Unlock the secrets to flawless nails as we delve into the world of cuticle care. Discover expert tips on how to nurture and maintain your cuticles.
Who’d have thought that those bothersome strips of dead skin on your nail serve a purpose? You can think of them like the bouncers of your nail, protecting your nail matrix from nasty bacteria and fungus that can cause infection.
Your nail matrix is where new nail cells are formed, so good cuticle care is essential for strong, healthy nail growth.
Essentially, the cuticle is dead skin.
Specifically, it’s the small strip of dead skin that sits at the very bottom of your nail, between the lunula (the little half-moon shape at the base of your nail) and the eponychium.
Some people confuse cuticles for the eponychium, which is the thickened layer of skin at the very base of the nail, comprising live skin cells.
There are four main things to keep in mind when caring for your cuticles:
Not only does cuticle oil help your nails grow longer by increasing circulation around your nails, but it also helps your nails grow thicker and stronger.
It provides deep, intense moisturisation to your cuticles, preventing dryness, hangnails, and cracks so that you nails feel healthy and look soft and supple.
A small amount of cuticle oil is the right amount – just place a tiny drop at the base of your nail, and gently massage it in in circular motions. This will help to stimulate blood flow, which in turn will help your nails grow longer!
On the market for a new cuticle oil? Try our mandarin and vanilla Cuticle Elixir. It smells heavenly.
It comes with a handy built-in brush that you can use to gently push the oil into the skin around your nails.
At least once a day, but ideally a lot more than that.
Making cuticle oil a part of your morning and evening beauty routine can help you remember to use it.
Heard of habit stacking? Keep a bottle of cuticle oil at the bathroom sink, and each time you brush your teeth or wash your hands, apply your cuticle oil too.
Throwing a spare cuticle oil pen into your handbag or desk drawer is a great way to freshen up your mani when you’re out and about or at work.
Bored at your desk? Cuticle oil. Waiting for the kettle to boil? Cuticle oil.
You get the idea.
There are three basic tools you’ll need to safely remove your cuticles.
Step 2: Read the instructions for your specific cuticle remover product and follow their guidance.
Step 3: Apply the product directly to the cuticle, taking care to avoid putting it on the surrounding skin.
Step 4: Wait. Most cuticle remover products require 1-3 minutes to work.
Step 5: Take an orangewood stick or a cuticle pusher and gently push the softened cuticles towards the base of your nail with the flat end of the stick.
Step 7: Ensure the cuticle cutter is clean and sharp; this will help to prevent infections and microtrauma occurring.
Step 8: Holding the cuticle cutter at a slight angle, make small, controlled cuts. Only trim the excess cuticle from the nail; do not trim away any healthy tissue.
Step 9: Wipe away the cuticle remover and cuticle residue with a clean, damp cotton pad.
Step 10: Moisturise your cuticles with a nourishing cuticle oil.
So, what are the pros and cons of using a cuticle remover product?
Cuticle remover solution breaks down the dead skin around the nail, making it softer and easier to remove.
Quick and Effective
Cuticle remover is easy to use, and will quickly soften your cuticles so that they are ready for removal.
Potential For Damage
Leaving the cuticle remover on the nail for too long can cause over-softening of the cuticle. This makes them much more susceptible to injury and infection.
Potential Skin Irritation
Sensitivities to the ingredients in cuticle removers can cause redness, swelling, and pain around the nail. Some people may even have allergies to the ingredients which can cause more serious reactions; it’s always recommended to patch-test the product before use.
Semilac’s Nail and Cuticle Butter has been specially designed to improve the condition of nails and cuticles. It nourishes and moisturises the cuticles, prevents dryness and cracking, and reduces nail fragility and brittleness.
If your cuticles are especially cracked and dry, using a medicated repair balm like Sudocrem will work to heal your skin.
Characterised by swelling, redness and pain around the nail bed. Can cause yellow pus and fever.
Characterised by a build-up of skin or blood under the nails, crumbling or pitting nails, and changes in nail colour to yellow or brown.
Characterised by thick, cracked or fragile nails that are brown, yellow or white in colour.
To view our range of manicure tools, including everything you’ll need to care for your cuticles, click here.