A pedicure does for our feet what a manicure does for our hands; both cure those parts of our body that work hardest for us every day. We barely realize all the times we grab and perform simple-to-difficult tasks with our hands. The same is true for our feet. They support us everywhere we go. Getting a pedicure, whether performed at home or in a nail salon, is the support we give back to keep our feet healthy and looking great.
The Benefits Of Pedicures
There are many reasons to consider getting a pedicure, regardless of your gender. You can take care of your feet at home, but there are benefits to having a professional pedicure over home care.
Foot And Toenail Issues
Besides caring for your feet and making them look nice, a professional pedicurist can identify any conditions that may develop before they become a problem; it isn’t always easy to get close enough to see what’s going on way down there.
Keeping Foot Problems From Getting Out Of Hand
You may feel the itch of athlete’s feet developing without recognizing it as anything more than a mosquito bite or allergic reaction. A pedicurist can spot the area for what it is, so you can properly treat it. They may also detect warts that are so tiny you wouldn’t be able to see them. Corns, bunions and toenail fungus are other common and sometimes painful conditions that a pedicurist can identify early, and help you keep under control
Getting a pedicure keeps callouses in check by consistently smoothing down the hardening skin that often develops on heels and the outer side of your big and smallest toes. Ingrown nails, if left unchecked, can become painful. Regular pedicures can help prevent you from needing to see a podiatrist for these conditions. They also help prevent ridges from forming in your toenails as they grow, or even keep toenails from lifting out of their nail beds.
Circulation And Relaxation
Getting a pedicure is an enjoyable break from a busy lifestyle. Most days, you’re running from home to the market, from work to home, from the doctor to a meeting, or just overwhelmed with chores you have to chain yourself to your desk or kitchen table to complete. Then, you have an appointment for a pedicure.
Finally, you are sitting, forced to relax. Often, there’s a massage chair (sometimes with heat) for your aching back, and a selection of magazines to take your mind off your to-do list and everyone else’s. Oh, and that foot and lower-leg massage works wonders for your circulation. Yes, the benefits of getting a pedicure are well worth the price for the much-needed time-out it allows.
Before Getting A Pedicure: Things To Consider
When thinking about making an appointment, there are a few things to consider. First, if you feel you need a pedicure to address an issue you are having with your feet or toes, be sure, whatever your condition, it is one that a pedicure can address. If ingrown nails or bunions have progressed to where you should see a podiatrist, make an appointment with your medical provider before going to a nail salon.
When booking a pedicure, you want to be sure the salon you choose is a clean facility. Good hygiene is key when picking a salon as the procedures open your skin, making you vulnerable to infection.
What To Look For In A Nail Salon
The clues to look for before booking your appointment are easily detected. Notice whether the operators are using sterile and new appliances with each customer. Are they reusing their instruments or taking a new clipper from a package? Are they using a fresh emery board to file each person’s toenails? Some people prefer to bring their own toolkit for the operator to use, but a licensed salon implementing best practices should be fine to trust without having to provide them with the tools of their trade.
A Clean Facility
We can’t overstate the importance of going to a clean salon. You want to be sure the operators are washing their hands, rinsing out the foot bowl and cleaning the water jets before the next customer getting a pedicure takes that seat. You’ll find many use plastic wrappers for each customer, to guarantee everyone is soaking in a fresh tub—that’s a good sign.
What To Expect At Your Pedicure Appointment
Depending on the type of pedicure you choose, plan on spending between a half hour and an hour for your treatment. Add time for the polish to dry if you are using regular polish. If you opt for gel polish, the operator will dry your polish under a special light and you will have no waiting time.
Gel not only cuts down on dry-time but lasts longer than regular polish, especially in the summer when your feet are open to the elements. Sunshine fades polish and sand wears off the finish. With gel, you pay slightly more, but it is immune to the elements, making it a good choice before a vacation, when the last thing you want to think about is cracked or faded polish.
Sit Back And Soak
Your operator will have you soak in soapy, warm water to soften the skin on your feet and around your nails. Soaking makes it easier to perform your pedicure and more comfortable for you than working on dry feet. They will trim your nails, cut out ingrown nails, exfoliate dead skin on your feet, give a short massage of your lower legs and feet using oil or lotion, and polish your nails. More knowledgeable pedicurists can target nerve endings in your feet that directly stimulate blood flow, relieve headaches, or connect to other areas of your body where you might experience discomfort.
Types Of Pedicures
Many nail salons today offer additional cosmetic services such as waxing, facials, eyelash extensions, and other spa treatments. They also tend to have a full menu of different pedicures packages to make the experience even more pleasurable than the basic service. Be sure to ask your operator for the cost of these pedicures when they offer them to you. Better still, ask to see the written menu describing all their options and pricing.
Paraffin Wax Treatment
Besides your basic pedicure, most salons offer paraffin wax as an add-on. After soaking your feet and cleaning and trimming your nails, the operator applies warm wax to your feet and wraps them both in towels to help absorb the wax. They perform this treatment to create a seal that keeps your natural oils in, prevents dryness, and reduces callouses; the heated wax is also recommended as a treatment for arthritis sufferers.
Organic Aromatherapy Scrubs
Sugar is a natural exfoliator. On many salon menus, you will see the option to include a natural sugar scrub to which the salon will add any number of glorious scents. Slices of orange or lemon are sometimes applied directly to the legs and feet along with the sugar, making it a mixture that smells so good you will want to eat it.
Picking Your Polish
After your piggies are perfectly shaped and glossed with a base coat, it is tempting to keep it natural and forego the colored polish. Men with naturally polished and freshly pedicured feet look especially clean in their summer sandals. But after getting a pedicure, there are so many colors to choose from; it is almost impossible not to want a lacquer to complete the treatment.
You can keep it close to a natural look with a French manicure of white tips and a clear top coat or just go for it with a jazzy blue, bright yellow, or a combination of colors. You can never go wrong with classic fire-engine red or soft pink.
Many of the pedicurists are artists and operators and will be happy to add designs to match your mood, zodiac sign, or an upcoming holiday. They usually even have a case of jewels they can add to bedazzle your tootsies. Just be sure, like with regular polish vs. gel polish, to ask about the price before you have them perform Picasso prints on you. Every salon and each operator handles those extras differently.
You may be one of those people who treat themselves to a pedicure only on special occasions, or you may be one who considers getting a pedicure a routine part of basic self-care. It is recommended you have a pedicure, whether at home or in a salon, once a month to keep your feet and toes in tip-top condition.
You walk between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day, and the purpose of your nails is to protect your toes from damage, so it’s easy to understand the importance of taking consistent care of your feet. With all this in mind, the next time you wonder whether to indulge yourself in this oh-so enjoyable and relaxing activity, think of it as an essential rather than a luxury, and move it over from your wish-list to your to-do list.