We’ve all been there: Our cuticles are ragged and overgrown and we can’t wait until our next nail appointment, so we cut (or — cringe — bite) them ourselves. Sure, it’s convenient and easy but cutting your cuticles can do more harm than good. Enter Jan Arnold, co-founder of CND and someone who has made it her mission to help us care for our hands. We got in touch with this boss lady to find out the right way to care for our cuticles, and she warns that those nips and cuts can go south real quick because they often leave room for pathogens to enter and potentially cause infection. To learn more about her tips and tricks, read on for three easy steps that will leave your cuticles healthy and allow you to put the nail clipper away for good.
Exfoliate Your Cuticles for Healthy-Looking Nail Beds
Every time you bathe, Arnold suggests gently pushing back your cuticles using a moist washcloth. To rid the nail of any excess cuticle growth and clear away the buildup of dead skin, apply a light exfoliator containing alpha-hydroxy-acids. Cuticle exfoliators containing alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are formulated to gently dissolve excess cuticle debris. Try using the CND Cuticle Eraser for its ability to slough away rough skin and reveal healthy tissue. After one week of continued use, you’ll notice a big improvement in the appearance of your cuticles.
How to Repair Already-Overgrown Cuticles
If your cuticles are overgrown, Arnold suggests beginning a daily routine of massaging cuticle exfoliator into the entire nail. She recommends using the same method of gently pushing back overgrowth with a soft washcloth when you take a bath or shower. You should also apply cuticle oil several times a day to keep the cuticles hydrated. We like the Essie Apricot Oil because it hydrates and revitalizes your cuticles and nails. Also, before you apply nail polish, don’t forget to use a soft toothbrush to scrub under the nails and around the cuticle as a way to gently clean and exfoliate your hands. To quickly brighten up the appearance of your hands, try an exfoliating scrub like Kiehl’s Crème de Corps Soy Milk and Honey Body Polish.
Never Cut Your Cuticles
To put it plainly, cutting cuticles increases the risk of exposing them to infection. Continual cutting can also lead to scar tissue and hangnails. “Calluses and scar-like tissue around the nail will ultimately need to be sloughed away and conditioned to rehabilitate the area,” Arnold explains. And those tricky hangnails? She adds: “The only instance that’s appropriate for nipping is if there’s a loose tag of skin."
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