Useful Tips on How to Treat Your Cuticles
Ah, cuticles! Who would imagine these (apparently) insignificant strips of skin could be a discussion topic? Yet they are.
Cuticles actually grow at the base of our nails with a reason: to protect them like a barrier against bacteria and infection; however, they are often mistreated. We either ignore them completely or stress them with rough manicures, then wonder about the red, sore areas around our nails. Let’s get this straight today: cuticles need as much TLC as our nails do, and there are plenty of things you can actually do at home to keep them in tip top shape. Here are a few useful tips on how to care for your cuticles like a true pro:
- Push, Don’t Cut
Only cut the cuticles when absolutely necessary, too much cutting may lead to skin irritation and infections because once that little space is open, bacteria is free to get inside causing pain, making your nail look swollen and red and, on top of this, damaging the nail by getting white lines or ridges. The best is to use a special rounded cuticle pusher (the ultimate cuticle tool) to push your cuticles back really gently. This technique also gives the optical illusion of a longer nail, keeping the roots of your nails safe.
When are cuticle nippers called for? Only if you have rough, dry cuticles, hangnails, or overgrown cuticles you may opt to trim and shape the cuticles with nippers.
- Moisturize Whenever You Get a Chance
Cuticles need to be kept hydrated and this means applying moisturizer onto your nails every day. Ideally, you should do it every time after washing your hands because soap dries skin more than you could imagine. When not properly hydrated, cuticles may peel and crack which, to be honest, is not a pretty sight. In daytime, while you are constantly using your hands, apply a light lotion onto your hands and nails. At night go for a thicker product like petroleum jelly. Rub it gently into the cuticles and just let it rest overnight. Nail heaven.
- Instruct Your Manicurist
Your nail technician should know from the start you want your cuticles pushed, not cut. She may be a little too rough, manipulating your cuticles too vigorously and causing skin infections, so tell her to keep calm and just use the orange stick to push your cuticles back. Yes, sometimes instructions are necessary.
- Avoid Using Drying Agents
Washing up is something most women do on a daily basis, but beware, it can really dry out your hands, cuticles included. Water can also be a serious drying agent itself. A good trick is to use vinyl gloves at all times while performing this “exciting” routine and take the chance to apply some lubricant on your cuticles while they are protected inside the gloves.
Following these simple steps will give you healthy, intact cuticles and zero infections. Do you have any tips of your own on how to maintain your cuticles?