A Crash Course in Cuticle Care

by Maria McNamara | 0 comments

It’s important to maintain a healthy relationship with your cuticles. If you’re good to them, they’ll be good to you, and your nails will feel the benefits. Never cut, chew, or pick at your cuticles, lest you damage the live tissue that protects nails from bacteria, fungi, and other disgusting things. (If you ever feel tempted, just google image “nail infection” and you’ll be scared straight.) Cuticles are important and necessary. Team Cuticle!

But we’ll be the first to admit that cuticles are not always pretty…especially when dead, raggedy tissue threatens to overshadow your stunning nail look. Fortunately there’s an easy solution, and it can be found in this month’s Maven collection.

Vanish & Cuticle Pusher

On the left we’ve got Vanish Cuticle Softener & Remover, a fast-acting formula enriched with nourishing lanolin. Side note: You know those nail stains that sometimes appear after you wear a highly pigmented color with no base coat? While we still strongly encourage you to use a base, we’re happy to announce that Vanish gets rid of that pesky polish residue. NBD, all in a day’s work.

On the right we have our ergonomically designed, German-crafted, Teflon-coated stainless steel Julep Cuticle Pusher. They’re both new to you, but the expert vernisseurs in our Julep Nail Parlors have used them on over 250,000 professional manicures.

We sat down with Amy, our awesome (and incredibly knowledgeable) Parlor Director, to get the skinny on these pro-grade tools.

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Here’s a step-by-step recap for good measure.

1. Apply a drop of Vanish to the base of each nail. Let it soak in for 1-2 minutes.

1. Apply a drop of Vanish to the base of each nail. Let it soak in for 1-2 minutes.

step 2

2. Place the Cuticle Pusher on your nail. The curved end should follow the natural shape of your nail plate.

step 3

3. Use short strokes to clear your nail plate of dead, overgrown tissue. Gently push back the live skin at the base of your nail.  

step 4

4. Use the other end to push back the cuticles on your nondominant hand. Wash hands with soap & water right away.

Now that you’re officially a person who cares about their cuticles (welcome to the club), let’s answer some of the questions that must be reeling through your brain.

How can I tell which parts of my cuticle are alive or dead?
The area we commonly refer to as the cuticle actually consists of two parts: the eponychium, which is the live strip of skin that protects your nail, and the “true” cuticle—sticky dead tissue that sneaks onto your nail plate and does not look cute. Vanish makes that tissue soft and pliable so the Pusher can escort it off the nail bed.

If I’m not supposed to cut my cuticles, why do cuticle nippers exist?
Cuticle nippers, like the ones included in our Well-Manicured Kit, should only be used to nip hangnails. Despite their confusing name, hangnails are torn pieces of skin often caused by a dry, brittle cuticle area. (“Eponychium nipper” just doesn’t roll off the tongue as well.)

How can I help my cuticles reach their full potential?
To prevent those horrific hangnails, keep your cuticles hydrated, especially during the winter. Make sure you’re always within arm’s reach of an Essential Cuticle Oil or Mighty Nail & Cuticle Serum. Wear gloves when washing dishes or cleaning with harsh chemicals. Remember: Happy, healthy cuticles beget strong, beautiful nails

This concludes our crash course in cuticle care. I hope you learned something interesting, got excited about these new products, and never end up google imaging “nail infections.” If you have more cuticle-related questions, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments.