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Top Safety Tips for Doing a Pedicure at Home

Pros and cons of salon vs. home pedicures, plus DIY tips for a perfect pedi!

Written by: 100% PURE ®
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Do you know what’s cool about the winter season beside cocoa and camel coats? Giving your bank account a break from the $50 per month salon pedicure. But cost to the wind, when a strappy heel night sneaks up, there’s nothing like a relaxing spa pedicure to get your toes in shape – or so we think!

Before you soak in a salon foot bath, you may want to reconsider taking that first toe-dip. With the potential health risks of salon pedis, you could end up pedi-cursed instead of a pedicured. We’re diving into the risks and benefits of salon and home pedicures, and what tools you’ll need for a salon-worthy DIY pedi!


The Pros and Cons of a Salon Pedicure

The pampering spa experience alone makes it hard to kick a salon pedicure to the curb. Many of these places pull out all the stops – from free beverages and back massages – to keep you in that chair and coming back for more. Here are some other salon perks:

Salon pedicures can:

  • Be so relaxing that you want to bottle it up and unleash that calming glory day-after-day. Between the foot massage, hot towels, and your choice of shiatsu or back kneading, it’s like a personal vacay in one neatly wrapped appointment.

  • Relieve you from having to do it yourself – and it turns out looking good! You don’t have to deal with one foot looking bad because you had to use your non-dominant hand to paint it.

  • Give you the time and freedom to do whatever your heart desires. You can cell scroll, read, work, nap – the sky’s the limit!

  • Supply you with everything you need for that perfect pedicure. Spindles of polish brands and colors, walls of powder nail dips, decorative jewels, instruments, disinfectants – the gang’s all there!

  • Depending on your type of pedi, have you in-and-out over a lunch break with some time to spare. No hassling at home over one polished toe that won’t behave like the other nine.

Salon pedicure

Cons of salon pedicures:

How do you know your salon is really sterile? The truth is we don’t. The possible health risks related to salon pedicures are enough for some to throw in the hot towels. Within those bubbly bath waters and the technicians’ tool bins lie hidden dangers for your feet and beyond.

  • Your own spa tub and jets are fine and dandy – but those communal jets in salon foot baths? You could be jet-setting to the doctor’s office. Foot bacteria and fungus (both past and present) start to build up in those whirlpools, putting you at risk for fungal, viral, and bacterial infections.

  • If you have a cut that you’re unaware of or you accidentally got nicked by the pedicurist, you could be walking away with more than just squeaky, clean feet. Some of those infections include athlete’s foot, warts, and staph infections like MRSA.

  • Yes, the pedicurists’ tools can also spell further health hazards. Sure, you might see silver instruments in blue fluid or in clear, sealed packages, but are they really sterile? To add bacteria to the petri dish, a lot of salons reuse porous, non-metal tools like nail files and foot pumices – putting your skin at risk for even more fungal frights.

  • Got an ingrown toenail? Don’t make your first call to a nail salon – call a podiatrist. All the pushing and prodding by a nail tech to fix that pesky, painful nail puts you at risk for infections. You can also end up with an ingrown toenail, if it’s cut down into the corners instead of straight across.

  • If when you first enter a salon and you’re blown away by awful vapors that sting the nostrils, this is a clue to turn around. With the lack of ‘green’ salons out there, most others will use products with formaldehyde, toluene, and dibutyl phthalate – or as we like to call them, the “toxic trio”. These vapors can be harmful for pregnant women or those with respiratory issues, and have been linked to abnormal fetal development.

  • Pedicures can get expensive! If you desire gel, hot stone, or paraffin pedicures, you’re looking at coughing up between $60 and $80 or more.


The Pros and Cons of a Home Pedicure

Ah, home sweet home – within your own walls comes peace and privacy for a relaxing pedicure at home. You won’t be bombarded with the Dolby surround sound of your neighboring spa-goer’s phone conversation, or worry how others may judge the mosaic of chipped polish left on your toes. Here are more benefits of a home pedi!

Pros of home pedicures:

  • Compared to the salon pedicure option, your risks of an infection are drastically reduced. You can have clean confidence in your sterilization efforts of your own basin or tub.

  • Your toe tools are yours and yours alone. You don’t have to worry about lax or improper sterilization of tools, or fear reuse of nail files or pumice stones at a salon.

  • You can breathe in your lightly scented soy candle instead of the harsh, toxic fumes often present in nail salons. You can also opt for 10-free nail polishes with far more bearable fumes.

  • You can take pride in doing a pedicure yourself, instead of having it done at a salon. With a few rounds of practice, you’ll be a toe-pro in no time. Rock that pedi, post it to the ‘gram, and get Footloose!

  • Nobody can toe-shame you at a salon if you’re safe in the comfort of your casa. If for the first few times your pedi looks like a toddler did it, that’s okay! Remember mistakes aren’t quite so visible on the toes compared to fingernails.

  • Instead of having to sit in a salon for a while waiting for your toes to dry, you can walk around home rocking tow separators without judgment. Nobody looks at you funny when you’re heel-walking too.


Nail polish tools

Cons of home pedicures:

We don’t like having the other shoe drop, but there are some disadvantages of a home pedicure. Some like doing pedi’s in the company of others at salons. It can be hard to time a speaker call your BFF during your home toe session. Check out some disadvantages of a home pedi:

  • File, basin, scrub, polish – oh my! There are a lot of supplies to buy for a pedicure at home, which can get expensive if you’re not careful. Depending on the color selection and type of pedi you want – from regular polish to gel – the costs can quickly accumulate.

  • Naturally, we’re going to want an all-star home pedicure like we’d get at a salon. It can be time-consuming to reach polish perfection instead of traces of Cherry Pop or Kiss adorning the skin around the toenail.

  • It can be time consuming to keep a space and set of tools sterile for your pedi. You’re going to need proper disinfectants and sterilization measures to maintain a safe and clean home pedicure station.


What You’ll Need for a DIY Home Pedicure

From a risk-benefit ratio, we think the potential health risks of a salon pedicure outweigh the benefits of one. Now that the shoe’s back on the other foot, doing a home pedicure is easier and just as salon-worthy than you think. Here’s your starter kit for a clean, effective pedicure at home!


Now that you’re armed with your pedi starter kit and plenty of reasons to perform a home pedicure, you’re on your way to a perfect at-home spa experience and terrific tootsies! Looking for the best DIY mani and pedi? We’ve got you covered!

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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