What Are Cuticles and How Can You Care for Them?
There are many reasons why nail care is such an essential part of your overall health and wellness, and that goes beyond simply the surface of your nails. One of the steps you’ll want to include in your manicure and nail care routine is cuticle care. It can help to keep your nails safe, strong, and protected, and it can smooth out the skin to provide you with a sense of confidence and comfort every day.
Nailboo is dedicated to providing access to long-lasting and high-quality manicures that you can apply right from the comfort of home, which is why we carry nail dip kits in many unique styles.
We also want to ensure that you have the guides and tutorials you need to keep your nails healthy and strong for a long time to come. When it comes to protecting your cuticles and getting comprehensive nail care, check out our guide to get started.
What Are Cuticles?
Our cuticles are essential to the health and wellness of our nails and can help to protect your nails from damage and irritation. When caring for your cuticles, it’s important to be able to identify what the cuticle is.
One of the best ways to determine the different sections of your nail in order to perform proper care and nail maintenance is to look at where the colors of the nail change. The lighter half-moon section of the nail at the base is called the lunula.
The cuticle is the section of skin between the lunula and the eponychium, which is the still-growing skin just below the base of the nail. The cuticle differs from the eponychium in that the skin is no longer growing, and actually sits on the surface of the nail plate.
It is possible to push your cuticles back to smooth out the nail surface and to get a clean manicure, but you always want to take care when pushing the cuticle back and make sure to use safe and sanitized tools when doing so. It is important to avoid cutting the cuticle, as that can cause long-lasting damage and lead to potential infections.
Cuticles are often confused with other sections of the nail, and though they are smaller than other parts, they play an important role in nail health and care. The more we know about our cuticles, the easier it is to care for them properly and to get long-lasting and high-quality manicures every time.
Why Is Cuticle Care So Important?
Our nails can provide important information on our body’s health and caring for our nails is an essential step in protecting our body overall. Whether you have gel nails, acrylics, or a dip polish manicure, there are many reasons why proper cuticle care is so important.
They Protect the Tissue
The cuticle is made up of tissue that is no longer growing, but the hardened layer of skin below is still growing. The skin of the nails can be sensitive, and we expose our fingers and hands to a lot of activity throughout the course of the day, which is why it’s so important to protect the growing tissue. Proper cuticle care can help.
They Reduce the Risk of Infection
It can be tempting to remove or cut the cuticle, but if you want to push the cuticles back or reduce their appearance, it’s important to take care when doing so.
Our fingers are exposed to many potential pathogens throughout the day, and that makes them vulnerable to infection and irritation. Proper care and well-sanitized tools can reduce your exposure to bacteria and make it easier to avoid infections.
They Tell Us Important Information
Our nails can provide essential information about our health. The color of our nails, for example, can inform us if our vitamin or nutrient levels are low or if we’re dehydrated.
When your cuticles are dry, it’s an indication that you need to drink more water and eat more fruits and vegetables to properly nourish your skin. Proper care of the cuticles can help us to stay on top of the rest of our health, as well.
You Get Stronger Nails
When we crack or break a nail, it can cause pain and irritation in the short term and lead to problems with growth and nail health in the future. Proper cuticle care can help to keep your nail strong and reduce the risk of breaking or damage.
They Look and Feel Better
When our cuticles become dry or irritated, it can be difficult to get those smooth beautiful manicures that we love. Proper cuticle care can reduce feelings of dryness or irritation and give you confidence in the appearance of your fingers and nails.
How Can You Care for Your Cuticles?
Cuticle care is important for many reasons, but the actual steps to care for your cuticles can be quite simple. Here are a few things to keep in mind during your next manicure.
Avoid Cutting the Cuticles
It can be tempting to remove the cuticles for a smoother final look, but cutting the cuticles can be both painful and dangerous. The skin of the nails is vulnerable to potential infections and cutting the cuticles makes it more likely to get one of those infections in or around your nails. It also takes a long time for the cuticle to heal, so you want to avoid inflicting any unnecessary damage.
Always Use the Proper Tools
You don’t want to cut your cuticles, but you can push them back carefully if you use the right tools. A cuticle pusher can effectively push the cuticle back while still keeping your cuticle safe.
And, of course, you want to make sure that you apply cuticle oil to keep your cuticles properly protected and moisturized to avoid drying out the skin or causing damage. Clean your tools properly between uses to reduce the possibility of infection.
Avoid Biting Your Nails
It can be difficult to quit the nail-biting habit, but it’s helpful for protecting your nails and allowing them to grow strong. Similar to cutting the nails, biting the nails can lead to infection, especially since our mouths naturally host bacteria. It can also cause pain and discomfort and lead to future complications, so try to avoid biting your nails and cuticles whenever possible.
Protect Your Nails
It’s always a good idea to protect your nails—and your cuticles—when engaging with potentially drying or damaging activities. We use our hands and fingers for many activities throughout the day, but if you find you’re doing the dishes in very hot water, using caustic or drying chemicals, or spending a lot of time outdoors in the hot sun, you’ll want to consider wearing gloves or finding some shade. The more you protect your nails throughout the course of your busy day, the healthier your cuticles will be.
One of the best ways to protect your cuticles against damage is to keep them properly moisturized. Not only will it prevent damage from cracking, but it can reduce irritation and ensure your cuticles feel comfortable and soft. Properly moisturizing your cuticles can also help to ensure that your next manicure looks as smooth and lasts as long as possible.
Cuticle Care Is Essential
There are many important steps that go into taking care of your nails and the surrounding parts, including the cuticle. The cuticles are one of the sections near the base of the nail, and there are many benefits to taking proper care of your nails, like a reduced risk of infection, improved nail smoothness and comfort, and stronger nails that stand up to the busy activity of the day.
It’s easy to begin taking care of your nails by always using the right tools, keeping them properly moisturized, and avoiding potential damage to the nails that come from cutting or biting them.
For more information on proper nail care and cuticle support, turn to the team here at Nailboo. We carry a wide inventory of dip nail kits that make it easy to get salon-quality manicures right from the comfort of home without the salon-quality price.
We’re also sharing guides and tutorials for trying out unique and creative nail styles, and for protecting all parts of your nails and nail beds, including the cuticles.
For more information on cuticle care and to find dip colors you really love, explore our growing collection of guides and tutorials here at Nailboo.
Cuticle Care 101 | How Stuff Works
6 Things Your Nails Say About Your Health | Cleveland ClinicArtificial Nails: Dermatologists’ Tips for Reducing Nail Damage | American Academy of Dermatology Association