“ Brand: Boots / Balm / Type: Foot Balm / Subcategory: Balm / Skin type: for dry skin / What it does: Smoothes, regenerates, „
I have always suffered from dry, cracked heels. During the winter months when my feet are encased in shoes or boots they are not really an issue! However with the onset on the warmer weather, I like to start wearing sandals. Last summer I decided to try a cream, or balm as it is known that I spotted in my local Boots. The balm first caught my eye with its ugly and all too familiar cracked heels displayed on the box! Underneath was a picture of beautifully restored and smooth looking heels, just like the ones I desired! Having handed over my cash I was keen to try out the balm for myself.
Boots cracked heel balm comes in a 125ml tube and costs £7.99. The information on the outer box promises results in just 3 days with full healing in just 3 weeks. The balm contains 25% urea that is recommended for use on dry skin. The instructions suggest you first use a pumice stone to remove excess dry skin before using the balm. As I don't own a pumice stone I decided to just use the balm straight onto my heels.
The balm is quite thick and has a pleasant subtle scent. I use a walnut sized amount and massage into both heels. I find it is best to use the balm in the evening preferable after a nice long soak in the bath.
The balm is easy enough to apply although it is quite greasy and you will need to wear socks after application. The balm works well if you apply before bed and leave overnight to work its magic! Initially I used the balm every day.
I am quite sceptical when it comes to believing claims made by manufactures. However I can honestly say that this balm actually works! It did take more than the suggested 3 days before I could see any real improvement, but by the end of the first 2 weeks the improvement was really dramatic! I continued us using the balm every few days throughout last summer and my heels remained soft and crack free!
During the winter my heel tend not to crack. However as the warmer weather approaches I will be again using this amazing balm!
Ever since Scholls came out with that advert showing a lady on an escalator with really dry and flaky skin on her heals I have noticed people with back feet. As it's now summer and the sun is actually out I'm wearing more sandals. My feet are now exposed to the world for inspection! I haven't the loveliest of feet. They're not awful or anything so you can stop picturing Frodo Baggins!
I went out and bought a budget version of the Ped Egg by JML as I wasn't about to spent over £10 on something I wasn't sure would be used more then once. I got a bargain one that is exactly the same for only £3. It was good and I use it every couple of days to keep my feet in good condition but there is still a bit of dry skin on my heels and so I set off on a mission to get some cream to put on. The Scholl Cracked Heel Repair cream was £5.99 and the Boots version was $4.99. Not much of a difference but as I only had a certain about of cash until payday my wallet told me to save the pound and get the Boots one. Very tight I know but buy purchasing the Boots one I got extra Boots Advantage Card points too. Only bad thing is now they are marked as buy one - get one half price! Why is it always after I buy something that they go on special offer!?!
The box & method:
On the box is before and after photos of feet showing the heel repair you can expect to get if you use this balm as directed. Instructions say to massage the balm into clean, dry feet twice daily. I put all over my feet and not just the heel.
I've never really been one to obey or even listen so of course I didn't this time! I just didn't want the balm on my feet when I had shoes on. I didn't like the idea of my shoes or sandals getting all greasy. Instead I was rubbing a good amount of the balm onto my feet at night and put little sports socks on to ensure the balm didn't get wiped off by my bed sheets.
The balm itself is off-white in colour and does feel very nourishing. My feet felt quite soft in places the instant I applied the balm which was nice. It was a bit odd rubbing the balm into the hardest bits of skin as it doesn't feel as if the balm was going to make it past the rough top layer of skin. For this reason I used a lot more balm then I normally would have so that some could just be rubbed over it and left to try and soak in.
Aqua, Urea, Lanolin, Petrolatum, Paraffinum liquidum, Glycerin
Keep out of reach of children. For external use only. Store in a cool dry place.
I can't expect after 7 days to see brilliant results because I'm not using the balm as directed. It is not day 15 and except for one night I have done my routine each day. My feet do look happier but I think it's a combination of using this balm and the Ped Egg thing as the Egg helps to take off rough skin. I don't think this is a cream I could use until my feet are beautiful and then not use until the next time they look rough so I'll try to keep up my nightly routine. It doesn't take much time and is no hassle before jumping into bed so no problem really.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my other half will pop the question in the next year or so (otherwise I'll kill him!) so maybe if I keep all this up I can wear lovely revealing heals without thinking how yucky my feet are!
© oioiyou 2009
Feet are peculiar looking things aren't they? I particularly hate my own feet - they're quite simply horrible. OK, so they're a size 5 which is a nice size for a woman's foot but that's the only good thing I can say about them. I seem to have inherited my dad's toes (by that I mean shape and not hobbit style tufts of hair!) and my mum's dry, cracked heels.
I don't really help the situation though. I've never been one to pamper my feet and I certainly wouldn't let anyone else do it. So at the end of the day I've only got myself to blame. Spending the majority of the year hidden inside socks and shoes, I spend very little time actually concerned by the condition of my feet. This summer though, I've felt particularly conscious. I think an advert I saw on TV was responsible for this. It was for a product called Scholl's Dry Heel Repair Cream and featured a woman with nasty heels going up an escalator. This resulted in immense paranoia on my part whenever flip-flops and escalators happened to combine...in fact, just wearing flip-flops in general was beginning to feel like a no-go for me. So I decided to try some of this Scholl stuff. Afterall, smoother heels were promised in just 2 weeks!
So off I went to Boots...to find that they offered their own brand 'Cracked Heel Balm'. At £3.99 for 50ml this was nearly £2 cheaper than the Scholl version! Always one to make a saving, and happily confident that it would still be a very good product, I came to the assumption that the Boots balm was the one for me.
I must say that I instantly liked the word 'balm' in the title. It's a much better descriptor than 'cream', suggesting a thicker and intensely nourishing formula. This in turn gives the impression of a more effective product. If the before and after shots featured on the packaging are anything to go by then it's certainly going to work with dramatic results. The Boots balm claims to 'Improve the appearance of cracked heels - works in 7 days. Complete results after 2 weeks'. Such a bold statement to make but if it's printed on the box I thought, surely it must be true!
So, does it work?...
I've reached the end of my 2 week experimental trial and I can honestly say that I'm really impressed by this stuff. Applying a large pea sized amount twice daily (morning and night, as instructed) has done the trick and actually given me smooth, soft heels. Aswell as feeling better, they also look greatly improved with hardly any roughness remaining at all. The skin is so much more supple and I'm quite happy to show off my feet now.
Apparently the 25% Urea content is the main benefit factor of the formulation as it helps to relieve dry skin. Now I don't know about you but the word 'urea' immediately caused me to think of wee. 'Surely not' I thought...and thankfully, after a quick google I discovered that although urea is the name of the main component of mammalian urine, it is also a substance that is naturally present in healthy skin. Normal skin contains approximately 1% urea. If this level drops, the result is dry skin. A product that contains this component is therefore highly beneficial as it is directly regenerating the skins moisturising layer, helping to recover a healthy skin condition. Now I understand why this balm is so effective!
To achieve the best results, Boots recommend that you use a pumice stone to remove excess skin as part of your daily footcare regime, prior to applying the balm. I must admit that this is probably only necessary in extreme cases. I certainly didn't feel the need to use a pumice stone - the balm works sufficiently well enough for me on its own. Once the desired outcome has been achieved and the skins condition has been restored, the balm can be used less frequently - perhaps just once a day or as and when you feel it is needed to maintain the smooth skin. I'm finding that an application every 2 - 3 days is adequate.
The balm is somewhat pleasant to use. A subtle fragrance is present which is not too overpowering and it feels almost indulgent during an application. The balm is easy to apply - simply rub it into the troublesome area and let it dry. It has a thick consistency which is also quite oily, leaving an almost tacky residue for a short period of time. This is fine as long as you can put your feet up for a few minutes while it dries, or at least put on some socks or slippers. If you immediately walk around on a carpet your feet will get covered in fluff! For this reason I much prefer to apply in the evening, just before bed. I feel like it's really getting work as it soaks into my feet while I sleep. For the morning application I tend to use a smaller amount - more convenient as it dries in a shorter time.
I find that the balm doesn't rub into my hands very well so they need washing with soapy water after an application. The regular style screw top tube is always a bit sticky where I've screwed the lid back on with the balm still on my hands, but simply giving it a quick wipe solves this little problem.
One thing that really annoys me about this product is the packaging. Or the excessive use of packaging to be more precise. The tube is placed inside a box, which is a procedure usually followed to group an item together with an additional information leaflet...but there's no leaflet with this balm. I therefore feel that the box is a tad unnecessary. Remember those before and after shots that I mentioned earlier? Well, I think these are the reason behind Boots' chosen packaging route. The photography virtually fills the box, maximising the impact to attract attention. I must admit that it does have the desired effect, visually convincing the consumer that this product really works. It's just a shame that it isn't more environmentally friendly!
It's due to this negative factor that I can only give a four star rating instead of a five. On the whole, Boots Cracked Heel Balm is an excellent and highly effective product which offers great value in comparison to its higher priced competitor. A bigger version of the tube is also available - 125ml for £8.99 - even better value for money and one that I will certainly buy next time!
If you suffer from dry, cracked heels, give it a try...it's crackin' stuff!
Ingredients for those who'd really like to know:
Aqua, Urea, Lanolin, Petrolatum, Paraffinium liquidum, Glycerin, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 dimethicone, Hexyl laurate, Polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum, Dipropylene glycol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Tetrasodium EDTA, BHT.
This easy to apply cream improves the appearance of cracked heels in 2 weeks / Cracked heels look and feel better after 7 days / The cream contains 25% Urea to help relieve dry skin, leaving feet soft and smooth /