7 Steps to Healthier Cuticles
Got nail problems? Our team at OPI is here to help you handle all of your nail emergencies. On a mission to help you get your nails healthy, we’re busting myths about every manicure ailment to help you find a surprisingly easy solution with our treatment range. Our focus today is on how to treat dry cuticles or dry skin around the nail. Any time the temperature decides to plummet or skin is exposed to harsh chemicals like cleaning agents, nails, and cuticles take a hit, and we're here to help with the scoop on cuticle treatment at home.
What Should You Be Looking At?
The cuticle sits atop your nail and is the dead, colorless tissue attached to the natural nail plate. It's actually an extension of your skin and it protects your nails by acting as a barrier for bacteria. You can tell if your cuticles are dry if they’re flaking, cracked, or peeling. If you notice this then take action fast as cracked and peeling cuticles may allow bacteria to enter your nails and cause an infection.
What Causes Dry Cuticles?
Dry cuticles can come from multiple factors. During the winter, cold weather coupled with dry indoor heat, as well as several possible internal factors can contribute to less-than-stellar nail plates. Another factor that can contribute to dry cuticles is exposure to harsh drying agents like hand sanitizers and excessive hand-washing.
We recommend taking a moment and identifying possible cuticle culprits that are simple fixes. How to fix bad cuticles? Step 1 is to take a look at the cleaning products you use on a regular basis because they can intensify the dryness. Do you spend time working outside? Also, how hydrated are you on a daily basis? All these small factors can contribute to dry cuticles.
How To Treat Dry Cuticles at Home
Use a good hand and nail moisturizing cream daily. Winter and dry skin, unfortunately, go hand in hand, so on a chilly day, we recommend carrying ProSpa Protective Hand Serum with you. Don’t forget to add a spritz of Moisture Bonding Ceramide Spray to keep your hands smooth.
2. Hydrate, hydrate, and then hydrate some more. Water intake is vital for healthy skin, so carry a bottle with you at all times. If indoor heating is drying out your skin, it may be worth investing in a humidifier to supplement your DIY cuticle care routine.
3. Keep your cuticles pushed back. This can help prevent skin tearing and pulling behind the cuticle line. For this at-home cuticle care method, grab your OPI Exfoliating Cuticle Cream and apply a small amount to each nail, leaving it for at least 30 seconds. Take a reusable cuticle stick and push back the cuticle on each nail. Once you’ve done this, wipe away the loosened cuticle. Should you cut your cuticles? We don’t recommend excessively cutting or picking at your cuticles, so only carefully trim any excess skin if you really have to, focusing primarily on any obviously non-living tissue like hangnails. How often should you push cuticles back? Cuticle care should be completed as often as possible to prevent any further tears or damage from occurring. Pro Tip: gently push back cuticles after a nice long shower where the steam can help to naturally soften them! Regularly pushing back cuticles will help maintain overall cuticle health, and in time, nipping or trimming won’t be necessary!
4. Wear gloves. When it comes to washing dishes or submerging your hands in water, reach for a pair of rubber gloves beforehand. Water and detergent can dry out your hands, and cause your cuticles further problems.
5. Go chemical-free. Harsh soaps, hand sanitizers, and nail polish removers can dry out your cuticles. Try to swap your products for cleansing oils when washing your hands and avoid alcohol-based sanitizers where possible. Another harsh culprit is pure acetone, instead, try an acetone-based remover that has hydrating benefits like OPI Expert Touch Lacquer Remover.
6. Get the prep work in now. If you’re already showing signs of dry winter skin, treat yourself to some cuticle care at home before it’s too late. In your shower, use Micro-Exfoliating Hand Polish to buff away any dry and cracked skin. Rinse and pat dry before applying Protective Hand and Cuticle Cream and massaging it gently into your hands and nails, then finish with our hydrating ProSpa Nail and Cuticle Oil for an extra hit of luxe. Pro Tip: Try a new moisturizing experience with our ProSpa Advanced Softening Gloves! These single-use gloves are pre-filled with ultra-moisturizing macadamia and coconut oils, as well as nourishing vitamin E and shea butter to soften even the driest skin.
7. Up your vitamins. Cracked cuticles may be a sign of Zinc or Vitamin E deficiency. Reverse this problem by eating more foods rich in essential omega 3’s like spinach, salmon, and other seafood. If your nails are brittle, explore biotin supplements.
These tips and tricks should have your cuticles back to hydrated and healthy in no time. Keep visiting the OPI blog for more OPI Nail 101 sessions, because we want to make sure that your nails are as #OPIObsessed as you are.
For more at-home treatments, check out OPI's Stay at Home Guide.