What’s the oddest beauty treatment you’ve tried?

It’s likely you’ve already heard about or tried Baby Foot Peel. The word-of-mouth for this weird, gross, but amazing foot treatment—that promises to rid you of all calluses and leave your feet as smooth as a baby’s—has been going strong for a few years now. I finally decided I had to try it. Here’s how that went and two other odd (if slightly less gross) processes I’ve suffered in the name of beauty…

Baby Foot Peel

Though it tries to tout its “17 natural fruit extracts” to down the scare factor, but it’s basically a chemical peel for your feet—with beta hydroxy acids in the gel. And here’s how it goes: you soak your feet in water (don’t skip this), and then place them inside the gel-lined booties that come in the box. Have a cup of tea, read a gossip magazine, watch some television or what have you, and then wash your feet and wait. Within a week, the peeling should begin.

Apparently it’s more likely to happen after you soak your feet again, so you’re likely to notice the peeling after a bath or shower. And when it does, it’s crazy! It’s that same odd mix of disgusting and satisfying you get from Bioré pore strips, with the nostalgia factor of peeling dried Elmer’s Glue off your palms thrown in.

I waited till summer was ending to do mine—you’ll want to avoid any weeks you expect your feet to be out in public—but now would probably be a good time to do it again. Which leads to…

Would I do it again? In fact I sort of want to right now, as I think about it more. If this appeals to you in the slightest, I’m guessing you’ll find there’s an addictive quality to the peeling. And your feet really do feel incredibly soft afterward. The only downside? It doesn’t last, so you have to spend another $25 when you want to repeat the process.

Diamond-infused Exfoliator vs The Cure

Aron and I got sucked in to one of those places while on a weekend in Las Vegas that demos this stuff: someone shows you how much more amazing your skin would look with a diamond peel and some topical collagen. I declined at first, offering up Aron. It was really compelling, so I got a turn in the chair, too. We ended up agreeing to buy some collagen cream and bargained for them to throw in two jars of Forever Flawless Diamond Gel.

You start rubbing it gently and your exfoliating skin and any other gunk on your face somehow, almost magically, get removed in these tiny little balls. Like the peel, it’s incredibly satisfying. I use it once a week, and especially look forward to it when coming off an airplane (anyone else always feel like her face is gross after getting off a plane)? Basically, it feels like a good, non-abrasive exfoliator.

Would I do it again? Though I still use mine—and love it—I wouldn’t buy this again. You have to go into this car-salesroom mentality of bargaining to pay $50 for a jar (they started at $179!), and I think you can get the same stuff without the diamond-mumbo-jumbo. I just recently discovered The Cure, which is the number-one selling skincare product in Japan (Amazon tells me a bottle is sold every 12 seconds there!) and it’s basically the exact same thing. The water-based exfoliator lacks a little of the pleasure of the diamond gel as it’s thinner and feels less mask-like when you apply it, but it has the same gross/satisfying effect of removing dead skin cells in tiny little beads! And it’s way less expensive. I have both right now, but when my diamond jar runs out, I won’t look back.

Vinegar Hair Rinse

This one’s a good, old-fashioned home remedy. Sometimes I may rely a little too heavily on dry-shampoo to make it through the week. (Here are tips for using it.) The problem is that it can lead to some build up that hard’s to wash out. So every now and then, I’ll use vinegar in the shower to clarify my hair. I was in junior high when a hairdresser first recommended this as an occasional practice, so I just grab plain old distilled vinegar (or apple cider vinegar) from the pantry. The only problem is that it makes your head smell like an Easter Egg.

I’ve noticed an up-tick in products being sold as Vinegar Hair Rinses lately (maybe spurred by all the ACV-drinking that’s going on), and I’m conflicted: on the one hand, they might smell better; on the other, why spend more money on the fancy version? But I’ve heard good things about the Klorane and the Yves Rocher.

Would I do it again? You bet. Definitely recommended. I feel like my hair looks shinier, and combs out more easily when I do this. Just a note: I put on conditioner afterward, to get rid of the vinegar smell, but you don’t have to.

What weird things have you tried? Any secret gems you’ve discovered? Do tell.

P.S. Where I Got My Beauty Advice, A Recipe for Good Skin, and How to Get Rid of a Pimple.

[Lead photo: I’m certain that Bjork’s beautiful face is in fact always flawless and apologize for any implication otherwise. I love this photograph of her by Jane Bown. Bjork, copyright Jane Bown for The Observer, 1995]

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