How to Care For Your Cuticles
When it comes to keeping our manicures on point, cuticles can be a real pain in the neck. Without proper care, these tiny slivers of skin where your nails grow out of your fingers can go from appearing healthy one minute to dry and cracking the next, leaving your fresh manicure looking anything but fabulous. The good news is that with a little care, your cuticles can look— and feel—hydrated and as good as a day-old manicure.
Keep Your Cuticles Hydrated
First things first, in order to achieve healthier-looking cuticles, you must moisturize—surprise, surprise. The next time you are applying hand cream, massage the cream into the cuticles for extra hydration. This can not only provide your cuticles with the moisture they need, it may also help them from feeling dried out and prevent them from cracking. In addition to moisturizing your cuticles with a hand cream—like Kiehl’s Intensive Treatment and Moisturizer formulated with avocado oil and shea butter to soothe dry skin—you can also use cuticle oil to help restore hydration in the cuticles. We recommend trying Essie's Apricot Cuticle Oil, as it contains oils that can hydrate, soften, and revitalize cuticles. Plus, it smells like apricot, which is a huge step up from the chemical scents we often associate with nail products.
Editor’s Tip: Keep a bottle of cuticle oil at your desk to remind yourself to apply and reapply the oil to your cuticles throughout the day.
Push Cuticles Back...Gently
Another reason why keeping your cuticles hydrated is so important is because if you want to give yourself an at-home manicure or pedicure and push your cuticles back on your own, you are going to want to start with well-moisturized cuticles to prevent tears. To properly push your cuticles back, you should first soak your nails in lukewarm water—you know, like they do at a nail salon before going to town on your dead skin—then, massage your cuticle oil or moisturizer into your nail beds and around your cuticles. To push back, use an orangewood stick to gently push the cuticles towards the root of your nails. Follow up with some extra moisturizer and you’re good to go!
What to Avoid
Cutting your cuticles is something that should be avoided at all costs, as your nails need the cuticle to protect the root from bacteria and infection. We know this might be a hard habit for some of you to break, but if you want healthy cuticles, you’re going to have to say goodbye to your cuticle cutters. Sure, the occasional trimming of a hangnail is okay, but nothing more than that! In addition to avoiding cuticle cutters, using nail polish remover more than twice a month should also be avoided, as it is really hard on your nails and can dry out the cuticles. If you must use nail polish remover more than twice a month, try switching to an oil-based or acetone free nail polish remover.