My mother has been using Glytone Ultra Heel and Elbow Cream religiously...in rather unconventional ways. The instructions on the label indicate, "Not to be used on face." To my skin-savvy mother, who is always willing to try something new, her first inclination was to test it out on her nose, theorizing that it would reduce the size of her pores. Sure enough, the experiment worked, and she now swears by this cream for all manner of skin renewal. (Keep in mind that this is a woman who concocts her own nighttime skin potions by mashing up ingredients with a mortar and pestle.) I am not advocating that you flout the directions on any product, but I am impressed by the the effectiveness of Glytone's cream and imagine that it can be put to use creatively - and safely - on a number of problem areas.

I have achieved wonderful results with Glytone on the dry, leathery surfaces of my heels and elbows.  The thick cream forms a protective barrier that is invisible to the eye and silky to the touch.  Though it doesn't rub off too easily, I would recommend wearing socks immediately after coating heels to trap in the full benefits. If mild discomfort occurs, you are advised to wash the emulsion off after 15-30 minutes.  Within a few nights of slathering Gytone on my elbows and feet before bedtime, I noticed a remarkable difference in their surface texture and appearance.  My elbows, which could have been used as sandpaper on particularly dry days, now feel smooth and supple.  My heels, which have previously resembled a reptile's underbelly, now match the rest of my skin.

Glytone contains pure glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) naturally found in sugar cane. It has been clinically proven to loosen the glue-like substances that hold skin cells together, thus shedding the top layer of dull, damaged skin. As the AHA with the smallest molecule and the greatest penetration, glycolic acid deeply exfoliates to remove skin that is dry, coarse, or dead.  Because this top layer of skin provides some (albeit minimal) protection from the sun, there is an increased risk of sun sensitivity after using an AHA.  The formulation of Ultra Heel and Elbow Cream has a free glycolic acid percentage of 29.5% and a pH of 2.0.

Surprising for a so-called foot cream, Glytone's formula boasts the antioxidant benefits of vitamin E, which is
bioconverted by the interaction of tocopheryl acetate with the skin's enzymes. Its rich consistency can be attributed to magnesium aluminum silicate, a natural mineral commonly used for thickening, and to cetearyl alcohol, an emulsifying wax produced by combining fatty alcohols from vegetable sources.  I was disappointed to find mineral oil and parabens slinking about, serving as cheap means of lubrication and preservation. While mineral oil has been found to trigger skin irritation and acne, parabens have been linked to endochrine-disrupting activity when absorbed through the skin.

Glytone products are only available through a physician due to their elevated levels of glycolic acid. Store brands typically neutralize or chemically alter their products, diminishing the effectiveness of AHA content. Glytone's Ultra Heel and Elbow Cream is recommended for people with hyperkeratosis, a natural reaction to local rubbing on skin that causes calluses and corns as a response to chronic inflammation, infection, irritating chemicals, or UV radiation, or part of an existing skin condition. The treatment softens the afflicted areas by breaking down keratin, a protective protein that strengthens the skin and produces thickened, rough spots when in excess.

Especially cracked heels will probably experience a burning sensation as the deeper layers of skin come into contact with the active ingredients.  Beyond the obvious heels and elbows, Glytone's cream has reportedly been used for removing skin tags and for reducing pore size, as in the case of my mother.  Be sure to consult your physician before trying Glytone, and put your best foot (or face) forward.

Ingredients:

Water, Glycolic Acid, Cetearyl Alcohol, Stearic Acid, Mineral Oil, Glycerin, Peg-40 Stearate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Potassium Hydroxide, BHT, Methylparaben, Propylparaben