I tried a ‘gross’ peeling foot mask and here’s what happened to my skin

There are some bits of being a beauty director that are truly glamorous: interviewing A-listers, reviewing five-star spas, getting made over by celebrity hair stylists. And then there are the bits that, well, aren’t.

I’m pretty sure we all know which category “testing a peeling foot mask” fits into. But let’s not be too hasty to judge. While slipping into a pair of acid-filled plastic booties may not sound super-luxe, it’s actually the sort of nitty gritty, slightly icky beauty that I get a real kick out of (pun intended).

The pair I was trialling was Grace & Stella Down For The Peel, which has an RRP of £18 a pair but if you can get them (and five more products worth over £95) from £4.95 here in this month’s OK! Beauty Box.*

Even the official product blurb doesn’t pretend this foot facial is going to the glitziest moment of your life. “It may be gross-looking, but does it ever work!” promises the Grace & Stella website.

The treatment consists of plastic slippers, filled with an alpha-hydroxy acid solution designed to slough dead skin off your trotters, revealing baby soft feet beneath.

“Make sure you're ready for the large flakes that will be falling off of your feet throughout the next few weeks…trust us, it's oddly satisfying,” the company promises.

The word “peel” may sound a little scary but don’t worry, this treatment is entirely painless – unless you give yourself a stitch laughing at how bizarre it looks.

It’s very easy to do, and if the video looks like I’m fumbling to secure the plastic booties in place, it’s only because I had a phone balanced on my legs and literally couldn’t see what I was doing.

I would recommend popping a pair of slippers over the top, partly to ensure a super-snug fit and keep everything in place and partly because those plastic booties are rather slippery to walk on!

I left them on for an hour and am delighted to confirm that they didn’t irritate my skin or – horror – strip off my new gel pedicure. All I had to do then was wash off the AHA residue and commence the wait.

Much like a watched pot that never boils, my feet did absolutely diddly squat until I forgot I’d actually done the treatment. Then, about a week later, while watching telly one evening I absent-mindedly rubbed my heel and was treated to a handful of dead skin.

I could pretend it put me off the bowl of popcorn I had in my lap, but reader, it did not.

This mask truly is the gift that keeps on giving. First it was my heels and toes that began flaking and then the shower of shedding switched to my soles.

Over two weeks later I can still (painlessly) peel strips off my skin, which is indeed deliciously gross in much the way that Cheestrings are.

I wish I had the final result to share but I don’t want you to miss out on the £4.95 Beauty Box offer, as this month’s edit goes off sale on 14 April. However I’m confident that my feet are going to look far, far more sandal ready than they did before once the peeling stops. If I get a spare second I’m planning to treat myself to another nice foot soak and a good buffing to help speed things along.

One word of warning: if you like the sound of this product (and why wouldn’t you?!) I would recommend timing its usage carefully. If you have an event or a holiday coming up, I’d allow yourself a good 3-4 weeks to get the best results – after all, you don’t want flakes flying as you strut around in strappy sandals, do you?

Overall I think it’s a brilliant addition to anyone’s summer prep. It is indeed gross but that only makes it more a-peel-ing…

*£4.95 for new OK Beauty Box subscribers only, monthly boxes £15 thereafter.

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