I Tried Japanese Foot & Hand Masks & They Felt Like Mini Facials For My Extremities
With all of the other adulting you have to do in your everyday life, finding time (and funding) for a regular mani/pedi isn't always easy. And sure, your nails don't exactly look amazing after a month or two, but the real issue with avoiding regular foot and hand care is that the skin around your nails starts to suffer, too. Your hands and feet can start to dry out, which make them get all kinds of cracked and gnarly, and with sandal season coming up — it just isn't cute. So what are you supposed to do to care for your feet and hands at home?
On a recent adventure into a Japanese beauty store, I found the DIY solution of my dreams: Foot and hand masks. They're basically like sheet masks, but for your extremities instead of for your face. They're lined with moisturizer, and meant to lock in hydration to soften dry skin. Aside from the fact that they don't do anything for your nails or cuticles, they're the makings of a quick and easy at-home mani. Considering you're likely capable of cutting back your cuticles and slapping on a few coats of "Lincoln Park After Dark," you may never have to set foot in a nail salon again.
The foot masks are made of silicone, and basically look like condoms for your feet. You can use them on their own, or add an little bit of extra moisturizer (I went with Johnson & Johnson Baby Lotion) for bonus results. You slide them on like cute little toeless socks — they only cover the heel half of your foot — and let them sit.
It doesn't say on the packaging how long you're supposed to leave them on for (or maybe it does, but the directions are all in Japanese which I don't know how to read), so I gave it a solid 20 minutes. Afterward, my visibly cracked heels felt surprisingly smoother. And the best part of these foot condoms? You can wash and reuse them as many times as you want, which for me will be two to three times a week from now until forever.
Imagine the most amazing, least gross set of rubber dishwashing gloves you've ever seen, and that's pretty much what these hand masks look like. They were made of plastic and reminded me of something Patrick Bateman would have used during an American Psycho murder scene, but they smelled pretty good so I let it slide.
I sat with them on for 20 minutes as the package directed, but eventually had to cut a little hole in my index finger so I could continue reading How To Murder Your Life on my phone while my hands soaked (What can I say? I literally can't put it down). Other than the dexterity issues they presented, they were pretty easy to use.
Afterward, my hands didn't feel greasy or sticky, which is an annoying issue I deal with almost every time I try a new hand cream. It was basically like getting a really fancy manicure treatment while I laid in my bed and didn't have to listen to anyone jabbering on their cellphones in the pedicure chairs.
As if I needed a new masking habit to be addicted to, I'm officially a foot and hand mask convert. The re-usable foot "condoms" are great for moisturizing my feet after long days of walking (especially walking in sandals) and are helping me get my feet ready for summer. The hand masks didn't seem as necessary — they weren't any better than regular old hand cream — but wearing them did make me feel pretty fancy, and I am always a fan of that.