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Cuticle Care: Understanding The Dark Hole It Is

by Glaize |

You always hear about cuticles, you see people fiddling with them and you’ve possibly bought oils and balms in the past, but knowing what they are and why you actually do all these things is another story. Are we right or are we right? 

Cuticle care is something we believe in strongly here at Glaize but we totally get that it’s a bit of an unclear topic with all sorts of information flying around in different directions. Don’t worry chicas, we got you. Below is all you need to know about your cuticles.

Firstly, what and where are my cuticles?

Your nails are made up of various parts, all with scientific terms (don’t worry, we won’t make you learn them off by heart) but to better understand cuticle care, it’s good to know what their purpose is and what part they play in the nail. 

You can see that your cuticle is that teeny tiny sliver of skin right by your nail plate. What often gets confused for the cuticle is what’s known as the eponychium. This literally lies right on top of the cuticle, exposing only a small amount of cuticle, so don’t worry if you make that mistake at first. It’s so easy to! The way you can differentiate though is to remember that the eponychium is living skin while the cuticle is dead skin. 

The purpose of cuticles is simple: they create a barrier that protects nails from infection. The right cuticle care can prevent nasty infections and irritations from forming and will leave you with prettier nails in the long run. That’s all we want, right ladies?

So, I shouldn’t be cutting my cuticles at all then? Ever?

This is a question that so many of us get stuck on - you’re not alone. It’s best to avoid cutting your cuticles because of the potential risk of infection. Once you cut away at your entire cuticle, that barrier that’s supposed to be blocking out germs and infections no longer exists. Trust us, this is not what you want!  

On the other hand, we know that what you do want is for your nails to look good and that includes those pesky cuticles. The alternative is to gently push them back, buff them slightly and neaten the nail up this way. To sum it up, you should push your cuticles back (not cut them) for three reasons:

1. To maintain healthy cuticles 

2. To ensure that no bacteria can get in 

3. To keep nails looking neat 

By pushing your cuticles back, you abandon the risk of infections but still achieve that polished look (excuse the pun) of tidy nails.

Creating a cuticle care routine at home

As you know, here at Glaize we loooove a good nail care routine, so this is one of our favourite things to share! 

Something worth remembering is that your nails need hydration just like the rest of your body. This will naturally come with drinking lots of water, but you can also get hydration from using cuticle oils and balms frequently.  

Using cuticle oils or balms won’t only help to keep your nails moisturised but it’ll make pushing back your cuticles a lot easier, to create a neat nail plate, and you’ll lose that feeling of needing to cut them. 

It’s pretty simple to push back your own cuticles. You can choose to use a tool, like a spoon-shaped metal pusher or even just your fingers. The trick is to not push them too aggressively (please don’t hurt yourself in the name of nails, babe), just enough to see more of the lunula (moon shape), create a longer nail plate and, most importantly, neaten up the nail. To make it easier for yourself, push your cuticles back once you’ve hopped out the shower. The warm water would have softened your skin, making that cuticle a lot less painful to deal with. 

Because the cuticles are dead cells, they can often become drier and look messier. If this is something you struggle with, there’s always a way you can fix it! After you’ve pushed your cuticles back, take an exfoliating scrub or textured cloth and rub this on your cuticles in circles. This will help gently loosen the drier bits of cuticle. Once you’ve done this, wash off the scrub, apply your cuticle oil/balm to hydrate and end off with a hand cream. Your nails will thank you!

We recommend pushing back your cuticles everyday (that’s right; every single day!) and applying cuticle oil a couple of times a day (right again). If this sounds like way too much effort, keep an oil next to your bedside table and one on your desk. When you sit at your desk first thing in the morning, get into the habit of applying your oil as you switch on your laptop. Do the same thing when you get into bed at night. It might sound like a lot but it’ll take you 5 seconds max! Plus, you’ll have happy, hydrated nails with well-looked after cuticles and no one can put a price on that, right? ;)