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Salon pedicures may look good, but they can be expensive, and you run the risk of infection from shared tools and unhygienic conditions. Home pedicures will leave your feet feeling soft and looking great, while also saving you money on expensive salon treatments. Here are five tips for the perfect pedicure.

Hygiene

Always use clean tools when giving yourself a pedicure. Bacteria, fungus, and other germs accumulate on your feet and under your toenails, which can then transfer to your pedicure tools. Every time you use nail clippers, nail files, pumice stones, toe separators, and other equipment on your feet, it’s important to disinfect the tools, as this will reduce the risk of infection.

Skin

Soak your feet in warm soapy water for at least 10 minutes to soften your skin. Next, use a pumice stone or skin file to remove any patches of dry skin on the soles of your feet and around your toes. Use the tip of your finger or a soft implement to push your cuticles back gently. Avoid using orange sticks or metal implements on your cuticles, as these can damage the nail bed and lead to infection. Dry your feet thoroughly, especially between the toes.

Nails

Always cut and file your toenails straight across to help prevent ingrown toenails; avoid cutting or filing the sides of your nails. Metal nail files and rough emery boards can split your nails, so choose a crystal file or fine emery board for shaping your nails and smoothing any rough edges.

Massage

A foot massage boosts circulation, reduces stress, and helps to soften the skin. Start by applying a generous layer of moisturizer to your feet. Alternatively, you can use coconut oil, which contains antifungal and antibacterial properties to keep your feet healthy. Massage your feet firmly, paying particular attention to the soles and arches, as these are the areas that hold the most tension.

Nail Polish

Toenails can stain easily, especially if you’re using dark nail polish, so it’s important to coat them with a base. Before applying nail polish, use a small paintbrush or makeup brush to apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly or coconut oil to the skin around your toenails, as this will prevent the polish from sticking to your skin. Once your nail polish has dried, you can use a damp cloth to wipe any polish off your skin.

Home pedicures can save time and money, while also reducing the risks that come from using a salon’s shared tools. Disinfecting your pedicure tools after use and regularly replacing disposable items, such as emery boards, will help to prevent infection.

See also: Home Beauty Treatments: 5 Tips For the Perfect Manicure

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