Fancy a regular pedicure? It might shock you to find that there are now so many different types of pedicure to pamper your feet that it can be hard to choose the right one for your feet. I have collated twenty of the most popular pedicures that you might find to help you choose the right one for you.
Different pedicures are all designed to pamper your feet but some are more intensive than others. My list of pedicure names will hopefully explain what kinds of pedicures are there and what they can do for your feet.
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Spa Pedicures are a great way to manage foot problems or to help you to relax sore or tired feet. Regular attention to your feet can help to stop hard or cracked skin, ingrown toenails, and prevent fungal infections. You can read my post about the benefits of a pedicure to discover exactly how helpful they can be.
Whilst looking at all the different types of pedicures can be confusing initially my guide will hopefully give you a clearer idea of what you can expect when you visit a spa.
Before you book your spa pedicure it is worth noting a few basics.
How Often Should I Get a Pedicure?
Maintenance spa pedicures are ideally booked four to six weeks apart. This assumes that you are booking the pedicure to keep your feet healthy and supple. Medical pedicures however may need to be booked closed together and are usually done under the supervision of a podiatrist. Let the professionals tell you what to expect depending on any problems you are experiencing.
Should You Cut Your Toenails Before a Pedicure?
There should be no need for you to cut your toenails before you have a spa pedicure but do make sure that your feet are clean. Your nail technician usually trims your toenails as part of the pedicure. Cutting them yourself could cause problems such as ingrown toenails so it makes sense to let a professional do the work.
Should You Shave Your Legs Before a Pedicure
Also, pedicure etiquette dictates that you shouldn't shave your legs before you go for a spa pedicure. This is because when you newly shave your legs you may have small cuts which could become infected. It makes more sense to shave your legs afterward. Remember that your salon professional will be used to unshaved legs and would rather prevent infections.
Different Kinds of Pedicures
So now that you know what to do before heading to the salon which of our twenty different types of pedicure should you choose? Whilst most pedicure types have basic steps such as removing dead skin cells or bathing feet in warm water there are differences in the add-ons plus the products that are used.
You will see from our list of different types of pedicures there are a great many ways that you can look after your feet. Here are some of my favorite pedicure types.
If you are after a no-frills or fuss salon treatment on your feet then you are probably looking to choose a basic pedicure or mini classic pedicure. This is the standard type of regular pedicure that you would find in any typical salon. This is a great form of pedicure if you want basic foot maintenance without spending hours in the salon chair.
A basic pedicure usually starts with a foot soak that helps to soften the feel and nails. Then dead skin cells are removed by your nail technician with a foot file or pumice stone. This is followed by a relaxed foot and calf massage to relax your muscles and soothe your feet. Finally, you can are asked to choose a nail polish color so that your toes can be painted the color of your choice.
A basic pedicure is a brilliant way of keeping your feet in tip-top condition without spending a fortune.
A spa pedicure takes the regular pedicure and brings it to an entirely new level. So as well as everything that you get in the basic package you also get a number of add-ons depending on the spa that you go to.
Typical extras might include using salt or foot scrubs on your feet and lower legs to exfoliate and soften. Instead of bathing your feet in normal water, you may find that essential oils are added depending on your particular needs. You may find that the foot massage element of the pedicure is giving you a more relaxing and pampering experience. Plus at the end of the spa pedicure, you can expect your legs and feet to be covered in a luxurious foot cream before you are sent on your way.
Spa pedicures are great when you want to treat yourself and spend a little extra time luxuriating and relaxing.
A different type of pedicure is a gel pedicure which is more expensive than a regular pedicure and also it tends to take a little longer. A Gel pedicure is something that you might want to consider if your feet are on show regularly.
The basic steps are similar to other pedicures with foot soaks and dead skin removal. The real difference with a gel pedicure is when it comes to the actual nail polish that is placed on the toes.
Gel pedicures involve gel acrylic being placed on your toes and hardened under a UV light. Usually, a base layer is placed on first and then placed under the light for 30-60 seconds. Then two layers of colour are placed on top and each will be hardened under the light. Finally, a top coat is added and also hardened to act as a protective layer finishing the gel pedicure look.
Gel pedicures tend to last for two to three weeks and don’t require the usual drying time that nail polish does.
When we are talking about types of pedicures there are two classics that have to be mentioned. The first is an American Pedicure.
American pedicures work just the same as regular pedicures but are differentiated by how the nails are shaped and colored. If you have this form of pedicure expect your nail technician to offer you rounded nail tips which are then colored in a faint white or cream polish. This differs from a typical french pedicure where the tips tend to be brighter white. The purpose of the look is to appear as natural as possible. This is a great type of pedicure when you are looking for an understated look.
A French Pedicure is also a classic form of nail design but it is not quite as subtle as the American version.
With a French Pedicure, a thin horizontal strip of white polish is placed on the tip of the toes. Your nail technician is likely to shape your toenails into a squarer shape. The rest of the nails will be painted in either a clear or pale pink nail polish to make the tips pop.
French pedicures and manicures are incredibly popular and are seen as a relatively formal form of nail decoration that is unlikely to draw too much attention to your hands and feet.
Whilst American and French pedicures are differentiated by the way the nails are treated a margarita pedicure involves products based around limes.
This means that when you have your regular pedicure soak sliced limes are added to the water and lime essential oil is also added to the soak. This makes for a refreshing foot soak that can also soften dead skin cells so they are easier to remove.
Once your feet have been soaked your spa may offer a lime foot scrub to exfoliate the feet or lime foot mask followed up by a lime oil moisturizer to keep your feet soft. A Margarita drink whilst you are having the margarita pedicure may be a pleasant added extra!
When we are talking about types of pedicures it would be impossible not to mention a wine pedicure. Vinotherapy is becoming a big business. Not all of a grape is used in making wine so there is often an excess of product that people are starting to make products from.
Whilst you can indeed soak your feet in wine if you want as part of a wine pedicure many people are adding grape products to the foot soak to soften the feet before dead skin is removed through exfoliation. Grapeseed oil or a wine-based foot bath can also be added to the water followed by a moisturizing foot lotion also made from grapes.
Hot wax is another product that can be used as part of a paraffin pedicure. A paraffin pedicure is great if you want to soften the skin, improve circulation or help reduce swelling or inflammation in the feet.
Whilst a regular pedicure means that your feet are soaked in water a paraffin pedicure works differently. Your feet are dipped into melted paraffin wax and then wrapped in cling film-style plastic. A paraffin pedicure is a perfectly safe procedure because the wax is not hot enough to burn you.
After half an hour or so the hardened paraffin wax is removed from your feet leaving you with perfectly soft feet.
You can actually buy your own paraffin wax pedicure and manicure machine to use on your hands and feet at home if you love paraffin pedicures.
At one point fish pedicures were all the rage and you would see shops offering this service across the country. The trend has all but died out in the West however a fish pedicure is still popular in other countries across the globe.
Garra rufa fish were the main fish used in fish pedicure salons. The original concept was that customers would place their feet into fish tanks below their seats and the fish would eat any dead skin from the feet. A fish pedicure could be considered the opposite of the usual spa experience.
It is now recognized that fish pedicures are cruel to the fish themselves plus there were dangers. The fish tanks were a breeding ground for bacteria plus they allowed infections to spread between customers. In addition, the fish were kept deliberately hungry so that they would eat the dead skin. You can read PETA’s criticisms of this type of pedicure for more information. My view is that fish pedicures are certainly one type of pedicure you should try and avoid.
Hot Stone Pedicure
Different types of pedicures can involve unusual products and that is true when it comes to hot stone pedicures. If you find that you are constantly on your feet and they feel tense and tired then this is the perfect type of pedicure for you.
As with a regular pedicure, your feet are trimmed and soaked in water. When your feet are removed from the water smooth heated stones are placed at various points around your feet and bottom of your calves. Some of the stones are placed where your feet are resting whilst others may be on top of your feet or even between your toes.
The heat from the stones is great at helping muscles to relax and unwind. Finally when the stones are removed nail polish can be added as normal and the feet moisturized.
Ice Cream Pedicure
Just when you thought the types of pedicure couldn’t get any stranger we have to talk about an Ice Cream Pedicure. No ice cream isn’t added to the foot bath but products that look similar to scoops of ice cream are.
There are many variations of this type of pedicure. Whilst traditionalists make the balls from mixtures of oils including coconut and argan oil others are taking a different approach. They have an ice cream menu such as strawberry or peach and the balls are made with essential oils made from those particular products.
This is certainly a fun type of pedicure that certainly gets the job done. This is because your feet are still exfoliated and massaged plus you get a lovely nail polish color as well.
A Rose Pedicure as you can probably guess uses roses or rose products throughout. This form of a pedicure is particularly popular for Valentine’s day gifts.
The premise of the rose pedicure is very similar to a basic or spa pedicure. Your feet are soaked in a foot bath with rose petals or rose essential oil. Once your feet are taken out of the soak your feet are exfoliated with a foot file and then a rose scrub is used on the feet and lower legs. Finally, you can either have a rose foot mask or move straight to getting your nails painted.
Rose essential oil helps to reduce stress and improve relaxation so it is great for a calming pedicure session.
Different types of pedicures sometimes use food as an inspiration and that is certainly true of the chocolate pedicure.
Imagine your feet are soaked in a lovely chocolate foot soak to soften them. Whilst you are having this treatment the salon may present you with a chocolate dessert or alternatively if you like a drink a chocolate martini. Then your feet are scrubbed with a cocao foot scrub and finally massage with chocolate oil.
Chocolate pedicures are the ultimate in indulgence for lovers of the product.
Whilst pedicures are typically associated with women who is to say that men can’t also enjoy the experience of getting their feet pampered. Athletes or sports pedicures aren’t just associated with men but many spas do market them specifically for the male market.
The reason they are called sports pedicures is that when you play a regular sport you are more likely to have problems with your feet such as calluses or blisters on your feet. This can impact your performance so it makes sense to have regular maintenance on your feet to remove problem areas.
Athletes Pedicures tend to be far more functional with nail trimming and dead skin removal the most important part of the treatment. Massage may also be used to help release any muscle tension. Whilst the pedicure is still relaxing it will help with pressure or pain in the feet.
Tea Tree Pedicure
If you are prone to suffering from foot fungus then you need to consider a tea tree pedicure. Tea tree products are known to have anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties so they make ideal products for a pedicure.
This means that your feet are likely to be placed in a tea tree soak in order to soften and soothe the feet. Then a tea tree scrub can be used to exfoliate any dead skill cells. A tea tree mask can help to cool and soothe the legs and finally it can be followed with tea tree lotion to massage and moisturize.
Just remember it makes sense to make sure that your feet are free from any fungus before you have your treatment. Tea tree pedicures should only be used as a preventative treatment rather than as a cure for a problem. Plus you don’t want to give other customers your infection.
A pearl pedicure sounds exotic but it really revolves around the use of sachets containing products derived from milk. Whilst this may sound odd remember that Cleopatra used to bathe in milk for a good reason.
Milk treatments and products are brilliant for helping to moisturize the feet. They are also helpful in stopping fungal infections from developing. Plus milk is full of fat which can help to plump the feet and help them to remain supple.
Feet are soaked in the pearl sachet product and then the normal pedicure process begins. Korean companies in particular have created sachets of pearl pedicures that you can use at home or in a spa.
If you really want a quirky type of footcare experience then how about a jelly pedicure? It may sound strange but this odd experience actually is a great way of helping your feet.
As with just about every pedicure your feet are placed in a foot soak of warm water. Then bit by it the jelly pedicure powder is added to the water. Gradually the water turns to a jelly which helps to hydrate your feet. Then as if by magic the jelly slowly turns back to normal water again when a further sachet is added allowing the remainder of the pedicure to take place as normal.
You can buy your own Jelly Pedicure packs to try at home if you don’t fancy a spa pedicure experience.
If you want a truly explosive experience what about a volcano pedicure? Like a jelly pedicure product is added to your hot spa water foot soak. Usually, you add some volcano crystals first followed by an activator. When the activator is added the crystals start to bubble or erupt releasing a wonderful fragrance.
Volcano pedicures could be considered as a gimmick but they do help to soften the feet as with the basic foot experience. Whilst you may not choose to use this for regular treatments it is a great experience every now and then. You can also buy Volcano Spa pedicure products to use at home.
A waterless or dry pedicure is the only type that we are aware of that doesn’t use water at all in the process. There are no foot soaks so instead your nail technician skips to filing your feet and trimming your nails.
There are claims that a waterless pedicure is more hygienic but the jury is still out on this. Many people miss the soothing effect of placing their feet in warm water. This may be a great option if you have little time and are looking for a mini pedicure but it doesn’t lend itself to a soothing spa experience.
Finally I had to mention the DIY pedicure. Visiting a nail spa can be costly and certainly add up over the course of a year. Plus taking time out to visit a spa eats into your precious time.
Now there are so many products and treatments that you can use at home it is worth doing DIY pedicures if you haven’t got any major foot problems that you need help with.
You just need some very simple basic tools which cost very little to create your own salon experience at home. Just buy our favorite essentials recommended below and you are good to go. Your bank balance will certainly thank you later.
You could also think about gifting pedicure products to friends and family for birthdays or occasions like Christmas. Take a look at my Pedicure Gift Basket Ideas for inspiration and items to include.
Create your own salon experience with this Foot Spa/Bath Massager.
Use these Lavender and Muscle relief Foot Soaks to soothe your feet.
A Diamoncel Foot file is one of the best investments we have made. Ours has lasted for years!
Finally O’Keeffee’s Healthy Foot Cream
More Information About Pedicures
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