While many women tend to fuss over their nails, they tend to ignore the cuticles altogether. The cuticle is the skin surrounding the nail that needs its own share of attention and care. Cuticles that are uncared for will cut a sorry appearance next to a beautiful, polished fingernail. Not taking care of the cuticles properly will also increase one’s chances of being affected by conditions like dry/brittle nails, hangnails and even infection.
Keep them moisturized
Cuticles are prone to dryness and can get dry very fast. Hence, it is imperative that you moisturize them at least once every hours or so. Pick a good quality moisturizer that remains on your skin for extended periods. If you are worried about using your hands for other chores immediately after moisturizing, consider moisturizing the cuticles when you are resting for a brief period.
Don’t cut them
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Many tend to believe that cutting cuticles will help you get a better nail shape. However, this can prove to be dangerous for your nails in the long run. The cuticles protect the roots of the nails from infection. Cutting them away will make the nails more vulnerable to bacteria. Hence, make sure you don’t cut the cuticles when cutting the nails.
Don’t push them back when they are dry
The rule of the thumb is to push the cuticles back only when they are moist and soft. Trying to push back a dry cuticle will only break it, causing bleeding and infections. So wash your hands first, moisturize the cuticles and gently push them back using a cuticle remover only after they become soft.
Eat a balanced diet to keep nails and cuticles healthy
What you eat will directly reflect on your body, including your nails and cuticles. Nails need protein to grow. So make sure you add foods containing protein to your diet, including foods like beef, fish, chicken and dark green vegetables. These same foods will also contribute to a stronger nail bed and stronger cuticles. Also make it a point to drink a lot of water every day to keep the cuticles hydrated from within.
Do not peel or chip off the old nail polish
Most of us commit the grave mistake of peeling or chipping off our old nail polish. Not only would this affect the nail bed, but it would also damage the cuticles considerably. Always use a nail polish remover, and make sure to moisturize them as well as the cuticles as soon as you remove the old nail polish.
Trim Hangnails with great care
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While cutting cuticles is not advisable, you can cut the hangnails on your fingers. But this would also require a great deal of patience and care, as a mistake could lead to a wound which in turn would cause infections. Make use of a sharp cuticle nipper to cut the hangnails. Sterilize the cuticle nipper beforehand with peroxide and alcohol. Keep an antibacterial ointment handy in case of any unforeseen mistakes.
Choose your nail care products carefully
Don’t simply buy a nail care product because it looks flashy. Even the flashiest of products can contain chemicals that may harm your nails and cuticles. So choose only those products that do not contain harmful ingredients. It is also imperative that you throw away any nail care product that has reached its expiry date for expired products can cause the cuticles to become dry and brittle.
Get regular manicures
In addition to taking care of your nails and cuticles at home regularly, opt for periodic manicures at a professional salon or spa. The therapists in these places are professionals who will give you a proper manicure, with the cuticles pushed back nicely and the nails of the same length.
The cuticles are often ignored by those who tend to fuss over their nails more. From eating the right foods and moisturizing the cuticles regularly, these tips will help you take care of your cuticles better.