Getting a pedicure is a delicious treat. Perhaps you only let yourself do it once in a while during the hot months, or maybe you have a regular appointment penciled into your calendar all year long. Whatever your pedicure approach, it pays to know how to stretch it. That way, if you can’t get to the salon on a regular timeline, your toes will still be able to withstand the test of time. Here are four steps to take today.

1. Moisturize

We think of pedicures as relating only to polish, but that’s not true. In fact, one of the biggest giveaways that you’re working with an old pedi is that your cuticles start to pray, your skin gets rough and your skin may even crack. Even if your polish is still good to go, this doesn’t look very nice. How to solve the problem? Moisturize, every day if possible.

2. Apply a Fresh Topcoat After a Week

The top coat does double duty as a shiner and protectant. Applying a fresh coat after a week will not only lock lower layers of polish in, it will make it look shiny and new once more.

3. Wear Socks at Home

Sure, it’s lovely and idyllic to tramp around in bare feet, but your pedi will go way longer if you put a protective footie layer on at home. Socks are your best friend when it comes to keeping your pedicure fresh, so use them. (You can take them off at night, though.)

4. Be Careful About Water

The first day after your pedicure, you should avoid soaking in water. This means no swimming, water sports or baths. You should even be careful about hiking if your feet are likely to get wet. After the first day, go for it.

Hands-down the best way to get your pedicure to last, however, is by working with a professional in the first place. Home pedis just don’t last for a number of reasons, including lesser quality nail polishes, reduced drying times and poorer preparation for polish. Use the above tips, though, and you’ll ensure that pro pedis last even longer than you think, so you can stop thinking about your piggies and get back to the important business of living life.

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