If you’re the type of person who takes time to admire your fingernails and find comfort in beautiful, pretty and cute nails, then you are at the right place. We are all about taking care of your cuticles. How do you go about it? If you thought that going for a manicure was the only way of caring for your nails, and cuticles in particular, then you’re in for a rude shock.
Cuticles are delicate parts of your nails and require special and regular attention. You cannot take care of them if you aren’t conversant with them. Our article will tell you everything that you need to know about cuticle care. Our desire is that you possess beautiful nails that will make you the center of attraction, and we will stay true to our course.
We’ve also gone a step further to provide you with tips on how to prevent damage on your cuticles, the various types of cuticle removers the market has to offer you, and how to use cuticle removers. Read along!
- 1 Where is the Cuticle?
- 2 Difference between Cuticle and Nail Lunula
- 3 How do you take care of your cuticles?
- 4 How can you prevent cuticle damage?
- 5 What is a cuticle remover and how does it work?
- 6 Types of cuticle removers
- 7 Pros and cons of using cuticle remover
- 8 How to use a cuticle remover
- 9 How to keep nails healthy
- 10 Conclusion
Where is the Cuticle?
The cuticle is located at the bottom edge of the finger. This area is commonly known as the nail bed. It is a small area but carries a significant function. Its function is to ensure that new nails are protected from bacteria once they start to grow. One thing that you should know is that the cuticle is a very delicate area, and for this requires a lot of attention. It can easily get damaged or infected. You need to keep it clean and dry for healthy nails.
Difference between Cuticle and Nail Lunula
The general public isn’t the only people confused about the difference between cuticle and nail lunula, but some technicians also find the two parts hard to differentiate. We are in the quest of changing that today! What is the difference between the nail lunula and the cuticle?
The lunula is a blue-white and opaque part that is visible through the nail plate. At times, it is known as the moon. It is the front part of the matrix. One thing to note, however, is that not all fingers contain a visible lunula. If you’re keen to see the lunula, it is mostly and easily seen through the index finger or the thumb. Most people would think that having the lunula is cool when in the real sense, it is not. The lunula is unprotected. It is a portion that is exposed and thus vulnerable to getting bruised by the daily tasks. A bruised lunula will have white marks at the nail plate.
The cuticle is described as a thin layer of dead tissue which rides on the nail plate and forms a seal between the eponychium and nail plate to prevent infections. The cuticle is normally confused with the eponychium, which is two different parts. In order to remove the cuticle, you should simply scrape it off gently. It is physically impossible to use nippers to remove cuticles.
How do you take care of your cuticles?
Agree or disagree, it is almost certain that you only take care of your cuticles during a manicure. This shouldn’t be the case. As earlier mentioned, cuticles are important, as they protect new nails from bacteria. With this, it’s imperative that you take care of them. But how? Well, let’s take a look at some of the ways to take care of your cuticles
- Avoid cutting your cuticles
According to dermatologists, no good can come out of cutting your cuticles. On the contrary, cutting them exposes you to infections and irritation. Removing your cuticle leaves that area open and wide and vulnerable to infections.
- Maintain the moisturizer
Cuticles are made of skin, although they don’t feel so. It is important to maintain them moisturized.
- Go orange
If you’re the type that loves long nails, the secret lies with the cuticles. Push them back gently using and range stick instead of cutting them. You should opt to use orange sticks rather than cuticle remover. The sticks will leave them soft, just the way they are supposed to be. There’s a myth that cutting cuticles makes them grow long faster. This isn’t true. This is the same myth that cutting short your beards will make them grow long faster. There’s nothing that you can do to change the rate of growth of cuticles.
How can you prevent cuticle damage?
Prevention is better than cure, goes the old adage; and this saying is also true when it comes to keeping your fingernails healthy. In the context of cuticle damage, prevention is interpreted to mean doing away with bad habits and acquiring good ones. One of the common bad habits that need to be dropped is biting your fingernails. No good is associated with this. Biting your fingernails is one of the most common causes of cuticle damage, and is very much preventable. Researchers and technician recommend that you do anything possible to keep away from your bad habits, even if it means wearing bandages over your nails or even applying bitter substances on your nails to prevent you from biting.
Another cause associated with cuticle damage is dry skin. This is especially a problem for people who are required to work with excessive amounts of water or liquids. The answer to this problem lies with wearing gloves. The climate you reside in can also be a cause of dry skin. During winter periods, the air is dry, and this results to many people having problems associated with dry skin.
If you’re in the category of people suffering from dry skin, how about you try out some moisturizer and cuticle cream for your hands and cuticles respectively? The creams will be of much help to maintain your hands moist.
What is a cuticle remover and how does it work?
A cuticle remover is your answer to taking care of your cuticles. In a more detailed explanation, this is an alkaline solution (pH 10-14) which dissolves into the skin and weakens the cells using the assistance of a chemical. Not all cuticle removers use high pH’s of above 10, but some use acids of less than 7. They use acids to weaken your cells. This should tell you how important it is to wash your hands after using a cuticle remover thoroughly.
Some common acids used in cuticle removers are inclusive of Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHAs) and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) which are acquired from foods. If you’ve used an orange stick before and poked at your skin, then you’ll realize that the cuticles are way much harder than they seem. This is where Sodium Hydroxide comes into play. NaOH helps soften the skin for ease in removing the cuticles.
There is no recommended cream to apply after using a cuticle remover. You simply use soap and water to clean your hands thoroughly. You have to be cautious when using the cuticle removers because they cannot differentiate a live skin from a dead one.
Types of cuticle removers
The market isn’t short when it comes to types of cuticle removers. If you’re new in the industry, deciding which type to go with can be an intimidating task. For this, we go a step further to enlist to you the types of cuticle removers available.
- Cuticle-Removing Gels
Just as their name suggests, these types are gel-like. You simply apply a thin layer, then leave it for one or two minutes. The cuticle-removing gels are ideal for softening hard nails and also preventing cuticles from falling apart. A thumbs up to this type is that they remove dead skin in a painless and fast manner and also soothes irritating skin.
2. Cream-Based Cuticle Removers
These cuticle removers are cream made and applied to the cuticles and nail beds. They are pretty much the same as the gel removers, with the only difference being the texture.
3. Cuticle Liquids
These are in oily or liquid forms and are available in bottles similar to those of nail polish. They are applied to the cuticles and normally dissolve the dead skin quickly.
4. Cuticle sticks
If you don’t like the liquid or cream cuticle removers, then you could opt to go with the cuticle sticks. These are wooden sticks which are available in 5 and ten packs. You use the sticks to push back your cuticles gently. They not only help in fixing your cuticles but also correcting nail painting errors.
5. Cuticle Nippers
This is for people who wish to cut off their cuticles completely. Most of them are made of stainless steel and come with very sharp blades.
Pros and cons of using cuticle remover
Cuticle removers are essential for nail care. But as much as they have their advantages, they also come with some short backs. We look at some of the pros and cons of using cuticle removers.
- Most cuticle removers use sodium hydroxide as an ingredient. NaOH allows you to remove dead skin without causing harm to yourself during the entire process. Also, it softens the skin prior to removing it
- Cuticle removers make your nails prettier and appealing to the eyes. Pushing back your cuticles makes the nails appear neater and longer.
- As earlier mentioned, cuticles are delicate and vulnerable to infections. Cuticle removers give the cuticles that added protection and care to ensure that this isn’t the case.
- Applying cuticle removers to rough cuticles doesn’t bring out the desired results within a short period of time.
How to use a cuticle remover
Having clean, beautiful and pretty nails is a process. The journey is long but results desirable. For the best results, you need the best equipment, and in this case the best cuticle removers. Also, you must be conversant with how to use a cuticle remover. We will guide in the simplest language on how to remove your cuticles safely using a cuticle remover without causing harm to yourself.
- Clean your nails
The first step entails cleaning your nails. Remove any polish that may still be hanging on your nails using a nail polish remover. Afterward, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.
- Apply the cuticle remover
The next step is to apply the cuticle remover. You aren’t restricted to the type and can choose any of your preference. If you’re using the cream or gel, apply a thin layer of the remover on the nail bed using the brush that comes along with the cuticle remover.
Gently squeeze the tube for the remover to be released and press it on your cuticles. It will take some time to soften. Wait for two minutes before washing your hands clean.
- Remove the cuticles
Finally, when the cuticle is soft, it is now time to remove the dead skin. You could use an orange stick together with the cuticle remover to do this. Safely remove the skin without causing harm to yourself. Three simple steps and you’re good to go.
How to keep nails healthy
When it comes to keeping your nails healthy, there are do’s and don’ts that you need to follow strictly. What should you do to maintain your nails healthy and strong? Before answering this question, however, the first step is to identify whether the conditions of your nails are normal. Some conditions and changes experienced in your nails aren’t normal. Check out for these signs for abnormalities in your nails.
- Changes in the color of the nails such as the discoloration of the nail
- Changes in the shape of the nail like developing curled nails
- The separation of the nail from its surrounding skin
- Bleeding of the nails
- The undergrowth of the nails
- Swelling and pains around the nail
- Thickening or thinning of the nails
To take care of your nails and ensure that the above-mentioned things don’t occur to you, here are the do’s that you should maintain for good fingernails care
- Ensure that your fingernails are always clean and dry. This is to prevent bacteria from growing underneath your nails. Wear protective gloves when cleaning dishes or handling harmful chemicals.
- When using a moisturizer, apply the lotion into your cuticles and fingernails also.
- Practice nail hygiene practices. Use clippers to trim your nails, round at the tips and in a gentle curve
- Apply protective layers such as nail hardener to your nails for maximum strength.
- Consult your doctor about the use of biotin. Research has indicated that biotin might be good for strengthening weak fingernails.
Similarly, here are the don’ts; things that you should avoid to prevent damaging your nails.
- Avoid biting your nails or picking at your cuticles. These habits damage your nails. A slight cut at your nail attracts bacteria and could cause infections.
- Avoid pulling off hangnails. Doing this risk ripping off live tissues. Instead, clip off the hangnails carefully
- Be cautious of the nail care products that you use, as others might be harsh on your nails.
Everything with a beginning must have an ending, and we have come to the end of our article. These are the basics when it comes to caring for your cuticles. One thing that we can’t emphasize more is on the need to thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water after completing using a cuticle remover. Also, be cautious when removing the cuticles to avoid harming yourself. Nothing good comes easy, but having pretty nails is as easy as A,B,C. All you need to do is follow our cuticle care tips and you’re good to go!