Asking a beauty professional—whether it’s a celebrity hairstylist, makeup artist, or Instagram influencer (hi, 2018)—for advice is always a safe bet. But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find there are plenty of other women out there who are legitimate authorities in their own right. In our new column, Unlikely Experts, they’ll give real reviews and recommendations. Whether it’s surfers on the best conditioners, bikers on the best cleansers, or ballerinas on the best foot creams, it’s fair to say these women know best.
At a glance, ballet is one of the most delicate, romantic, and graceful professions to ever exist. From the intricate costumes and fantastical sets to the fluid movements and emotional music, the style of dance creates a seemingly different world. But like most things, the reality for the dancers isn’t always quite as pretty offstage. Ballerinas face long hours, constant travel, and a lot of mental and physical pressure put on their body—especially when it comes to their feet. “As a dancer, your feet are the most important thing. You stand on them for seven hours every day,” says Ingrid Silva, a ballerina for the Dance Theater of Harlem.
Of course, it’s not just standing they’re doing on the feet: Ballerinas spend their days twirling, jumping, and balancing in pointe shoes that, despite their dainty appearance, can be incredibly painful. This can lead to broken toenails, blisters, and the expected aches and pains—all of which make having a foot care routine so important for ballet dancers.
To get an glimpse at how they soothe achy soles, we picked the brains of a dozen ballerinas to share the foot creams and oils they swear by. Because while the average person might not be working their feet as hard, it’s safe to say we all deserve some routine TLC. Read on as they share their favorites, ranging from drugstore gems to niche splurges.