Natural Nail Care: How to Do a Green Manicure and Pedicure

Natural, chemical-free manicures and pedicures are now available at many salons and spa. But you don’t have to wait for a trip to the day spa to pamper yourself. By using a few homemade all-natural nail treatments you can turn your living room in a spa for one hour, and for a fraction of the cost. Whenever you get an hour of “me” time, treat your nails and feet to this wonderfully natural alternative to chemical-laden salon nail treatments. You won’t inhale a single molecule of formaldehyde and acetone!

The best place to give yourself a green manicure and pedicure is the living room at the coffee table in front of the TV. Alternatively, occupy a bedroom. Fill the basin with warm water and add a few drops of an organic, SLS-free cleanser, body wash or an organic shampoo. Soak your feet for 15-20 minutes.

Place a towel on a low stool or ottoman. Remove your feet from the water and wrap one foot in a towel to keep it moist and warm while blotting water from the other foot.

Clip toenails with a proper toenail clipper that has a straight, not curved, tip. Such clippers are very hard to find, but they are worth the extra effort. You need them to clip your toenails straight across the tip. Do not clip following the shape of the tip of the toe, even though it may look better. A rounded shape can lead to ingrown toenails. Apply a few drops of olive or coconut oil to each cuticle and continue working on the rest of the nails.

Push back the cuticles with the orange stick while the nail is still damp. You need to keep the cuticle skin away from the surface of the toenails. After you have partially dissolved and softened the cuticles loosen the cuticle from the nail plate with an orange stick. After you are done, gently clean under each nail with an orange stick, but be gentle and donâ??t push too hard, or you will damage the sensitive nail bed.

You may see a fringe of dry skin as you have shoveled off the cuticles, but don’t be tempted to cut it off with cuticle scissors. There’s a better way to deal with dry skin cuticles.

Now it’s time to smooth and file the toenail with an emery board. Make sure the nail is completely dry. Filing a damp nail may damage it and cause it to split. File in one direction only, to prevent shredding of the nail. Using a soft padded emery board smooth the loose dry skin around the cuticles. Apply a drop of a coconut or olive oil on each nail and massage it around the cuticle.

A final touch: use a pumice stone or professional callous file to gently sand away the hardened skin on the heels and underside of the toes. Do not remove the callous completely, or you may end up with sore, not silky, feet.

Now, the most pleasant part: warm a little olive or coconut oil between your palms and give your toes a good rub. Apply firm pressure to soften every little bone and joint. Put on a pair of cotton socks.

It’s time to treat your hands. Pour warm water into the cereal bowls or a salad bowl and add a few drops of a foaming face cleanser, a shampoo or a body wash. Soak your hands for at least five minutes. Keep a remote handy or keep reading this book for more inspirational tips.

Now blot your hands with a towel and start grooming your cuticles. Wet your fingers, dab a little baking soda on each nail and rub it into cuticles. Wait for five minutes. Now, take an orange wood stick and gently loosen the cuticles from the hard bed of the nail. Be gentle and don’t scrap the cuticle too hard or you will risk tearing it. The whitish residue, or the ghost of the cuticle, is called pterygium, and should be scrapped from the nail. If the dead or flaky skin is very noticeable, run a few strokes with a dry emery board to polish dry skin off. Apply a dot of coconut oil on every nail and rub gently.

As your hands are now dry, you can safely trim and file your nails. Clip the nails if you prefer them short. File the nails with an emery board. Keep the nails relatively straight, not sharp or curvy. To add a gorgeous shine to your nails, buff them with a soft buffing pad. Seal the deal with another drop or two of olive or coconut oil. Massage the nails and all the fingers lightly, working on each joint and bone.

Now there’s a burning question: to use a nail polish or not? Unless you are heading off to a date or a party, skip the polish at least for one night. For now, enjoy your polished, buffed, completely natural nails – give them a rest from chemicals! Use a safe, toluene- and formaldehyde-free nail polish later to complete your natural manicure and pedicure.


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