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How to do a flawless DIY pedicure at home in 5 easy steps

Get your feet ready for 2024 sandal season with these foot care expert-approved tips...

Model with pedicure
Orin Carlin
Content Writer
Updated: 12 April 2024
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Foot care. Glamorous? Nope. Necessary? Absolutely. 

Judging by the average person's skincare shelfie, we have more than enough inclination to take care of our largest organ.

Many beauty fanatics are happy to perform an elaborate 10-step facial routine on a twice-daily basis, and yet, the foot area is woefully neglected, the source of panic when sandal season comes knocking.

How does the skin on the feet differ from the rest of the body?

Model with pedicure© Launchmetrics Spotlight
Give your feet some TLC...

The skin on the soles of our feet endures a lot. It requires more padding, and therefore its subcutis (the innermost layer of the skin, closest to the muscles) contains more fat cells than most other parts of the body.

"The skin of the feet is 12 times thicker than the rest of the body, and feet go through the ageing process like the rest of the body," footcare guru Margaret Dabbs tells Hello! Fashion. "The skin thins, we lose the subcutaneous fat, and the sweat glands reduce in effectiveness, resulting in much dryer skin which needs to be moisturised just as the body does."

Wanting to get your feet polished and primed into salon-worthy condition? Keep scrolling for our top tips on how to achieve the perfect at-home pedicure...

Step 1 - Get Masked Up 

Model with pedicure © Launchmetrics Spotlight
Get your feet holiday-ready with our pedicure tips

Inconceivably gross, and yet immensely gratifying. If it's your first rodeo with a foot peel mask, don't be alarmed at the amount of skin you will shed.

A word of warning: exfoliating masks need to be used in advance of a particular foot-baring event. Get your calendar wrong and you could end up with peeling feet at exactly the wrong moment. Not a vibe. Most products will specify how long the peeling process will take, but it can depend on your skin, so get organised to avoid getting caught short.

Step 2 - File Away

Corns and calluses (thick, hardened layers of skin) are caused by excess force or friction. Whether that's from shoes that are too tight, or just padding about on rough surfaces, they're super common and simple to get rid of – all you need is a little elbow grease.

What is the best way to remove dry, hard skin on your feet?

Sloughing off dead skin is easily achieved via a file. But hold off on the long soak. According to Margaret, the most common foot care mistake is wetting the feet beforehand. "Filing should always be done on dry feet - no exceptions," she says. "Wet skin masks the areas to be treated. Where someone is prone to cracks in the skin, bathing in water will weaken the tissues and make these cracks more likely to open. Additionally a foot file won't adhere as well, meaning the skin isn't removed effectively and results aren't as long-lasting."

Step 3 - All The Trimmings 

Cut your toenails using a nail clipper, leaving just a small amount of white tip visible. Be sure to clip them straight across, because rounded shapes encourage the formation of ingrown toenails. 

MORE: 11 Nail trends to have on your radar in 2024

READ: 30 spring nail looks for the perfect new-season manicure

Step 4 - Shape Up

Take a sturdy crystal nail file and smooth the raw edges and corners of your toenails. File in one direction, as going back and forth can cause cracks in the nail.

Step 5 - Slather It On 

There's zero point in putting in all of that hard work if next time you give yourself a pedicure is going to be just as laborious as the first. Protect the fruits of your labour by massaging in a rich moisturiser just before you climb into bed to keep your feet feeling baby soft.

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