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  • Sarah Mailhott

Quit Cutting Your Cuticles

It's true... sometimes less IS more. Especially when it comes to having healthy, soft cuticles.

Cuticles Manicure
Wearing Giant Peach by Sally Hansen

History Time

Before the existence of gel polish, I would spend $20 every week to get my nails done (laugh all you want). When weekly visits to the salon started to wear my wallet thin, I purchased supplies to start doing my own nails at home. I would push my cuticles back as far as humanly possible and apply polish right up to the cuticle line. One, it was painful. Often times, my cuticles would bleed. Two, my cuticles were dry, jagged and red.... and so were my nails. So, when I started researching how to strengthen and grow my nails, I discovered the secret to having healthy nails begins at the #cuticle.

The Do's And Don't's

Seriously, DO LESS. The less I pushed back and cut my cuticles, the more supple they appeared and the stronger and longer my nails seemed to grow.

Don't Cut Your Cuticles

As if this needs any explanation, your cuticles are part of your skin and serve as a protective barrier for your nails. Cutting your cuticles back too far can lead to infection and swollen skin around your nail beds, so please don't viciously use a cuticle pusher to force your cuticles back. This stifles growth and can cause bruising and unwanted ridges/ bumps in your nails.

Do Hydrate Like A Maniac

You apply lotion after showering, don't you? You drink water throughout the day, right? So, make sure to moisturize your cuticles, too. As I've said before, cuticles are skin.... living and breathing. They need proper care to stay healthy, soft and smooth so make sure to use intensive, hydrating creams and oils on your cuticles throughout the day. Search for ingredients like Vitamin E, Shea Butter, and Aloe Vera. I keep Elixir Nail Care on me at all times.... in my purse, at my desk, in my car and next to my bed. Your cuticles will thank you.

Don't Get Fancy

There's no need to buy fancy equipment to push your cuticles back properly. A simple orange stick will do. Or, if you want to be sophisticated, purchase all the manicure and pedicure tools you could possible need, here. Make sure your cuticles have had the chance to warm up before pushing them back. I usually save this for the shower, when my hands have been running under warm water. This ensures your cuticles are workable and ready to be pushed back without breakage or injury.

Do Know The Difference

... between the cuticle and proximal nail fold. Yup, we've been tricked. The tight band of skin we usually refer to as "the cuticle" is actually called the proximal nail fold. For the sake of consistency, I will continue to call the proximal nail fold the cuticle, but just for your enlightenment the cuticle is actually the thin, colorless tissue on your nail bed that appears to grow from under the proximal nail fold.

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