How To Give Yourself A Pedicure At Home
In this article we will shoe you how to give yourself a pedicure at home like a professional.
From the time we wake up in the morning, to the time we go to bed, we abuse our feet.
Walking with improper posture, pushing them into ill fitting shoes or stiletto heels are some everyday abuses that our feet suffer.
We look in the mirror to tell us about the the quality of our skin, the puffiness under our eyes or the dry skin on our lips.
But what about our feet?
Our feet stay neglected because we hide them away into socks or closed shoes. Like most workhorses, our feet don’t receive the attention they deserve.
The Importance Of Maintaining Your Feet
Many think of a pedicure as luxury beauty treatment for special occasions, like when attending a party or a wedding.
Many men think that pedicure is a woman thing, (so do women) but the fact of the matter is that men abuse their feet as much as women do and in some cases, probably even more. But a pedicure is actually critical care and maintenance for the feet.
A pedicure is your complete foot care regime. It includes an assortment of treatments like a foot soak, exfoliation, cuticle treatment, foot massages, nail trimming and moisturizing.
Pedicures maintain the health of our feet by taking care of a number of problems associated with them.
Maintaining your feet can help prevent the formation and development of corns, calluses, ingrown toe nails and a host of other fungal and bacterial infections.
Boost Your Self Confidence
Men and women wear different styles of footwear in the summer. From road trips to picnics by the beach, our foot wear for outings often leave the toes exposed. Unkempt nails and feet encourage the growth of bacteria and fungus in the toe nails that could detach the nail from the toe, warping the aesthetics of the feet. Well maintained feet increases self confidence, allowing your feet to breathe easy on those hot summer days.
Prevent Foot Deformities
Regular foot maintenance also helps prevent foot deformities that could be caused by long and unkempt toenails. One of the causes for the formation of bunions is long toenails deflecting the natural position of the big and little toes inside the shoe.
Relax And De-Stress The Feet By Improving Blood Circulation
Pedicures also relax and de-stress tired feet through massage. A well executed foot massage can also warm up the muscles of the feet by improving blood circulation. This is essential for maintaining proper elasticity in the muscles of the foot as well as healing micro tears that could lead to plantar fasciitis.
Prevent Skin Diseases And Infections
Pedicures also help exfoliate the skin, rejuvenating it, while allowing for new and healthy growth. This also helps prevent the formation of skin infections as well as in the elimination of foot odors, corns and calluses.
How To Give Yourself A Pedicure At Home Like A Pro
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To start off, keep all the necessary tools required for the pedicure with you. You don’t require any fancy tools for a pedicure, most of these tools will already be available at home.
The tools you will need for a home pedicure are:
- A basin or plastic bucket to soak your feet in
- A foot file (If you don’t have one, you can look at our article on the top rated foot files)
- A nail file
- A nail clipper (most nail clippers come with built in nail files – you can browse our article on the best nail clippers)
- Foot cream
- And exclusively for women, nail polish remover and the nail polish itself.
5 Steps To The Perfect Pedicure At Home
Soaking the Feet
Soaking the feet involves the removal of any dirt and grime on the feet and in between the toe nails.
An easy way to do so is to soak your feet in a bucket of warm soapy water for about 5 minutes. The water should be warm enough to open the pores of your skin, while being comfortably easy to bear.
You can also add bath salts to the water if required, but a good moisturizing soap does the job just as well. The warm water will soften the dead skin around your feet and nails, which will make it easy to clean.
If you have any nail polish applied on your toe nails, remove it with a nail polish remover before soaking your feet.
Ladies do note that if you have nail polish on, make sure to remove it with a cotton swab and nail polish remover.
Cleaning the Feet
Using a good foot file or pumice stone, scrub the dead skin off your feet.
Foot files usually come in two configurations. One side being rougher than the other.
Use the rough side of the file to file of the dead skin that is present around the heel and toes.The usual suspects being the heel, the ball of the foot and big toe.
You can then use the smoother side of the file to smooth out the exfoliated areas of the feet. You can also use a cuticle pusher to clean the dead skin on and around your cuticles.
Simple nail files come with an extension that can be used as a cuticle pusher. When removing dead skin around the cuticle, make sure to move only in one direction.
This ensures that you are not pushing any dead skin back into the ridges.
Cutting And Shaping The Nails
This is probably the most simple step and something that we’ve been doing all our lives.
After the warm water soak, you will find that your nails become soft. This will make them easy to cut, especially if you have hard toenails.
Make sure not to cut your toe nails too deep.
If you have ingrown toe nails then we suggest cutting them straight. But for the most part you can cut your toe nails however you want.
Just make sure to leave a thing layer of the white unattached strip at the tip. You can then take the nail file to shape the rough edges of your toe nail.
Moisturizing the Feet and Foot Massage
After soaking and cleaning your feet you can apply a dollop of moisturizer to them.
Make sure to moisturize the heels and in between the toes. After moisturizing the feet, you can massage your own feet or ask someone to massage them for you.
For those of you who stand on your feet all day, you can take a look at our article on some of the best foot massagers around.
(If you’re a guy, move on to the next part of this article – 8 tell tale signs you need a pedicure)
For the ladies – Wipe away the extra moisturizer from the toes nails before you applying the nail polish as it tends to smudge if there is grease on it. Pedicured feet look good even without nail polish.
The right way to apply polish is to first separate the toes by putting cotton balls between them so that it does not stain the skin.
Always paint a thin initial coat of polish. Allow it to dry before you apply the second coat.
How To Tell If You Need A Pedicure
For those of us who put our feet through these everyday abuses, here are a few tell-tale signs that warn us about all that is not well with our feet.
If you have cracked heels, it is mostly likely a result of walking barefoot, standing for long hours and dry skin. While having cracked heels isn’t too much of a hindrance to daily activities, deep cracks can cause intense pain and discomfort. These are several maintenance procedures that are performed in a pedicure that tackle the problems associated with cracked heels.
Fungal Infections Infections In The Toenail
Generally, there is a widespread misconception regarding having white or milks spots on your nails. Many conclude it to be a mineral deficiency, which it very well could be. But another common cause for having white blotches on the nails is due to injuries to the nail. But white blotches which grow along with your nail could also be a fungal infection. If left unattended, this infection could spread throughout the nail. In extreme cases it could spread onto the whole nail causing the nail to separate from the bed. So careful nail care is of utmost importance.
Cold Sensation In The Feet
If you constantly have cold feet, this is a sign of poor blood circulation. It could be because you sit long hours with your feet down with tight fitting shoes on too. A vigorous massage should promote blood circulation.
Pain in the big toe
This could be a sign that you are developing ingrown toe nails or bunions. Timely intervention by clipping the toe nails and regular pedicure could solve this problem. If the problems persist even after primary care , you will need to visit a doctor as it be a sign of the onset of rheumatoid arthritis or the development of a bunion. If you are experiencing pain where your big toe attaches to your foot, our guide on how to prevent bunions from getting worse is exactly what you may need.
Burning sensation in the feet
This could be caused by a common skin infection like athlete’s foot or something more serious like nerve damage. If the burning sensation persists over a period of time a visit to your doctor is imperative.
Nail Ridges and Ingrown Toenails
Pedicures are known to normalize growth of toenails that are ingrown. In our guide to giving yourself a pedicure at home, we describe how a pedicure can help you prevent ingrown toenails.
Smelly Feet or Foot Odor
Poor personal hygiene is the biggest cause of foot odor. While that includes, wearing the same socks for multiple period of time, not washing your feet or getting rid of dead skin is also a large contributor. Pedicures start with a foot soak and a foot scrub which gets rid of unwanted bacteria in the dead skin.
Corns and Calluses On The Feet
Calluses and Corns are caused by high heels and ill fitting shoes. Corns are downright painful and ugly. Scrubbing the feet with a foot scrub or a pumice stone can rid you of the corn or callus. Soaking the feet in hot water helps to soften the hard skin around the corn or callus, making it easier to remove over time.
Different Types Of Fancy Pedicures And Their Problems
Spa pedicure treatment
It is a very popular foot treatment similar to the basic one, the difference is mainly in the time taken by the pedicurist to exfoliate the dry skin. Then the nails and cuticles are clipped. The pedicurist then applies moisturizers and creams to soften the feet. The last procedure in this type of pedicure is a soothing massage. The problem with the spa pedicure is that it can be easily replicated at home at little to no cost. Also, you don’t have to travel all the way to the spa for your treatment, instead relax in the comfort of your home while getting your pedicure done.
In this kind of pedicure you are required to put your feet in a tank containing the doctor fish or Garra Rufa fish. These fish nibble on extra dead skin and cuticles leaving the feet feeling relaxed, massaged and clean. There is a lot of controversy regarding this kind of treatment and therefore it is banned in some place. A few experts are of the opinion that it can cure skin infections like psoriasis and eczema while others believe that the fish spread infection from one person to another.
Athletes are prone to a myriad of foot problems like corns, callus. Their feet are under constant abuse due to pressure they put on their feet while exercising. As the name suggests, this pedicure concentrates on relaxing the tired muscles of the feet. It uses the same method of soaking and exfoliating. While concentrating on the relaxation and treatment of overused areas of the feet. This type of pedicure also requires a trained professional and can be quite expensive. You can get most of the features of this pedicure by investing in a good foot massage machine that will last you a lifetime. Although, depending on the type of sport you play, it could be an important part of your recovery process.
Hot stone pedicure
Ideal for cramps and knotted up muscles, hot stones are heated and placed on pressure points to stimulate the nerve. We’ve seen several mishaps with these types of pedicures. These hot stones can be unbearable at times and can even leave burns if not applied carefully.
With All These Fancy Pedicures Around Can Pedicures Be Done At Home?
Pedicures at a salon or spa could be both expensive and time consuming.
Time consuming because very few salons accept walk-in clients. So you have to book an appointment and visit the salon at a predetermined time or wait it out until they give you a slot.
This is a put off for many individuals as time is money. The good news is that you can perform a complete pedicure for yourself at home.
Enter the do-it-yourself home pedicure.
Basic Home Pedicure
The basic home pedicure described above involves all the elements of one involved in a spa.
From soaking your feet in warm water, to scrubbing the rough dead skin, a pedicure done at home is all you need to have healthy happy feet.