Now that we know why it is so important to take care of cuticles properly, here’s some fundamentals of cuticle care. Following the below steps will ensure your cuticles will be soft and healthy and as result, your nails will grow strong and evenly. Note, looking after cuticles is easy and it does not require much money or regular visits to a nail salon. You can do it at home with your own resources. However, what it does require is some discipline until your cuticle care routine becomes a habit. Finally, a useful habit!
The 3 easy steps to beautiful and healthy cuticles:
1. PUSH, DON’T CUT. While the cuticle should not cover too much of your fingernail, you can not cut it. Never. If you go to a nail salon and a manicurist attempts to cut it – run away, you’re in the wrong salon! Cutting cuticles a big no-no because it can increase dryness and cause them to crack, bleed or even get infected.
Instead, use a wooden cuticle stick wrapped in a bit of cotton wool to gently push back your cuticles and remove excess skin. Make sure your moisturise your cuticles beforehand. If you don’t have a cuticle stick, push them back with a soft washcloth after you shower while the cuticle is soft and moist. Push gently so you don’t tear or damage the cuticles.
2. PREVENT DAMAGE. It might be time to review your daily habits. Whenever possible wear rubber gloves when doing house work to protect your hands and nails. Biting or picking at cuticles is not good for them either. Make sure you’re not unconsciously playing with or digging into the cuticle with your fingers. Never tear a hangnail off, instead carefully cut it with clippers or cuticle scissors. Remember, it’s always easier to prevent then to cure.
3. MOISTURISE. Dry skin is one of the most common causes of cuticle damage. When your skin dries out, your cuticles lose the natural fats that help keep them soft. So keep the cuticles healthy and the nails strong by moisturizing your hands and cuticles religiously. Use a rich cream for dry hands (here’s our top 5 picks) and apply a special cuticle cream or cuticle oil as often as you can. These creams/treatments are specifically designed with oils and waxes to help replenish any you’re missing.
Also, it’s a great practice to start putting a thin layer of moisturiser around your nails before you remove nail polish. This will protect the skin around nail from drying out.
Doing the above steps regularly will lead to stronger, healthier nails. Make sure you check out our next The Essential Cuticle Care Guide post (next Thursday) to learn about the best cuticle care products to match your budget!
For more about our little cuticle friends see our Cuticle Care section.