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Monday, March 28, 2011

Review: Alpha Hydrox Foot & Problem Area Cream 12% Glycolic AHA

Of all the things I've inherited from my mom (skin that's not prone to wrinkles, the ability to cook, bargain-shopping skills, etc.) the one thing I wish she wouldn't have passed down to me was chronically dry feet. Both my mom and I suffer from dry, icky heels that, if left unchecked, can pretty much double for an emery board.

Since my early twenties, I've had to stay on top of the dry heel issue with the diligence of a tax collector. For a while now I've been using my Swedish Clover Fot Fil in the shower every day, my Ped Egg every other week, and in between using those two tools, I must slather my feet with some type of lotion or cream every single night or else the dryness creeps back in like ants at a picnic.

I've probably tried hundreds of foot creams in my life, some great, some not so great. But the one that has stuck in my memory for many years is the Alpha Hydrox Foot & Problem Area Cream 12% Glycolic AHA, which I purchased on a whim probably a decade ago at my local Big Lots. Recently I was contacted by the folks at Alpha Hydrox and they kindly asked me if I'd like to select a few products from their catalog for review.

Alpha Hydrox Foot & Problem Area Cream 12% Glycolic AHA
(retail: $10.99, 2 oz)

Let me tell you, the VERY FIRST THING I chose was this foot cream (but stay tuned because I'll be reviewing some of their other products in the near future). Since this cream is hard to find in stores in my area, I desperately wanted to try it again to see if it would live up to my fond memories.

I'm very pleased to report that it's exactly how I remember it. Here's the deal: this cream may not look or smell fancy, but it's the only cream I've ever used that truly exfoliates my feet.

Alpha Hydrox Foot & Problem Area Cream 12% Glycolic AHA comes in a basic squeeze tube, and it's unscented. The texture is pretty standard--it feels like a medium-consistency lotion during application. But the true MAGIC of this foot cream is that 12% alpha hydroxy acid. This is what, at least on my heels, delivers true exfoliation in a way that no other foot cream I have ever used manages to accomplish.

I like to apply this foot cream at night, right before bed. In the morning, and for several days afterward, I can honestly feel its effects. It manages to keep the dryness at bay for days, and that just doesn't happen for me with other foot creams. I have used everything from straight-up Vaseline to pure shea butter on my heels (and everything in-between) and I always, always feel the dryness creep back in within a day or so. With this cream, I can go probably four days without feeling any dryness and that, my friends, makes this a holy grail product for me.

The best part about this product, for me, is that you only need a little to do the job. Since the tube is small (2 oz) I like to concentrate it solely on my heels, and I've even used it on my elbows with great success. I use it about once a week on my heels, and I find that when I use this cream, I need to use my Fot Fil less, as well as my Ped Egg. Oh what a liberating feeling to be able to skip a step in my foot-care routine and not live in fear that my dry heels will snag the bed sheets!

FINAL VERDICT: Alpha Hydrox Foot & Problem Area Cream 12% Glycolic AHA is a true miracle product for me and my foot-care needs, and if you suffer from seriously dry heels, it might be a great match for you as well. Its heavy-duty exfoliating properties allow me to skip the other parts of my routine for much longer than I have ever been able to do in the past. As with any foot cream, consistency is the key, so you must keep using this cream consistently to maintain the results. But that's no big shocker to someone like me who has had to deal with dry heels all her life. If you don't stay on top of it, the dryness always comes back. At least with this cream, I can be lazy for a few days and not suffer any consequences whatsoever.

You can purchase Alpha Hydrox Foot & Problem Area Cream 12% Glycolic AHA on the Alpha Hydrox website,, Amazon, and I believe Ulta carries it as well. And if you're ever lucky enough to spot it at Big Lots, could ya let me know? I'd buy them out!

As with any product of this nature, be sure to do a patch test first, especially if you've never used an AHA before.

Have you ever used any Alpha Hydroxyproducts? How did they work for you? Do you have any favorites?

A sample of this product was given to Nouveau Cheap for editorial purposes, either directly from the manufacturer or from the agency that works on behalf of the manufacturer. All reviews on are the honest opinion of its author and editorial samples do not, in any way, affect the outcome of product reviews.


  1. I'm so happy this worked! I have such bad heels too. I will have to try this out to see if it can combat my pirate feet!

  2. I too suffer from 'evil heels' if I don't keep on top of maintenance. I've been using the Lubriderm AHA lotion, but I think I might grab this up when I run out, as it sounds a little more 'industrial strength', lol. Ah, ain't it great when we have to bust out the big, 'manly' metaphors for our beauty routines? ;-)

  3. I love alpha hydrox! My skin is pretty dry on my feet too; I'll def check this out since I really like Alpha Hydrox's products.

  4. I suffer from dry, cracked feet as well! :( Ped Egg is my friend... I've also tried Dr. Scholls foot cream. This looks awesome though. I really love AHA for my face, so why not on my feet?!

  5. I have often wondered about this cream...I am in love with the AHA Souffle. I have used it for years and every once in a while I switch to something else and it fails epically compared to this!!!! LOVE LOVE! The best part is NO ONE believes how old I am b/c my skin looks so vibrant!

  6. Just ran across this old post and had to tell you - if you've never tried that Dr. Scholl's foot scrubber thing, you haven't ever REALLY exfoliated (mechanically, that is.) It's the one with a blue handle and white end that looks like you're scrubbing with cut glass. But it really does the trick. I read a Glamour post about products, and the recommendation was to look for the ingredients AHA (fruit acids) BHA (salycilic acid), urea, and lactic acid. I wound up with two products: Kerasal for the BHA and some other white stuff for the urea, and trade them off day by day. I still don't have lovely smoothe feet but at least they're not gross. I'd already decided to try some Amlactin and now I'll have to get the Alpha Hydrox, too. It seems like almost everything in my medicine/vanity cabinet came with your recommendation, and there's only been one time in three years that I was disappointed in something you recommended. So I know for sure this is worth a shot. Thanks G.


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