When we give ourselves a manicure, either at home or at a salon, what should we do with our cuticles? Is it better to remove them, or just push them back? After a lot of search, we’ve come to the conclusion that most beauty professionals recommend not to remove your cuticles or to push them back fully.
If you’re not sure, the cuticle is the skin immediately around the base of your fingernail. Its function is to protect the roots of your nail against infections and daily injuries. Cuticles also help our nails grow quicker and stronger.
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So, if we remove our cuticles fully, or if they are badly cut, we run the risk of removing the natural protection of our nail roots and we are increasing the risk of infection.
If we push them back, we will reduce some of the protection cuticles give to our nails. Uncared for cuticles are also prone to dryness and hangnails.
So what’s the answer?
There is not one and easy answer to this question: our answer is, “what better fits your hands”. That is, if your cuticles present a neat appearance, the best is to keep them healthy and hydrated, using a good quality moisturiser, at least once a day.
If you don’t like the look of your cuticles and do decide to push them back, be reasonable and reduce the size to normal, never pushing them back completely. If you do so, the cuticle can separate from the base of the nail and you leave you with an unprotected area – which may lead to infections.
Also, never try to push back dry cuticles. Cuticles are not only easier to nudge back when they’re moist, it’s also safer and moist cuticles are less likely to tear. Try pushing back your cuticles right after you get out of the shower, or soak your fingertips for a short time in a bowl of warm water.
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While it’s not a good idea to cut your cuticles, it’s fine to cut your hangnails. Just be careful – use a sharp cuticle cutter that’s been disinfected with alcohol or peroxide and apply antibacterial ointment to the cut areas immediately afterwards.
Just remember healthy cuticles help your nails healthy and whether you choose to go natural or tidy your cuticles up, you are always the best advisor for your body.