Cuticle care is a vital aspect of any nail service and not looking after them properly can leave nails less protected against trauma, more likely to lift (for gel and acrylic enhancements) and increase the risk of nail infection.
In this guide, we explain what a cuticle is before running through the importance of proper cuticle care and how to look after them properly.
What is a Cuticle?
When we talk about cuticles, we’re referring to the thin layer of clear skin around the bottom edges of the toe or fingernail bed, however the cuticle is commonly misidentified as the tight fold of skin at the bottom of the nail bed – which is actually called the proximal fold of the eponychium (or nail fold).
Whilst the nail fold is living skin, a cuticle is dead skin that helps to protect your nails from infection as they grow.
Why is Cuticle Care Important?
Cuticle care is a vital aspect of any nail service and it can help nail enhancements like gel polish stay perfect for longer without lifting, as all products adhere best to a clean nail. Pushing cuticles back also helps to elongate the nail plate, giving you more space for painting or applying nail extensions.
This should be done using a cuticle pusher, after the nails have been soaked in warm water to soften them.
How to Remove Cuticles
Use a Cuticle Remover
Cuticle removers contain low pH level acid that helps to soften and dissolve the dead skin cuticles are made up of.
You should always read the instructions provided before using a cuticle remover, even if you’ve used one before, as safe usage instructions can vary from brand to brand.
Leaving a cuticle remover on for too long can cause damage to the tissue around the nail bed if it’s left on too long.
Use a Cuticle Softener
A cuticle softener produces similar results to a cuticle remover in that it softens cuticles to make them easier to remove. However, the main difference is that cuticle softeners tend to be acid free and don’t completely dissolve the cuticle – instead just making them softer so removal with a cuticle pusher or similar tool is easier.
Use Warm Water with Cuticle Oil
If you prefer to take the natural route, try soaking your hands in a mixture of warm water and cuticle oil before pushing them back for a chemical free alternative to using a cuticle remover solution.
Cuticle oils typically contain vegetable oils and added vitamins that contribute to healthy nails and cuticles, and it should be applied routinely at the end of every nail service.
Make sure to get your cuticle oil and softeners, along with your other nail supplies, from Hollywood Nails Supply – Shop today!