May 12, 2010, 9:00:00 AM

How to: Happy Cuticles!

women hands with dripping fluids

Hi everyone! I've done a lot of swatching today, but my MacBook failed on me AGAIN :-(. I got it up and running again but most of my recent files are gone. I've been swatching some great colors by American Apparel, Diamond Cosmetics and Eyeko. So expect those soon, after I redid them, lol!
Since I don't have anything nice to show you, I figured I'd write about another subject I'm getting a lot of questions about, cuticle care. I've always had awful looking cuticles and after trying a lot of things, this is my routine now:

1. To cut or not to cut?

A lot of people pick, or bite or cut their cuticles, using clippers or scissors. Please don't! I'm a firm believer of the no cutting regime, and I'll tell you why.

Cuticles are a very important part of the nail growth cycle, when you tick them off, you're bound to see this reflect in your nail growth. Cuticles serve as a natural barrier to bacteria and fungus. If you fiddle with this too much, you'll lose this protection. And not too mention the risk of nasty infections that can lead to permanent nail damage. Yikes. If you insist on doing this, make sure you use sterile tools. As you can see in this very old picture, I, admittedly, used to cut mine too. You can see how annoyed they look, but I just didn't know how to care for them.

Sad Cuticles
Sad cuticles :-(

Nfu Oh Cuticle Remover
Nfu Oh Cuticle Remover

2. Get rid of it

After soaking in warm water, simply push back your cuticles with an orange stick or cuticle pusher. Be careful though, or you'll end up with damage anyway. Now, I've raved about this before, but I love love love Nfu Oh's Cuticle remover. I use this religiously and it makes a huge difference!

There are different kinds of cuticle removers out there, the ones that just soften your cuticle and the ones that actually work. The latter are the so called A.H.A removers. Alpha Hydroxy Acids are natural exfoliators that dissolve and slough away dry, dead skin. Some other A.H.A. cuticle removers are CND Cuticle Eraser or OPI Avoplex Exfoliating Cuticle Treatment. Just apply the stuff on the cuticle and move an orange stick along the cuticle and watch the gunk come off!

3. Moisturize!

Another huge part of taking care of your cuticles, is hydration. In order to keep them supple and healthy, you need to keep them hydrated. If I'm slacking, I'll notice this right away. There are a lot of products out there that promise moisturized cuticles, but I'm very picky. There are balms, oils, creams, butters, you name it. I think we're seeing oils the most and funnily enough I like these the least. They often contain mineral oil and they seem to dry out my cuticles even more.

The product I'm using a LOT is Lemony Flutter by Lush. It does contain oils but probably in the right conjunction, because this stuff is miraculous. Every night before I go to bed, I slap this on and I wake up with super soft cuticles.

Lush Lemony Flutter
Lemony Flutter by Lush

Happy Cuticles
Happy cuticle :-)

4. What do you do?

So, that's all there is to it actually!
Step away from the clippers & nippers, get a good cuticle remover and moisturize like there's no tomorrow.

Some lovely Brazilian readers told me it's common for them to cut the cuticles, so I'm really curious to see how many of you are doing this:

Do you cut your cuticles?
Yes, but I'm not going to anymore free polls

So now you know all about how I keep my cuticles happy, I hope this was helpful! Thanks for reading and I'll see you soon!
- Michèle