Having pretty feet isn’t at the top of our priority list. With booties being our go-to in this arctic weather, we won’t be showing off our feet anytime soon. However, with the constant friction and pressure between our shoes and feet, it’s the most crucial time to fend off calluses. But before you go scraping one off with a metal file—this breaks the skin, opening it up to bacteria and infection, gross—use these quick tricks.
Got five minutes? Use a pumice stone.
To soften the skin, use a pumice stone. Soak your feet in water for five minutes, then wet the stone and rub it along the wet callus with light pressure to remove the dead skin.
Note: You don’t want to remove all of the callus. The hardened skin actually protects the underlay from the constant friction with your shoes.
Got three minutes? Soften with a soft callus file.
Skip the bath and use a soft file like Profoot Care Pedi-Rock Foot File ($9, walgreens.com). It’s so soft you can rub it on dry callus without breaking the skin. Like a cushion, you can grip the file to touch hard-to-reach places like in and around the toes.
Got one minute? Lotion them up.
Although the results won’t be instant, softening the callus with salicylic acid will reduce callus within days. LovelySkin Pevonia Callous-Free Dry Oil ($34, lovelyskin.com) restores moisture, exfoliates (after all, a callus is dead skin) and promotes healing from any skin breakage.
Read more: DIY a Salon Pedicure at Home