Nourishing your cuticles is one of the best ways to take care of your nails, and should be an essential part of any nail care routine. By nourishing and maintaining your cuticles, you can prevent them from becoming dry and brittle, and help to ensure healthy and beautiful nail beds in the long run. So, if you want to learn all you need to know about cuticle care, and find out how to nurture and maintain healthy nail beds, then simply read on!
1. A Balanced Approach to Cuticle Care
Taking proper care of cuticles is essential for overall nail health, as they are a barrier that protects the nail bed. However, harsh treatments and incorrect handling of cuticles can lead to dryness, infections and other problems. Here are some tips for finding and keeping your nails healthy:
- Moisturize: Regularly applying moisturizers will keep your cuticles from drying out and cracking. Apply cuticle oil or cream after washing your hands and allow it to sink in before pushing back the cuticles.
- Trim: Trim any hangnails or overgrown cuticles with cuticle nippers, avoiding the quick (living skin) of your nail. Leave trimming of cuticles to the professionals when getting a manicure.
- Don’t force: Never force the skin of your cuticles back when pushing them. Applying pressure in the wrong direction can cause pain or trauma, leading to infection.
- Gently push: To properly maintain cuticles, use a wooden cuticle pusher and start from the middle of the nail bed, pushing down towards the edge of the nail. When done, use a moisturizing lotion or cream.
It is also important to note that overuse of lotions and creams can lead to a build-up of product that can clog the pores on your skin. If you find that your cuticles are too dry, try soaking them in warm water before pushing them back. It is best to push them back after a bath or shower, as this is when the cuticles are the most pliable and it will be easier to maneuver them.
Last but certainly not least, take a break from manicures every once in a while. Depending on the treatment, aggressive nail salon treatments can damage your cuticles. Occasionally giving your nails a break will help to keep them strong and healthy.
Finding the right balance between cuticle care and occasional treatments is the key to keeping your nails strong, healthy and looking their best. Following these tips can help you achieve this perfectly!
2. Benefits of Caring for Your Cuticles
Keeping your cuticles healthy and well-manicured is essential for preventing hangnails and infections. Here are some of the great benefits of taking care of your cuticles:
- Healthy and hydrated cuticles: Properly managed cuticles make hands look more attractive and appealing. Regularly exfoliating your cuticles can remove dirt and debris, and keeping them hydrated with a cuticle oil helps keep them soft and healthy.
- Prevent pain: Neglecting your cuticles will cause them to become dry and cracked, which can lead to pain when you are handling items or brushing against something. Keeping them properly moisturized helps to prevent that kind of discomfort.
- Long-lasting manicure: Taking care of your cuticles helps keep your manicure looking its best for a longer period of time. This means you won’t have to go to the salon as often to get your nails done.
When caring for your cuticles, it is important to start off by completely removing any old nail polish. Then, soak your hands in warm soapy water to soften the cuticles and give them some nourishment. Use a cuticle pusher to gently push them back into place.
After the cuticles are pushed back, you can apply a cuticle oil to moisturize and nourish your cuticles. This helps to keep them healthy and prevent cracking and peeling. You can also use a cuticle cream to help keep the cuticles hydrated and promote healing.
Finally, keep your nails trimmed and filed properly as this will help prevent them from becoming too long and splitting. Properly managed cuticles will keep your hands looking beautiful and healthy.
3. Crafting an At-Home Cuticle Care Routine
Taking care of your cuticles is an important part of having healthy nails. But with salons closed due to the pandemic, it can feel like a challenge to keep your cuticles healthy. But with the right approach, you can create an effective at-home cuticle care routine that will leave you with beautifully manicured nails!
Step 1: Gently Cleanse
Lift away dirt, oils, and other leftover traces of nail polish with a gentle nail cleanser. To avoid irritating your cuticles, opt for an extra-gentle formula that is free of sulfates and harsh surfactants. When applying, focus your efforts on the cuticle area, using a soft-bristle brush to buff away any buildup. Rinse with lukewarm water and gently pat your fingers dry.
Step 2: Apply Moisturizing Oils
- Gently massage a cuticle oil, like sweet almond, jojoba, or avocado, into your cuticles and skin around the nails
- Cover your hands in thick cotton gloves or mittens and let the oils absorb for a minimum of 15 minutes
- Gently massage and push back your cuticles
Step 3: Exfoliate and Rejuvenate
Get rid of any built-up dead skin cells and dry patches with a homemade exfoliant. Mix coarse sea salt with your favourite essential oil and a few drops of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Apply enough of the solution to cover your fingertips. Gently massage the mixture into the cuticles for five minutes and then rinse your hands with warm water. Pat your hands dry and afterward, it’s crucial to apply a thick cuticle cream to moisturise the skin and seal in hydration.
Step 4: Add the Final Touch
To protect and nourish your cuticles, apply a generous layer of nail balm to the area. This will protect your cuticles from environmental elements and help keep them hydrated until your next at-home cuticle care routine!
4. Nail Bed Addiction: The Signs to Look Out For
Nail bed addiction can manifest itself as relatively harmless nail biting, leading to permanently damaged nails, red and sore skin around the nails, and an infection risk. Signs to look out for include:
- Biting nails beyond just the cuticles
- Chewing the skin around the nail
- Biting nails often and with anxiety
Excessive and unnecessary grooming of the fingers or hands can also indicate a nail bed addiction. Common habits may include:
- Picking or peeling cuticles
- Sucking or chewing on fingernails or skin
- Digging into the nail with nails or a tool
Though nail bed addiction may seem harmless, it can lead to an array of physical and psychological impairments. Not only can it cause serious infections, it may also result in:
- Low self-esteem due to broken, uneven nails
- Reduced physical sensation in hands due to nerve damage
- Change in handwriting due to weakened finger muscles
- Exhaustion from constantly biting and worrying the nails
- Anxiety and depression due to heightened self-criticism
If you or someone you know is suffering from nail bed addiction, it’s vital to seek help. There are numerous treatment and therapy options now available that can help break the addiction whilst also addressing any underlying psychological issues.
Taking care of your cuticles is essential to maintaining healthy, beautiful nails. By paying a little more attention to your cuticles, you can reward yourself with healthy, stunning nails. Remember, healthy cuticles lead to healthy, attractive nails!