If you're looking to get a fresh and pretty spring pedicure, you may want to avoid the nail salon. Why is that the case? Unfortunately, nail spas are hot beds for infections, due to unclean equipment or technician error.  Plus, when you consider the fact that most nail polishes and polish removers are packed with toxic chemicals that damage your nails? Well, we're guessing you'll be ready to listen to our Powder Spring podiatrist's advice and get your spring pedicure at home. Here are the seven simple steps you'll need to take to get the perfect look (in perfect health!) every single time.

Preparing for the Perfect Spring Pedicure at Home woman painting her own toenails purple

Before you begin your at-home pedicure, you must set yourself up for success. One of the best ways to do that is by avoiding the mistakes made at spas that lead to problems such as foot or nail infections and ingrown toenails.

For starters, clean the surfaces in your home where you'll be giving yourself a pedicure. Wipe down exposed counters with rubbing alcohol, or place freshly laundered towels down so your foot can rest on them safely.

Next, clean your hands carefully with soap and warm water, or give yourself a rub with hand sanitizer. Now it's time to disinfect any reusable tools, like nail clippers. Once again, you can do so with rubbing alcohol or warm water and soap. Finally, when possible, work with disposable tools (like nail files) that are brand new and just out of their protective wrapping. Most importantly, avoid sharing tools with other family members in order to keep your feet as clean and protected as possible.

Got all that covered? You're ready to get started on your actual nails! So tell Alexa to play some relaxing spa music, and dive into this seven-step guide to perfecting a spring pedicure at home!

The 7-Step Spring Pedicure Manual

Want to show off pretty and polished nails this spring? First, be sure to address any foot or nil infections that you may have kept under wraps during the winter months. Then, get ready to score this perfect spring pedicure (without the risk for spa-based pedicure problems!)

Step 1: Carefully remove any remaining nail polish from previous pedicures

If you’ve already got polish on your nails and want to switch to a new color, your first move will be removing the old layer of pain. Now, you may have some acetone-based nail polish remover in your medicine cabinet. But you should avoid using this kind of product, since it can strip your nails of vital nutrients. Instead, grab some cotton balls and a safe removal product such as Dr.'s Remedy Radiant Remover, an acetone-free polish remover that wipes away polish with a plant-based formulation that renews your nail health while it works.

Step 2: Move on to a soothing soak

After removing your old nail polish, you can give your feet a warm soak before starting the polish portion of your spring pedicure. Prior to this step, make sure to give your tub or foot spa a good clean, too. Better yet? If you have your own foot spa, you can line it with plastic to fully protect yourself from infection. After all, these little basins are notoriously hard to clean. Once your foot spa is ready to go, you can fill it with warm water. (Never hot, to avoid burns. And avoid this step altogether if you have diabetes, since you may not be able to feel the temperature due to neuropathy.)

To the water, you can add soap or body wash, or even Epsom salts for some added pampering. Keep your feet in place for up to 15 minutes, to eliminate bacteria and dirt from your feet before you start the nail-trimming process.

Step 3: Get your nails into the proper shape and length for a perfect spring pedicure

When it's time to trim your nail, you have to protect yourself from an ingrown nail. And, to do that, you should trim the nail straight across. Avoid following the curve of the nail. File down and sharp corners. And make sure that some white nail is still visible when you're done. This will help protect the delicate skin of your nail bed from injury and infection.

Step 4: Engage in cuticle care

At this step in your spring pedicure, be sure to leave your cuticles attached to your nail. If they are bothering you, try applying a moisturizing oil and pushing them down gently. While you're at it, you can apply a moisturizing cream to the rest of your foot to avoid dry skin and cracked heels. Just avoid the spots between your toes to reduce your risk for fungal infections such as athlete's foot.

Step 5: Get in position

Place your foot on a pillow or folded towel and apply a base coat to your nails. Before moving on to the next step in the process, give this coat at least two minutes to dry. Once again, avoid traditional, chemical-packed products in favor of more natural base coats like this one.

Step 6: Apply that pretty spring pedicure polish

Choose a brand, like Dr.s Remedy, that strengthens your nails while it beautifies. For this spring, we're loving trending shades like Peaceful Pink, Amity Amethyst, or Perceptive Periwinkle.

Step 7: Dry it out

Want to keep that pretty spring pedicure from smudging and ruining your look? If you have the time, your polish should be fully dry and ready to cover with socks and shoes within 20 minutes of application. However, if you don't have diabetes and you want to speed up your drying time, you can aim a blow dryer (on the lowest setting!) at your nails to reduce your waiting time. And, if you're already making this choice, blow some air between your toes to make sure you didn't leave behind wet spots that could leave you at risk for fungal infections.

Need more help getting your feet and nails in tip-top condition to show off this spring? We're here to help! Reach out to our office and request a consultation with Dr. Alvin Cowans, your podiatrist in the Lost Mountain neighborhood of Powder Springs.