I used to be a standard pedi regular, making sure to have my feet brutalised then pampered at the salon at least once a month, maybe twice in summer. Despite regular filing, rasping, moisturizing and massage, my heels, which are never really in a shocking condition, were just never 100% clean and smooth. I was always a little unhappy that I could still see fine lines and feel some “scratchiness” in the heels after treatments.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REGULAR PEDI AND A MEDI-PEDI
In December 2016 I went for my first Medi-Pedi at a boutique spa in Cape Town. My technician had previously attended to no other than pop diva Mariah Carey so I was pretty confident that I was in capable hands. Basically, a Medi-Pedi uses a chemical cream or solution to remove dead skin. The results astounded me. My feet have never felt as clean and my heels have never been as smooth, with no hint of the lingering lines that had frustrated me so much before.
The technician explained a couple of things to me, the most significant being that the aggressive filing involved in a regular pedi in fact encourages protective hard skin to grow back over the treated area. The Medi-Pedi process effectively removes the thickened, hardened growth without distressing the skin so it doesn’t trigger the same response. If done right, it’s a far gentler and nourishing approach to foot care.
She advised that if I stopped the regular filing (done in the standard spa pedi), and kept moisturising my feet every day, I should only need to go for another Medi-Pedi in a couple of months.
It was true, so I stopped my regular pedi habit and maintained my feet by simply keeping them moisturised. Instead, I’ve converted to Medi-Pedis at The Nail & Body Lab, where they use the ELIM MediHeel treatment. It’s a proudly South African product, is cruelty free and it works!
An absence of high heels and flip flops, together with the daily moisturising, has made it easier to maintain my feet post pedi. As a result of swapping to MediHeel pedi’s, I’ve only needed 6 treatments in about 18 months (some admittedly overdue). This makes it a better value proposition for me when compared to the standard spa pedi, despite the higher cost per MediHeel treatment. You can expect to pay about R400, including a paint, per MediHeel treatment vs. a standard full pamper spa pedi at R250-R280. However, I’m going 2-3 times less so I save. That’s a win-win in my books.
During some additional research, I read some reviews of Medi-Pedi type treatments at other salons posted by some disgruntled customers. It seems there are salons and technicians out there who are taking short cuts when supposedly doing a full Medi-Pedi treatment. The outcomes are obviously disappointing as a result. Also be sure to go to well trained technicians. This is a chemical treatment which could be damaging if applied incorrectly.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A MEDI-PEDI
Here’s a brief step-by-step guide to a Elim MediHeel treatment that I have at The Nail & Body Lab. Note that there are different Medi-Pedi products on the market, so the process might vary slightly.
* The treatment starts with the application of a chemical peel. Cotton wool is soaked with a solution and applied to the dead skin on your feet (for me that’s generally on the pads beneath the toes, sides of the big toe, balls of the feet and heels).
* Because you’re not lying on a bed, your feet are wrapped in cling film (very glamorous!) to keep the cotton wool in place while the peel “cures”.
* Wait about 10-15 minutes for it to cure while you sip on champagne and the technician goes ahead with the usual pedi stuff; apply cuticle remover and clean, clip, file & buff nails.
* The cotton wool is removed and the awful hardened, dead skin literally rubs off. NO harsh files or blades required
* A neutraliser is then rubbed onto your feet to restore the ph balance of your skin.
* Next a gentle exfoliant is applied before rinsing in a warm bath of water to which they add an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial moisturizing powder.
* After drying your feet, a light but nourishing moisturizer with Vitamins B5, C and E is massaged into the skin before the nails are painted.
* Finally, the ELIM treatment is finished off with a lovley “Gold Dusting” using their Rejuvenating Gold Spritz. I love this product, it feels fab, gives your skin a wonderful glow and smells gorgeous, and it can be used all over!
ELIM MEDIHEEL VIDEO
The entire process should take a full hour. Anything less than this and you’ll probably not get the desired results.
Contact the ladies at The Nail & Body Lab for an appointment if you’re based in Johannesburg, you won’t regret it. The Nail & Body Lab, Tel (011) 786 3222, Shop 19 Blubird Shopping Centre, Birnam.
We’ve since also tried a Medi-pedi at Sorbet which had a slightly different procedure but also good results.
This post was originally written in July 2017 and has been updated on 5 December 2018.
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