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Are you looking to give yourself an at-home pedicure? If so, it may be a lot easier than you'd think. You can get salon-quality results with just a few products and tools. We have done all of the research and gathered the best foot soaking methods and products for you.
The best foot soak before pedicures is an Epsom salt soak with essential oils. For the soak to effectively soften your skin, let your feet soak for 10 to 20 minutes. After soaking, you can continue with removing dead skin and moisturizing.
There are a lot of options when choosing ingredients for your foot soak. Epsom salt soaks can be found with essential oils already included. These soaks can offer benefits beyond just softening hard skin. Keep reading for pedicure tips and instructions.
What is the best homemade foot soak?
The best homemade foot soak is made of Epsom salts and essential oils. Epsom salts are used to penetrate dead skin and provide moisture. Foot soaks are used for pedicures, but they can also be healing and relaxing. Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, and peppermint oils are optional but have added benefits.
To make your soak, you will first need warm water that is between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or as warm as you can tolerate comfortably. Next, you will need to mix in one cup of Epsom salt per gallon of water used. If you are using an essential oil, place up to six drops into the water, and your soak is ready.
Which essential oil is best for pedicures?
When choosing an essential oil, you should pick based on your personal goal for the soak. If you would like to add aromatherapy to your pedicure, lavender oil promotes relaxation. Lavender oil is also effective in soothing eczema and killing bacteria.
Tea tree oil is a popular choice for treating foot conditions before a pedicure. It is antibacterial and antifungal, which helps get rid of common nail fungus. Tea tree oil will leave your skin clean and moisturized after your soak.
Lastly, peppermint oil would be a great addition to your foot soak. If you enjoy the smell of peppermint, then you can combine aromatherapy with the oil's benefits. Peppermint oil is known for boosting blood circulation and creating a cooling effect that eases pain.
If you have sensitive skin, keep in mind that some oils can cause skin irritation. Before using a new oil you should test it for irritation on a small patch of skin. Mix one drop of oil with a half teaspoon of plain oil such as olive or coconut; then apply it on a small patch of skin. Never use essential oils directly on your skin, only diluted with water or oil.
Will Epsom salts soften toenails?
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts can help soften your nails. It is important to note that even just soaking in warm water can also soften your nails. Epsom salts are popular because they can kill bacteria and fungus lurking under your nails.
Along with softening your nails, the salts will also soften any dead skin on your feet. This makes them perfect for if you have an ingrown toenail. The salt soak will be able to soften the skin and nail enough to pull the skin away from the ingrown nail. It will also alleviate pain and help prevent bacterial growth.
What does soaking your feet in vinegar do?
Soaking your feet in vinegar has similar benefits to soaking in Epsom salts and essential oils. Vinegar is helpful in killing odor-causing bacteria as well as softening dead skin. You can use either white or apple cider vinegar for your soak.
Vinegar is a natural ingredient, but it can cause skin irritation when concentrated. To make a vinegar foot soak, use one part vinegar for every two parts of water to dilute it properly. You can also add in a few spoons of Epsom salts to help the process along.
What do salons soak feet in?
When you go to a nail salon for a pedicure, they will almost always soak your feet first. The contents of the footbath will vary depending on the salon's preferences. Their soak can be made with salts or a foot bath liquid. The main function of a foot soak is to soften and hydrate your skin for the pedicure.
One option salons have is to use a salt soak. These soaks are made of Epsom salts, essential oils, and various herbs. Along with hydrating the skin, it also can be used for aromatherapy and has antibacterial properties. Salt soaks are great for treating toenail fungus and foot odor.
If they are not using dry salts, they could be using a liquid soak that gets diluted in your footbath. Liquid foot soaks contain salt and oils as well but have the added feature of making the bath sudsy. Both products serve the same purpose and can be used interchangeably.
How long should feet soak before starting the pedicure?
Before your pedicure, your feet should be able to soak for at least 10 minutes. If you have a lot of dead skin or have not soaked your feet in a while, 20 minutes may be more beneficial. It is only necessary to soak your feet for as long as it takes to soften your cuticles.
What can I soak my feet in to remove dead skin?
Epsom salt and vinegar soaks are great for removing dead skin from your feet. Once your feet soak and the dead skin softens, it can be easily removed. The soaks will not get rid of the skin however, they will just make it easier to remove.
The dead skin removal is usually done with a foot file or pumice stone. Although the skin on your feet may be tough, you do not want to overdo it with exfoliating tools. Gently rub the pumice stone or file in circles on rough areas until the skin comes off.
How to soften thick skin or tough calluses
For tougher calloused skin on your feet, you may need something more heavy-duty. You may find that even after soaking and filing, some skin is still rough.
Products like callus remover gel are able to penetrate and soften tougher skin. Keep in mind that products like this use stronger chemicals, so follow instructions closely.
How often should I get a pedicure?
To maintain your nails, you can get a pedicure every four to six weeks. Getting a pedicure once a month can help stop and correct the growth of ingrown toenails. If your nails don't grow too quickly and your skin doesn't seem too dry, you can stretch it to six weeks.
How do I take care of my feet between pedicures?
The best way to maintain your pedicure is to keep up with it regularly at home. The best way to do this is by doing some kind of soak and dead skin removal at least three times a week. Using a pumice stone after a shower is a small task that can make a big difference. Alternatively, you can use an exfoliating foot scrub.
After soaking, your cuticles will be soft enough to push back if needed. You can use an orange stick or cuticle tool to gently push them back. After exfoliation, moisturization is essential. A foot balm is the best option to retain moisture; apply your moisturizer before your feet dry completely.
Even if you are getting pedicures regularly, you should know how to care for your feet at home. You can purchase or make a foot soak at home in between salon visits to extend your pedicure. Ingredients like Epsom salt, vinegar, and essential oils help soften skin for removal while killing bacteria.
You should do pedicure maintenance at home at least three times a week to keep your skin soft. Soaking for up to 20 minutes is ideal, but if you are low on time, try using a foot scrub in the shower. For more pedicure information, check out some of our other articles: