They’re not the star of the show at the salon. They don’t require much maintenance. In fact, you may not consider cuticles at all, unless they get in the way of your perfect polish job. But the truth is, these unsung heroes of the hands play an important part in keeping nails healthy and beautiful. So before you pick up the clippers, try these tips to give your cuticles the TLC and treatment they deserve.
Forget about removal
Thick, creeping cuticles aren’t cute, but that doesn’t mean they need to be cut. Removing these built-in protective layers opens the door for bacteria to enter the nail bed, which could lead to irritation or infection. Instead, use an orange stick or a cuticle pusher to gently push back cuticles using a light, circular motion. If buildup gathers, carefully clip it away with a pair of Earth Therapeutics Cuticle Nippers.
More moisture, please!
Dish washing, hand washing, removing polish with harsh liquids—all of these drying deeds destroy the moisture cuticles need to stay supple. Hand lotion helps, but for extra protection, rub on some Badger Soothing Shea Butter Cuticle Care or Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Crème. These thick, botanical-based topicals are made with beeswax and natural oils that seal in moisture and soothe both cuticles and nails.
If you still suffer from dry, peeling or cracking cuticles even after extra moisturizing, it may be time for an oil treatment. Once a week before bed, coat cuticles with with Organix South TheraNeem Nail and Cuticle Oil, an intense Ayurvedic herbal blend made from neem leaf and oil, plus organic sesame oil and vitamin E. Cover up with a pair of Earth Therapeutics Moisturizing Hand Gloves—specially designed to help skin absorb and retain active oils—and sleep your way to super-quenched cuticles and softer hands!
Colorful nails are nice, but many popular polishes are packed with chemicals that stain, weaken and dry not just your nails but your cuticles too. Go au naturel for healthier hands, or if you can’t bear to be without gloss and shine, try a non-solvent-based polish such as Honeybee Gardens WaterColors or Barielle Shades for flair without formaldehyde, toluene or dangerous DPB.
Say no to strippers
Acetone is an enemy when it comes to healthy cuticles and nails. When it’s time to take off nail color, be sure to strip with something safe such as Honeybee Gardens Nail Polish Remover, a natural solution that’s not only acetone free but enriched with aloe vera and vitamin E for extra cuticle coddling.
The Beauty Boss blogs are compiled by our staff editors Rebecca Chopin and Katie Kaleita, who work closely with the Vitacost.com beauty department experts to bring you the most relevant, up-to-date information on natural beauty and anti-aging tips and trends.