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Do men get pedicures? We’re a bit shocked by how many times this question is asked. Of course men get pedicures—but not enough of them do. The self-caring ones always have their next appointment scheduled, and they know the long list of health and therapeutic benefits of a good foot buffing.
Pedicures aren’t about getting a splash of cute colors on your toes—but you can do that if you fancy it. They’re about having healthy feet, which is an area most of us could improve. Think of how often your feet are exhausted, sweaty, rough, scaly, and stinky, or how often your toenails are either overgrown or over-clipped. If you’ve ever had an ingrown toenail, you agree with the sentiment tenfold.
Here are all the benefits of the male pedicure, including some ways to administer one on yourself.
Why You Should Get a Pedicure
Be honest with yourself: When was the last time you thoroughly cleaned the area underneath your toenails? When did you last scrub the bottom of your feet to get rid of any dead skin or callouses? It’s easy to think of pedicures as a floofy spa activity—they are definitely relaxing!—you should also take into account the hygienic benefits of actually paying close attention to your feet.
If general cleanliness is not enough of a sell, maybe you fancy indulgence. Male pedicures have range. You can go in for what amounts to a basic cleaning, or you can spring for a higher-tier pedicure, and introduce your legs to milk-based creams or green tea-scented lotions. After all, you’re a working man. Don’t your poor feet, the ones that help you hustle to work, pump iron in the gym and cheat death at your standing desk—your very damn foundation—deserve the same occasional deluxe care as the rest of your body?
Here's What to Expect of Your First Pedicure
Whether you make an appointment at the salon in your local mall or at the spa near your romantic getaway, the basics of the situation are the same: You’ll arrive, roll up your pants, and find yourself seated in a massage chair, with your feet in a tub of warm water.
Over the next 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the type of pedicure you choose), the following will happen:
- Your nails will get clipped and shaped.
- Any gunk hiding between your nails and skin will get painlessly removed.
- The dead skin on the bottom of your toes and feet will be scoured until they reach a level of softness you didn’t know existed.
- Expect some soothing gels and lotions to be rubbed on your feet and ankles.
Most salons have pedicure options that include soothing wraps for your legs and even brief massages. If you're feeling Jaden Smith levels of swervy, you can get your nails painted (unless you're employed at a beach club, who's going to see it anyway?).
Also: A pedicure will almost certainly tickle at some point. You may intermittently think you're about to kick someone in the face. But don’t worry. Even the most ticklish people survive pedicures.
The Benefits of Pedicures
1. Healthy nails, trimmed properly
The best part of the hired-out pedicure is the attention your nails receive. Think of how hard it is to cut your nails neatly and safely, without risking ingrowns. The pedicurist will also trim back all the excess dead skin and remove any gunk, all of which would otherwise lead to fungal buildup. Over the next month, your nails will grow out nice and shapely, and you’ll probably go out of your way to wear sandals, too. Why not show them off?
2. Smooth skin
The other best part of a pedicure is when they buff away all the dead, dry, peely skin from your feet. Calluses are ground down, and after all the exfoliating, you get a soothing, tingling lotion application that restores moisture and keeps skin smooth. No more razor-sharp cracked heels or unsightly yellow patches on your soles.
3. Better-smelling feet
After all this dead skin and gunk is polished off your peds, the result is a healthier canvas, and thus a decreased likelihood for odor and bacterial + fungal buildup. Pair this with a good powder and moisture-wicking socks, and you’ll never fear removing your shoes in front of friends.
4. Increased circulation
OK, the other other great pedicure benefit is the massage and the hot water soak. This improves circulation in your feet and stimulates the joints, not unlike a regular massage rejuvenates your entire body. With your new nimbleness and smooth soles, you’ll want to lace up a pair of running shoes and take advantage of the fresh start. Just remember to use shoe insoles to minimize pressure, and to buff away + lotion up any calluses as they form.
The DIY Pedicure: Products to Have at Home
Tweezerman toenail clippers, $14 at Amazon
You need a toenail clipper that cuts tough, and slices straight across. Unlike your fingers, cutting to the curvature is detrimental for your toes because it can promote ingrowns. Tweezerman’s toenail trimmers are some of the best nail clippers out there. This stainless steel trimmer comes with a rubber-grip case that simplifies cutting and cleanup by catching errant clippings. And these clippers provide the right amount of pressure to snip through your thickest nails.
Care Me electric callus remover, $24 at Amazon
Be gentle with this one; you don’t want to file away healthy skin and break the surface of your foot. Instead, glide this electric exfoliator over any rough patches and watch the dead skin fall off like powder. It’s a miracle worker, and it should be in every man’s bathroom.
Blue Lagoon Iceland foot scrub, $51 at Blue Lagoon
After soaking your feet in warm water, buff everything real nice like with a gritty exfoliating solution, like Blue Lagoon Iceland’s scrub. Your feet will feel as fresh and smooth as a day spent on the beach, and will pave the way for a tingling lotion. Together these steps promote and preserve softness. Don’t do this daily; instead, scrub 2-3 times a week, max.
Mayron’s Goods foot lotion, $24 at Birchbox
After scrubbing everything smooth, dry your feet and coat them with a refreshing, nourishing lotion. (Mayron’s Goods’ cream has soothing ingredients like calendula and chamomile.) You’ll feel an instant tingle, magnified if you let it all absorb and then wrap your feet in some clean socks. Better yet, do this before bed, and you’ll wake up with fresh feeling (and fresh smelling) feet. Then, make a daily habit of this.
Duke Cannon body powder, $9 at Target
To preserve the softness and freshness of your feet, get in the habit of sprinkling moisture-absorbing powder into your socks and shoes. This will prevent them from soaking in their own filth all day, and in turn combat bacteria, fungus, and in some cases, blisters.
Lotrimin antifungal Athlete's foot cream, $15 at Target
You miiiiight also have a case of Athlete’s foot or some other fungal infection, likely near the toes. Keep a fungus fighter on hand for the occasional bout of yellowing, odorousness, and other delightful treats. Though those should stay at bay if you maintain the rest of this regimen at regular intervals.