Here's Why Getting a Gel Pedicure Is Actually Worth It

Enjoy a chip-free finish for weeks.

We're well-acquainted with gel manicures. We know exactly how long our manis will last before chipping, and we've become pros at safely taking the polish off at home without damaging our nail beds. However, we're not nearly as educated in the gel pedicure category, even though it's always been offered on the salon's menu.

But if you're like us and haven't considered one yet, just know that since a gel pedicure will give you near-perfect nails for two or more weeks, you should take it into consideration.

Someone getting a gel pedicure in red
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That's why we reached out to a professional manicurist to get the details on the entire process.

What's the Step-by-Step for Getting a Gel Pedicure?

A gel pedicure is very similar — if not identical — to a gel manicure.

"The basic outline is cutting the nails, lightly soaking the feet, cutting the cuticles, thorough cleaning, a callus treatment, a scrub and massage, followed by one base coat layer, two layers of color, and a top coat layer," Amy Ling Lin, the founder of Sunday's Nail Studio, says.

After every layer of gel polish on the toenails, the feet are placed under a LED light for 30 seconds, or 60 to 90 seconds after the topcoat, she adds.

Just like any pedicure, your feet are treated before polish is painted on the nails. However, thanks to the LED light, you don't have to worry about waiting for your nails to dry.

You can follow these same steps if you're doing your pedi at home.

How Much Do Gel Pedicures Cost?

Pedicures are usually a little more pricey than a manicure. At Sunday's Nail Studio, a 60-minute gel pedicure costs $70. The price of a pedicure depends on your location, what's included, and your technician's skill level, but you can expect the treatment to fall in the $40 to $80 range.

How Long Do Gel Pedicures Last?

Here's why getting one is worth it. According to Lin, pedicures generally last longer than manicures. "There's just less wear and tear on your toes, even if you're on your feet all day," she says.

Gel manicures usually look decent for two to three weeks, depending on your technician's skill level and the product that was used, so you can expect even more wear from a gel pedicure.

Can Gel Polish Damage Your Nails?

Just like a gel manicure, gel pedicures have the potential to disturb the health of your nails. However, Lin says a lot of the damage can be avoided by getting the polish properly removed so you're not peeling off your nail with the polish. Also, spacing out how often you get a gel pedicure can help reduce nail damage.

How Do You Remove a Gel Pedicure?

Professionals often cover the nails in an acetone-soaked cotton ball and aluminum foil. After the foil is removed, the gel should then slide off. Any remaining polish is usually gently filed off the nail bed. You can do the same process at home, Lin says.

At home, keep the nails covered for 10 to 15 minutes. Then, the gel should lift-off itself. "If not, use a wooden stick to help remove it fully," Lin suggests.

When Should Someone Get a Gel Pedicure?

Gel mani and pedis are ideal for someone who doesn't want to frequent the salon that often. They generally last longer, so you don't have to deal with polish dulling or chips. Lin recommends a gel pedicure if you're going on a vacation or plan on spending a ton of time at the beach or a pool. Chlorine and salt water are both worn on regular nail polish.

Updated by
Kayla Greaves
Kayla Greaves
Kayla Greaves is the Executive Beauty Editor for InStyle, overseeing all beauty coverage on the site. She has previously held positions at HuffPost and Bustle.
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