cold weather finally goes away. The problem is that when the sun comes out and the strappy sandals go on, our nation is prone to exhibiting some of its darkest and most disturbing hidden demons - cracked heels, dry scaly foot skin, ugly toenails and (horror of horrors) hairy toes. Whilst I can't offer too much hope on the hairy toes or the ugly toenails, Reinventing the Heel by Origins might give you a headstart on the dry, rough, or scaly skin and the cracked heels.
I became a fan of Origins about 10 years ago when I started buying their products on business trips to the USA. At that time when the exchange rates were about 2 dollars to the pound and when prices for Origins on the other side of the Atlantic were about the same in dollars as in pounds (i.e. half the UK price), I got hooked. Sadly those times are past but I'm still living on the stock I built up on a holiday about five years ago and what I've picked up in one of the outlet shops at Cheshire Oaks. One of the products I've been using off and on for several years now is 'Reinventing the Heel'. I use it less now that I've got my feet into good condition than I would have done at the start and I found this gnarled old tube at the back of the drawer a few weeks ago and hoiked it out to help my preparations for summer. It was originally part of an Origins foot-care set I bought along with several other 'below the knee' items. It's my second tube - that's how good it is.
Before I persuade you that this stuff is the greatest thing since striped toothpaste, I should warn you that a 150ml tube of Reinventing the Heel will set you back a not insubstantial £21 on the Origins website. I could cushion the blow by telling you that postage and packaging are free but there are no two ways about it, this stuff doesn't come cheaply. The pharmacies of the land are full of much cheaper alternatives for tackling cracked heels and rough skin but this is one of the few products I've tried that combine genuine effectiveness with being pleasant to use. If I added up all the heel creams I've bought and thrown away because they smelled disgusting or they were totally ineffective, I could replenish my stock of this wonder cream.
So what do you get for £21's worth of Reinventing the Heel? Firstly you get a nice old-fashioned metal tube, not unlike the ones that Body Shop use for their hand creams but bigger. Those who like to get every last squidge out of their packaging will love these tubes. I was once told by a friend who works at Glaxo SmithKline that Prince Charles used to insist on having his Aquafresh in metal tubes and the factory had to do a special production run every year just for him. It doesn't matter how much money you've got, everyone likes to think they're getting the most out of each tube.
The opening of the tube comes sealed and can be broken by reversing the cap and using the spike on the top to break through the seal. The product inside has a consistency that's a little like Vaseline but instead of being clear, it's a white, cloudy gel. It smells beautiful with the first note that hits you being the minty blast of cooling menthol before you notice there's an oddly sweet and fruity undertone from the rose hip oil and jojoba oils that are included in the product. For sloughing off the dead skin and encouraging new skin growth, there's salicylic acid whilst shea butter is there to soften your paws.
I have a Micro-Pedi electric foot 'sander' so I use that first on dry feet to remove any surface dry skin before patting my feet with a dry towel to remove any foot 'dust' that's still attached. I squeeze a small blob - really not much at all, about the size of a small pea - onto my fingers and then rub onto my foot, massaging it in and paying particular attention to the heels and the hard pads I get on the ball of my feet. A similar small blob does the job for the other foot and then I rub any residue into my hands before putting socks on top of my feet to help warm them so the cream soaks in really well. Admittedly when I first used this I needed more but my feet were in shockingly bad condition at that time.
If your feet are feeling hot and tired, the menthol helps to cool them. Despite seeming to be quite a heavy gel, this stuff soaks in well and quickly and doesn't leave my feet feeling slippery. In the winter when I'm not putting my paws on display too much I tend to treat my feet with whichever of the many Body Shop butters I like least and want to use up, working on the theory that my feet are the furthest part of my body from my nose so I don't mind what the stuff I put on them smells like. I find that body butters leave my feet much more greasy and slippery than Reinventing the Heel. The lovely fresh smell of menthol and rosehip on my hands is a bit of a bonus and whilst I probably should be rushing off to wash my hands after playing with my feet, I'm inclined not to since my feet were clean before I started.
If you want a delicious smelling and highly effective foot moisturiser that won't leave your feet feeling sticky and greasy and will work on even the driest of foot skin, this could be the product for you if you can stomach the price. My current tube has been used for the past couple of summers and is just within its 24 month 'use after opening' guideline, not that I ever pay too much attention to such things.
For those unfamiliar with the Origins brand, it's an offshoot of the much better known Estee Lauder company and was set up in 1990 by Estee Lauder's son Leonard. The company focuses on plant science and makes highly effective products with a strong natural positioning. Reinventing the Heel is one of my favourite of the many Origins products that I've tried over the years.
Origins Reinventing The Heel 150ml / Mega-moisture for dry / cracked feet / When it feels like you've walked too many miles in your own shoes / heel thyself / This heavy cream helps soothe your soles with the richness of Rose Fruit and Jojoba Oils / Super-sloughing Salicylic Acid and softening Shea Butter helps get rid of pesky rough patches and smooth cracks to put feet back on easy street / Tingly Menthol provides a refreshing kick / Avoid contact with broken / irritated or sensitive skin / Dry skin / Moisturising.