Editor’s Note: What’s the secret behind flawless cuticles? I’ve already shared my cuticle care routine and explained in great detail why caring for your cuticles is essential but there’s always something new to learn! So today our knowledgeable contributor and an experienced nail technician, Gena del Portillo shares her top 5 tips for flawless cuticles. Read on! – Maria, xx
The seemingly endless stream of beautiful manicures on social media probably makes us all experience nail envy at times. But what about cuticle envy? In daily life it can be difficult to maintain flawless and soft cuticles but it’s not impossible. Here’s my top 5 tips to make your cuticles look as flawless and impeccable in real life as those you see on your favourite blog or glossy magazine:
1. Knowing What A Cuticle Is
The cuticle is commonly misidentified. The part of the nail that needs care and maintenance is known as the eponychium – this is the living, thicker portion that surrounds the nail bed. This is the part of the nail that we will be focusing on.
The cuticle is the dead skin that grows out attached to the nail. The function of the cuticle is to keep a seal between the eponychium and the cuticle. This protects against bacteria and infection reduces infection. Excess cuticle can be lightly trimmed away by a professional, but the seal between the cuticle and eponychium should never be broken!
This is one of the biggest components of keeping the eponychium on point. It can also be one of the most difficult because we tend to do so much that dries our hands and nails. I find that leaving cuticle oil and hand creams in key locations can help make this into a routine. For instance, keep your favourite nourishing cuticle cream on your bedside table, a mini version of a fast absorbing, non-greasy hand cream in your purse and stash a couple of your favourite hand care products in your table draw. Also, always, I repeat always moisturize after washing your hands!
Like the rest of your skin, a key factor to keeping cuticles soft is getting rid of dead skin. Every time you shower, use a loofah, sponge or washcloth to scrub around your nails and wash away dry skin.
Protect your hands and nails from any activities or products that could be harsh or drying. As I have previously mentioned here – use gloves! Especially when doing dishes or using harsh chemicals. Hot water is very drying and will make your cuticles look rough and age your hands prematurely.
5. Extra Care
Your eponychium needs a little love and attention too! Approximately every two weeks (or if you have very dry cuticles and hangnails more often), slather with cream or oil, let it sit for a few minutes then use an orange stick or cuticle pusher to gently push cuticles back off the nail. Use a soft buffer to remove excess cuticle.
Making all of these tips part of your hand care routine will insure flawless, picture-perfect cuticles and healthy, strong nails!
Do you have any tips for keeping your cuticles in top condition that aren’t on this list? I’d love to hear your nail (or shall I say cuticle) secrets!
– Gena del Portillo,
Professional Nail Artist, Florida
Photos: Maria Vlezko.
MORE USEFUL POSTS:
- Brittle nails: how to make them healthy and strong
- 3 easy steps to healthy cuticles
- How to fix dry cuticles and hangnails
- 3 reasons why you need to care about cuticles
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