The Second-Best Thing I’ve Bought During Lockdown
[This post contains affliiate links]
As I was taking the photos for this post, it occurred to me that they’d be so much better if the product I was planning to write about wasn’t actually in them. Because, you know, it’s Flexitol Heel Balm. It’s not sexy. It’s not glamorous. It’s not even got the kind of cute packaging that would make it a useful Instagram prop, and if you could all just spare a thought for the poor bloggers forced to take photos of products that aren’t photogenic, that would be super.
Anyway. As I was saying, this isn’t nice to look it. It doesn’t have an amazing scent. It is, however, the second best thing I’ve bought this year by far (Before you go getting too excited, I’ll just quickly reveal that the BEST thing is a glass cleaner, and, yes, that’s what this pandemic has reduced me to, basically…), which is why I had to share it with you. (Not literally, obviously. Seriously, get your own.)
So! My heels! Let me tell you about them. Or, actually, on second thoughts, let me NOT. The fact is, my heels are not my finest feature, and that’s why I’ve spent the best part of my adult life trying to remove the dry skin from them with a never-ending series of products, ranging from things that look suspiciously like cheese graters to those weird foot-peeling socks that are all the rage nowadays. Now, the socks, to be fair, DO actually work: the problem is that using them is just SUCH A FAFF that, a few weeks ago, I decided to cancel my Amazon Subscribe & Save order for them, and just let my heels return to their natural, rock-hard, state.
Then I read a review of Flexitol Heel Balm, and, before I knew it, it was in my basket and on its way to me. Because I’ve given up many things during lockdown, but it seems my poor impulse control isn’t one of them.
Well, the cream duly arrived, and the first thing I noticed about it was that it contained 25% urea, and, wait, is that PEE? Surely that’s pee? (Spoiler: no, not pee. Or not in this case, anyway: it’s a commercially produced urea, so relax: this is NOT like that time Chandler peed on Monica’s foot when she got stung by a jellyfish, although this post would obviously be significantly more interesting if it was.)
The second thing I noticed, meanwhile, is that, according to the tube, this is a “medically proven treatment for dry and cracked feet (symptoms of foot anhidrosis),” which, WHAT THE WHAT NOW? Foot anhydrosis, you say? Symptoms of? This single sentence sent my health anxiety rocketing, because, here was I thinking I just had really ugly heels, but now you’re telling me I have “foot anhidrosis”?! WAH!
So, I hit up Google again, and, thankfully, it turns out that foot anhidrosis is just a fancy way of saying “dry feet”. And dry feet CAN, of course, be caused by a range of different things, but, in my case, I’m very confident that there’s nothing unusual about my heels, so I’ll just stop using words I don’t actually understand now, and get on with telling you how it works, shall I? OK, good.
Actually, “how it works” is super-simple, really, which was a large part of the appeal for me. I was fresh from several months worth of foot-peeling socks use, after all: which meant that, in order to briefly experience the joy of soft heels, I had to first of all spend 90 minutes with my feet in a couple of plastic bags, before waiting a week, and then spending the next seven days watching the skin flake off. (And, OK, peeling it off. Which is pretty damn satisfying, really, not gonna lie.)
Flexitol Heel Balm, by contrast, couldn’t be more different. It’s just an ordinary, fairly thick, cream, which you apply to your heels morning and night, and wait for it to work. And that’s it. It’s SO straightforward, in fact, that I was convinced there was no way it could actually work, so I applied it that first night, put some socks on so it didn’t rub off on the bedsheets, and went to sleep with my expectations comfortably low.
The next morning, I woke up with significantly softer heels.
No, seriously: I swear I’m not making this up – it really was THAT quick, and it really DID make a difference after just one application. No, it didn’t totally get rid of all of the dry skin on my heels, but there was a noticeable difference: so, I reapplied it after my morning shower, put another pair of socks on, and went about my day, excited to see what would happen after the second application. (Yes, I was genuinely excited about this. What can I say: lockdown does this kind of thing to you. And, even if we weren’t in lockdown, I’d probably STILL be excited about it, because THAT’S how long I’ve been trying to find a heel balm that actually works…)
When I took off the socks that night, my heels were softer again, and, a few days later, they were the softest they’ve ever been. I’d say it took about three days of applying the cream morning and night to totally get rid of the dry skin that had plagued me for years: so, when I say this products is the only heel balm you’ll ever need to buy, that’s not just me exaggerating for dramatic effect again – it’s totally true.
According to the instructions on the tube, this particular cream is designed purely to remove hard skin: so, once your feet are feeling soft again, you can switch to a regular foot cream to maintain them. (They recommend their 10% Urea Cream, which I haven’t tried yet. I think we all know I WILL, though…)
The one downside to this is that, while it’s not exactly eye-wateringly expensive, this isn’t the cheapest heel balm you’ll ever find, either. The 10% cream linked above is £18.99 for 500g, and the same amount of the 25% balm will set you back £22.95. (I think the smaller tube pictured was about £7.99, but I’ll be getting the larger tub next time, for sure.) It might not be cheap, however, but, if you hate your heels as much as I hated mine, I promise you it’s 100% worth it. My feet are now totally sandal-ready… which is great news, considering I rarely wear actual SHOES these days, isn’t it?