While all of our skin is sensitive and in need of TLC, our hands are especially vulnerable to damage as hand sanitizers, soaps, and other chemicals keep drying them out – this is especially the case during a pandemic. The wear and tear of daily living often puts a strain on our cuticles, causing us to exfoliate dead skin around the nails which, if improperly handled, can serve as a gateway for bacteria. Although professional nail technicians deal with those pesky hanging nails during manicure sessions, only sporadic maintenance of your cuticles can lead to even more problems in the long run. If you’re new to nail care, we’ve talked to experts about cuticle care and compiled the best tips based on their advice.
Learn more about How to manage your cuticles at home | How To Buy Cuticle Oil?
What are cuticles anyway?
What most people refer to as their cuticles is not their cuticles. According to Akiko Sugiyama, owner of AKIKO Nails in New York City, the cuticle is actually “the dead, colorless tissue”. attached to the natural nail plate. ”What you might call a cuticle is actually the eponychium -“ the living skin ”. at the base of the natural nail plate that hides the matrix area ”- and it is there“ to protect the area between the nail and epidermis from bacteria ”.
When grooming your nails, you want to trim your cuticles, not the eponychium. “When the cuticle is cut, it doesn’t bleed because dead tissue lies there as an additional barrier to protect bacteria from entering the eponychium,” explains Viviana Torres, a nail technician from Georgia. “Cutting the eponychium bleeds and damages the skin and opens a wound to allow bacterial infections to enter the body.”
Nail care: cuticle oils, cuticle clippers, and more
Based on the guidance of Torres and Sugiyama, we’ve rounded up top-notch products for every part of the cuticle care process, from cuticle oils to cuticle pushers.
Top-rated cuticle oils
Olive and June’s cuticle serum contains several of the expert-recommended oils, including avocado oil and jojoba oil. It comes in an easy-to-use rotating pen with a foam tip for clean and handy application. According to the brand, the serum doesn’t leave a large residue and is easily absorbed into the skin. It has an average rating of 4.4 stars from more than 450 reviews on Olive and June.
CND’s SolarOil was developed for hands and feet and is enriched with jojoba oil, almond oil and vitamin E to penetrate deeply into the skin and soften the cuticles. According to the brand, this cuticle oil is ideal for people with particularly dry skin and visible signs of aging. On Amazon, it has an average rating of 4.8 stars from more than 1,000 reviews.
OPI’s ProSpa Cuticle Oil contains expertly recognized avocado oil and several seed oils – including grapeseed oil, sunflower seed oil, and sesame oil – to help nourish the cuticles and strengthen the nails. The ProSpa cuticle oil also comes in a portable to-go tube and has an average rating of 4.6 stars from more than 50 reviews on Ulta.
Holler And Glow’s cuticle oil is formulated with almond oil and coconut oil to moisturize and soften the skin around the nails. The brand claims that all of their products are 100 percent vegan and animal testing free, which means they contain no animal products and are not tested on animals. The oil, which exudes a light coconut scent, has an average rating of 4.8 stars from 19 reviews on Target.
Cuticle cutter with top rating
YINYIN’s double-spring stainless steel cuticle trimmer is designed to stay sharp, according to the brand. The clipper’s jaws are only 0.38 inches wide, so they can handle even the smallest of hanging nails. This set by YINYIN also comes with a cuticle pusher and has an average rating of 4.7 stars from more than 6,500 reviews on Amazon.
These cuticle nippers from Tweezerman require minimal pressure to work thanks to the double spring design. The brand claims that the half-inch wide jaw promotes painless cuticle removal, while the stainless steel design can withstand normal rusting and wear and tear. On Amazon, the pliers have an average rating of 4.6 stars from more than 1,400 buyers.
Cuticle pusher with top rating
Not only can these wooden cuticle sticks slide your cuticles back – the pointy end of the stick also removes dirt from under your nails and removes hard-to-remove nail polish. The sticks, which come in a pack of 12, have an average rating of 4.5 stars from 20 Target buyers.
This durable metal cuticle tool from Flowery is a highly rated option at Ulta with an average rating of 4.8 stars from 52 reviews and features a nail cleaner in addition to a pusher. Reviewers note that both sides are surprisingly sharp, so all you need to do is apply a little pressure to successfully push your cuticles back.
If you prefer a duller tool, this plastic cuticle pusher from Beauty Secrets uses a thick red tip to both push the cuticle back and remove the dirt from under the nails. It’s both easy to use and grippy, according to the brand, and has an average rating of 4.1 stars from more than 70 reviews on Sally Beauty.
Here’s how to handle your cuticles safely at home
Regular cuticle care can help prevent sagging nails and peeling skin. According to Sugiyama, the best way to treat your cuticles is by gently pushing them back with a cuticle pusher. “This can prevent and prevent the cuticle from growing on your nail bed,” she explained, adding that if you don’t squeeze it, “it can be painful and peel off.” The best time to squeeze your cuticle is, is right after showering as the skin is soft and easier to manipulate. Otherwise, you should first soak your nails in warm water to soften the skin.
When it comes to cuticle pushers, Torres said metal, plastic, and wood orange pushers are all equally effective. “You can find it easily [one] at your local store like Walmart, Target, or a Sally’s Beauty Store, ”she remarked.
If you end up with a hanging nail or the skin is peeling off, you can use a cuticle cutter to gently cut off the excess dead skin, Torres said. If you accidentally cut yourself during the removal process, stop the bleeding immediately with a cotton ball, and then clean the area with soap and water and isopropyl alcohol once the bleeding has subsided. “You can cover right away [it] with a band-aid, but it’s always best to leave it open so it can heal faster, ”she added. Sugiyama also suggested covering the wound with petroleum jelly to create a barrier while it heals.
How To Buy Cuticle Oil?
Many nail technicians apply cuticle oil to their clients’ nail beds after washing their hands. According to Torres, this is “an essential part of maintaining healthy nails” as it “keeps them hydrated” and “avoids excess dead skin”. These oils “also support nail growth, blood circulation, and help prevent hanging nails and dry, peeling skin.”
You can (and should) make this part of your daily routine – hand sanitizers and soaps “contain harsh chemicals that cause excessively dry hands and nails,” and cuticle oils can “provide vitamins to the skin,” she said. Torres recommends applying cuticle oil three times a day, but if you only do it once it should be at night. “Apply the oil [before bed] allows the product to penetrate the skin longer while you sleep, ”she explained.
There are many different cuticle oils, and as the name suggests, the main ingredient is typically some type of oil. The experts we spoke to said that after cuticle oils with a. should be looking for Nut oil, Seed oil or Fruit oil Basis for the best results as these are usually the most moisturizing. Specifically, they recommended looking for cuticle oils that contain:
- Almond oil: Sugiyama found that almond oil is one of the “best oils for nails”. It is rich in vitamin E, which is “extra soothing” and moisturizing, as experts told us in our guide to avoiding chafing.
- Olive oil: All of the experts we spoke to recommended olive oil-based cuticle oils. Olive oil is another good source of vitamin E and is easily absorbed by the skin.
- Coconut oil: According to Torres, coconut oil is a popular ingredient in cuticle oil because of its moisturizing properties.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil is another common and effective ingredient for cuticle oil. Studies have shown that the essential oil can prevent and treat nail fungus, so this is a great ingredient to look out for if you are prone to fungal infections.
- Jojoba oil: This seed-based oil is filled with vitamins B and E that help strengthen and lengthen the nails and improve the skin’s moisture levels.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil is easily absorbed by the skin and allows other nourishing ingredients to penetrate deeper into the cuticle.
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