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10 Features of an Eco-Friendly Manicure Pedicure

Updated on October 30, 2012

 10 Characteristics of a Green Mani Pedi

Many of us care about being green. Many of us also care about taking care of ourselves and indulging in some beauty treats now and then. Unfortunately, sometimes these things simply don’t go hand-in-hand. A lot of the treatments that we enjoy because they make us feel beautiful are treatments that aren’t exactly eco-friendly. The good news is that it’s usually possible to make green choices when it comes to our favorite beauty treatments so that we can indulge without feeling guilty about the impact that we might be having on the earth.

If a manicure pedicure (AKA the popular mani pedi) is something that you like to treat yourself to now and then you’ll want to know that you can do this in a green way. It can be expensive to go ahead and go to a green manicurist so you may want to invest in the tools that you need to do earth-friendly manicure pedicure treatments at home. Either way, you’ll want to know what to look for when you’re looking for a green mani pedi.

Here are ten features of a more earth-friendly manicure pedicure:

1. It uses your real nails. I hate to disappoint you ladies out there who love to get fake nails but the greenest option for a mani pedi is to avoid fake nails altogether and just get a treatment on the natural nails that grow on your hands and feet. If you have trouble growing long nails then you might want to consult a nutritionist because you’re probably missing some vital vitamins and nutrients (like calcium and Vitamin A). Get the right stuff in your body and your nails will grow long so that you don’t have to use the fake stuff anymore. Your real nails really are better for the earth.

2. You choose only eco-friendly nail polishes. One of the worst things about the manicure pedicure is that the nail polish that exists is quite toxic. It’s bad for the earth and many people would argue that this means that it’s bad for you. Luckily there are some manufacturers out there that are starting to make more natural polishes that still come in great shades but don’t rely on the same toxic chemicals to get their color. Aquarella and Honeybee Gardens are two brand names that I know of but look around to see what you like.

3. Any nail polish remover that is used will also be non-toxic. There are soy-based nail polish removers out there that can be used in place of the chemical stuff to be kinder to your body and kinder to the earth.

4. Your exfoliation scrub is entirely natural. There is no reason that you need to exfoliate your hands and feet with anything that isn’t earth-friendly because the very best exfoliation tools available to you are made from entirely natural ingredients. You can make your own simple scrub using sugar or salt as the main ingredient. Use water and / or natural oils to create a paste that you can use to scrub away any callous that you may have on your hands or feet.

5. What you use to scrub your hands and feet is also made from a natural material. Stone is the most common material but there are also loofah-like organic brushes that may be used too.

6. There won’t be any chemicals in the lotions that are applied. Many people apply lotion to their cuticles as part of the manicure pedicure process. If you do this then you’ll want to buy special lotions that are designed without toxic chemicals. There are a lot of green lotions available these days so just look for what’s organic (although there are some specific to cuticles if you want a special product). You can also use natural oils to moisturize your hands.

7. The tools that you use are not disposable. One of the main reasons that salon-based manicure pedicure treatments are so bad for the earth is that the tools that are used at them are disposable tools that are immediately thrown away after use. There’s a reason for this, of course; it’s not sanitary for someone to scrub your toenails with the nail file that they just used to scrub someone else’s toenails. Nevertheless, this ends up being quite wasteful. Make sure that you use tools that aren’t meant to be thrown away by investing in your own manicure pedicure tool set. (Hint: a glass nail file is a good investment!) Even if you go to the salon for the treatment, you can bring your own tools and ask that they be used. Green salons will use non-disposable items that they clean properly before re-use.

8. Recycle what you can. There are going to be some items that you are tempted to get rid of even though they aren’t immediately disposable. Think about creative ways to recycle these items. For example, what could you do with your old nail polish bottles so that they aren’t just thrown out? Fill them with paint and use them for craft projects!

9. Skip those toe separators. You know those things that you stick between your toes while the polish dries? Those are not good at all for the earth. They’re not only wasteful since they’re immediately thrown away but they’re also made of materials that last forever in the landfills. Skip them all together if possible or else find a salon that uses biodegradable ones.

10. Use essential oils to make your manicure pedicure last longer. There are essential oils which are designed specifically to strengthen your nails. If you soak your hands and feet in these oils when the manicure pedicure is over then you’re going to be replacing your chemical nail strengthener with a greener alternative.


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  • profile image

    Nail Tech 6 years ago

    well like all other things even when it comes to nail polish/manicure/pedicure... it is important to realize about green part of the world. Luckly there are manufacturers which are providing eco friendly products. Now it is up to us to use them!

    Thanks for nice hub

  • bugslady8949 profile image

    bugslady8949 6 years ago from The Bahamas

    Not only are these recommendations Eco-friendly but they can also save you money. I do some of the suggestions. I am going to try the natural stuff on my feet and hands. you did a great job.

  • Nail Technician profile image

    Nail Technician 8 years ago

    You can really find some eco-friendly nail techs if you look for those who do natural nails only. generally they avoid the acrylics and gels to get away from harmful and noxious chemicals, they will also be more likely to have all natural and green friendly products.

    Great Hub! :)

  • Nan Mynatt profile image

    Nan Mynatt 8 years ago from Illinois

    I go to the salon and the fumes are terrible. I am going to take your advice and do my own nails and pedicure. I believe the fumes are toxic. My nails do look good, but the process is awful.