Education, Physical Health, Wellness / Self-Care

What is a waterless Pedicure?

The health benefits are bottomless.

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jul 29, 2022

A couple of weeks ago, I got my first waterless pedicure. As an industry insider, I have been hearing about this trend for several months now, but haven’t been able to book due to the pandemic. But after friends raved about the treatment, I decided to experience the service for myself. In typical fashion, I put in some research prior to scheduling an appointment to get the low-down on how waterless differs from a traditional pedicure.


How a traditional pedicure works

Typically, when you book in for a pedicure, the technician will place a bowl filled with water under your feet, or you will sit in a spa chair and and enjoy a foot bath with a massage. Although both treatments are lovely — with the water melting away tension and stress in your feet — the treatment is not exactly sanitary.


Yes, a nail salon can go on and on about how well they clean their facilities and foot baths, but unless you physically see them do it and know how they are cleaning it, it’s hard to tell what their standard of clean is. For all you know your foot could be bathing in dirty water.


Benefits of a waterless pedicure

Many salons operate with water pedicures because soaking the feet helps to soften the cuticles and prepare them for the actual pedicure. This is a necessary step, but one that can be done simply by coating the toes with a cuticle. Nails are also affected with the absorption of water, altering the shape of the nail and weakening the ability to provide a smooth polish.


However, when you get a dry pedicure, the polish will go on smoother and will not weaken the nail, as water has not damaged it. The most obvious reason for a waterless pedicure is that it is healthier for your feet.


The murky water that could have potentially been over-used, along with tools that might not have been sanitized, could lead to infections. Even if you place your feet into the bath and do not see any water, there could be a small amount that could contaminate your experience. Essentially, the warm water and oxygen circulation in the pool is the perfect environment for infections.


All-in-all, dry pedicures are the healthier option for your feet and still produce salon-worthy results. So, do you think you will try one? And between appointments, here’s how you keep your feet healthy.


Photo via Eve Edelheit for The Washington Post