Monday, July 20, 2009

Heel to Toe Feels Like New Review: 3 Piggies out of 9

As I was shopping at Sally Beauty Store for my next chromatic adventure, I perused through the small but replete aisles hoping to chance upon that rare magical pearl that would propel my feet to a new level of softness. I conjured myself discovering the magical potion that was always overlooked due to its plain or generic packaging or its unappealing "cheap" price, but was truly wondrous in deep penetration through those stubborn layers of human foot skin.

My tender soles are by many standards, especially for men, probably one of the better ones out there. I am proud of it and owe it mostly to my obsessive and persistent daily care routine. I've been guilty of skipping a day (at most) of lovingness when I'm just dead tired but I'm so far ahead that my piggies can absorb the light abuse. I guess in reality I could probably go a week without them getting bad but I wouldn't dare to even try, particularly in these hot summer days. I will stress again that hydration and beauty come from the inside so drink up until you pee clear. Ha! I'm giving this product review as a test. See what you think.

Heel to Toe is a brand that offers a variety of foot-related products and retails through Sally Beauty Store. Their products include lotions, scrubs, and instruments that center around care of the foot, as its name implies. Feels Like New Foot Softener is boasted to soften corns and rough cracked heels and calluses, which it states on its purple lid. It is distributed by a company named Esthetician Services, Inc. from Los Angeles, California. No word, at least from the container, as to where the product is made. Its components are relatively straightforward with only a few items that were unrecognizable. Main ingredients are lecithin, soybean oil, lanolin, and papain. The last item caught my attention as this is also what's found on meat tenderizers and medical wound debridement creams such a Accuzyme that are used to clean up necrotic or contaminated open wounds. It is also used for teeth whitening. Furthermore, according to the FDA, it has a warning on topical products containing papain as it can cause a reaction similar to a latex allergy or bring one's blood pressure down or speed up their heart rate or make them blind (if somehow applied to the eye, accidentally maybe.) Whoa! Nonetheless, I, like many others, didn't know this at the time of the purchase. Read your labels! BHA and BHT are preservatives, likely to stabilize the soybean oil. Information on those chemicals seem to be inconclusive for carcinogenicity and they are found in many foods and products. Aaahhh! This makes me wonder about everything else that I put on or worse, eat! Maybe organic is the way to go and worth its price. Hhmm?!? I'll never get through this review.

The product is a honey-colored firm ointment that melts in your warm hands as well as your feet as you rub it on. It spreads easily and I made sure I put on socks right afterward so as to not stain my sheets or slick my floors. It comes on rather oily and has a medicinal odor to it. It's aromatherapy and this is also noted on the lid. I followed this application with my regular Cetaphil rub and Body Shop body butter concoction that has been my staple in foot care. I bought the small 0.5 oz jar to try it and it costs less than $3US dollars. I used it daily for a couple of weeks until it was all gone. I had no adverse reactions to it nor did I wake up to oil stained socks and bedsheets. By the end of the day, my feet weren't greasy either and still quite soft. No additional softening effects were attributed to the addition of Feels Like New ointment. Overall, I don't think that it made a notable difference in softening my feet and the smell of aromatherapy was not pleasant for me at all. Perhaps it performs better in broken up skin with calluses but I doubt it since it didn't seem to penetrate my thinner healthier skin. I would not purchase this item again and I'm glad I only got the small sample. I guess one should also be cautious of papain-containing topical solutions since it has an FDA warning. I rate this item 3 piggies out of nine. (one piggy being the most horrible and 9 piggies being the absolute best). I give it a 3 because it didn't hurt me or make my feet worse, it's inexpensive, but I wouldn't recommend it or try it again. It doesn't smell good and it's greasy.

Well, I get carried away. I should look up what's in the Cetaphil and the Body Shop butter. Yikes! I suppose I haven't been so objective of these "routine" products of mine either.


  1. I know this might make some people cringe that I'm "wasting" it on my feet, but one of the best things for softening is Alpha Hydrox AHA Soufflé. I use it on my elbows, knees, and feet every couple of days (I have sensitive skin, and more frequent use makes things painful for me) and it works amazingly! Here's a link (hopefully it'll post properly):

    On in-between days, I go back and forth between 2 different products. First is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Concentrated Cream with Vitamin E. It smells delicious, absorbs quickly (though it is the tiniest bit greasy on application), and moisturizes very well.

    The other is from an etailer (that is, people who hand-make bath and body products) - Body Fluff, by Bathed & Infused:

    This one goes on my skin very greasy (though many others say it isn't at all greasy on them), but the moisturizing effect lasts an insanely long time. I use the fragrance-free version, but you can get any of their billion scents added to it.

    As for organic: totally worth the price. Especially meat and dairy (if you consume those things)!

  2. Thank you Trina for your recs and your input. As always, greatly appreciated. I will certainly check them out as I'm constantly searching for the best care for my feet and skin. I'll be posting other reviews as soon as I give products a reasonable trial period and rate them.

  3. Thank you for your review of this product. I came across the stick version of this formula, but I was astonished to read that the ingredient list, which differs greatly from the one on any website touting this product. Here's the list on the back of the stick I purchased (I will use the common names and exclude the scientific names for convenience): Castor Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Beeswax, Lanolin, Fragrance, Vitamin E, Cocoa Seed Butter, Carnauba Wax, Papain, Sea Buckthorn Oil, Benzyl Coumarin, Limonene, Geranoil, Hydroxycirronellal, Butylphenyl Methylpropional, Linalool, Hydroxyisohexyl 3-Cyclohexene Carboxaldehyde, Alpha-isomethyl Ionone.

    All the chemical names are ingredients that contribute to the fragrance, but what really shocks me is the very first ingredient: Castor Seed oil, also known as Ricin (a poisonous toxin). After some research, I discovered that the toxic Ricin extract does not partition into the oil fraction used in cosmetics(thereby making the use of this ingredient safe), but it is a little unnerving to read that Ricinus Comunis seed oil is the first ingredient used. It is furthermore disconcerting that investigation of this product on the internet reveals a distinctly different ingredient list than the one I have on the product I purchased. I wonder why that might be?

    All that said, I confess that this product did soften my feet (temporarily) when I used it, but the effects were short-lived at best.