A Guide to Gel Pedicures – Pros & Cons, Cost & How to DIY

A Guide to Gel Pedicures & Gel Toenails- Pros & Cons, Cost & How to DIY
Gel Pedicures & Gel Toenails- Pros & Cons, Cost & How to DIY

A Gel Pedicure is one of the best and most durable ways to make your toenails and feet look amazing which is why most nail techs recommend them over regular pedicures.

But they are not for everyone that’s why I am gonna explain to you everything you need to know about gel pedicures and gel toenails to help you decide if they are right for you.

In this article you are going to learn;

  1. What exactly is a gel pedicure.
  2. Whats the price you can expect to pay for one.
  3. How long a gel pedicure/gel toenails will last.
  4. Pros & Cons, Risks of a Gel Pedicure
  5. Difference between a regular pedicure vs a gel pedicure.
  6. And Finally, How to apply & remove a gel pedicure/gel toenails at home

What is a Gel Pedicure & Whats Usually Included

Gel Pedicures is a type of pedicure that uses either gel or gel polish on your toenails instead of regular nail polish. Gel polishes or gel require a UV Led lamp to cure or harden.

Most nail salons will use gel polishes for a gel pedicure. But, you can also opt for gel overlays that use polygel, soft, or hard gel to form a hard protective layer over your toenails. Gel overlays can be used to protect your toenails if they are brittle and weak.

A Gel Pedicure has everything that a normal pedicure comes with such as skin exfoliation and a foot massage but they also include the use of a gel or gel polish.

What’s the Cost of a Gel Pedicure

Gel Pedicures tend to cost between $45-$75 and are usually $5-10 more than a regular pedicure.

Now the price will vary greatly depending on:

  • The location of the salon: Areas such as big cities tend to be more pricey than rural or suburban areas.
  • Type of Salon: such as if it’s a high-end or a budget one.
  • What else is included in the pedicure: if your pedicure includes a lot of bonus services like paraffin wax the price will be more.

Related Article – How much does Gel Manicures Cost

How Long a Gel Pedicure or Gel Toenails Will Last

Gel toenails or a gel pedicure will last you 2-3 weeks without chipping or peeling. Now how long your gel toenails last will vary based on the conditions that they are exposed to.

You see if your gel toenails are constantly exposed to strong soaps and hot water they are more prone to chip and peel prematurely.

I have an entire article that will give you some tips on how to make your gel nails last longer, you can click here to read it.

Pros of a Gel Pedicure/ Gel Toenails

  1. Durable & Long-Lasting – lasts for 2-3 weeks
  2. Has a nice glossy finish
  3. Easy to apply when compared to acrylic

Cons of a Gel Pedicure

  1. Requires the use of a UV Led Lamp – so if you are trying to avoid UV exposure a gel pedicure is probably not for you.
  2. More expensive than a standard pedicure.

Regular Pedicure vs a Gel Pedicure.

Gel PedicureRegular Pedicure
Polish Uses Gel PolishesUses regular nail polishes
DurabilityLasts for 2-3 weeksLast for 6-8 days
ResultsHas a nicer and more glossy finishIt will vary based on the brand used
ApplicationMore tedious to apply & has more stepsVery fast and easy to apply
Tools neededNeeds the use of a UV Led Lamp for applicationNail Polish dries naturally
ColorsA more limited choice of colorsA Wider array of colors & shades to choose from
RemovalTough to removeVery easy to remove
Table showing Gel Pedicure Vs Regular Pedicure

Are Gel Pedicures Safe

Gel pedicures and gel toenails are safe once they are applied and removed correctly. But they come with 2 main risks;

1- UV Light Exposure – Studies have shown that too much exposure to UV light can potentially cause cancer.

Now it’s important to note that currently, they are no studies linking UV exposure from Nail Lamps to cancer. But if you have a history of skin cancer or have close family members who did, you probably should avoid excessive UV exposure or use protective measures. Citation.

You can use strong sunscreen on your hands or wear manicure gloves to protect your hands.

2- Damage to Nail Plate – Gel Polish is more difficult to remove compared to regular nail polish. Removal of gel polish usually entails either soaking in acetone for a long time or filing them off.

Prolonged exposure to acetone can damage your nail plate and dehydrate your cuticles. And if you file off the gel polish incorrectly you can damage your nails.

Related Articles:

5 Alternatives to Gel Nails: Safe, Healthy & Durable

Hard Gel vs Gel X- Differences & Which is Better

How to DIY a Gel Pedicure / Apply Gel Toenails

Things you need:


  1. The first thing you need to do is remove any leftover nail polish or acrylic on your toenails.
  2. Next, use a cuticle pusher to push back and align your cuticles.
  3. Then use a medium grit nail file (I use a 180) to buff the surface of your nails. This removes the sheen and any dead cuticle skin on your nails.
  4. Now wash and dry your nails and then wipe them with a cotton pad soaked with either acetone or rubbing alcohol.
  5. Next, apply a nail primer and a thin layer of gel base coat and then cure it using a UV Led Lamp.
  6. Once your base coat has cured, apply your gel polish – I recommend applying 2 or 3 thin layers and cure each layer.
  7. Finally, apply a gel top coat and cure it using your nail lamp.
  8. Now if you didn’t use a no-wipe top coat you will need to use rubbing alcohol and a cotton pad to wipe away the sticky layer on your top coat

Video of How to DIY Apply & Remove a Gel Pedicure

How to DIY Remove a Gel Pedicure/Gel Toenails

I have an entire article where I share 4 different DIY methods you can use to remove gel polish at home. You can click here to read it.

Recommended Tools & Gel Products

You can click on the links below to see the prices of my recommended products and tools to do a gel pedicure.

Gel Polish

Gel Base Coat & Top Coat

UV Led Lamp

Gelish PH Bond (Dehydrator)

Gelish Pro Bond (Acid-Free Primer)

Citation and References

Are Gel Manicures Safe

Gel Manicures Safety.