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Great, healthy feet are but a pedicure away! Well maybe a few pedicures and some home foot remedies, depending on how bad you’ve neglected them. Yes, I know you’ve neglected them because we all do it! Neglect the very things that have supported us (literally) faithfully all these years. We all can do better. Our feet have been taken for granted – by us.
Have no fear though. Everything you need to know about keeping your feet happy, healthy and handsome is included in this site. All you have to do is the clicking!
Nothing will be spared as we show you correct, inexpensive ways to care for and pamper your feet. We will get right down to the ingredients used in products and show you what to use, when to use it and what to avoid. Whether you are a diabetic, foot model or just someone tired of being ridiculed about your subpar feet, we most likely have a tidbit or two that can help you out. Learn the tricks and gain the knowledge to give you the confidence to stand on your own two feet and expose them to the world!
So sit back, relax and kick your shoes off, literally, because you’ll need to once we get down the business!
What is a pedicure?
What is a pedicure you ask? A pedicure is a set of procedures that are performed on the feet to treat or prevent negative health conditions and to enhance their overall appearance. This typically involves grooming the toenails, exfoliating dead skin that may have become dry and hard, tending to the cuticles, moisturizing and nail beautification usually through the application of nail enamels. It would make good sense though to also tend to other issues that affect the feet beauty or health wise instead of sticking to some predetermined list of procedures. What sense would it make to adhere to a prescribed list of procedures of foot care and leave out addressing other issues such as discolored nails or corns that affect the beauty and/or health of the feet? With these loose guidelines, this definition of what is a pedicure can possibly include any corrective, maintenance or beautification procedure done to the feet with the exception of foot surgery or professional medical attention. This makes for a good, thorough definition because many people perform pedicures on themselves and others and just don’t seek to correct serious issues that affect the feet. So keep an open mind and treat all pedicure instructions as just guidelines. Take a serious look at your feet, research remedies for any problems you notice and insert those remedies sensibly into your foot care regimen. Many issues that can affect your feet though will most likely be included on this site with home remedies if any.
Some people find pedicures extremely relaxing, while others who are very ticklish can't stand to sit through one. The fact is that it all depends upon you if you will have a ticklish pedicure experience or not. It is for this reason and others that some people prefer to give themselves at home pedicures as opposed to going to a salon. If you do, consult our Definitive How to do a Pedicure Guide..
The Definitive How to do a Pedicure Guide
So you want to know how to do a pedicure at home huh?
Well, a pedicure really doesn’t have to mean an expensive trip to the salon. Neither does it mean a bunch of expensive products to buy.. You can do one right at home with stuff you may already have. Sure salons and spas have those really cool pedicure chairs with all the frills, scented oils, fancy tools, magic moisturizers and a whole list of other goodies but you can recreate much of that allure right at home. Yes, you can transform your bedroom into your own personal spa.
To make it a fun thing, you and some friends can even get together and have a pedicure party, where you can help pamper each other and do little fun pedicure games. These can definitely make the task more enjoyable! If you’re pregnant there are some special considerations you’ll need to keep in mind. Here’s the definitive guide to giving yourself an at home pedicure. It will be beneficial to browse through the pedicure instructions steps first before going out acquiring the things on the "needed pedicure supplies" list. Reason being, there are little goodies (and precautions) within the steps that aren’t necessary but offer additional information on products to use and tidbits on how to go that extra mile to make your feet sensational!
Needed Pedicure Supplies
- Nail Polish Remover
- Nail file or Emery Board
- Epsom Salt (at least a ½ cup)
- Cuticle Stick or Pusher (cuticle pushers and sticks can be wooden, plastic or metal)
- Foot soak tub (Foot bath, pedicure tub, pedicure bowl, pedicure foot spa or some other large vessel)
- Nail Brush (old or new toothbrushes can work or a bath towel if you’re ticklish)
- Mechanical Exfoliant (Loofah Sponge, Pumice Stone, Foot File or even a Ped Egg)
- Chemical Exfoliant (Foot scrub cream of your choice)
- Foot Moisturizer, with emollients
- Base Coat, Top Coat (clear nail polish can be substituted, and in many cases base coat can substitute for top coat and vice versa)
- Nail Polish (color of your choice)
The many types of pedicure equipment can get a bit confusing to everyone. With so many different gadgets and so many new-age gimmicks, it sometimes may seem like science fiction trying to decipher all the functions of the different products! Many people have many questions about exactly what’s needed and what’s not. Here, I’ll try to get you acquainted with the necessities and what you can do with out. Hopefully, on this page we’ll answer most of your burning questions.
Being sure to have proper pedicure equipment should always be your first step when performing a pedicure. Knowing each phase of a pedicure will be beneficial. Since different products can be used to perform the different stages, you can do a checklist pertaining to the different phases. So for each stage you can make sure you have an applicable product to get the job done.
Our pedicure guide can show you everything you need to know about how to do a pedicure. A note to keep in mind: Be always sure to properly disinfect and sterilize all pedicure equipment to prevent pedicure infections. However, some products are meant for one time use only. To determine this, most porous products or products containing porous materials like wood, open celled spongy foams, paper etc were most likely meant to either be used once or sterilized and disinfected in a special way. Non-porous products like stainless steel, closed cell foams, plastics, nylon, glass etc were most likely meant to be disinfected and used again. Some open celled foams can be reused but you must be sure they are properly sanitized!
The different pedicure stages
- Nail Polish Removal
There exist a few different types of nail polish remover, the most well known being pure acetone which has its drawbacks. However most solvents used (including acetone) will dry out your skin. Some are less harsh and are often mixed with ingredients to help counteract the dehydrating properties of the harsh solvents used.
Applicable products: Nail Polish Remover AND cotton balls OR lint free cotton cloth.
- Nail Grooming
Basically, grooming your nails requires a cutting device if your nails are long and/or an abrasive for grinding down and smoothing. These still have variations.
Applicable products: Nail clippers AND/OR Nail Files (depending on the length of your nails)
- Pedicure Foot Soak
This step involves soaking the feet in a vessel large enough for the purpose. Some are plain vessels with no gadgets or frills and others have it all. What you use will depend on your budget for pedicure equipment. A pedicure bowl or pedicure tub that just holds water will still get the job done like a foot soak with all the frills. All that is needed is for the feet to soak to soften up the skin. Everything else is icing on the cake!
Applicable Products: Pedicure Bowls OR Pedicure Tubs OR Pedicure Foot Spa AND Epsom Salt AND MAYBE some essential oils. (Read our Pedicure Guide for info on using the essential oils)
- Cuticle Treatment
Many people confuse the nail fold with the cuticle, the translucent almost invisible layer of skin covering a tiny portion of the nail plate close above the nail fold. As a result they don’t treat the true cuticle but fiddle with (and many times damage) the nail fold. The cuticle needs to be moisturized, and gently pushed back to keep the nail plate attractive while maintaining the protective seal between the nail plate and nail bed.
Applicable Products: Cuticle Softener OR Cuticle Remover AND a lotion with emollients AND cuticle stick, orangewood stick.
- Scrub and clean your nails and feet
Many pedicure guides leave out the portion where they clean underneath nails, your soles and the rest of your feet. This is necessary for cleanliness though so don’t leave it off your pedicure equipment checklist. Be sure to scrub those feet! Applicable products: Nail Brush AND/OR old/new toothbrush (medium to soft bristled if your skin is delicate) AND a cotton wrapped orangewood stick or other cotton wrapped implement.
- Mechanical Exfoliation, mechanical exfoliant or Foot Scrub
This is the step where you try to get those soles and heels soft again by grinding away at the hard skin that may have built up. Some products are meant for light duty while others are meant for more heavy duty work. Pumice Stones are more general duty and Loofah Sponges are more light duty. Foot files are great for adding leverage and bringing in some good man-made abrasives to exceptionally rough patches like calloused spots. Foot files are great for general smoothing as well.
Applicable products: Pumice Stones OR Loofah Sponges AND/OR Foot files (if you’ve got some trouble spots)
- Chemical Exfoliation, chemical exfoliant
These products aid in the mechanical exfoliation process through tiny abrasives that help grind away at the skin as you perform the mechanical foot scrub. They contain anything from sand and sugar to tiny particles of plastic as abrasives and are usually mixed with any number of lotions, oils or additional creams. Some contain particles of polyethylene that can block the digestive tracts of certain ocean animals and cause them to die when pumped into the ocean. So be mindful of this when purchasing foot creams to add to your aresnal of pedicure equipment.
Applicable Products: Foot creams, foot scrub creams, pedicure creams
To ensure that feet remain soften and supple, moisture needs to be added along with emollients to soften. Moisturizers are typically a finished product designed whereas emollients, chemicals that soften skin, are often added to moisturizers. Try to pick products that contain more natural ingredients such as aloe and Shea butter.
Applicable Products: Moisturizers/lotions with emollients added
Applying Nail Polish
Nail polish varies a great deal. Before applying any nail polish though, be sure to use a base coat to limit or prevent nail staining from the coloring contained in some (darker) nail polishes. A top coat can help to prevent nail chipping and give an extra shine. Clear nail enamel can substitute as both a base and top coat. Some people though have certain allergies that restrict them from using certain types of nail polish. A formaldehyde allergy would most definitely mean you would need a formaldehyde free polish even though the amount of formaldehyde normally contained in regular polish wouldn’t harm another person.
The Ped Egg. Is it for you?
The Ped Egg, is an egg shaped exfoliation device for the feet marketed via television by the Telebrands Corporation. It has 135 micro-precision stainless steel files as the abrasives to remove calluses and dead skin. The casing is not only designed to be ergonomic, or to minimize discomfort during use, but also to catch the shavings from the exfoliation process via a small compartment underneath the micro files.
When the exfoliation process is done, the device is supposed to be opened and the shavings emptied out. Along with the 100+ micro files, ped eggs also ship with two emery buffing pads for smoothing and sometimes a bottle of “foot repair” lotion.
Consumers are instructed to only use the ped egg on dry feet. This may be because using it on wet feet has been said to give a feeling like the device is tearing at the skin. The filings that are scraped off with the unit look like a coarse powder when completed.
Consumer study of the Ped Egg
On an independent study of this device with over 200 people involved, different results were had when using the ped egg. It seems that if your feet aren’t too tough with not many calluses to begin with, then using the device will be a bit uncomfortable. As imagined, it would probably feel like rubbing a cheese grater over the palm of your hand.
It is for this reason, it is advised that if you don’t have rough skin to use a gentler device such as a loofah sponge or even a pumice stone. These devices slough away the feet more gently than a sharp metal file would. On the other end of the spectrum, it appears that people with extremely rough, hard feet noticed almost no change when using the product. They said that is was ineffective on removing really tough calluses and did not make a lot of headway on really rough dry skin.
Some people though, who personally claimed to have very bad dry skin said that the product made their feet soft. However, the claim of “very bad dry skin” may have been an over exaggeration on their part since no inspection or comparison of their feet was done prior to the study. In more layman’s terms: these people may not have as bad dry skin as they think they do.
It is confirmed though, that some consumers claimed the product did little to improve the condition of their feet. However, the vast majority of people did claim to have very good results and that the ped egg did indeed make their feet smooth.
A common complaint of the product is that it does not catch all of the shavings that are filed from the feet.
Although this can possibly be the result of overzealous filing. Mildly vigorous use of the product may result in some shavings being scraped off the feet at different angles and not into the unit and may also cause the filings already in the compartment to be shaken out through the holes in the micro files. Most people did claim that the device had some trouble catching and containing the all of the shavings.
Another issue that consumers had was that the micro files can get dull very quickly. These consumers most likely had exceptionally rough and callused feet however as this complaint did not arise a majority of the time. Although, replacement blades are available, some consumers in the study claimed they are difficult to find. Another serious issue that a small amount of consumers experienced was actually being cut by the ped egg. It must be emphasized that incorrect usage of this product with too much force will most likely result in injury. Try to slowly gauge the amount of pressure required to properly work with the product beforehand on a small area.
Some individuals also experienced sore areas after using the product. This may not be due to incorrect usage however, but due to over usage of the product. As with any product that mechanically exfoliates the skin, using it too much at one sitting will probably result in sore areas. So don’t try to do a marathon session with the ped egg. Leave some rough skin for another day if necessary.
In a nutshell, the ped egg appears to not be suited for two types of people: people with not so troublesome skin and people with extremely rough, callused skin. If you fit into any of these two categories then this product will probably not satisfy.
People who don’t have calluses will complain that the product irritates their skin and makes their skin worse; imagine continually scraping at a spot of skin over and over. The result is that the body builds up a defense against the “attack” by producing tougher skin. The complete opposite result you are trying to achieve.
However, if your feet aren’t cracked nor have no calluses then a ped egg shouldn’t even be an option for you as the product is aimed at cracked, callused feet. A good loofah sponge or pumice stone will work better for you by gently grinding away at the skin instead of scraping or cutting.
People who have extremely rough calluses will probably complain that the product just doesn’t do enough to remove all of the tough calluses and that the files get dull fairly quickly.
If you have extreme calluses, you may need to use a more extreme method. I wouldn’t advise using a razor on them yourself though but this advice will most likely go through one ear and out the other! It’s always best to let a professional remove those extremely hard calluses for you.
If you are in between these two extremes, then a ped egg might be right for you. Once you exfoliate try to rub in some emollients or lotions with emollients on the newly exposed skin to keep it soft. Continue using the product as needed.
As with all devices that have sharp edges, use this with caution! Don’t mind the commercials where they rub the device over a balloon that does not burst.. Notice the amount of force they are using. If you use this device wrongly and with too much force you will most likely get cut! Diabetics shouldn’t be using devices with sharp edges on their feet. If diabetics get cut accidentally from the unit, it can become infected and lead to serious complications. This is why the ped egg manufacturers advise against diabetics using the product..
The Books Every Dancer Must Read
The Dancer's Foot Book (A dance horizons book) (Paperback) by Dr. Terry L. Spilken (Author) List Price: $19.95 Michael Flatley FEET OF FLAMES (created. choreographed, produced and directed by Michael Flatley, Unicorn Entertainments Inc) (Paperback)
by Unicorn Entertainments Inc (Author) Feet First: A Guide to Foot Reflexology (Paperback)
by Laura Norman
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at Salsa TV, Singapore