What is a Cuticle? What They Really Are and 5 Ways to Care for Them

AgataAgata
Jul. 29
Many people don’t know it, but the cuticle is actually an incredibly important part of your nail, and if they are not looked after properly it can lead to unhealthy nails or even more serious issues. Taking proper care of your cuticles will actually help your body to grow super healthy and strong nails, but what are they, what does a cuticle do, and how do we care for them? 
What is a Cuticle?
There is often a lot of confusion about what the cuticle actually is. Well, if you take a look at your nail, you will be able to see a layer of skin around your nail bed, below the pale half-moon shape, known as the lunula. (If you’ve recently had a manicure, it may have been trimmed away, but it’s the skin that the manicurist pushes back and trims at the beginning of your manicure.) 
While it may sound scary that someone is cutting your skin, the cuticle is actually non-living tissue that attaches to the nail itself, so it doesn’t hurt when it is damaged. 
What Does a Cuticle Do?
Now you know what a cuticle is, but what does a cuticle do? They act as protection from bacteria for the new nails growing through beneath, which can be vulnerable to infection. 
As the cuticle is actually attached to the nail, it provides a seal to the rest of the matrix (which we will talk more about below) to prevent any dirt and bacteria from getting in that may cause harm.
Why Do We Need to Care for Our Cuticles?
One of the main reasons we need to care for our cuticles is because they are part of our “nail matrix.” The matrix is an area deep below your nail and set back in your finger where the nail starts to grow. The matrix has an element of control over how healthy our nails are as they grow. Nails are made from keratin, which is produced in this matrix, and as these new, soft keratin cells are formed, the old cells are moved on to form the hard, visible nail.
If any part of your matrix is damaged or unhealthy, such as through improper care, these new cells are often of lower quality and so your nail will grow with abnormalities, such as discoloration, ridges, or brittleness.
When you take proper care of your cuticles it not only protects against abnormalities and infection, it can also help the natural growth of strong, healthy nails.
Is it safe for the manicurist to cut my cuticles?
Although many manicurists will cut cuticles as part of typical manicure steps, both the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and the Mayo Clinic recommend that cutting cuticles should be avoided, even when having your nails done by a professional manicurist in a nail salon.
This is because, as mentioned above, your cuticles are what protect your new nail cells from infection, and when they are cut there is more space for bacteria to get in and therefore an increased risk of developing an infection.
You may still find that many manicurists will cut the cuticle despite this risk as they say this helps a manicure to last longer and offer better results. However, you should always ask your manicurist to simply push back your cuticle and trim the loose skin, no longer attached to the nail, not the whole cuticle.
How to Care for Your Cuticles: 5 Top Tips
The important thing to know is how to care for your cuticles in the right way to keep your nails healthy and always looking their best, here are 5 tips: 
Keep Them Clean
The simplest way to care for your cuticles is to regularly soak your nails, whether your hands or feet, in warm, soapy water for about 10 minutes. Not only will this help to keep your cuticles soft it’s also super relaxing! (You can do this as part of a relaxing bath!) 
Avoid Cutting Your Cuticles
As we mentioned above, there really shouldn’t be any reason to cut your cuticles. It might make your manicure look a little nicer and last a little longer, but it is really not worth the risk of infection.
Avoid cutting your cuticles and avoid abnormalities like ridges, brittle nails, white lines, or white spots. Basically, just an unhealthy nail!
However, note that cutting your cuticle and simply trimming the loose skin are two different things, so gently pushing back excess cuticle and trimming the loose skin is okay. 
Use a Wooden Cuticle Stick
If the reason you cut your cuticles is to make your nails look a bit longer, you can get this same effect by simply pushing back the cuticle. Make sure you do this gently with a wooden tool, as opposed to a metal tool, after soaking your nails so that your cuticles will be soft. You’ll often find these in manicure kits. 
Moisturize
You probably don’t ever think about it, but your cuticle skin can become dry and cracked like on any other area of your body, and it is just as important to keep them moisturized. You don’t even need a special product, you can simply use a regular body moisturizer or hand cream, just take some time to actively massage it into your cuticles.
Dermatologists advise using a thicker cream or Vaseline when you can as this will provide the best results. If you find that these are too messy to use during the day, while you are at work or just out and about, you can use a thinner lotion during the day and apply the thicker product at night when you go to bed.
You can also buy cuticle oil which can be easily applied throughout the day and is a great way to prevent your cuticles from drying out and the possibility of cracking.
Avoid Drying Agents
The final tip is to avoid any activity that might dry out your cuticles. This includes washing dishes without using rubber gloves and using nail polish remover that isn’t acetone-free.
Just remember, whenever your hands and nails become dried out, moisturize!
If you keep in mind that your cuticles are important, and care for your hands (especially when we’re using so much hand sanitizer), you’ll have healthy cuticles that aren’t at risk of infection. 
Best Reviews
🤦🏻‍♀️Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth🙅🏻‍♀️
🤦🏻‍♀️Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth🙅🏻‍♀️
You have got great skin. But the one thing that stops you from stepping out naturally without any makeup is the dark skin around your mouth. Is this true? You have tried everything from DIYs to skin lightening creams. But the pigmentation around your mouth has remained your stubborn friend, right Why Is The Skin Around My Mouth Dark? 1. Hyperpigmentation 2. Weather Conditions Sun exposure and darkening of the skin. In very cold weather, if you lick your lips and the area around it too often, it can discolour the skin and make it look darker How Do You Get Rid Of Hyperpigmentation Around The Mouth? 1. Exfoliate If you exfoliate the area around your mouth regularly with a gentle exfoliator, it can remove dead cells and help to lighten the skin. Opt for a chemical exfoliant as it will not scrape the skin which in turn may worsen the condition. 2. OTC Skin-Brightening Creams Skin brightening creams can be effective in reducing the dark area around the mouth. Look for ingredients such as glabridin (a licorice extract), kojic acid, vitamin C, grape seed extract, azelaic acid , arbutin, curcumin or niacinamide, These block the production of tyrosinase which is needed by the skin to make melanin. 3. Acid Peels Your dermatologist may use a salicylic acid or glycolic acid peel to treat the dark skin around your mouth. However, these peels do not offer a permanent solution and the pigmentation can return. These peels penetrate deep into the skin to repair the damaged cells. Post treatment precautions like staying out of the sun, applying sunscreen and protecting the skin can make the effect of the peels last longer 6. Natural Remedies You can also use natural remedies to treat the dark skin around your mouth. Most of these natural ingredients can be found in your kitchen. Unless you have an allergy to any of these, you can try using them to get rid of the pigmented skin. Exfoliate with Papaya Papaya has fruit acids known as alpha-hydroxy acids, which is a chemical exfoliantAHAs are used for dry skin and to anti-age, and works to improve skin by removing the top layers of the skin through weakening the lipids that bond them together, thus removing dull and dead skin cells and revealing healthy skin cells. Soothe Skin and Reduce Spots with Almond Oil The presence of Vitamin E and niacin help with hyperpigmentation and improving skin tone,” she says. Because sweet almond oil is non-comedogenic (meaning it won’t clog your pores) you can add it to your nightly routine as a makeup remover or moisturizer to help protect the skin barrier. Reverse Photo Damage with Tomatoes Tomatoes are naturally rich in lycopene, which has multiple health benefits, including sun protection Brighten with Yogurt breaks down dead skin cells thanks to lactic acid, which is found naturally in dairy products. Using a yogurt with cow’s milk could be effective in calming the skin, since it has lactic acid. Lactic acid is an AHA, which improves discoloration and age spots
HOW TO: AT-HOME BLOWOUT
HOW TO: AT-HOME BLOWOUT
At-home blowouts are the future of hair styling! Ever since I went to Dry Bar a year ago to get a blowout for $80 (which is just ridiculous in my opinion), I’ve been mastering my at-home blowout. I purchased the Revlon One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer at Ulta which completely changed the game for my hair after shower hair routine! REVLON - One-Step Volumizer Hair Dryer Bonus Tip: Remember to spray a heat protectant in your hair before drying it. 😊 OUAI - Heat Protection Spray To get max volume and flipped ends, I take 1 inch sections and start at the root of my hair. I go as slowly as possible so that all of my roots are dry. Next, I twist the brush so that my hair is wrapped around it all the way down the section of hair. I repeat this process until I reach the top of my head. Lastly, I take a straightener to flatten any flyaways or unwanted curls if there are any left. That’s it! In total, the entire process takes me about 20 minutes. My hair feels so soft, light, and looks amazing afterwards. The next time you think about going to purchase a blowout, I recommend trying it at home first! 💕
Worth the hype! Sunday Riley resurfacing duo
Worth the hype! Sunday Riley resurfacing duo
SUNDAY RILEY - Good Genes All in One Lactic Acid Treatment SUNDAY RILEY - Pink Drink Firming Resurfacing Essence in full transparency: i was originally sent these products for a paid campaign. i always test out products before i make my reccomendation , but this post is to reinforce my love for the products. ive been using this duo for almost 2 months now & it has definitely improved the texture/look of my skin. i was hyping this product on my IG & this post is just to say that yes its still worth the hype!!!
It’s our birthday! 🎉😭🍰 Let’s celebrate!
It’s our birthday! 🎉😭🍰 Let’s celebrate!
We know this has been a hard year but we wanna celebrate our wins 🥂 Here’s to a year filled with beauty ups and downs, perfect finds, great advice, friends and 🔥 looks. Watching our community grow is a beautiful sight. We ❤️ you!
A Year in review!
A Year in review!
This year has definitely been a wild ride. I’ve learned so much more about my hair and skin in this last year than I ever thought I would or needed to know! All the way from using witch hazel and not paying attention to my curl pattern, to staying completely fragrance free with face products and staying away from harsh toners and paying attention to what my hair was trying to do! Using this app has really opened doors for me that I wouldn’t thought possible for my beauty process! I can’t wait to see what more years bring me, and us! Thank you @cherie!