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Cuticle Care 101

How much do you know about your cuticles and why they are important? We’re guessing, not very much. That may be why you have such a hard time keeping them healthy. Here are our tips for healthy cuticles and healthy nails.

Go easy

Your cuticles are there to protect your nails. They form a natural barrier against fungus, bacteria, and other nasty bugs that would otherwise seep into your nail bed and wreak havoc. The part that you see on your nails is mostly dead skin. But just below that dead skin is living tissue that provides the much-needed protective shield. It is very easy to accidentally cut that living skin. Many manicurists regularly cut into that living tissue without even realizing they are doing it.

Never remove cuticles, or treat them harshly. If your manicurist is heavy-handed with your cuticles, and vigorously pushes them back, ask her to stop. That over-aggressive treatment is enough to damage your cuticles and open you up to infections. A gentle push with an orange stick is all that is required if you wish to push your cuticles back a bit from the nail bed. And, believe it or not, there is almost never any reason to cut your cuticles. If you’ve got a painful, dried out hangnail, it should be carefully removed. But, if you’ve been caring for your cuticles, and gently managing them with an orange stick and cuticle oil, you should never need them cut. Cutting your cuticles can lead to very serious infections that require antibiotics, and in severe cases, it can lead to the permanent loss of a fingernail.

Moisturize

The best way to avoid unsightly cuticles is to keep them moisturized. If you do a good job with this, you’ll never even notice that they’re there, and you’ll never have to cut off a painful hangnail.  

You should always wear gloves when you are doing dishes, working in the garden, or are doing anything else where your hands will get be soaking in water or exposed to harsh chemical detergents. And, since you are wearing gloves anyway, take advantage of that time to  super-charge your moisturizing. Many dermatologists recommend petroleum jelly as the best moisturizer. But, it is pretty messy and impractical under normal circumstances. So, slather a bunch on your hands before you slip them them into your gloves.

If you have very dry skin, you are going to have very dry cuticles too. Using a thick, moisturizing ointment at night, along with soft gloves, can help a lot. And, that hot wax treatment you pay a little extra for at the manicurist — totally worth it!   

No biting

Your mouth is full of nasty bacteria, so biting your nails or your cuticles is a great way to get an infection. If you’ve developed this terrible habit, find a way to break it right away!

We’ve got everything you need to keep your cuticles and nails looking and feeling great, from cuticle oil, to great moisturizers, to base coats, polishes, and top coats. Order your cuticle-care items today, and be sure to check back frequently for sales and new products!