Difference between a Manicure and a Pedicure

March 8, 2017 by Editorial Team

These days, services like “mani-pedi” (which means manicure and pedicure) are everywhere. In fact, in the United States alone, there are about 200,000 beauty salons that offer these services. However, despite their increasing fame, many of us still do not know the difference between a manicure and a pedicure. Are you one of the people who are still confused? If so, this article is for you.

Definitions

Manicure vs Pedicure
A woman getting a manicure

A manicure is a treatment for the hands and nails. The term “manicure” is derived from the French word manucure which means “care of the hands.”

A manicure is usually done professionally by a technician in a nail spa or nail salon. However, it can also be done at home with the right tools and equipment. The process typically involves soaking, massaging, and then exfoliating your hands. It also consists of cleaning, trimming, shaping the nails by filing the edges, pushing and clipping the cuticle, and then applying nail polish and decor.

Depending on the complexity of the nail decor, a manicure can be completed in 15 minutes to a couple of hours. There are many types of manicures:

  • Basic manicure
  • French manicure
  • Reverse French manicure
  • Gel manicure
  • Hot stone manicure
  • Luxurious manicure
  • Paraffin wax manicure

To avoid infections, it is very important that the tools used in manicures are sanitized properly. The following are some of the tools and materials used in manicures:

  • Emery board/metal nail files/glass nail files
  • Nail cutter
  • Nail nipper
  • Nail stones
  • Nail sponge
  • Cuticle pushers
  • Metal nail files
  • Nail polish
  • Nail oil or nail lotion

A good manicure not only makes your hands and fingernails look good, but it also promotes healthy nails.

pedicure
A pedicure

On the other hand, a pedicure is a treatment for the feet, toenails, and legs. It comes from the Latin words ped and cura, which mean “foot” and “care” respectively.

The technician begins the process by soaking your feet to soften the hard skin. The dead skin cells are then removed using a pumice stone or a foot file. The technician exfoliates, moisturizes, and massages the feet and the legs (usually up to the knee). The toenails are then trimmed, shaped, and polished. The entire process can last an hour or two and can also be done at home. The materials and tools used in a pedicure can be the same materials used in a manicure.

A pedicure not only makes your feet and toenails look good, but it also helps prevent ingrown nails and bacteria build-up.

Manicure vs Pedicure

What, then, is the difference between a manicure and a pedicure?

The greatest difference between the two is that a manicure is a treatment for the hands and the fingernails, while a pedicure is a treatment for the feet, legs, and toenails.

A manicure involves exfoliating and massaging the hands, shaping and trimming the nails, and finally applying nail polish or nail art. On the other hand, a pedicure involves removing hard skin on the feet, massaging the feet and legs, trimming the nails, and then applying nail polish.

Both processes are beneficial. A good manicure promotes nail growth and health, while a good pedicure prevents ingrown nails and bacteria build-up.

Comparison Chart

ManicurePedicure
A treatment for the hands and fingernailsA treatment for the feet, toenails, and legs
Involves exfoliating, moisturizing, and massaging the hands; shaping and trimming the nails; applying nail polish or nail artInvolves removing the dead skin cells on the feet, massaging the feet and legs, and then polishing the nails
Promotes healthy and clean nailsPrevents bacteria build-up and ingrown nails