One of the secrets of a beautiful nail is having well-groomed cuticles. But as the weather gets colder, it’s harder than ever to keep them in tip-top shape.
âOne of the reasons that the cuticles can get even drier than normal skin is the hyaluronic acid in our skin, which helps suck up moisture and keep our skin hydrated,â said Neera R. Nathan, dermatologist, dermatological surgeon and clinical researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital. “This acid is mostly found in the second layer of the skin, known as the dermis, but the cuticle lacks this second layer.”
As your cuticles disappear, so do your nails. “If they are dry, it can damage your nails”, nail artist Britney TOKYO says HuffPost. âFor example, you can see white lines in your nail bed, which means dry cuticles are also causing nails to dry out. This contributes to the nails breaking more frequently.
Damaged cuticles can even pose a health risk. “When your cuticles are damaged, the nail as a whole is prone to infection”, dermatologist surgeon Dendy engelman noted. âOpen cuticle sores and peeling skin are not able to adequately protect against the bacteria that cause infections and that can enter the nails. This is why it is important to keep the entire nail area clean, healthy and hydrated.
Stop nibbling your cuticles (and put those scissors down)
First of all, stop being so hard on your poor old cuticles. âI know it’s easier said than done, but stop biting your nails, cuticles and surrounding skin,â Engelman said. “It can make the skin more inflamed and allow bacteria to enter the nail.”
Tempted by cuticle scissors? Stop. “A lot of people choose the size, but it’s not the best choice” nail stylist Vanessa Sanchez McCullough noted. “Since the cuticle is made up of two different skin types, both dead and living tissue, cutting can make problems worse instead of stopping them. Before allowing a manicurist to cut your cuticles, try to take care of that skin first. You will see a huge difference.
Hassle-free cuticle care
Here is a two moisturizer idea for an easy to Michelle wong, who has a doctorate in chemistry. and is founder of Muffin Beauty Science Laboratory. âIf you use a non-sticky lip balm, you can apply it to your cuticles every time you apply it to your lips,â she told HuffPost. You can also consider starting from the inside. “As our cuticles and nails reflect our overall health and nutrition, I recommend taking a daily multivitamin containing biotin, zinc and vitamin D”, dermatologist Brandon kirsch noted.
Timing is also important. As soon as you are finished washing your hands, immediately rehydrate the area. âThe key is to moisturize frequently with a cream or ointment based moisturizer and apply it while the skin is still a little wet,â the dermatologist said. Cula Svidzinski, assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai. “It will do wonders for your cuticles.”
To boost your nighttime routine, consider putting on a pair of gloves to lock in hydration while you sleep. “I think night gloves can help a bit”, nail artist Nathalie Minerve says HuffPost. âUse moisturizer or petroleum jelly to lock in moisture in the skin. ”
Just make sure the night glove is cotton or some other breathable fabric. âToo much moisture, collected in a non-breathable glove, can be as damaging, if not more damaging, than too much dryness,â Kirsch said.
Experts’ favorite ways to show some love to your cuticles
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Vaseline and cotton gloves
Aquaphor healing ointment
Aesop Fabulous Face Oil and Hand Balm
CND Cuticle Away and CND SolarOil
Isdin Si-Nails Nail Strengthener and Cuticle Serum Treatment
L’Occitane nourishing nail and cuticle oil
Hand cream with Norwegian formula Neutrogena