Home > 10 Things You Should Know About Pedicures

10 Things You Should Know About Pedicures

I love myself a good pedicure at a calm, beautiful spa.  There is nothing like slipping your tired, beaten feet into a scented tub of warm water followed by a heavenly foot massage.  Top that off with having someone else paint your toenails so you don’t have to contort yourself into a pretzel to do so yourself…I’m in 7th heaven!

Jimmy Choo Sandals Street Style Paris Fashion Week Style Domination Fashion Blogger STyle Blog
Sandal Ready!

Not all spas are clean and peaceful havens. Here in Canada, spas and salons are not closely regulated therefore leaving precautions to be taken by the patrons themselves.  Many of the spas I’ve frequented are very clean and take sterilization seriously, but we all know that not all spas are created equal.

Read on to learn some tips on protecting yourself while having a pedi – some lessons learned that I have picked up over the years as a former esthetician. And ladies, don’t read this and get put off by pedis for life. Remember, cracked heels, chipped polish and Jimmy Choo sandals DO NOT MIX.


Even if the foot baths are sterilized, bacteria can still breed in their water pipes. There are however “pipeless” foot baths in some salons or simple individual tubs. Opt for those, and as always, salon staff should be sanitizing these after every client. Work up the courage to ask your esthetician if the tub was sanitized before you start soaking your tootsies.

Don’t Shave Beforehand!

To avoid infection, don’t shave your legs for at least two days prior to a pedicure to eliminate the risk of infecting any invisible or visible nicks and cuts. If you have any wounds on your feet, let them heal before having a pedi. And for God’s sake, if you have plantar warts, get them treated before having a pedicure. Yes, I’ve seen this and yes – people either think that plantar warts are not a big deal or feel that they aren’t worth treating.  BLECH.

Massage and Pressure Points

Pedicures, especially massage, is loosely tied to reflexology. Your pedi-technician may not necessarily be trained in reflexology but the results are similar—achieving relaxation and rejuvenation. Who doesn’t love a good foot rub? Pregnant women nearing the end of their term should NOT have their ankles massaged. Did you know that a good, deep massage around the Achilles tendon can induce labour?

Say “No” To Callous Shavers

Using callous shavers in a salon are illegal in most U.S. states, but are legal in Canada. Those crazy-looking, vegetable peeler-type devices that shave off your callouses can easily cut skin, opening you up to a world of germs. Want to be traumatized for life? Google “bacterial tuberculosis” – a bacteria that can live in the pipes of pedi baths and can wreak havoc on your body if it enters the bloodstream.  Not cool.

Foot plane callous shaver corn shaver pedicure style domination beauty blogger fashion blogger
NO! Bad, bad, bad!!

Bring Your Own Pedicure Tools

Bringing your own pedicure tools isn’t necessarily safer unless you diligently scrub and sanitize your own set after every use. Salons are required to do this in either a barbicide bath with germ-killing UV lights or with an autoclave.

Nail Polish Drying Time

Getting a pedi during winter is tricky since leaving the salon in flip-flops isn’t exactly ideal – especially with Canada’s Arctic-like winter conditions. For the sensible folks who showed up in boots, bring some cellophane (Saran Wrap/cling wrap). The ideal drying time for nail polish is 8-12 hours – way too long to hang around the salon. After your polish application and requisite 20-minute wait for drying, have your esthetician brush your toenails with cuticle oil and then have her gently wrap your feet in cling wrap before putting on your socks and boots. Wear flat boots too, as boots with heels will force your toes into the toebox, therefore ruining your pedi.

Use New Nail Files Each Time

New nail files should always be used for each client, as used files can harbour bacteria.

Dry Those Tootsies

Be sure to have your esthetician dry in between your toes carefully so that they are free of moisture. You don’t want to give any possible fungi, like Athlete’s Foot fungus, any reason to stick around.

Pedicures and Diabetes

Diabetics are at the highest risk for foot complications, including nerve-damage and life-threatening infections. If you are a diabetic, you may want to steer clear of those foot baths.

Fish Pedicures? OMG

Ladies – steer clear of those crazy fish pedicures too.  They pose a huge health risk as infection can spread easily through open wounds. Personally, I find these fish pedis completely bananas.  No way, no thanks.

Turkish gurra fish pedicure Style Domination 10 things to know about pedis beauty blogger fashion blog
Pedi by Turkish gurra fish. So insane!

Hope you all found this helpful!  Any other tips?  Please share in the comments!



Dominique Baker
Dominique Baker

Dominique is a Canadian-based fashion and beauty influencer with a strong voice in Ottawa’s black community. Since launching her blog Style Domination in 2015, she has amassed a global fanbase. Dominique shares her life through beautiful imagery and compelling story-telling that speaks to her fans on a personal level. She’s been featured in The Guardian, Flare, The Kit and Cityline. She also hosts events for Dress for Success, the Gem Conference, and has been named a United Way Person 2 Know for the past three years.

Find me on: Web | Instagram


  1. July 24, 2015 / 9:49 am

    I love this article. I’ve always been freaked out by heading to new salons for a pedi, which is why I opt for doing them myself at home. I guess you could say I’m a bit paranoid – not necessarily because of bacteria, but here in Florida, those foot shavers are legal, and they use them every time. My take on it is, what if, even if after changing the blade, there may be blood somewhere on the handle or metallic piece from the person before me, and I get cut somehow, and that person had…God forbid…some terrible auto immune disorder and I end up getting it? Yeah, no thanks – I will totally pass! I’d rather do the pretzel contort in the safety of my own bathroom, with my own foot spa and tools than opt for heading to a salon where I have no idea what I might be leaving with, aside from a pedi. Great read, as always! 🙂 And sorry for expressing my paranoia – but hey, I’ve just gotta be real!

    • July 24, 2015 / 12:39 pm

      Don’t be sorry!!! I agree with you 100%! Unless I can watch them sterilize their tools, I just don’t trust that they are clean enough for my liking. Great comments – thanks so much for reading, babe! xox

  2. July 24, 2015 / 11:15 am

    Omg I would never allow them to use those shavers on me!
    I much prefer doing my own mani / pedis – I only really go if I want gel polish applied. Great informative article!

    • July 24, 2015 / 12:37 pm

      I totally agree! I rarely go for manis and pedis. I feel I do a better job on my own anyways. I’m a real stickler for perfect polish application! Lol! Yep – those cheese graters for your feet? SO BAD!

  3. July 25, 2015 / 1:36 am

    My feet hurt just looking at those sky high heels! I do my own mani’s and pedi’s. Saves me a ton of money. Besides I’ve only had one really good pedicure in my life! All of the rest were a waste of money. Great article!

  4. July 25, 2015 / 1:53 am

    Thanks for sharing! This post was very informative! Though I only get a pedi once in a great while! It is a nice treat. It’s nice to know that I shouldn’t freshly shave my legs then lol. 🙂 xo

  5. July 25, 2015 / 2:59 am

    Thanks so much! I’ve never had a pedi or mani, but was considering getting one. Noted!

  6. July 27, 2015 / 1:18 am

    Ok, I admit it: I’d never heard of the fish pedicure until now. And I gotta say, I’m TOTALLY with you on this one? No fish in *my* footbath, thankyouverymuch. 😉

      • July 27, 2015 / 7:19 pm

        Haha… It’s true. I mentioned to T that I wanted to get my brows permanently enhanced, & you should have seen the look he gave me. “Wait,” he says. “You want to get a tattoo … On your *face?!* ”

        We ladies are braver than we think. 😉

        • July 28, 2015 / 4:55 am

          Hahaha! Do you remember when makeup tattooing was “popular”? It rarely looked natural and I could only imagine the excruciating pain of such things as permanent eyeliner and eyebrows!!!

  7. July 27, 2015 / 7:10 pm

    I went for a pedi once here in Germany and had regular nailpolish on my toes and the lady used the nail milling machine instead of polish remover to remove it. My nailbeds were sooo thin after that. Now I am really afraid of going ever again…

    • July 28, 2015 / 4:58 am

      Awww Fililipa! That’s too bad!! I had the same experience during a manicure last year. The next time I went, I brought my own mild buffing block and told her to use that instead of that terrible sand blaster!!!

    • August 3, 2015 / 9:19 am

      Thanks for reading. Glad you found it helpful! ✨xo

  8. August 12, 2016 / 5:29 pm

    I like all of these tips that point toward safety. When I go to a salon of any kind, but especially for a pedicure, I want everything to be as sanitary as possible. I’m not too picky about the service provided as long as it’s safe and sanitary!

    • Dominique
      August 13, 2016 / 11:16 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment! I remember seeing an exposé on Dateline about unsanitary spas and they showed pictures of people afflicted with material tuberculosis acquired from pedicure baths. The photos were horrifying! Ever since that show I’ve been super vigilant!

      Thank you for reading! xoxo

  9. April 26, 2017 / 1:16 am

    Nail art is really too good for everyone and adds more beauty to our nails. It was so nice of you to share a list of blog sites about the nail art works.

  10. May 11, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    This is a well put together and informative article. Half of the stuff here I didn’t know. Thanks a whole lot for this!

    • Dominique
      May 12, 2017 / 8:48 am

      Hey Shevy! Glad you liked it! After talking to a lot of my friends, I realized a lot of them never took into consideration any of these tips. Glad to be able to spread the knowledge!

  11. June 5, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    My wife wants to take me to get a pedicure for my birthday so I wanted to look into it. Thank you for talking about how new nail files should be used for every client. It makes sense that for the sake of sanitation and cleanliness, any good salon should make sure they use clean tools for every customer to avoid infections and bacteria.

    • Dominique
      June 5, 2017 / 6:09 pm

      You’re welcome, John! Enjoy!

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