Why Is Foot-Masking Suddenly Such a Big Deal?

The addiction is real.

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Unless you're a pro foot model, foot-masking can seem kind of silly at first. But when you really think about it, the reason it seems like overkill—feet will always be slightly, if not totally unattractive—is also why the area needs the most attention. This, especially if you get dressed like our staff, #ShoesFirst, or are a fan of the "footsie" (foot selfie).

For those that have put a mask on their foot, while a little unsavory at first (think a snake shedding its skin), the chemical-peel-like foot treatment becomes addicting once your smoother, softer, and more even-toned feet are unveiled. Simply put, they just look and feel better...particularly in telling summer sandals.

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So what's exactly in these foot treatments? "Foot masks contain ingredients known to increase skin exfoliation," Donna McCann, assistant VP for R&I with L'Oreal, tells NAILS. "This will allow for skin turnover to be expedited, renewing the dead skin layers with newer, younger layers at the stratum corneum (the outermost layer). There are also physical exfoliators like micro-scrubs where apricot granules, pumice, alumina, and other particles can be designed to scrub off dead skin."

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It's a matter of preference whether you want to go the chemical or physical exfoliant route. The key is making sure that whatever mask you do choose has the right active ingredients you're look for, be that alpha hydroxy acids for exfoliation or peppermint for soothing tired or swollen feet.

A few of our favorites include: Japanese import Baby Foot, which has reached cult-status for sloughing off even the most menacing of calluses; Sephora Collection's new line of Foot Masks seeped in nourishing and comforting ingredients like lavender and almond extracts; and Soap & Glory's Heel Genius Amazing Foot Cream, which isn't technically a mask, but thanks to its lemon fruit acid smoothers, a healthy slathering can transform sorry soles overnight.

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