In the world of nail care, there’s one thing that seems to confuse many of us, and that’s the cuticle.
For something so small and seemingly insignificant, a large portion of correct nail care and styling
depends on the cuticle, but many of us have no idea even what a cuticle is or how we should look
We’re here to help and answer all of your questions about the mysterious cuticle so that you know
exactly where it is and how to care for it correctly. With a little bit of knowledge about this part of
your nail, you’ll be able to achieve a uniformed and clean look when maintaining your nails and
ensure that you aren’t doing any unnecessary damage.
What Is A Cuticle?
As one area of the nail that has the most misconceptions, we need to understand exactly what the
cuticle is and where it’s located in order to care for it. The cuticle commonly gets mistaken for the
eponychium which is the border between where your nail and finger’s skin meet. This skin is living
and should never be touched, pushed, or cut, otherwise, there’s the potential to allow bacteria into
your skin and do long-lasting harm to your nails.
The cuticle is a part of this eponychium and is the non living part that sticks to your nail bed or
plate. Because the cuticle sheds from the underside of this, many people often confused the two as
they are joined and instead try to remove the entire thing. During nail care and manicures, the nail
cuticle is pushed back but you must take care to never push a cuticle tool into the nail fold itself or
there could be serious damage and pain.
How to Take Care of Cuticles
The best thing to do with cuticles is to remove them, and this is a fairly standard process in
manicures and pedicures. You’ll need a quality cuticle removal tool which is usually made from
metal and shaped with a curved tip that allows you to work with the natural shape of your nail.
1. Remove all of the nail polish on your hands and then wash them before applying a cuticle
remover to them. Soak your hands in warm, soapy water and let them sit for a few minutes
to loosen the skin, then dry with a towel.
2. Get your cuticle removal tool and ensure you have a firm grip as you place the edge of it
against the eponychium. Gently press on it until it slides back and exposes the cuticle.
3. Once the dead skin of the cuticle is exposed, you can then work on removing this dead skin
safely. Use the cuticle removal tool again to gently scrape off the dead skin from the nail
plate, being careful not to go near the sensitive living skin.
4. Apply a strengthening polish or other nail polish as required, and enjoy the smooth surface
that has been left as a result of your cuticle removal.
Once you’ve followed these steps you’ll notice a huge improvement in the look and feel of your
nails, but this is not a job that should be rushed through. There are times when you might
accidentally push back too far or experience a cut, and in this case, you should stop what you’re
doing and clean the area before applying an antiseptic ointment or spray.
Tips for Cuticle Care
Whether you’re a professional manicurist or completely new to the nail care game, cuticles can be
tricky business. Here are a few tips you can learn from and put into practice during your next home
manicure to make it a little easier for yourself.
Don’t cut your cuticles
Resist the urge to cut at your cuticles and instead try to only push back the dead skin or
scrape it off. Cutting your cuticles means they’ll become tougher to maintain and you can
end up doing serious damage including cutting your skin and causing a bacterial infection.
According to WebMD, it’s essential to moisturize your cuticles regularly. As they’re made
up of skin, they require hydration as well, and if you don’t care for them they’ll crack and
become brittle. Choose a thick moisturizer that’s less likely to wipe away through the day.
Take Care at Home
Anyone who’s been to a nail salon before will know how rushed and roughed the
manicurist can be, so it’s best to avoid them altogether. Invest in a quality cuticle removal
tool for yourself so that you can treat them as gently as they deserve.
Avoid drying agents
There are so many things we come into contact with every day from washing detergent to
acetone nail polish that can have devastating effects on our nails. Cuticles are particularly
sensitive to these drying agents so make an effort to wear gloves or stay protected where
Using Quality Tools For Your Nails
By far the best thing you can do for your cuticles is to invest a little money in a quality cuticle
removal tool. Considering how much time and money we spend at the nail salon each year, it’s far
wiser to get yourself some quality accessories so you always have access to the very best in the
comfort of your own home.
Educating yourself on the cuticle, being able to pinpoint exactly where it is, and understanding how
to push back cuticle gently will mean you’re equipped to take care of it correctly. Although it might
be a small area on our hands, it’s one that needs quite a lot of attention in the grand scheme of
correct nail care.