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Bottles of coral, purple, and blue nail polish on a dish on a surface next to a towel.

Feet are some of the most strained and overworked body parts — but caring for them isn’t always a priority. If you think about what you put your feet through in a normal day, then add the extra stress of a pounding workout, a little foot-oriented TLC can go a long way.

You might think of a pedicure as an indulgent, self-care treat. However, you may be surprised to learn that it can prove beneficial to your health. We talked to the team at LifeSpa to learn just how revitalizing a pedicure can be. Here’s what we discovered:

1. Pedicures can prevent infection.

How often do you get down in the nooks and crannies of your feet? Spending some extra time on footcare can help clean away hidden dirt and keep any infections or fungi at bay. If you’re at a salon, keep an eye out for cleanliness. Don’t be afraid to ask the technician how they sanitize their tools and what they use to do so.

 2. Pedicures help relieve stress.

Spend some time in the pedicure chair — or set up a self-care session at home — to put your mind at ease. You’ll walk away feeling relaxed and refreshed. A little self-care goes a long way toward lowering stress and increasing your energy levels.

3. Pedicures promote new cell growth.

Skincare experts tout the many benefits of exfoliation, and your feet are no exception. Exfoliating your feet reveals brighter, softer skin and promotes new cell growth so your feet look and feel better.

4. Pedicures help improve circulation.

And don’t forget the best part of receiving a pedicure — the massage. Foot and lower-leg massages help ease pain and tension in your feet, get the blood moving and improve circulation, and help clear toxins from your body.

The 30-Minute At-Home Pedicure

When you can’t make it into the salon, try this quick at-home pedicure. All you need is a few simple tools and products.

Tools/Products

  • Bathtub or shallow tub or bowl (for soaking)
  • Towel
  • Foot file
  • Straight-edge toenail trimmer
  • Moisturizing foot cream
  • Nail polish remover
  • Base coat
  • Nail polish (color of choice)
  • Top coat

Directions

  1. Soak. Soothe your feet by soaking them in warm water with a handful of Epsom salt for at least 10 minutes. If you have the time, you can soak for up to 60 minutes.
  2. Exfoliate. Dry off your feet post-soak and use a medium-grit foot file to slough off dead skin cells. You can also use an exfoliating scrub on your calves and ankles.
  3. Trim and file. If necessary, trim your nails with a straight-edge clipper. Avoid clipping the whole nail at once. Instead, try using three cuts on each nail — once in the middle, then once on each side — to avoid cutting too close to the skin. File to reach your desired length and shape.
  4. Moisturize. Choose your favorite moisturizing foot cream to rub all over your feet and lower legs. Spend some extra time massaging it into your heels and cuticles as these areas tend to be the driest.
  5. Polish. Use nail polish remover to remove lotion from your toenail beds. Apply a base coat, two coats of color polish, and a topcoat. Allow at least 15 minutes of dry time. Feel free to skip this step if you don’t want color on your nails.
Emily
Emily Ewen

Emily Ewen is a copywriter and copy editor at Life Time.

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