GRETCHEN TRIES STUFF EPISODE 3: The one with all the Pinterest fails

So even though I took the past four months off from blogging, I've been still hard at work with the "trying" part of "Gretchen Tries Stuff." Going along with a beauty-kick I've been on, I've scoured Pinterest, YouTube, and beauty blogs for some of the best tips and products to try. (To be honest, not only is beauty 'stuff' pretty easy to test, but I was never huge into beauty, makeup, etc. in my 20s, so it really is a new thing for me to be trying.) But as all things in life, sometimes even well-researched plans just don't pan out. Here's a round up of things I have tried, that just kind of flopped:

I am very rough on my feet. I cram them into running shoes for long miles; I walk around my house and yard barefoot—a lot; I still climb trees like a little kid; and I do kickboxing (also barefoot). So I've been very drawn to home remedies and products that are suppose to help make your feet soft and less callused. I've tried three new techniques to achieve the soft feet goal and have a zero-out-of-three success rate.

Listerine Foot Soak – The Listerine Foot Soak combines Listerine mouthwash, apple cider vinegar, and water to create a soak. Recipes and tutorials for this are super easy to find on Pinterest if you want to try it yourself. The steps themselves are also very easy: Make the soak, soak the feet, rinse, pumice off dead skin to reveal super soft feet! Fool proof!  For me, this had very little effect on my feet other than leaving sections on the bottom a slight teal color (that eventually went away. I do not still have teal feet). I also felt like I smelled of Listerine for an unusually long time afterwards. Not ideal.

Epson Salt Foot Soak + Aspirin – This uses epson salt, aspirin, and lemon and is a little bit more complicated the the Listerine soak. First soak feet in warm water and epson salt for at least a half hour. Enjoyable until the water is no longer warm. Next, crush up aspirin and mix with lemon juice to create a paste. Rub paste into the undesirable, rough section of the towel-dried feet. Wrap feet in plastic wrap, put in socks, wait for a good 4-6 hours before rinsing paste off. I have a few problems with this. It is time consuming and have you tried walking around with paste, plastic wrap, and socks on? Good luck doing anything productive for those 4-6 hours without slipping around in your socks. The acidity is a little drying and your skin will start to peel on your feet. This might work better for other people, but I found it only helped to increase softness on areas of my feet that were already soft, not the rough sections. Definitely not worth the time commitment.

Baby Foot Booties – If you are searching for ways to soften your feet, this product shows up a lot. It is a chemical, exfoliated foot peel that runs around $25 for the Baby Foot brand protect and around $12 for a similar product on Amazon. I personally used the cheaper one, because it uses identical ingredients and I personally don't care enough to blow $25 on a product that may or may not work. With this product, make sure feet are clean before putting them in the plastic booties. Massage to make sure the chemical mix is covering all parts of the foot and wait for ... oh? Hour/ hour and a half? Rinse feet. Feet should be left smelling of lavender and 48 hours later dead skin will magically peel away (with the aid of 20 minutes of light washing/soaking daily). Feet will be silky "soft like a baby." Side note, Using the term "soft like a baby" is actually a huge turn off for me. I think it's just ... umm ... weird. Anyway, I followed the instruction to the letter and saw zero results for the first week and then I couldn't get my feet to stop peeling for the next two weeks. Again it only soften areas that weren't problem areas. I like the concept (minus having to soak my feet for 20 minutes daily), but didn't find the results satisfying enough.

My conclusions from the experiences? 1) There are many good things on Pinterest, but feet soften tips are not one of them. 2) Having soft feet is over-rated and really not that important.

I recommend saving time and money by sticking to old school techniques, like pumicing constantly during or right after showering. Or my favorite standby for a quick foot fix: Massage lotion into feet. Any lotion will do really, but I highly recommend picking one with a pleasing scent. For really bad feet, use way too much lotion. So much so that it leaves a thick layer of lotion that won't absorb. Wrap feet in plastic wrap (or leftover plastic veggies bags from the grocery store), put feet in socks and enjoy a movie, or take a nap, or read a book, or knit a doggy sweater for that one friend's weiner dog who is allergic to grass. Any activity that is relaxing and doesn't require walking. Remove socks and leftover veggie bags, massage any remaining lotion until it is completely absorbed. Tada! Soft feet have been achieved.