Why You Should Never Cut Your Cuticles
To cut or not to cut? That is the big question puzzling gals everywhere ahead of a manicure. Like other debate-worthy skin care topics, the jury’s still out on whether or not one should cut their cuticles. There are arguments for and against it, though we must admit an overwhelming majority of experts argue that cutting cuticles during salon visits is greatly discouraged. Here’s why.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, frequent cuticle cutting is a bad idea. Since cuticles protect nails and the surrounding skin from infection, trimming and cutting cuticles can create a way for bacteria and other germs to gain entry easily. Once that happens, an unwanted nail infection can ensue—referred to as “acute paronychia”—which may take a long time to clear. Also, if the nippers used are not properly sterilized, they could carry bacteria and germs directly to the area. Why risk ruining your manicure with a big, red, painful infection?
What’s more, once you begin cutting your cuticles regularly, they can grow in ragged and rough, leading to an endless cuticle-cutting cycle to keep them smooth and pretty. Break the bad habit by properly caring for your cuticles from the get-go!
HOW TO PROPERLY CARE FOR YOUR CUTICLES
For the health and safety of your nails, cutting your cuticles is best avoided unless you have a one-off hangnail that needs to be removed. It’s time to bid farewell to your cutters and adopt better practices. Below, we share how to properly care for your cuticles.
Hydrate Your Cuticles Regularly
Rough, ragged, and dry cuticles will surely ruin the look of any manicure. In fact, you’ll likely be more tempted to cut your cuticles if their messy appearance starts to get under your skin (pun intended!). The truth is, proper care of cuticles can leave your cuticles looking beautiful and neat. The first step to achieving healthy-looking cuticles? Moisturizing them daily. Pick your favorite hand cream—we recommend Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve—and apply it over your cuticles liberally.
Push Cuticles Back Gently
When your nail technician asks you if you want your cuticles to be cut during your next salon visit, simply ask for them to be pushed back instead. If you’re giving yourself an at-home manicure, here’s what you should do. Prepare a bowl of lukewarm water and soak your nails for a few minutes. This will help make your cuticles soft and flexible. Next, apply some cuticle oil or moisturizer around the area. Use an orangewood stick to gently push your cuticles toward the base of your nails. Follow up with some more cuticle oil, like Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil. The formula absorbs quickly to instantly condition nails with nourishing moisture. Gently trim any areas of loose skin.