If you like a manicure or you’re a fan of nail polish, you probably already know what cuticles are. However, you may not know what they are for and how you should look after them. The cuticle is the layer of clear skin at the bottom of your fingernail. If you don’t push your cuticles back, they tend to overlap the base of your nail.
The cuticle is waterproof, and its purpose is to protect the new nail and the skin around it from bacteria as the nail grows out from the nail root (or nail matrix in technical speak). Although you should never cut your cuticles, you need to keep them clean and moisturised. You will also want to push them back from your nails for a bigger nail area and a better manicure.
Caring for the Skin Around Your Nails
- Fill a bowl with warm, soapy water.
- Soak your hands (or feet) in the water for about 10 minutes.
- Remove them from the bowl and pat them dry with a towel.
- Apply a cuticle oil like our award-winning Sienna Cuticle Oil and massage it into your cuticles.
Your nails, cuticles, and the skin around them will now be clean and soft. Push your cuticles back gently with an orange (cuticle) stick. We prefer to leave it at that but if you have lots of cuticle, you can now trim any excess skin and hangnails around your nails with cuticle scissors. To finish off, apply lots of your favourite moisturiser to your hands, fingers, cuticles, and the skin around your nails.
Ask someone to help you cut off hangnails, especially if the hangnail is on a finger on your dominant hand.
Moisturise your cuticles regularly with cuticle oil to prevent them from becoming dry and cracked.
If a hangnail gets infected make sure to see your pharmacist or naturopath for the correct medical advice for your unique skin.
Do not pick or rip off hangnails. A: It hurts! And B: If you are not careful with hangnails, you can damage the skin around your nails and risk infection.
Don’t bite your nails or the skin around them, or you risk hangnails.
Don’t forget your gloves in cold weather or while gardening or doing housework.
Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise