What To Do (Or Not Do) Before and After Pedicure

Embarking on your first pedicure experience can be both exciting and daunting. To ensure a smooth and satisfying experience, it’s essential to prepare adequately.

Here are dos and don’ts to consider before stepping into the salon chair, with insights from experts in the field.

Prepping for a Pedicure Two Hours Before:

Dos Before Pedicure

  1. Trim toenails to a manageable length.
  2. Cleanse feet thoroughly with warm, soapy water.
  3. Hydrate feet with moisturizer, focusing on dry areas.
  4. Avoid applying nail polish or heavy lotions.
  5. Wear comfortable, open-toed shoes for easy access.

Don’ts Before Pedicure

  1. Soak feet for extended periods.
  2. Use harsh scrubs or exfoliants.
  3. Shave legs immediately before the appointment.
  4. Cut cuticles yourself.
  5. Stress over achieving perfection.

What To Do Before Pedicure


1. Trim Your Nails (But Not Too Short):

Trim your toenails to a manageable length before your appointment. However, avoid cutting them too short, as this can lead to discomfort or even ingrown toenails. Aim to maintain a straight edge while rounding the corners slightly to prevent snagging.

Expert Tip: “Trimming your nails beforehand helps ensure a neat appearance and makes it easier for the pedicurist to work with. However, remember not to cut them excessively short, as it can cause issues during the pedicure,” advises Michelle Lee, a licensed nail technician.

2. Cleanse Your Feet Thoroughly:

Wash and Clear your feet thoroughly with warm, soapy water to remove any dirt, sweat, or impurities. Pay close attention to the areas between your toes and underneath your nails. This not only ensures hygienic conditions but also allows for better product absorption during the pedicure.

Expert Tip: “Clean feet are essential for a successful pedicure. Washing your feet beforehand not only maintains hygiene but also softens the skin, making it easier to remove calluses and rough patches,” recommends Sarah Johnson, a seasoned esthetician.

3. Stay Hydrated:

Drink plenty of water leading up to your pedicure appointment. Hydration from within helps keep your skin supple and improves circulation, resulting in healthier-looking feet. Proper hydration also aids in minimizing discomfort during the pedicure process.

Expert Tip: “Hydration is key for overall skin health, including your feet. Drinking water before your appointment ensures that your skin is adequately moisturized from the inside out, promoting a smoother pedicure experience,” suggests Dr. Emily Chen, a dermatologist.

What Not To Do Before Pedicure

Don’ts: 👎

1. Don’t Shave Right Before Your Pedicure: 👎

Avoid shaving your legs immediately before your pedicure appointment. Shaving can cause micro-abrasions or cuts, making your skin more susceptible to irritation from the pedicure products. Instead, opt to shave the day before to allow your skin time to heal.

Expert Tip: “Shaving right before a pedicure can lead to discomfort and potential skin irritation, especially if the skin is sensitive. It’s best to shave the day before to minimize the risk of any adverse reactions,” advises Dr. Rachel Lewis, a dermatologist.

2. Don’t Apply Nail Polish or Lotion: 👎

Refrain from applying nail polish or heavy lotions to your feet prior to your pedicure appointment. Nail polish residue can interfere with the pedicure process, while lotions may create a barrier that prevents proper product absorption. Arrive with clean, bare nails and hydrated, but product-free, skin.

Expert Tip: “Arriving with clean, bare nails allows the pedicurist to assess your nail health and apply products effectively. Avoiding heavy lotions ensures that the products used during the pedicure penetrate the skin properly, maximizing their benefits,” explains Jennifer Brown, a licensed esthetician.

3. Don’t Soak Your Feet for Too Long: 👎

While soaking your feet can soften the skin and prepare it for exfoliation, avoid soaking for extended periods. Prolonged exposure to water can cause the skin to become overly softened, making it more prone to damage during the pedicure process.

Expert Tip: “Short, gentle foot soaks are beneficial for softening the skin and relaxing the muscles. However, soaking for too long can actually strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and potential irritation. Aim for a brief soak of around 10-15 minutes,” suggests Dr. Jennifer Kim, a podiatrist.

4. Don’t Cut Cuticles Yourself: 👎

Resist the urge to trim or cut your cuticles before your pedicure. Cuticles serve as a protective barrier against bacteria and infection, and cutting them yourself can lead to cuts or infections. Leave this task to the professionals during your pedicure session.

Expert Tip: “Cutting cuticles at home can be risky and may result in injury or infection. Trust your pedicurist to properly address your cuticles during the session, as they have the tools and expertise to do so safely,” advises Emily White, a licensed nail technician.

What to Do After-Pedicure


  1. Allow Nails to Dry Completely: Give your nails ample time to dry before donning closed-toe shoes to prevent smudging.
  2. Moisturize Daily: Keep your feet hydrated with regular moisturizing to maintain soft, supple skin.
  3. Choose Breathable Footwear: Opt for open-toed shoes to allow nails to breathe and minimize smudging.
  4. Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your feet daily with mild soap and water to prevent infections and maintain freshness.
  5. Schedule Touch-Ups: Maintain your pedicure’s freshness with regular touch-up appointments every few weeks.

What Not To Do After-Pedicure


  1. Avoid Hot Baths or Saunas: Steer clear of excessive heat, as it can cause premature chipping or fading of your pedicure.
  2. Stay Clear of Harsh Chemicals: Protect your pedicure from damage by avoiding exposure to harsh cleaners and acetone-based removers.
  3. Resist Picking or Peeling: Refrain from picking at your polish to prevent damage to your nails and maintain the integrity of your pedicure.
  4. Don’t Skip Sunscreen: Protect your pedicure from UV damage by applying sunscreen to your feet when outdoors.
  5. Avoid Tight Socks or Hosiery: Opt for loose-fitting socks to prevent smudging or irritation of your freshly pedicured nails.


FAQs About Preparing for a Pedicure:

1. Should I shave my legs before a pedicure?

It’s advisable to shave your legs the day before your pedicure appointment to avoid potential irritation or discomfort during the session.

2. Can I apply lotion on my feet before a pedicure?

It’s best to avoid heavy lotions or oils on your feet before a pedicure, as they can create a barrier that hinders product absorption. Clean, moisturized skin is ideal.

3. How should I dress for a pedicure appointment?

Wear comfortable, open-toed shoes or sandals to your pedicure appointment for easy access to your feet during the session.

4. Should I trim my toenails before a pedicure?

Yes, trimming your toenails to a manageable length before your pedicure appointment is recommended. However, avoid cutting them too short to prevent discomfort.

5. Can I soak my feet at home before a pedicure?

Brief foot soaks at home can help soften the skin and prepare it for exfoliation during the pedicure. Aim for a soak of around 10-15 minutes.

6. Is it okay to wear nail polish to a pedicure appointment?

It’s preferable to arrive with clean, unvarnished nails to your pedicure appointment. This allows the pedicurist to assess your nail health and apply products effectively.

7. Should I remove old nail polish before a pedicure?

Yes, it’s recommended to remove any existing nail polish before your pedicure appointment to facilitate the process and ensure optimal results.

8. How long does a pedicure typically take?

The duration of a pedicure can vary depending on the services included and the individual’s needs. On average, a basic pedicure may take around 30-45 minutes, while more extensive treatments can last up to an hour or longer.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top