Your hands are one of the first things people see when they meet you, so it's important to make sure they look their best! One often-overlooked areas are the cuticles. 

This blog post will cover everything you need to know about cuticles and how to take care of them- let's jump in!

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What are cuticles?

Cuticles are the thin layer of skin that surrounds your nails. They can often become dry and cracked if not hydrated, which can lead to hangnails.

What’s the purpose of cuticles?

The function of the cuticle: the cuticle is an extension on of the eponychium that rides on the nail plate. The cuticle is one of the barriers that protects the nail matrix from external influences such as bacteria, germs, and dirt.

Maintaining your cuticles

Cuticles serve a purpose - they protect your nails and the skin surrounding the nail plate. When cuticles become dry, start peeling or damaged, your nails can become vulnerable to infection.

 There are a few simple things you can do to keep your manicure healthy:

  • Use a cream or oil! Moisturizing your hands and nails regularly will keep your skin hydrated and prevent it from becoming dry and cracked. Use Allpremed Hand Expert Foam Cream to improve the hands elasticity.  
  • Gently push back any unwanted skin from your nail bed with a cuticle pusher. Do not bite your cuticles, as this can damage them. If you want to exfoliate your cuticles for a beautiful cleaned up look, ask a professional manicurist for a dry manicure! Find a certified Erica's Dry Mani Pro HERE!
  • Be careful when using nail polish remover, as it can be harsh on your skin. Choose a non-acetone formula if possible and if dry hands and cuticles are an issue for you, you might want to consider using different hand soap, such as Allpremed Hand Expert Foam Cream Wash. Remember to wear gloves while cleaning or doing chores involving products that irritate or soak your skin.

Should I remove cuticles?

Excess cuticles and protruding scraps of skin can be annoying and spoil the image of well-groomed hands. Removing the dead cuticle off the nail plate also allows for better product adhesion, so your manicure will last longer. You can remove the excess skin. However, you should be careful not to cut the live skin.

Best tools to remove cuticles:

Diamond bits

Nail professionals can gently exfoliate excess cuticle on the nail plate with nail bits made of diamond. Erica's dry manicure bits are made with 100% real diamond so you can safely clean up extra cuticle and groom the proximal nail fold to create gorgeous manicures.

Cuticle pusher

Gently push back the cuticle with a cuticle pusher. Never scrape the nail plate, forcing the skin to detach. The cuticle pusher will help shape the PNF as well, so you can achieve a uniform rounded u-shape at the back of the nail.

Other tools to remove cuticles:

Wooden sticks

Wooden sticks can be used to push back the cuticles. They're not my favorite because you can't create a uniform arch, but many salons use them because it's easy to throw them away after each client. 

Cuticle softener

Cuticle softener softens the skin and gently releases dead skin from the nail plate, making it easy to push back with a cuticle pusher. Then massage some nail oil into the cuticle and the nail. I don't recommend using softener prior to a manicure unless the client has extremely overgrown, sticky and thick cuticle on the nail plate.

Remove cuticles naturally with home remedies

If you don't have a cuticle softener handy, use a nail bath with jojoba or olive oil. To do this, fill a bowl with warm water and add a few drops of the high-quality oil. Soak your hands in it for about ten minutes. After that, the cuticles are softer, and you can push them back better with a rosewood stick.

How often do you have to remove cuticles?

You can do this step once a week if needed. From time to time, there are small remnants on the cuticle. These can be easily removed with cuticle nippers. Under no circumstances should the excess residue be pulled off just so, as the cuticles can tear and become calloused.

What to do if the cuticles tear?

Treat torn cuticles. Patch up torn cuticles. It also helps to use antibacterial ointments for torn cuticles before putting a Band-Aid on the injured area. You can support the healing process in this manner. Olive oil is an excellent home remedy also.

Can cuticles grow back more after you cut them?

Many believe that cutting your cuticles only makes them grow back thicker and stronger than before. But is that really true? Not at all. The cuticles grow back again and again, but not thicker or more substantial than before.

Main causes of cuticle inflammation

As trivial as this may seem, the wrong nail care or lack of a nail care routine are the most common culprit for torn cuticles, cracks and inflammation in the skin around your nails. Our cuticles are essential to protect our nails. Therefore, you should not cut the live skin but only push and exfoliate it as gently. I recommend regularly pushing back the cuticles after showering to avoid cuticles growing up on the nail plate.

Psoriasis 

Some medical conditions can cause torn cuticles. A prime example of this is psoriasis. Patients who have psoriasis may notice changes in their cuticles. 

Malnutrition

Malnutrition and other diseases or disorders such as anorexia and bulimia also leave their mark on cuticles - they often become dry and brittle. 

Fungal Infection

Fungal infection can trigger nail problems like torn cuticles and further skin inflammation. Use Podoexpert Healthy Nails once a day to strengthen and remineralize the nail plate, while also fighting off fungus.

 

What causes of torn cuticles

Healthy cuticles are elastic, supple, and show no cracks. However, various factors can damage the skin. The skin tends to dry out in winter when the indoor air is heated and dry. Dry cuticles then tear easily, making it easier for dirt and bacteria to get in. With unpleasant consequences: the spectrum of infectious symptoms ranges from chronic irritation of the cuticles to annoying warts and painful nail bed inflammation.

In addition to dehydration, there are a few other causes of broken cuticles:

  • Chewing the cuticles (perionychophagia)
  • Psoriasis
  • Fungal infection of the nail that spreads to the surrounding skin
  • Malnutrition

 

Best oil for your cuticles

Jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil are great choices. The cuticles require extensive care. A special care oil is particularly suitable to maintain them in great shape. Applying oils and massage, the oil will be well absorbed, and the cuticles will look much nicer. If you struggle with dry cuticles, you can apply oil several times a day. I use it at least once a day to keep my cuticles soft. I also keep cuticle oil in my car so when I'm at a stop light, I can oil up.

By following these simple tips, you can keep your nails and fingers healthy and prevent future problems. Thanks for reading! Do you have any advice for taking care of your hands and nails at home? Feel free to let us know in the comments below.

If you enjoyed this blog post, check out our other posts on all things mani-pedi! From nail care techniques to all the different tools, we've got you covered. And don't forget to follow us on social media for even more tips and tricks! Thank you for reading!