You may have read a bit about cuticle care. What you should do, what you shouldn’t. But where exactly is your cuticle? It’s important to identify where it is before you embark on looking after them.
Some people believe it is the area of skin that they push back. This is close to the cuticle – but not quite…
The cuticle is the piece of skin seems to grow from underneath that piece of skin. Which is kind of true. It comes forward with your nail as it grows. In the very basic diagram below I’ve tried to indicate where it is (its the yellow section).
Four Tips For Taking Care Of Your Cuticles
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Why should you look after your cuticles? When you look after them, they will be moisturized and healthy looking. You won’t suffer from cracked cuticles and your hangnails should almost disappear. The result will be the attention being on your great looking nail art.
Following the tips below should make your cuticle care routine a breeze and have them looking healthy in no time.
1. Treat Your Cuticles To Some Moisturize
|Just like your hands and nails, your cuticles need moisturizing to. This will help you to keep them soft and supple. And it has the added bonus of also hydrating the skin around your nail, which will help to prevent hangnails.
A favorite product amongst nail bloggers is Lemony Flutter sold by Lush and Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream by Burts Bees. For me, I use a combination of Orlys Cuticle and Nail Treatment Oil and Lush’s Lemony Flutter.
Orlys Cuticle and Nail Treatment Oil soaks in really quick without any oily residue. This makes it perfect for me to use during the day. And doesn’t make my cuticles look shiny when I’m taking pictures of my nails.
On the other hand Lush’s Lemony Flutter feels a little greasy for a period of time after applying. It also has pleasant smell but it is quite a strong. So I tend to stick to using this at night when I’m at home.
Before you head out and buy a moisturizer – consider the following. If you use your hands a lot during your work, then you may not want one that feels oily and has you leaving little greasy fingerprints all over the place. If you are want to take pictures of your nails, then ones that dry to a matte finish will look better in your pictures. And then there is the smell. Do you want something that has a really overpowering scent or something subtler?
These are all things you should consider before getting a moisturizer for your cuticle care routine.
What causes dry cuticles? There can be a number of reasons for this. If you are using nail polish remover often – then this could be the cause. The chemicals in them are extremely drying to nails, skin and cuticles. Other reasons include excess soaking in water, frequently getting your hands wet, harsh cleaning chemicals and lack of moisturizing.
2. Use A Cuticle Remover Product
|The best thing you can do for your cuticles, if they need it, is to use a cuticle remover product. The worst thing you can do is to use a cuticle clipper, nipper, trimmer or cutter.
If anyone ever comes at you with a cuticle nipper – tell them no thanks. Bad use of these leads to hangnails as a best case scenario, and a serious nail infection as a worst case.
If you have cuticles that are out of control, then a look to a cuticle remover to help tame them.
Finding a product to use will be easy – most well know nail polish suppliers have at least one in their range. They come in a liquid, creme or gel form that is designed to be left on for a short period of time.
So make sure you read the directions to find out how long. The length of time will vary from supplier to supplier. And leaving it on too long may cause damage to your nail.
Using one is easy. You apply it, wait a period of time and then use a cuticle pusher to gently remove the excess cuticle. Finish off by washing your hands thoroughly to remove all traces of the remover.
I’m using a Cuticle Remover Gel made by Revitanail. I use this once every couple of weeks. And find that it does a good job. However, I don’t have too many issues with my cuticles. So I can’t comment on how effective this would be if my cuticles needed serious taming.
I would recommend that you trial a couple of different products first. This will let you get an idea for how different ones work. And allow you to form an opinion on what works for your cuticles best.
3. Pushing Back Your Cuticles
|Your cuticles should always be soft before you attempt to push them back. A perfect time for this is after a shower or bath. Alternatively you could soak the tips of your fingers in a bowl of warm water. It is really important they are soft, if they aren’t then you could damage or tear them.
If you are new to this, start off with pushing them back once a week. Try this for a month and see what happens. This will give you time to notice any change. Combined with moisturizing, you may even find that they need less maintenance.
You have a couple of options for pushing back your cuticles. The first is to do this after your shower or bath. Just use the edge of a towel to gently push them back. You can do this once a week.
The other option is to use a specially designed tool – like an orange stick or cuticle pusher, along with your cuticle remover. Gently use the tool to push your cuticle back. Once you have done that, still using your tool, create little circles at the base of your nail. (Near where the cuticle first becomes visible) This will remove the dead cuticle that remains on your nail.
It’s best if you start with a wooden tool because it is more gentle than a metal one. No matter which type you use – never force your cuticle back. Your cuticles are there to protect you. If you are too rough, you may damage them which could led to an infection.
If you would like some more information on this have a look at this cuticle care – manicuring 101 guide.
4. Trim Hangnails On Sight
If you have a hangnail, (small triangle shaped piece of dry skin) then trim it off as soon as you notice them. This is probably the only time its okay to use a cuticle clipper, trimmer or cutter. Removing the hangnail will remove any temptation you have to pull it off. And it won’t catch on any clothing, which can sometimes make it tear away.
Once you have identified the dead skin of the hangnail, carefully trim it off. You only need to remove the dead piece of skin. Trying to trim more will be painful. And you will leave yourself open to a possible infection. Your hands touch lots of things during the day, that are not always hygienic, so the chances of this happening are higher.