How To Stop Your Cuticles From Peeling, According To Nail Pros
Refinery29- September 2018
Why Are My Cuticles Peeling In The First Place?
Just like your body, your cuticles can get thirsty. The pros agree that lack of hydration is the key culprit for hangnails. But you could be using the wrong products to moisturize. “Hand creams do very little for cuticles. It evaporates before it can penetrate the cuticle area,” celebrity nail artist Tracylee Percival tells Refinery29. “The only thing that can penetrate the cuticle area completely is oil-based products.” Another culprit: Clipping your cuticles incorrectly. You can cause tears that ultimately lead to more peeling. (But, more on that ahead.)
Should You Cut Your Cuticles?
According to Percival, the answer is yes, if you actually know where you should be cutting.
The cuticle is the layer of translucent skin that is shed from the underside of the eponychium —that’s the living skin that protects the nail plate from bacteria — as the nail grows. “Since this tissue is dead, most of it can be safely cut or filed off,” says Percival. “Doing so will make that area look clean and help improve the adhesion of polish and keep the nails healthy.” The adage, “Never cut the cuticle,” comes from the fact that people often get the living eponychium and the dead skin of the cuticle confused.
If you do cut your cuticles, there are techniques you should keep in mind. Editorial manicurist Jin Soon Choi tells Refinery29 she doesn’t like to cut cuticles, but it if she does, she doesn’t cut everything off. “I don’t recommend cutting all the way, because there is a chance that the cuticle will peel off and cause pain,” she says. “If someone has thin cuticles, trim only on the sides. If someone has very thick cuticles, cut some off so only a thin line of cuticle remains. This protects against infection.”
Push ‘Em Back With Care
Choi highly recommends pushing your cuticles back. She also confirmed that if you are pushing your cuticles back thoroughly, you won’t have to cut them as much, or even at all.
Lauren Berkovitz, founder of Lauren B. Beauty, is also a fan of pushing your cuticles back if necessary. “If you have a small nail bed and would like your nails to appear longer or have cuticles that need to be pushed back, then it’s fine if done correctly,” she tells Refinery29. “I suggest using a gentle wooden orange stick. You can even wrap the tip in cotton for extra cushion and push back lightly.” There are also plastic cuticle pushers that are not as harsh than the metal options.