Cuticle care: to cut or not?

Dec 20 2017

Your cuticles are the keepers of your nail health. But what are they, and where are they? And why are they important? Let's break it down.

cuticle

We’ve all heard of cuticles, but who actually pays attention to them? And which bit are they, exactly? What does a cuticle even do?

The short answers are; hardly anyone, probably a different bit than you think, and they’re actually super important.

Take care of your cuticles and they’ll reward you with strong, healthy nails.

Here’s your ultimate fuss-free guide.

Ok, so what exactly is a cuticle?

cuticle

Your cuticles are the unsung heroes of your nailbed. They’re found at the base of your nail, at the intersection between the nail and skin. They can be hard to see, but no matter how small they are, they’re doing an amazing job.

Cuticles provide a natural barrier to fungus and bacteria. They’re like little goalies, stopping the bad stuff from entering the nail bed and causing infection.

If you break this amazing natural barrier, the cuticles can become inflamed and ragged. At the very least this'll detract from the perfection of your manicure. At worst, you could end up with the kind of infection that permanently damages your nails.

So, whatever you do, don’t cut them!

Why would you want to remove a cuticle?

Yes, they are little wonders. But they can also get a bit out of control.

Cuticles are formed in a weird way. As the nail grows it rips the underside of your eponychium (the skin at the base of your nails) and takes it with it. This is the cuticle. It grips hard to both the nail plate and the eponychium. This is what creates such a great seal.

If that grip is too strong it starts to pull the skin tight and stretch it out. It can also get a bit unruly at the base of the nail. So we remove them. Just NOT by cutting them.

cuticle

A step-by-step on cuticle care

Step 1: Remove nail polish

Use a nail polish remover to remove any traces of remaining nail polish that are on your nails. Avoid using a remover that contains acetone. File and shape your nails to your desire before the next step.

Step 2: Apply cuticle remover

Cuticle removers help with moisturising and help massage away any dry cuticles or dead skin cells. It gives the nails an even, radiant and smooth finish and also helps to improve the skin’s suppleness. Shop our cuticle remover here

Step 3: Push cuticles back

Soak your fingers in some soapy lukewarm water. This helps with the softening of the cuticles and also cleanses any impurities that may be underneath them. Gently pat dry your nails and start to carefully push them back with a cuticle stick. Kester Black supplies cuticle sticks with our cuticle remover. Once you’re satisfied with them, you can use a nail buffer to smooth down any long or overgrown cuticles.

Step 4: Moisturise

Finish up by using a healthy dose of our Almond cuticle oil on all your cuticles. The oil is great for moisturising and conditioning your cuticles and nails.

Healthy cuticles mean healthy nails. We're so on board for that!