Your cuticles have an important job; keeping your nails healthy by protecting them from bacterial and fungal infections. If your cuticles becomes dry and cracked, they can’t attach to the nail, leaving it vulnerable to damage and infection. Fortunately, with the right products and a little TLC, taking care of them is all too easy.
Moisturise … moisturise … moisturise
When cuticles dry out your nail plate becomes less flexible and your nails can become more brittle and susceptible to damage. Investing in a good cuticle cream or oil to help prevent this from happening. Ideally, you want your cutcles to be soft enough so that you can push them back. (If you try and push back dry, hard cuticles, this will only end up inflaming them.)
IQ Intensive Repair nail & cuticle cream, R39,99, contains moisturising avocado butter, hyaluronic acid and urea as well as a mix of antioxidant vitamins.
NEVER cut or clip
Not even your nail technician will use clippers on this delicate area. This is because you can easily damage the cuticles, causing them to detach from the nail and leading to nail infections or nail loss. If you prevent dryness and overgrowth in the first place, you won’t feel the urge to clip away your cuticles. Instead, push them back with a special cuticle stick, also referred to as an orange stick. It’s got a perfectly angled tip that you can place flat against the top of the nail bed so as to gently nudge the cuticle back.
A nifty two-in-one? The Body Shop Almond Oil nail and cuticle treatment, R95. It helps keep cuticles hydrated and features a slanted tip with which you can gently push them back.
Don’t forget about your feet
According to Dana Caruso, Sally Hansen’s nail expert, the cuticles on your toes tends to be thicker and harder to remove than those on your fingernails. ‘To eliminate dry rough cuticles on your toe nails, use an exfoliating cuticle treatment containing alpha hydroxy acids twice a week and cuticles will become almost invisible’, she says.
Sally Hansen Problem cuticle remover, R69,95, contains soothing aloe and comes with free cuticle sticks.
If you have a badly inflammed cuticle or nail infection, make an appointment with a dermatologist or podiatrist. Chances are they’re prescribe an antifungal or antibacterial cream.
Always make sure that your nail technician is licensed and sterilizes all tools used during a manicure.
If you’ve got consistently dry cuticles or brittle nails that break easily, this could be the sign of a nutritional definciency, so make a point of chatting to your doctor about it.
Once your cuticles are in good nick, why don't you treat your nails to a Minx Mani? It's the hottest thing to flaunt on your fingertips...