Pedicures aren’t just about looking pretty, they’re also a vital part of keeping your feet in tip top condition.
And learning how to give yourself a pedicure is one of the best ways to guarantee the health of your toes and feet.
Racing around on your feet all day puts a huge amount of stress on your feet and toes — particularly if your shoes are not the comfiest — and this can lead to discomfort, hard cracked skin, poor toenail health and integrity, and even fungal infections and ingrown toenails.
Regular trips to spas and salons are great if you have the time and money, but most of us lead busy lives and aren’t able to make room for this in our hectic schedules — let alone spend our hard earned cash on foot treatments.
But there is a way to fit pedicures into your regular routine cheaply and easily, at the times that suit you.
A home pedicure is every bit as good as a professional pedicure, you just need the right tools and the right knowhow.
Here’s our guide on everything you need to know to set up your own home salon and give yourself a DIY pedicure…
Just a few well chosen pedicure tools is all you need for the perfect at home pedicure.
Here’s the lowdown on the essentials…
There are plenty of fancy footbaths available to buy which heat the water and feature vibration and bubbles, but if you’re on a budget a regular basin big enough to comfortably fit both feet is ideal.
Just fill it with warm water and some foot soak and you’re good to go!
To help soften the skin on your feet and soothe them whilst soaking, add some foot soak to the warm water.
Classic Epsom salts are a cost effective foot soak ingredient, and if you’ve got some essential oils hanging around you can add a dash of that too. Alternatively buy a readymade foot soak — preferably one with natural ingredients.
A pumice stone is basically a chunk of porous volcanic rock which is rough enough to remove hard, dead skin from your feet, yet won’t tear or damage your skin.
Foot files can also be used for this purpose. A foot file is a tool with a handle and an exfoliating surface like metal which rasp away the skin.
These are especially good at removing stubborn hard skin and calluses, and can be used as well as the pumice to tackle more troublesome areas.
Cuticle Remover and Cuticle Stick
Cuticles actually serve a useful purpose, they protect your toes from bacteria and fungus, so they need to be looked after. Cutting the cuticles away from the nail can be too harsh an approach and can lead to infection.
Instead, soften your cuticles with a cuticle remover solution, and then gently push them back with a cuticle stick (a long, natural wood stick such as orange wood is best) to keep them in good condition and looking great.
Perhaps the most crucial part of any manicure pedicure routine, a good set of stainless steel toenail clippers that are comfortable to use and are strong and sharp enough to give a precise, clean cut are ideal.
If you suffer from thick or ingrown toenails choose a set of nail clippers for toenails that are designed to be tough enough to handle the job.
>> Read our guide to the best nail clippers for thick toenails
Keeping your toenails cut and filed makes them stronger and less likely to split. A good nail file is the perfect tool for getting rid of any rough or jagged edges that might otherwise catch and snag on socks or stockings.
There are many different types of nail file from emery boards to crystal files. Choose the one which suits you best.
The perfect way to finish your pedicure and to ensure your skin and toenails stay strong, smooth and supple is by applying a moisturizing cream.
For areas of rough hard skin, an intensive skin salve can also be applied to help heal calluses and cracks.
How to Give Yourself a Pedicure
Here are our simple step by step instructions to giving yourself the best DIY pedicure…
- Before starting, make sure your nails are clean and polish-free
- Fill your footbath with warm water and add some foot soak if you have it. The basin or footbath should be two-thirds full and the water should completely cover your feet
- Soak your feet for 10 to 20 minutes. Use this time to relax and unwind
- Remove your feet from the footbath and buff away any areas of hard skin and smooth out cracks with the pumice stone. Exfoliate in a circular motion and pay special attention to the balls of your feet, around your heels and around your toes
- Use a foot file to rasp away really stubborn hard skin and calluses, taking care not to damage new skin underneath
- Dry your feet and apply cuticle remover to your cuticles at the base of your toenails. Leave to soak in for a minute or two before using the cuticle stick.
- Gently push the cuticle back from the top of the nail using a circular motion, taking care not to push farther than the base of the nail
- Take the nail clippers and cut your toenails. Don’t clip the sides of the nails as this may cause them to become ingrown
- Use the nail file to smooth away any rough edges, and if desired to gently shape your toenails into a more rounded form
- You’re nearly all done! At this point it’s nice to rinse your feet once more in the footbath before drying them again and then applying some skin nourishing foot moisturizer to finish your pedicure with a flourish
Here’s a great video on doing your own spa pedicure at home:
DIY Pedicure Tips
Light some candles, play a little music, light some incense. Create a relaxing atmosphere to transform your home pedicure into a luxury spa experience that really feels like a treat.
Always file nails from the outside edges in towards the centre of the nail in one direction, never file back and forth in a sawing motion as this can damage or split the nail.
To avoid ingrown nails, cut nails straight across and don’t cut them too short. Make sure that your nails doesn’t extend over the tip of your toe as this will cause discomfort and makes toenails prone to splitting and becoming infected.
Add a quarter of a cup of milk to your foot soak. This really works to soften skin and effectively loosen any dead skin cells.
If you’re battling fungal infection, try adding vinegar to your foot soak (one part vinegar to two parts water) and soaking your feet for 20 minutes a day for a week. Don’t forget to moisturize afterwards as vinegar can dry out the skin.
Moisturize feet every day after taking a bath or shower, as it keeps them in much better condition and makes your home pedicures quicker and easier and there is less hard skin to remove each time.
Make sure your pedicure tools are clean at all times to keep things as hygienic as possible. Use a mixture of liquid dish detergent and warm water to regularly scrub pumice stones, and wipe down nail clippers and nail files using alcohol and cotton swabs.
And that’s everything you need to know about how to give yourself a pedicure!