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My journeys to work involve me walking just under fifteen miles a week and then, whilst at work, I'm on my feet all day too. Of course then there's walking the dogs, going shopping, gym workouts etc all of which involve me being on my feet for a considerable amount of time. It's no great surprise that I suffer with an awful lot of dead skin on my feet, particularly the heels and balls of my feet. Frankly keeping on top of my callus is like a full time job. Simply getting the ped egg out on a weekly basis is just not enough and I need to have a good scrub on a daily basis to keep my feet completely free of dead, hard skin. Unfortunately I don't have the time to do this every night so I'm always looking for quicker and more effective ways of keeping my feet soft and smooth.
So, when I found a number of Sanctuary products knocked down to very low prices in my local Boots a few months back I was quick enough to take one of these Instant Foot Callus Treatments down to the till with me. At full price this kit costs £16 from Boots and Sanctuary's website, a price I wouldn't have paid unless I'd heard many good things about it first. Fortunately I managed to pick one up for just under £4 which I was definitely happy to pay to give this a go.
The treatment comes in a white and orange box with a see through window in the front which allows you to see the products within it. On the back of the box is a full set of instructions on how to use this which, at first glance, looks very over complicated to get rid of some hard skin. Nevertheless, I was keen to give this a try and see if it would work any better than previous methods of just scrubbing at my feet for twenty minutes I had been using.
Inside the box you'll find two pairs of latex gloves, four large patches (for the heel), for small patches (for the ball), one foot scrape and file and a 45ml tube of callus treatment gel. As mentioned above, this all seemed rather a lot to get rid of callus!
To use the treatment you need to first take the backing paper off of the foot strips. These are basically like those plasters you buy in long strips to cut off the amount you need and to be honest, you'd be just as well using those for this job (I have been since the pads my set came with ran out). The heel pads are quite a large square, about the size of a CD case whilst the pads for the balls of your feet are smaller rectangles, about 6x4inches. You have about an inch of sticky pad around non-sticky centre where the gel is applied and they stick pretty firmly on the feet with no problems.
You then need to squeeze a little of the gel out onto the pad, the instructions state roughly 5ml of gel is required for each pad and this should squeezed out in a zig-zag line across the entire non-sticky pad. The clear, thick gel comes out with relative ease and it's easy to control how much you're releasing at a time. If you use too much of the gel when you stick the pads down it will just seep through the sides so being able to control the amount you use is important and the design on the tube allows you to do this well.
You then just need to place these pads onto the balls and heels of the feet, press the sticky sides down firmly to keep them in place and wait ten-fifteen minutes before removing. All of this apparently should be done whilst wearing the gloves provided although I never have and I've gotten this gel on my hands a few times - nothing happens. And if it did I certainly wouldn't be putting this on my feet! I think the gloves are just a little bit of a novelty really. This is part of the professional range and you're aiming to get salon treatments and results in your own home and I think wearing the gloves is just supposed to make it feel a bit 'different'. I don't personally see any need for them myself.
I've continued to get on with whatever I've been doing after applying the gel/pads and even when walking around the house these have stayed in place perfectly so I've no issues to report there. For some reason I was expecting to feel a tingling sensation on my feet whilst I had this gel on them although nothing of the sort happens, they only thing you can feel is the pads stuck to your feet.
After fifteen minutes I take my pads off and place them in the bin. They're easy to remove and the sticky sides do not leave any residue or marks behind on my skin, nor do they stick so well they're painful to remove so again, no problems there. Once the pads have been removed you need to take out your foot file/scrape. This is a bright orange colour fitting into The Sanctuary's colour scheme. The handle is very short though, about 3inches and is only just comfortable for me to hold even with my small hands.
There's a sandpaper type textured stuck on pad placed on the file which removes the dead skin, and I know it's stuck on because mine is coming away a little at the sides. At the top the file is curved over slightly and this acts as the scrape.
After removing the pads you need to take the scrape and run it over the heels and balls of your feet to remove excess gel and skin. Because the skin is hard and mostly dead skin cells I find I can apply a lot of pressure with this scrape and it doesn't become painful. The scrape removes the gel mixed in with quite a bit of dead skin. Whilst this was pleasing to see it was taking effect, having to remove soggy dead skin from underneath the scrape wasn't the most pleasant of tasks! Still, the smooth surface of the file and scrape means cleaning it is very easily done which is handy.
Then it's time to file. The instructions state the file is to 'ensure dead skin has been removed' which to me roughly translate to 'the gel doesn't actually do much, you're going to need to file to get any results'. The file is pretty useless too. Perhaps if you only have small amounts of callus this would adequate but I simply find this isn't rough enough to remove my massive build up of dead skin! It makes the areas slightly smoother but doesn't do much in the way of removing dead skin completely.
After that you need to rinse the feet to ensure all the gel has been removed and then, if you wish, apply a moisturiser to keep your feet soft and hydrated. The gel is very quick and easy to remove and doesn't leave behind any residue. It doesn't make my feet feel dry or itchy or anything of the sort either so I didn't experience any reaction to it as I had half expected to.
The overall results are pretty average. I see a slight improvement in the amount of callus on my skin but nothing spectacular. I've recently emptied my tube of treatment gel which I was happy to do but I won't be buying another one which I think sums the results up. Ok but not wonderful. It certainly doesn't do a good of a job as my ped egg does and the whole process from start to finish takes a lot longer too. For under £4 I wasn't completely disappointed but if I wouldn't recommend paying £15 for this to anybody, you don't even get a decent foot file out of it!