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A few years ago, my boyfriend made a show of noticing the new pumice stone I bought. “Rock Apparently Figures Into Girlfriend’s Shower Routine,” he said, referring to an article from The Onion. My purchase really looked like a rock; it could have been, as the article surmises, “found on the ground.”
With its deep craters, the reddish-brown stone looked promisingly rough. I wanted to believe that this pumice, unlike the gray ones I always used, would actually wear down the calluses on my feet that made them feel more like hooves. But even with vigorous rubbing, it had no visible effect — I could see how its inclusion in a shower routine would seem opaque.
I gave up on natural pumice stones, but not on reforming my callused feet. These days, I use the Mr. Pumice Pumi Bar, which I’d argue is the only pumice product worth buying. My initiation came via my aunt Mary Ellen, queen of obscure toiletries, who has used them for decades. Now, I share the familial wisdom: Rocks don’t have to be naturally formed to earn their place in your shower routine.
Composed of gritty man-made pumice and available in bright colors, Pumi Bars cannot be mistaken for rocks, but they do actually slough off hardened layers of skin. Their surface is more abrasive than natural pumice stones for superior exfoliation. Pumi Bars — which are available for around $2 a pop at Sally Beauty Supply and on Amazon — come in a few different levels of toughness. The original grit is sufficient for me, especially after a foot soak. And just look at that packaging.