What Are Cuticles and How to Remove Them | MalvaBelle.com

What Are Cuticles and How to Remove Them

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 after them. 

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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 
  1. 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. 

  • Stay moisturized 

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 you can. 

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. 

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