We all love to take care of ourselves, don’t we? We spend most of our time focusing on skincare and makeup, but there’s one important area that we fail to give enough attention, and those are the nail cuticles. Our cuticles are the most delicate part of our hands and nails, and they protect our nails from any infections and bacteria. However, if treated poorly and completely ignored they can lead to infections as well as the cracking of your nail polish.
Caring for your cuticles should be your top priority, partially to protect your actual nails but also to make sure you can always have salon-quality nails! When it comes to caring for your cuticles there’s a lot of steps that you can take.
Some women believe that a simple cuticle oil can get the job done, but the truth is there’s a lot more to it! We’ve put together this list of the steps you can take to maintain healthy and cared-for cuticles.
Top 5 Easy Steps That You Need To Do
Stop With The Biting
It’s a nervous tic, a lot of us can’t help it, but biting your nails can do some damage to your cuticles! Putting your hands in your mouth repeatedly is simply exposing your cuticles to your saliva, and that can be super harmful and unsanitary. Plus, let’s not forget to mention and point out that it is a bad habit which can lead to irritated, red and cracked nails, which can also sometimes bleed and look like your worst nightmare!
Moisture Is the Essence
The simplest step you can take to give your cuticles some extra love is to regularly moisturize your hands. Since we wash our hands pretty often and several times a day they are prone to severe dryness, so keeping them moisturized is the key. However, we will talk a lot about the right way of moisturizing them in the text below, so keep on reading!
Put Those Scissors Down
The absolute worst thing you could possibly do to your cuticles is to cut them! So many women believe that the solution to bad cuticles is trimming them- but they are wrong! Trimming them is only going to expose them to the risk of infection.
Aside from health wise, trimming your cuticles is too harsh on them and could lead to a wound- which is as unpleasant as a paper cut! Our cuticles are super delicate, and one wrong move can cause them to bleed. If you really have to do this step, rather let your nail technician do this for you.
Only Cut Soft Cuticles If You Have To
Before going onto the next step, it’s important to realize that you shouldn’t be doing anything to your cuticles unless they’re soft. No matter what method you choose for fixing the excess dead skin around your nail bed, you should never attempt it on a dry cuticle.
You need them to be moist and completely softened to avoid doing any further damage or causing a tear. If you do ever accidentally go too far, quickly apply any antibacterial solution to avoid getting an infection in your nail bed. However, make sure you are confident enough before attempting this.
Use A Lot of Oils and Creams
Cuticle oils and creams are definitely a necessary step when it comes to cuticle care. Why? Well, these products are going to work and will give you a lot more softness, but most importantly they’re going to strengthen your cuticles.
You should apply cuticle oils/creams very generously to your cuticles and allow them to settle in. It is best to do this directly after you’ve pushed them back to really nurture them, and reapply your oils as much as possible since you can never go overboard with these.
What Happens If You End Up With Damaged Cuticles?
Damaged cuticles are no fun to look at, nor experience. A cuticle is the part of transparent skin which is located right around the nail base and at its edge. Human hair also contains these little cuticles, and these two are a lot similar in their function; they exist in order to protect our inner layers. In case you mistreat your cuticles, you will end up with either some redness, irritations, sometimes even blisters and infections.
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How to Push Back Your Cuticles and Why
Pushed back cuticles are the safest and the easiest approach which you can go for. By pushing them back, you are actually promoting healthy growth, and you are avoiding any possible infections, wounds, irritations, cuts or redness which you could get if you were to cut them. If you want to know the right way to push back your cuticles, here is how to do it!
Remove Your Nail Polish
A non-acetone polish remover will easily get the job done, plus it won’t irritate or dry out your hands. Apply a small amount of it and remove all traces of your previous nail polish. After everything is off, tidy and clean up the excess before you proceed further.
Soak For 10 Minutes
It is time to make yourself a nail soak. Add warm water to any bigger bowl and leave your nails in it for 10 minutes. This will help soften your cuticles (which is very important as we’ve previously explained). You can also take a longer shower, but make sure you use mild and moisturizing products on top.
Dry and Moisturize
After you are done take your hands out of the bowl and clean them with a towel. Make sure you use a brand new and clean towel since it will help you avoid spreading any bacteria. Apply a hydrating oil to your cuticles for 5 minutes in order to further soften them.
Choose Your Tool
Take a cuticle pusher which is made out of wood, aka an orange stick. This one is the best since it has slanted edges, and is great for delicate skin. These are inexpensive and can be found at any drugstore. Make sure you place your hands on a flat surface before taking the next step.
Use the stick and push at the bottom of your nail. Make sure you are holding the stick at an angle and gently push the tool into your corners. Do your nails slowly and precisely, and after you are done you can also grab a pair of nippers to trim any hangnails.
Wash your hands with some warm water and soap, and make sure you throw away your orange stick. Always use a new one once you are doing this step, and don’t do it more often than three times a month.
How to Soften Your Cuticles
Since cuticles tend to get really dry real quick they can crack, peel or flake easily, which is why it is essential to moisturize and soften them. You can achieve softer cuticles in a few steps, such as:
Always carry around a hand cream with you wherever you go. Make sure you reapply it every time after showering, washing your hands, or doing the dishes.
Most dermatologists and skincare experts recommend reaching for thicker moisturizing products and creams. For instance, you should always use creams which have Macadamia oil or jojoba oil as their active ingredients.
Vaseline or petroleum jelly is a good and inexpensive solution for dry and cracked cuticles. You should leave this product on overnight and let it properly sink into your skin.
Hot Wax Treatment
This is a popular treatment at the salons which every woman can do. This is a procedure in which a special oily wax is heated and left on until it melts. Once it does, you should dip your hands into the warm wax and put on a pair of gloves to seal the deal, aka that heat. Simply sit with these on top of your hands for 15 minutes and you will experience better and softer nails as well as cuticles.
Go to A Well Trusted Salon
This step is crucial because you don’t want just anyone to do your manicures, pedicures, nail cutting, as well as paraffin wax, right? Make sure you only go to a well-trusted and well-rated salon which has a state-certified license. Always look out for their tools, and make sure that they are clean, sterilized, and that they always put them aside after doing someone else’s nails, and only use new and clean ones on you. Also, if they are proud of their work and they freely upload amazing pictures on their sites, they do get the ‘green light’.
Cuticle Care DIY: Top 3 Solutions
If you are into some DIY methods and you believe that you can create something ideal for you, why not try and make one of these three treatments?
Honey + Apricot
As you probably know it by now, honey has some antibacterial properties, it is soothing, and ideal for dry skin types. Once combined with apricot oil it helps with your elasticity and cracked skin. In order to create this solution, make sure you have:
- 1.5 ounce of beeswax pellets
- 3 ounces of the apricot oil
- one tablespoon of honey
- plastic container
Use your beeswax pellets and apricot oil as well as one tablespoon of honey and add it to your bowl. Leave these three products in a microwave for 15 seconds and keep putting them back in for as long until they become liquidy. Let the mixture slide into your container and let it cool down before you apply it on top of your cuticles.
Coconut + Lavender
Coconut oil is great for almost anything, and once combined with a soothing lavender it can smell amazing! Also, this mixture is super easy to make, you only need:
- Coconut oil
- Lavender oil
Simply add 1 drop of lavender oil and use two tablespoons of melted coconut oil into a jar/container. Soak your nails in this soak and enjoy smoother and a healthier outcome.
Lemon + Olive Oil
Lemons are great for your overall body health inside out, and can do so much for your face and skin. In order to make this solution, make sure you use:
- two teaspoons of petroleum jelly
- 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon of lemon juice
Mix all of these ingredients into a plastic bowl. Make sure you dip your hands in the mixture several times a day in order to enjoy a smoother outcome.
Put Your Manicures on Hold
Lastly, if you are really unsatisfied with your cuticles and your nails, why not rest from manicures for a few weeks? Constant gels, acrylics or even simple nail polishes can harm your natural nails, cause them to crack, and can definitely dry out your cuticles. In order to regain back the lost moisture, give yourself a one month break, stick with only natural solutions, as well as our DIY remedies.