Give your feet a well-deserved summer vacation with an at-home, natural pedicure. Have your kids join in for a day of eco-friendly pampering! Want more tips for safer nail care? Read all about how to Green Your Manicure.
Remove old polish.
“Avoid using products with acetone that can dry out your skin,” say Karina Restrepo and Justin Mitchell, owners of the Tierra Mia Organic Nail Salon in Philadelphia. One good option: odorless PeaceKeeper Cause-Metics Eco-Easy Nail Polish Remover ($10, iamapeacekeeper.com). Next, cut the toenails straight across, and then file in one direction. Try Top Notch nail files, which are made of crystal glass to last you a lifetime of pedicures ($6-$12, nailfile.net).
Soak your feet.
Fill up a tub or basin with warm water and fragrant salts, such as Armofloria For Feet’s Sake Soft Spa Foot Soak, made with calming tea tree oil and mint ($10.50, aromafloria.com). Always be sure to do this after you’ve filed your nails; water can leave nails soft and weak, making it easier for the nails to split and peel when they’re being filed. Let your feet steep for about 15 minutes, then take them out of the water.
Massage an exfoliating scrub onto your feet, such as Aromafloria For Feet’s Sake Double Action Spa Foot Scrub ($13, aromafloria.com). Rinse, then gently remove dead sking on the soles of your feet with a biodegradable file like SpaRitual Eco Foot File ($30, amazon.com). Rinse again, dry, then rub on an extra-moisterizing foot lotion. For one that smells heavenly, try Aromafloria For Feet’s Sake Intense Repair Spa Foot Butter ($10.50, aromafloria.com).
Prep for polish.
Apply several drops of almond or olive oil to soften your cuticles, then gently push them back using a stone cuticle pusher. If you don’t want to stay barefoot post pedicure, now’s the time to slip on something comfy, such as recyclable (and adorable!) flip-flops from Oka-b. ($25-$40, oka-b.com). Next, part your little piggies with toe separators. Our favorite: the biodegradable Star Eco Assorted Toe Separators ($4 for a 12-pack, bebeautiful.com).
Pick your color.
Choose a polish that’s water-based to avoid harsh chemicals like toluene, formaldehyde, and DBP. We’re loving Priti Polish’s Baby Toes Cactus ($15, pritinyc.com) and Sheswai Lacquer’s Honeyfox ($16, sheswai.com). Start with a clear base coat, such as Priti Polish’s 2-in-1 Top & Base Coat ($15, pritinyc.com), followed by two thin layers of polish. Wait 15 minutes, then apply a clear top coat. Voila! Your toes are ready for your favorite sandals.