How to Give Yourself a Pedicure

Eileen Bailey Health Guide
  • The weather is starting to get colder and your feet are bundled inside shoes and boots, but that isn’t any reason to forego your pedicure. During the cold, winter months, your feet can get dry and cracked. Pedicures, whether you choose to go to a salon or give yourself one at home, give you the chance to pamper your feet all winter long. Once sandal season starts again, you will be ready to break out the open- toed shoes and let your feet breathe.


    To give yourself a pedicure at home, you will need some basic supplies:

    • Basin or tub to soak your feet
    • Towel
    • Epsom salts, bath salts, scented oils or your favorite foot soak product
    • Foot scrub
    • Pumice footstone
    • Small brush
    • Nail file
    • Nail clippers
    • Orangewood stick
    • Foot cream
    • Cuticle oil
    • Magazine, book or music

    Some people prefer not to paint their nails during the winter season, however, if you do, make sure to include nail polish remover, cotton balls or pads, base coat, nail polish and a top coat in your supplies.

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    Step One:

    Remove any nail polish that is on your toes. Nail polish remover containing acetone usually works better, but it also dries out your skin and nails. If you have dry skin, or your nails crack and peel, use non-acetone nail polish remover. 


    Step Two:

    Fill your basin (or your bath tub if you prefer) with a few inches of warm water. Add your foot soaking product to the basin so it dissolves as the water is running. (You can complete step one as your basin is filling up.)


    Step Three:

    Put on relaxing music and have your magazine or book nearby. Soak your feet in the warm water. Sit back and relax for at least 10 minutes.


    Step Four:

    Use the small brush to clean your feet. This helps to remove any dead skin cells and soften your feet.


    Step Five:

    Take your feet out of the water and pat dry with a towel.


    Step Six:

    Apply cuticle oil to all around your cuticles. Use the orangewood stick to gently push back your cuticles. Remember, cutting your cuticles can lead to infection. Instead, moisturize your cuticles and push back with your orangewood stick.


    Step Seven:

    Exfoliate your skin. You can use a homemade exfoliating rub, such as a mixture of kosher salt and olive oil, or buy a foot exfoliating scrub at the store. Massage your feet and ankles as you exfoliate. Rinse off your feet and pat dry.


    Step Eight:

    Use a pumice stone or foot file to work on your calluses. You don’t want to cut or remove your calluses, you only want to smooth the area. Cutting or removing calluses can lead to infection.


    Step Nine:

    Apply a foot cream or lotion on your feet. Use an upward motion and massage your feet and ankles as you apply the lotion.


    Step Ten:

    Clip and file your nails. Use a clean nail clipper. Using a nail clipper that is curved is usually easier. Once you have clipped your nails, finish shaping them with a nail file or emery board. Be sure to go only in one direction when filing your nail. Start on the ends and file in toward the center. Try for a square or soft square shape; trying to get an oval shape will get you too close to the skin on either side of your nail.


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    Step Eleven:

    If you are applying nail polish, start with a base coat to fill in any ridges. Apply the first coat of polish, allow to dry and then apply a second coat. Finish with a top coat. Make sure to wait at least two minutes between each coat so your nails are dry before adding another coat. Once you have polished your nails, wait at least 15 minutes before putting on socks, shoes or boots. 

Published On: October 14, 2014