I love beautiful nail polishes and have been experimenting with a few nail art ideas as of late. However, nails do not look complete if the cuticles are not healthy or if they’re not properly cared for. I see it this way: you wouldn’t wear a dress and sexy heels without shaving and moisturizing your legs. The same rule should apply to your hands before painting your nails. If your cuticles are peeling or dry, your beautiful polish will only call attention to it. Your cuticle is the frame to your nail and should look its best. More importantly, caring for your cuticles will prevent infections and fungus.
Here are 5 cuticle care tips before you polish:
Moisturize - You should moisturize your cuticles several times a week in addition to your hand moisturizer. Cuticles get dry, crack, and peel just like skin. I suggest using something natural, like coconut or olive oil. You can even use Vaseline. Of course, heavier ointments and oils are not convenient during the day. A few times a week before bed will do the trick. You may also be interested in getting a paraffin wax treatment every few months to keep your cuticles healthy and your hands soft.
Do not cut your cuticles - I used to do this, and it’s really not good to do. It leaves your nails open to infections and fungus. The new nail growing out will be rigged and dull, and probably not the ideal canvas you’d like when applying polish. However, if you really want to cut your cuticle, here is an article illustrating the proper way to do it without cutting the eponychium, which is what protects your nails from bacteria. Also, make sure you soak first and use the proper tools, like this cuticle cutter. Do not use nail clippers or small scissors.
Push cuticle back - Your best bet is to push your cuticle back, preferably with an orange wood stick cuticle pusher and a cuticle remover.
Keep hands out of mouth - This one is the toughest for me. I’m a nail biter. I’m fidgety and spent many years sitting through long classes munching away at my nails. Your saliva is an enzyme that breaks down your nails, leaving them weak. More importantly, nail biting just bad for your overall health!
Keep them covered – In my post about hand care, I mentioned that it’s important to keep your hands covered if you’re going to clean or wash dishes. The same goes for protecting your cuticles. Water can dry your hands, as well as cleaning agents like detergent and dish washing soap. To avoid the cycle of having to get rid of chapped cuticles, keep them covered and protected from harsh chemicals.
It sounds pretty simple, but it’s not always easy to start a routine. However, following these little steps will keep your hands, nails, and cuticles looking their best!