Tuesday, November 10, 2009

DIY Pedicure: Treat Your Feet to a Spa Pedicure at Home

An at-home pedicure is an inexpensive DIY spa treatment to get your feet ready for summer. Learn how to give yourself a home spa pedicure with these steps, tips and homemade spa recipes for pedicure treatments.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 1: Remove old polish

The first step in a home pedicure is to remove any old polish from your toes. Use nail polish remover to remove any remnants of old polish. If your old polish has stained your toe nails or your nails have a yellowish tint, soak a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and apply to the nail. Leave on for a few minutes and then wipe off.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 2: Trim toenails
Use a toenail clipper to cut your nails straight across. Your toenails should not be longer than the end of your toe as this can lead to ingrown toenails. After clipping, file straight across and only in one direction. Going back and forth with a nail file damages and weakens your nails.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 3: Soak feet
Once you have trimmed your toe nails, prepare a foot bath for your home pedicure. A pedicure foot bath is not only relaxing, but is an important step for softening calluses and cuticles. Add epsom salts and essential oils to your foot bath or try this homemade spa recipe.

Homemade Foot Bath Recipe
1 C. Buttermilk (slightly warmed)
½ C. Sugar
6-7 C. Hot water
A few drops essential oil of your choosing (optional)

Milk can be substituted in this homemade spa foot soak, but buttermilk is better because of the higher concentration of lactic acid which works to soften feet and remove dead skin. The glycolic acid in the sugar also helps exfoliate your feet. Essential oils are optional, but here are some suggestions: Peppermint oil for invigorating feet, Lavender for soothing your senses, or Tea Tree oil if you have any problems with foot fungus. You can also put marbles on the bottom of your foot bath and rub your feet along them for massaging action during your foot soak. Soak your feet for 20 minutes or so and then pat dry.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 4: Cuticle Care
After your home pedicure foot bath, your cuticles should be nice and soft. Use an orange stick to gently push back the cuticle. If necessary, use cuticle remover lotion to help with pushing back your cuticles. Don't cut your toenail cuticles, as the cuticles protect your feet from infection. If you have any excess skin on the sides of your nails that needs trimming, you can trim it with a cuticle trimmer.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 5: Scrub Feet
Next give yourself a refreshing spa foot scrub to help remove dead skin and calluses from your feet. If you have access to beach sand it makes a wonderful scrub. If not here is a homemade spa foot scrub recipe.

Homemade Foot Scrub Recipe
1/2 C. Table Salt (or ¼ C. Salt and ¼ C. Sand)
2 Tbsp. Oil (Olive, Almond, Coconut, etc.)
2 Tsp. Liquid soap (bath or hand or even shampoo)
A few drops essential oil of your choosing (optional)

Mix together and massage well into your feet. Rinse well. After scrubbing, you can follow up with a pumice stone to help smooth calluses and rough spots. Avoid using razors or other methods that cut off calluses.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 6: Foot Mask
This step is optional, but if you want to give your feet some extra pampering, try a spa foot mask for superbly soft and smooth feet.

Homemade Foot Mask Recipe
1 Ripe Avocado
¼ C. Honey
1 Tbsp. Oil (Olive, Avocado, Almond, etc.)

Mash ingredients together, apply to dry feet and wrap in plastic. Plastic bread bags or vegetable bags work well over your feet, even if they look a little funny. You can cover the plastic wrap with socks if you wish. Relax for at least twenty minute and then rinse feet and pat dry.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 7: Paint toenails
Use nail polish remover to wipe toenails and remove any excess oils that may remain from your home spa foot treatments. Nail polish does not adhere well to oily nails. Use cotton balls to separate toes when painting. Packing peanuts also work great as toe separators. Apply a base coat, allow to fully dry and then apply two top coats. If you decide not to apply color, use a nail whitening pencil and run it under the tips of your toenails for a French manicure look.

Home Spa Pedicure Step 8: Moisturize
Rub a light foot or hand lotion into your feet and enjoy your soft, smooth, beautiful feet. If you do your home spa pedicure at night, apply a heavier lotion, cover with cotton socks, and leave on overnight.

Use these tips and recipes to give yourself a spa pedicure at home and you can save money and have beautiful feet for summer.

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