Even when doing the necessary regular maintenance, once summer is over and we take a good look at our feet, there's probably some work that needs to be done. I'm a DIY girl and have been experimenting and comparing three de-hooving tools over the last couple of months.
1. Diamancel Tough Buffer #11
I've had mine for the last seven or eight years and have been using it regularly. It's a heavy duty tool and I've yet to see a callus that can survive it. Operating is easy and the rubber grip is quite comfortable. The price is scary ($49), but it's durable and easy to clean, and as I said: it lasts for many years.
Pros: It works like magic, lasts forever
Cons: Messy and requires cleanup (best to use it in a dry bath tub), the wide surface makes it difficult to use on smaller parts of the feet, the buffer is suited for serious calluses but not as effective for final touches and a smooth finish. And, of course, the price.
2. The Ped Egg
It promises to save you the mess and gross cleanup, because the dead skin is supposed to go right into the compartment instead of fall on the floor. However, this is only partially true, because the smaller skin particles fall right out through the perforated part of the grater and there's still skin shavings to clean. Just like the Diamancel, it works better on the really bad parts, but leaves even more jagged skin in need of buffing. That's why they give you sand paper stickers to put on the back of the egg and finish the job. It definitely works. Too well, even, as I've discovered one day when I got really into the process. Unlike the grater that's famously safe to use on a balloon, the sand paper will flay you unless you know when to stop. Ouch.
Pros: Effective even on the roughest patches, cheap and widely available.
Cons: Still messy (despite the promises), the plastic isn't that easy for maintaining a good grip, requires extra buffing, you'll need to buy replacement parts every few month, both for the grater part and the buffing stickers.
3. Tweezerman Glass Pedicure File
After falling in love with crystal glass nail files, I decided to try a glass foot file. Tweezerman is just one of the companies offering this tool, as you can see if you either google it or follow the link in my nail file post. It soon became my favorite. While it requires a bit more effort that the Diamancel when dealing with really hard skin, it's still very effective. And it completely buffs the feet and makes them truly smooth.
Pros: price ($15), easy to clean and even disinfect, thin enough to reach every part of the foot, works amazingly well, does not require extra tools to achieve a smooth finish, lasts forever.
Cons: Leaves the usual mess, requires more work on really bad calluses.
Bottom line: While I'm not tossing out my trusted Diamancel, I'm using the glass file a lot more. A perfect pedicure combines both: a couple of strokes from the Diamancel to do the hard work, then the Tweezerman for an easy and smooth finish. The Ped Egg? I haven't touched it in over a month.
Diamancel products are available from several high-end retailers like Beauty.com . I'm pretty sure I bought mine from the Bliss catalog, but that was ages ago.
The Ped Egg is available from every drugstore and is easy to find online. I got it as a PR freebie.
Tweezerman have discontinued their glass pedicure file, but it's still available online at Amazon (where I bought mine), BeautyEncounter.com and several other sites. There are also other brands that make similar products. An online search yields dozens of results, all within the same price range.