Whether you realize it or not, we use our hands for almost everything in our daily routine. Take it from me. I have gone in and out of periods with eczema on my hands. And it is until you cannot use your hands for the most basic tasks (like buttoning up a shirt) is it that you realize we take our hands for granted. This is the reason I have created the Best Care Tips and Tricks for Healthy Cuticles list.
Even though having eczema on my hands is inconvenient at the best of times, some good has come out of the situation. The eczema made my cuticles recede dramatically. Almost to the point of being non-existent! And it forced me to research the best methods and care tips for maintaining healthy strong cuticles.
So here is a list of my best tips and tricks for creating and maintaining strong healthy cuticles for your nails (even if you do not have eczema).
Why do we need cuticles?
Before we jump into my best tips and tricks for healthy cuticles, let’s explore the reason why we need cuticles.
Cuticles are a thin layer of skin based at the bottom of the nail, otherwise known as the nail bed. It’s role is to protect the new nail growth from the nail bed from bacteria. Side note, this is not to be confused with the lunula, which is the slightly lighter shade of the nail that looks like a crescent moon.
The cuticles also help to maintain a smooth nail form. This was one of my main problems when my cuticles receded too much. Without my cuticles, the new nail growth became bumpy and uneven. As the nail grew I would have wave like textures on my nails which caused grief and weakness in the nail as it matured.
Tips and Tricks for Healthy Cuticles
To avoid information overload, I am going to list the tips and tricks in short sections so you can easily come back to this article and use it as a reference in the future.
The best approach is prevention.
Don’t wait until your cuticles are dry and unhealthy looking. Keep your cuticles (and nails for that matter) clean and start a regular maintenance regime. This doesn’t mean you will have to sit at home for hours tending to your nails. Simply soak your fingers (nails and all) in a warm tub of soapy water for 10 minutes every few days. Soaking will help soften your cuticles and maintain a good amount of moisture in the thin later of skin.
Apply cuticle oil and a moisturizing cream to your cuticles.
This is best performed after your 10 minute soapy water soak (mentioned in the above tip). Simply massage the oil and cream into each cuticle. Again, this helps to moisturize the cuticle to stay soft and supple.
Push instead of cut!
Many salons swear that cutting cuticles is the best practice for polished nails. While this may be the case when you are concentrating on the finished product of beautifully manicured polished nails. It may not be the best practice when it comes to healthy nails. At your next appointment or home nails session, try pushing the cuticles back rather than cutting them. By cutting cuticles, it increases the chances of bacteria infecting the nail – which will lead to more troubles you don’t want to have to deal with.
Avoid harsh nail polish and removers.
Again this one comes down to personal choice. Sometimes the best looking nails will be at the expense of your nail health. We recommend avoiding polishes and nail polish removers with harsh chemicals. Try to go for products that are acetone-free. It may involve a bit more elbow grease, however you won’t be sacrificing your cuticle and nail health.
Don’t Bite Your Nails.
No doubt you have heard this one over and over again (especially from your parents). However there is good reasoning behind the nagging. Biting your nails creates jagged edges in your nails (as opposed to using a nail cutter). These jagged edges are rough and more prone to bacteria entering the nail. Eventually, this can lead to infected nails that can travel down to the nail bed – impacting on your cuticle health.
Maintaining your cuticle and nail health is vital. Nails are not simply an accessory that can be discarded when it is looking a bit worse for wear. Nails and cuticles are a part of your body. Don’t take them for granted like I did. Treat them with respect and care and they will pay you back threefold with a healthy and vibrant look.
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