Cuticle care 101

08 November 2019 | Leigh van den Berg

Dry, peeling or unkempt cuticles can sabotage even the prettiest manicure. Our care guide will ensure your cuticles look nothing but cute!


Are you buying products to take care of your cuticles, but not actually sure where they are? Many don’t realise their cuticles aren’t the thin piece of skin that forms a barrier between your nail bed and the rest of your fingers. That’s the eponychium and the part you don’t want to paint. Your cuticles are the thin, dead layers of skin that creep onto the surface of your nail bed. 

Push them back

If it’s groomed-looking fingers that you’re after, you’ll have to take good care of your cuticles. This means not allowing them to grow wild and free, but gently pushing them back or scraping them away. The keyword, however, is gently. This means using a specially-formulated cuticle remover that contains conditioners, enzymes or alpha hydroxy acids. These will soften your cuticles so that they’re easy to remove with the scraper side of a cuticle stick. The slanted tip side is what you use to push back your eponychium. 

Cut with care

Another tool you might want in your nail care artillery is a cuticle clipper. Despite its name, it’s used to clip hangnails, not cuticles. Hangnails are short pieces of dry skin that jut out on the sides of your fingernails. Don’t tug at these with your teeth as you could tear your skin and cause an infection. Use a “cuticle” clipper instead.

Stay hydrated

In the same way that cracked heels detract from a good pedicure, dry cuticles will always look unkempt. Also, cuticles that aren’t moisturised will be more prone to peeling and flaking. This is why it’s important to invest in a hydrating oil, cream or balm. Better yet, look for something that contains antioxidants like vitamin E to help protect the surrounding skin from the damaging effects of free-radicals. 


IMAGE CREDIT: 123rf.com

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