Last Updated on October 8, 2023 by Martina McKeough
Thinking about pampering your feet with a spa pedicure? If you are then you probably want to know what does a pedicure include and what should you expect when you enter a spa?
Knowing what you are paying for is important because different nail salons may offer different treatments to a traditional pedicure. Understanding when you are booking a basic pedicure versus a luxury experience is going to impact the price you pay.
Regular pedicures don’t have to be fancy to make a difference to your feet but of course, sometimes you may think about getting the premium experience. Here is our take on what you should get in a typical salon experience.
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What Is a Pedicure?
A pedicure is a cosmetic treatment for the feet and toenails. It involves soaking the feet in a basin of warm water with bath salts, removing dead skin with a foot file, trimming and shaping the toenails, massaging the feet and lower legs, and applying moisturizing lotion.
Pedicures may also include painting the toenails and applying nail polish. The purpose of a pedicure is to clean and beautify the appearance of the feet.
Pedicures are popular spa treatments and are also offered by nail salons, barber shops, and beauty salons. Some pedicures use special scrubs, masks, paraffin wax, and other products to exfoliate and smooth the skin and nails.
A spa pedicure treatment can vary between salons. Knowing what type of pedicure you want helps you choose the right salon and the right pedicure treatment for your feet.
What Does a Basic Pedicure Include?
So what does a pedicure involve? Well if you are paying for a regular pedicure treatment there are certain standards that you should expect.
Generally, a nail technician in a standard spa will start by removing any old nail polish on your toes and you should expect a foot soak in warm water to soften the skin on your feet. Some salons will exfoliate your feet with a foot or salt scrub and then use a pumice stone or foot file to remove the dead skin and calluses on your feet.
When this has been completed they will clip your toenails and then do some nail shaping with an emery board. Some salons will also use a nail buffer as well. Then your feet and calves will be massaged with a moisturizing lotion to prevent dry skin.
Does a Pedicure Include Nail Polish?
Does a pedicure include nail polish? Well, generally when your calf and foot massage is over most nail technicians will apply a fresh coat of nail polish if that is what you want.
In most salons, you should be given a choice of colored polish to choose from other than the basic red nail polish. It is worth noting that the nail polish will only be basic acrylic polish. If you want nail art, gel polish, and a gel pedicure at your pedicure appointment then you should expect to pay more.
A Shellac pedicure tends to be longer-lasting than ordinary nail polish but it takes longer to do than a basic pedicure hence why you are going to pay a premium price. Gel pedicures involve a base layer followed by two coats of color polish and then a further top coat. In between each coat, the nails are dried with UV light. This clearly is going to take a nail technician much longer to do than a standard basic pedicure.
How long does a pedicure take? Typically a classic pedicure should last somewhere between 30 to 60 minutes.
What Is Included in a Pedicure? Premium Experiences
What is included in a pedicure? Well, a whole lot more if you want to pay for a fancy pedicure and get a premium spa pedicure.
Whilst your standard salons may just offer a regular pedicure there are plenty of upmarket spas that can offer you a whole lot more if you are willing to spend more money and time getting your feet pampered.
A normal pedicure usually suffices for most people if they just want to keep their feet looking good but for special occasions or for medical reasons you may want to think about different types of foot care.
Here are just some of the spa pedicures that you might think are worth considering.
Whilst a standard spa classic pedicure superficially removes dead skin with a foot file a medical pedicure goes one step further than a simple cosmetic treatment.
Medical pedicures can help with more complex foot problems such as ingrown nails, large calluses and corns. As such these are usually carried out by podiatrists and chiropodists rather than a spa nail technician.
Use this form of pedicure if your feet need a little more TLC than a standard spa can offer.
A french pedicure offers many of the same steps as a basic pedicure but the polish color and style are what make it stand out in comparison to others.
A French pedicure is all about the nail color, White polish is usually used across the top of the nail for definition whilst the rest of the nail bed tends to be painted in very pale pink. This type of pedicure is known for being chic and the height of understated luxury
There are so many different types of pedicures that it can be hard to keep up with them all.
A wine pedicure for example centres around vinotherapy. This simply means that most of the products that are used in the actual pedicure are derived from wine.
You can get wine foot soaks, red wine foot baths and so on. Typically nails are painted in a deep red maroon colour to match a good red wine.
Athletic or Sports Pedicure
An athletic or sports pedicure is a type of pedicure tailored specifically for athletes and people who are very active. Unlike a spa pedicure, this focuses on foot maintenance to prevent injury and keep feet your feet healthy.
Nail shaping and trimming are done to avoid ingrown toenails and fungal infections. Then your calluses and rough skin are smoothed down with a pumice stone to prevent blisters and other irritations. Cushioning gel pads may be applied to provide additional comfort and support in shoes. Finally, your leg muscles are massaged to increase flexibility and circulation.
Your nail technician may also use a therapeutic foot bath with an antibacterial soak to kill microbes that cause odors.
The aim of a sports pedicure is to keep feet your feet healthy, infection-free and comfortable during sports and other physical activities.
Do you love chocolate? Well, some salons have created a chocolate pedicure to indulge you with products that are based around chocolate.
Fancy a chocolate foot soak followed by a chocolate foot mask and chocolate moisturizing lotion? They might even throw in some actual chocolate for you to eat while you have it.
This is the type of pedicure that you might buy if you were having an all-girls trip to the nail salon for a celebration. It is a little bit corny but also a bit fun and a bit of a talking point instead of the traditional professional pedicure.
Did you know a regular pedicure without water is known as a waterless pedicure? A dry pedicure is a perfect treatment for people with dry skin on their feet. There are no soaking feet involved in this type of experience as some technicians believe that they are able to remove dead skin cells more easily without water.
Waterless pedicures can also be thought of as being more hygienic as there is less chance of you catching an infection from the spa water.
By now you are probably understanding that a pedicure can be based on certain types of products and given a new name. The standard services may be the same but the actual products themselves may not.
A Margarita pedicure tends to center around products made from lime and lemon such as this margarita foot scrub.
If your spa is licensed you might also get a cocktail thrown in. Another great experience for hen nights and parties but less useful if you have to go back to work after your treatment!
Fish pedicures were everywhere at one point but thankfully they have died out because of ethical and hygiene concerns although we have seen them operating in some Asian countries.
A fish pedicure almost didn’t make our list of types of pedicure as no nail technicians are involved and no standard pedicure techniques are used. Instead tiny fish nibbled the dead skin off your feet.
They feel particularly old-fashioned and cruel now but only a short time ago every high street had one.
A stone pedicure is very similar to a standard foot treatment apart from hot stones placed on the top and bottom of your feet.
The heat from the stones is supposed to relax your muscles and can be helpful in promoting stress reduction.
If you want to try this at home you can even buy a hot stone warmer kit to use for massages and foot care.
Paraffin Wax Treatment
For dry skin on your feet finding a spa that offers a paraffin wax treatment as part of your pedicure can help to soften the skin on your feet. A paraffin pedicure is just one that adds this extra element to the process whilst the remainder of the treatment remains similar to a basic pedicure.
Ice Cream Pedicure
Finally, if you are into gimmicks let’s not forget an ice cream pedicure. Where balls of different aromatherapy oils or essential oils such as coconut and argan oil are placed in a way to soften your feet. No ice or sweet treats are involved instead these types of pedicure play on a summer theme to entice customers to have a different type of pedicure experience.
Always Investigate The Pedicure Spa Menu
What does a pedicure include? Well as you can see from our extensive list of foot care treatments there is no standard regular pedicure.
We always recommend talking to a spa pedicure salon first to ask them for details of what their services are or look up the spa menu online. That way you are going to know exactly what you are getting instead of paying a premium for gimmicks and services that you don’t need.
More Articles About Pedicures
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