Monday, June 25, 2012

Cuticle Care

Your cuticle care routine is super important! Especially if you photograph your nails for a blog/website/tumblr because that lovely macro function on your camera is going to capture and magnify every little flaw on your hand! Believe me, I am speaking from experience! I have spent hours working on a mani, only to have ugly hands/skin/cuticles end up as the focal point of the picture.

First and foremost, try to avoid cutting your cuticles. It makes you suceptible to infections and fungus and can leave you with ragged looking nails. Use a cuticle remover instead. Gently push them back with an orange stick or cuticle pusher, then apply the cuticle remover. Wait a few minutes, and gently rub. Orly's Cutique and Stain Remover has gotten really good reviews and it's a reasonable price.

If you want to be stubborn and cut your cuticles anyway please have a look at the diagram to the right. What you should cut is the "true cuticle" because it's dead skin. The eponychium, on the other hand, is live skin. Don't cut it!!! It can lead to bleeding and infections, as the eponychium's main function is to seal the nail and act as a barrier to harmful bacteria. True cuticle - Yes, Eponychium - Noooooo!

Although I've just told you how to cut your cuticles, I still want to stress that I don't recommend it. I just feel that if you're going to do it anyway, do it properly. If you're struggling with your cuticles and a remover isn't giving the results you want, go get a manicure. Tell your manicurist exactly what the problems are and she should be able to help. Just make sure you go to a decent place where they sterilize their tools!

You need to be moisturizing your cuticles at least once a day, ideally. Everybody is different and wants something different from their moisture routine, so experiment to find what works for you. The most important bit isn't really the product, it's consistency and frquency of use. My cuticle care routine is to apply OPI Cuticle Revitalizer Oil, followed by a generous amount in Vaseline Essential Moisture to lock it all in. Simple! When you're applying your cuticle oil (Quick tip: Olive oil works too!) gently massage your cuticles. It stimulates blood flow to your nails and helps promote nail growth and health.

Basically, pay attention to your cuticle care routine and they will be good to you!