How to make your pedicure last longer

Pedicure After Care

Pedicures are one of the favourite spa treatments. Not only do you get to enjoy a relaxing foot treatment, you get to leave with professional looking shiny and shapely nails.

How long should a pedicure last?

We all want our pedicure to last as long as possible – we want that ‘salon-fresh’ vibrancy and shine to go on and on. However, the amount of time a pedicure lasts varies enormously depending on a number of different factors. We’ll come onto how to make your pedicure last longer and cover the pedicure home care tips to get the best from it shortly.

The biggest factor in determining how long a pedicure should last is whether you have a classic or a gel pedicure. Generally speaking, you can expect gel polish to be longer lasting and retain its shine longer. Gel polish is typically more forgiving of what life throws at it – as such, your biggest determiner of when it’s time for a new one is nail growth.

A classic manicure should last around 2 weeks or more, if you are good with your after pedicure care. A gel manicure should last for 4 weeks or more, and will probably be more determined by how fast your nails grow.

Pedicure home care

Here we cover how to make your pedicure last longer. These tips apply for both gel (shellac) and classic polish, unless we say otherwise.

1. The first 24 hours

Whether you’re having gel nails hardened by a UV light, or are dependent on air-drying classic polish, your nails need to be particularly protected during the first 24 hours until they are completely hardened.

Avoid wearing closed shoes so you don’t cover the polish, and aim to keep them away from the stressors of daily living to help them last longer.

Obviously this has its limitations! However, there are some ways to make it less likely that you’ll bash, smudge or chip the polish in the immediate hours after your pedicure:

  • Have your pedicure at home. If you have your pedicure done by a professional nail technician at home then you can literally sit with your feet up without needing to pop on shoes and leave the salon.
  • Have your pedicure done later in the day so that all that’s left is relaxing in the evening and a night’s sleep. Pop on some socks, at least for that first night.
  • Don’t bathe for the first 24 hours.

2. Have a top coat to hand

With a classic pedicure, you can make it last longer by re-doing the topcoat about once a week. This will reapply the shine. You don’t want to do this more than 2-3 times because additional layers can ultimately increase the chance of chips. It can be worth making a note of the polish your nail technician uses so that you can have it to hand. Also make sure that your nail technician uses a strong base coat – without this your manicure will always be fighting for survival.

Whilst we’re talking about coats, if you want your pedicure to look striking for longer, choose a darker colour. 

3. Look after your cuticles

During the pedicure, the technician will tidy your cuticles. These will naturally spread upwards on your nails again as the growth continues. This can make the pedicure look messy. The trick is to use a cuticle oil to tame your cuticles between pedicures. The moisture will help you to prevent the cuticles drying out. 

4. Socks are your friends

Socks are a pedicure’s best friend. Yes, you want to show off your gloriously beautiful nails, but when you’re just kicking about the house, pop on some socks or slippers. This is a good way of keeping cracked heels in check too.

5. Avoid the pool or the hot tub

Whilst socks are a pedicure’s friend, hot water and chlorine are its enemies. Chlorine zaps the shine and tiny bumps, while knocking your nails on the bottom of a pool will create lots of chips. If you’ve had your pedicure done precisely so that you can show off your feet at the pool then it’s just a case of accepting that it may not last quite as long.

6. Stay hydrated

Brittle nails make for a difficult canvas for long lasting pedicures. Softer nails are stronger and will be less prone to cracks and chips. Drink plenty of water and moisturise!

7. Keep your feet moisturised

Softer feet which are able to absorb moisturiser more easily will benefit the skin around your nails. Plus, keeping your feet moisturised will ensure that dry, cracked heels won’t distract from the vibrancy of your pedicure. Your pedicure should be the star of the show, not fighting for attention against a backdrop of cracked heels.

8. Watch the sun

It’s not a problem in the depths of a British winter. But if you have your toes out in summer, try to give them a break from the harsh rays of the sun. Tuck them into the shade, or drape a towel or sarong over them, and this will help the colours to remain vibrant.

9. Love the cool, not the heat

It’s not just the sun’s brightness that’s the problem. Generally speaking, both gel and classic polish prefer cool temperatures to hot. If it is winter and you fancy toasting your toes in front of a fire like a luxurious cat, you may want to think again as your nails won’t like it. Indeed, if you want to harden your polish more quickly in the first 24 hours then a cooling water bath will work wonders.

10. Avoid scent

Cuticle oil is important and we understand that you probably want to use moisturiser on your heels and feet. However, avoid scented moisturisers where possible. Synthetic fragrances seem to be a shortcut to chipped and cracked nails. Choose a dedicated foot cream which isn’t scented, if possible, and avoid plastering it over the nails – stick to your skin alone. 

With these tips in your arsenal, you’ll be able to make your manicure last as long as possible. But don’t forget how wonderful a manicure is, so make it a regular part of your self-care routine too – book your manicure or pedicure at home today.