Cuticles aren’t just bits of skin that get some attention when you go for a manicure. They cover the part where your nail grows and protects it from bacteria or fungus. Here’s why you need to look after them and make a cuticle oil part of your hand care routine.
Why you need a cuticle oil:
Dry or cracked cuticles can lead to infection. A good oil will keep them soft and repair damage. They’re made from natural, rapidly absorbing vegetable oils, but also look out for one with added vitamin E – it will work wonders. Cuticle oil helps increase circulation in the nail bed and can stimulate new nail growth.
What you should and shouldn’t do:
Soak your hands in warm water until the cuticles are soft, apply cuticle oil, then push back gently with an orange stick. Never cut or trim cuticles or tear them off. If a manicurist tries to trim them, tell her to stop. Do this treatment once a week.
When to use the oil:
Some experts say as often as you like, others say only when nails are extremely dry – otherwise the cuticles might dry again when you stop regular use. But nearly all agree before bedtime is best.
How to use it:
You can brush them on like nail polish. Some products come with an applicator that do a neater job. But just putting a few drops on the nail and rubbing it in well is perfectly fine.
When it’s not working:
Just like brittle nails that break easily, cuticles that dry out constantly could be a sign of something missing in your diet. Talk to your doctor about it. Acetone-based nail polish removers might also be doing the damage, so avoid them. And drink more water to hydrate.
Cuticle oils we love
essence Studio Nails Caring Nail Oil, R44,95
Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil, R89,95
Sally Hansen Cuticle Rehab, R99,95SpaRitual Cuti-Cocktail Pen, R193
OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil To Go Pen, R216
Mavala Treatment Cuticle Oil, R169
SpaRitual Cuti-Cocktail Pen, R265
Have a tip we missed or used a fab cuticle oil that we’ve missed? Go on, share below beauties.