7 Ways to Perform a Waterless Pedicure

My final blog pertaining to our survey asking “your #1 question about Pedicures” pertains to Waterless Pedicures.
I am asked this question on a regular basis which to me is very enlightening because it is an indication that us as Foot Care Providers are taking seriously the big influx of geriatric, diabetic and immunocompromised clients.
I was performing Waterless Pedicures back in the 90’s as add on services in my Skin Care and Massage rooms. It wasn’t from a safety factor, it was strictly about adding service $$$$ to my Salon/Spa.
However, in the 20th Century, it’s a different story. Waterless Pedicures are sometimes a must for safety reasons. And, with Mobile Salons on the rise it’s the perfect scenario for the convenience of our Technicians who don’t have a running
supply of water.
Waterless doesn’t mean less luxury, less ambience AND it doesn’t even mean more clinical. We can still taylor the Foot Care service to the design of our liking. As with anything we do in our craft, it’s all about the imagination.
Let’s begin with the cleansing or “soaking” process.  The two brands I offer at Centre for Beauty is LCN Urea Foot Care and Footlogix.  I really don’t like to show favorites but, I do have to admit, for this process I personally like the Urea Foot Bath.  Although both brands include Urea as their base, the Urea Foot Care has additional ingredients which add a more silky, luxurious, cleansing feel.  However, the reality is you can use this method with most any brand.
The idea of doing a “foot soak” is to cleanse the foot and begin the softening process of the cuticle and the skin.  Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend you skip this step.
 Here are 7 different methods;
  1. Put your foot bath or soak in a spray bottle and fill with water. Spray the foot. Or,
  2. Simply massage your soak directly onto the skin and massage or “cleanse”
  3. Wrap the foot with a heated towel, apply light squeezing pressure (alternate) and when cool,wipe off.  Or;
  4. Use a facial steamer directed at the feet allowing the pores to open and sooth, cleanse and soften the skin.
  5. You can also just spray or massage the foot and let sit while performing cuticle work.
  6. Another method is to make a solution of foot bath or soak in a large bowl.  Place clean towels and let the solution wet the towels.  Place the wet towels in a towel warmer and use those as a cleansing cloth.
  7. Finally, if you wanted to skip the bath or soak all together, use a foot deodorizer or a disinfectant which is safe for the skin.  Spray on the foot and proceed.

Manicuring of the toenails is the same as you would do in any procedure using your favorite cuticle cream and stainless steel implements such as a spoon or cuticle tool.


Don’t think just because you are performing a waterless service, you have to skip the scrub.  Our LCN exfoliating scrub and our Footlogix seaweed scrub both, can be used without having to rinse with water.


7 application suggestions


  1. Using the aforementioned scrubs (because I can’t speak for all brands), massage the scrub onto the dry calloused areas until the scrub has processed into the skin and it becomes dry.  Simply wipe away the excess with a dry towel.
  2. Using the same process but use a wet-warmed towel to remove the excess.
  3. If you have a catch bowl and a water supply, you could use a pitcher with warm water and pour over the feet to rinse.
  4. You could use a facial steamer to moisten the foot and remove with a dry towel.
  5. Mix your bath or soak with the exfoliating scrub and use together at the same time.  Massage onto the foot for cleansing and exfoliating at the same time.  Wipe with a dry towel, or a warm heated towel.  Or;
  6. Use your scrub first (after you sanitize the feet) and THEN use your spray bottle solution to rinse and wipe.
  7. Mix your scrub with your foot massage cream at the end of the service.

Keep in mind, Manufacturers have a suggested protocol because they developed it.  They also have a suggested protocol because they are frequently asked.  People inherently need direction.


However, that does not mean you can’t “re-invent” the protocol for your own convenience.


Our next process would be callous debriment.  Again, there is choice if you want to offer a callous debriment with your Waterless Pedicure.


Sometime, because of the person’s health, you may choose not to offer this process.  Other times you may be offering an onsite Pedicure for a wedding party or business event and callous debriment just isn’t conducive.


If you are offering a Waterless Pedicure in your Salon/Spa as a regular on the menu and never using a Pedicure bowl, callous debriment should always be a part of the service.  Unless of course you have a client who for Medical reasons shouldn’t be filed.


I caution you however, please know the dangers we present when using the wrong files.  I again direct you to a previous Blog.


7 Callous Debriment ideas


  1. Spray the dry or calloused area with a “safe” callous spray.  Using your Professional foot file, begin your filing.  Note:  If using a product which contains harmful to the skin ingredients….be sure to NOT spray on the area of the foot that isn’t unhealthy.  If you do, you will affect the integrity of the good skin.
  2. Using the same process above, wrap the foot with a plastic foot bag.
  3. Using the same process in 1 and 2, wrap a wet heated towel over the foot.
  4. Using the same process as 1, lightly wrap the foot with a dry towel to set.
  5. Using the same process as 1, in lieu of using a foot file, use your hands and perform a massage.  If you are using a good callous product like the LCN Soak Spray and/or Footlogix callous softener, you will find this method to be useful.
  6. Callous debriment with the right products can be used by itself without having to soak or exfoliate.  This would be considered a “dry” Pedicure instead of a “waterless” pedicure.
  7. With all of the above, once you have completed the callous debriment process, simply wipe away the debris.

If you haven’t noticed by now, there are so many options and variations.  There is no right or wrong.  There is no my way or the highway.  It’s all YOUR way.


Do what you are comfortable with.  Offer the ambience as you see fit.  Work within the confinement of your own space.  Make it WORK for YOU!


From this point on, your Waterless Pedicure isn’t a whole lot different then any other type of pedicure.


Finish as always with your Massage and your toenail refinement using nail polish, gel polish, nail art or glitter.


In closing, how about 7  names other then “Waterless Pedicure”?


  1. Safe Process Pedicure
  2. Water Free Foot Care
  3. Dry before your eyes Pedicure
  4. Pedi Dry
  5. Less is Best Foot Care
  6. Geriatric Foot Care
  7. High and Dry Pedicure

Have fun – Be creative




CJ Murray, President

Centre for Beauty Salon Supply


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