Did you know that the average person walks the equivalent of four times around the world during their lifetime? So, it’s hardly surprising that we can sometimes neglect the appearance and condition of our feet, especially outside of flip-flop season when we know few people will see them.

Fortunately, a spa pedicure is just the trick for making your feet look and feel their very best all year round. Why suffer dry skin, overgrown nails or calluses, when you can have smooth, soft and perfectly polished tootsies? Even if your feet are already in tip-top condition, you will enjoy the massaging and pampering involved in a relaxing, professional pedicure. 

Pedicures are often offered as part of a spa package, which is a great way to try this treatment to see just what it can do for your hard-working feet! Keep reading our guide to find out what to expect from your treatment. We also bring you some spa pedicure FAQs.

What is a spa pedicure?

A spa pedicure is a therapeutic beauty treatment which is designed to improve - or maintain - the appearance and condition of the feet and toenails. 

A pedicure can be thought of as a manicure for the feet. The tools, massage techniques and lotions used during your pedicure will largely depend on which spa venue you select for your treatment. 

There is a variety of pedicure treatments to choose from but most pedicures comprise foot exfoliation to remove dead skin cells, nail filing, cuticle neatening, and the application of one or more nail polishes. Nowadays, many pedicures see the lower half of the legs massaged also, making the experience all the more luxurious for spa guests.

As a general rule, the longer your pedicure appointment, the more pampering you can expect to be included as part of your treatment. 

What to expect during a spa pedicure treatment

A spa pedicure treatment may vary depending on the spa you are visiting and the type of pedicure you have chosen. However, you can typically expect the following during your treatment:

Step #1 - Cleanse and soak: Your spa pedicure will begin with a therapeutic foot bath or spa. Your feet will be soaked and cleansed in warm water, in order to soften and prep the skin. Some spas may provide a massage chair for guests to sit in at this stage, and/or some reading material, if desired.

Step #2 - Cut, file and shape: Your nail technician will then remove one of your feet from the footbath so that they can trim and file each of your toenails into an attractive and uniform shape. The other foot will be left to soak in order to allow your cuticles to remain soft and easy to manipulate.

Step #3 - Cuticle care: Once the nails on each of your feet have been shaped, your therapist will apply a cuticle cream to each of your toenails and then gently push the cuticles back, to make them neater. 

Step #4 - Exfoliation: After taking care of your cuticles, your therapist will then use an exfoliant cream and a foot file to remove any dead skin cells present on the bottoms of your feet. In some cases, a more powerful electronic file may be used to remove tougher patches of skin (don’t worry - this is a completely safe and pain-free procedure). 

Step #5 - Moisturise and massage: When the exfoliation stage is complete, you will then be treated to a pleasurable, unwinding acupressure or reflexology-based foot massage. Your pedicurist will use rich creams and aromatherapy oils within your massage to refresh and soften your skin. Your lower legs may also be massaged during this stage of the treatment to help relax you. 

Step #6 - Polish application: Once your feet are feeling silky smooth, it’s time to apply the polish of your choice! Your coloured polish will be applied between a base coat and a top coat, to boost its durability and to provide extra protection for your nails. You may be instructed to place your feet under a UV lamp temporarily once painted to speed up the drying process.

Spa pedicure aftercare 

Here are a few things you can do to help prolong the results of your pedicure and keep your feet looking beautiful for longer:

Take a pair of flip flops to slip your feet into for a few hours following your pedicure - wearing bulky shoes or trainers is almost certain to spoil your therapist’s good work. 

Try to avoid getting your feet wet for at least 12 hours after your pedicure. Even nail polish which is touch-dry may not harden completely until this time, and excessive moisture could cause premature peeling or chipping. 

Consider purchasing the products used during your pedicure from the spa’s online or on-site shop, so you can keep your feet perfectly preened once you have returned home.

Use a pumice stone between pedicure appointments to keep any hard skin under control.


How long does a spa pedicure take?

A luxury spa pedicure can last up to 60 minutes, making it a real pampering treat. The treatment may be shorter, depending on the spa and spa package you choose. Another option you might see offered is the file and polish. Available for the fingers and toes, this simply involves nail shaping and application of nail polish. In some cases, moisturiser may be massaged into the skin. The treatment takes up to 30 minutes.

Can I wear nail polish to my pedicure?

You should try to arrive for your pedicure with no polish on your nails. The therapist will remove any existing polish but this will cut into your allocated appointment time. You must also arrive promptly to prevent your treatment from being shortened or cancelled.

What's the difference between a pedicure and a spa pedicure?

Spa pedicures generally take longer and include more pampering stages designed to encourage relaxation, as well as caring for your feet and toes. You also have the advantage of the spa’s facilities, treatments and ambience. A traditional pedicure is closer to the file and polish.

I do not like my feet - should I be worried about getting a spa pedicure?

You may be surprised just how many people have this concern, but there is really nothing to worry about. Therapists are used to treating feet of all shapes, sizes and conditions and very few people actually consider their feet to be attractive. Besides, a pedicure treatment is ideal for making sure that your feet look as beautiful as possible!

IMPORTANT: Those with a fungal skin or nail condition should inform their chosen venue ahead of their spa day or spa break to avoid potential disappointment. Some spas will refuse to give pedicures to clients with those conditions, for hygiene and/or health and safety reasons.

If you know a loved one who needs some head-to-toe pampering, our spa gift vouchers can be redeemed against treatments at over 500 spas across the UK.

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