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Pedicure: What Type to Choose and How to Do it at Home Properly


Foot care is both a cosmetic and medical procedure, as a pedicure is meant not only for the beauty, but also for the health of your feet. It’s important to take all the necessary safety measures, follow the proper procedure, and do pedicures regularly. Are you wondering how to do a pedicure at home properly, what you’ll need for it, and how to avoid mistakes? Find out in our article.

There exist many types of pedicures, the most popular being classic, European, and Russian.

Classic Pedicure

A classic, or basic, pedicure uses sharp tools like nail scissors or clippers. This method is considered unsafe, because if the environment is not perfectly sterile there's a risk of damaging the skin and getting an infection. This is why many beauty salons have stopped providing this service. However, it’s pretty simple, so many people do it at home. A classic pedicure doesn’t require expensive tools, a basic manicure kit will do.

What you’ll need:

  • a pedicure bowl
  • products for a feet soak: salt, herbal extracts, essential oils, cosmetic soap
  • a pusher
  • a 180/220 grit nail file
  • clippers
  • nail scissors
  • a 80/100 grit rasp
  • cuticle oil
  • foot cream
  • a toe separator
  • a towel or wipes
  • nail polish.

инструменты для педикюра и маникюра

Safety Measures and Contraindications

Taking safety measures will help you to do a pedicure properly without running the risk of infection or callousness.

  • All tools for a classic pedicure must be sterile. You can soak them in a disinfectant, boil, or wipe with antiseptic.
  • A tool for cutting cuticles should be sharp, or you’ll get hangnails.
  • Water for a soak should be no more than 40°C hot. Hot water dries out your skin and makes blood rush to it, which will result in active bleeding in case of an injury.
  • A multiple-use foot rasp should be replaced every month, because skin particles get stuck in it, which creates a favorable environment for bacteria and fungus. We recommend getting a rasp with replaceable blades.

Keep in mind that there are contraindications to a classic pedicure, including:

  • diabetes
  • coagulation disorders
  • fungal infections
  • blood vessels located close to the skin surface
  • trombosis
  • varices.

Classic Pedicure: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Here’s how you do a classic pedicure at home:

  1. Prepare a foot soak: dissolve a tablespoonful of liquid soap and one of baking soda in a bowl of warm water. You can also add herbal extract, bath salt, or softening cosmetic products.
  2. Soak your feet in the bowl for five-ten minutes.
  3. Dry the feet with a towel and treat them with antiseptic.
  4. Use a nail file or a rasp to remove dead skin from the soles.
  5. Carefully push the pterygium back with a pusher.
  6. Cut the hanging edge of the cuticles with nail scissors or clippers.
  7. File and shape the nails.

Important! When shaping the nails, look at the natural shape and curve of your nails. For example, it’s enough to cut flat nails straight across or in an arc. As for arched nails, you should cut off the edges to prevent ingrown nails.

Finish the procedure with disinfecting the nails and applying nail polish.

лак для ногтей, педикюр

Russian Pedicure

Russian, or e-file pedicure, has many advantages:

  • It takes less time than a classic pedicure.
  • It’s safer as it’s done without cutting tools, but with an electric tool with replaceable bits instead.
  • It has a therapeutic benefit as it helps to get rid of corns and calluses painlessly.

You get faced with its disadvantages when you decide to do a Russian pedicure at home. Here are the reasons:

You have to buy an expensive e-file and its parts.

It’s difficult to do a Russian manicure yourself as it’s hard to see and properly treat problem areas. It takes a lot of practice.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a 40W e-file with the capacity of at least 15,000 rotations per minute and the reverse function
  • three types of e-file bits: for feet, nails, and cuticles
  • buffing cones
  • softening products for a Russian pedicure.

Safety Measures and Contraindications

Apart from the obvious safety measures when using an electric tool, there are certain rules you should follow when doing an e-file pedicure at home:

  • Hold the e-file firmly, with all the fingers, to avoid damaging your nails or cuticles.
  • Carefully pick e-file bits as each area requires a specific bit.
  • Hold the tool perpendicular to the nail plate you’re working on.
  • The nail bit must be in constant movement — don’t let it hover in one place.
  • Manipulate the bits gently, without pressing.

машинка для маникюра, педикюра

Hypersensitive skin can be a contraindication to a Russian pedicure. The list also includes fungal infections, however, such diseases are the reason to do a medical pedicure, which is a variation of a Russian pedicure, that is performed by a podologist.

Russian Pedicure Step by Step

Here’s how you do an e-file pedicure at home:

  1. Treat your feet with a disinfectant.
  2. Apply special gel for Russian manicures to problem areas and leave it for five-seven minutes.
  3. Treat coarse skin on the heels and soles with a large bit.
  4. Use a medium or small grit bit on the toes and around the nails.
  5. Smooth and shape the nail plates with a cone bit.
  6. Use a round or cone bit to remove the cuticles.
  7. Remove dead skin on both sides of the nail with a needle head.
  8. Finish polishing the nails with a silicone bit.
  9. Wrap it up with disinfecting the feet.

After that, you can get nail art and apply skincare products like moisturizing cream or cuticle oil.

педикюр дома

European Pedicure

In terms of doing it at home, this type is the simplest and most accessible one as it doesn’t involve difficult-to-handle machines and cutting tools. The task of cutting instruments is performed by special products like keratolytics and removers. They soften coarse skin so much that it can be removed with a wipe, pusher, or rasp.

Important! The difference between keratolytics and removers lies in the concentration of solvents. Keratolytics are stronger than removers and are used to treat the coarsest areas. Removers are mostly used for cuticles.

Safety Measures and Contraindications

When doing a European pedicure at home, keep in mind the following:

  • Keratolytics can be acidic and alkaline. It’s advised to do an allergy test before the procedure: apply some product to a small area of skin and wait 30 minutes.
  • Keratolytics, especially alkaline ones, penetrate deep in the epidermis and keep working even after you wipe the skin. Don’t forget to use a neutralizing product.

As for the contraindications, they include psoriasis, dermatitis, and injuries.

Pedicure with Keratolytics Step by Step

Let’s talk about how to do a pedicure using keratolytics at home correctly.

  • Disinfect the feet.
  • Apply remover to the cuticles for five-seven minutes.
  • Push the cuticles back with an orange wood stick and the pterygium with a pusher.
  • Wipe the remaining remover off and treat the skin with neutralizer.
  • Shape the nails with a file.
  • Apply keratolytic on the feet, put on shoe covers or plastic socks and wait seven-ten minutes.
  • Thoroughly wipe the feet and treat them with a rasp or a pumice stone.
  • Use neutralizer.

Don’t forget about foot care products and nail polish to wrap things up.

Learn more about types of pedicure in the theYou guide.

Foot Care Procedures

Foot care is important regardless whether you do it yourself or leave it to a professional nail tech. Regular foot care procedures not only make the effect from pedicures last longer, but also make your feet and nails healthier.

уход за ногами дома

Here’s what your foot care routine should look like:

  1. cleaning, exfoliation (washing procedures, peels, scrubs)
  2. moisturizing (creams, foot serums, special socks)
  3. nourishment (masks for feet)
  4. protection (foot repair cream)
  5. massages.

What procedures can be easily done at home?

Contrast Baths

This procedure is perfect for tired and quelled feet.

  1. Prepare two baths with water at 45-50°C in one and at 15-20°C in the other.
  2. Dip the feet alternately into cold and warm water.
  3. Repeat seven-ten times.


The skin on the upper part of a foot is sensitive, so you should clean it carefully. Peels, whether ready-made or homemade, are great for this.

  1. Pour fine salt, soda, or coffee grouts on your wet feet.
  2. Give your feet a gentle massage.
  3. Wash them with warm water.
  4. Apply moisturizing cream.


Use any suitable cream and start ‘smoothing out’ your feet in the direction from the tips of the toes to the ankle.

After studying the intricacies of the procedure and regular practice, you’ll hone your skills and will do pedicures at home correctly. Once your feet are healthy and well-groomed, go choose a bright nail art design in the theYou gallery!

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