Great cuticles take a lot of work. This isn’t a once a week treatment, instead you need to take care of your cuticles multiple times a day to keep them hydrated and looking perfect. There are a lot of cuticle products out there, but which ones are great and how often should you use them?
I thought I would share my favorite cuticle products and tips on how to use them to get perfect cuticles at home. The real secret is to keep up with using the products. Travel seems to always make my cuticles especially dry, I can get on to a plane with perfectly manicured nails and get off a few hours later with dried out cuticles with hanging skin everywhere. I have an answer for that too.
My best tip for great cuticles is the regular use of a cuticle remover. I usually use a remover about once a week, though when the weather gets cold and dry, I will increase my use to every 5 days or so. I usually use cuticle removers around the entire nail plate, since they’ll help prevent hang nails and remove dry skin.
1. Aveda Cuticle Control Minimizing Complex: This one uses quite a few plant based ingredients, but it does take about 4 or 5 minutes to do the job.
2. Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover: This cuticle remover contains Lanolin to add a little extra moisture.
3. Sally Hansen Nail Treatment Instant Cuticle Remover: Sally Hansen in “the blue bottle” is the one I usually recommend. It works super fast (under a minute) and never irritates my skin by over doing things.
Hydroxy Acid Cuticle Creams
Think of these creams as a combination of a cuticle remover and a moisturizer. As you moisturize, the alpha hydroxy acids help to exfoliate the cuticle area, improving cell turn over and preventing hang nails. I’ve found that they’re not a substitute for cuticle remover, but they definitely keep my cuticles looking better and they are essential in the winter.
4. Sally Hansen Complete Treatment for Cuticle Rehab: I started using this cream after Michelle from All Lacquered Up raved about it, and she’s right! It is very hydrating and doesn’t irritate my skin at all.
I don’t use actual scissors or nippers on my cuticles, it’s best to not cut the cuticles since that increases your risk of infection. However, the Cuticle Pusher shown here really is the only thing that will remove my hang nails when they pop up and are painful. Be sure to only remove the dead skin, don’t go into the live skin!
The real key to great cuticles is moisture. Frequent and intense hydration is really what you need, and under dry conditions (in the winter, when I’m washing my hands a lot, especially when I’m on an airplane). I apply lotion to my hands multiple times a day, and I always make sure to concentrate some of the lotion onto my cuticles. I usually only use cuticle specific products at night, unless I’m having issues (and then I’ll use them 2 or 3 times a day). It is really up to you whether you use a cream, balm or oil. However, I do recommend having different options so that you can layer your cuticle treatments for extra hydration when you’re particularly dry. I love to use an oil and then a thick cream like the Orly Cuticle Therapy Cream.