The cuticles serve an important purpose. They act as a barrier, preventing invasive organisms such as fungi, and bacteria from getting inside which can lead to infections. Nail infections cause redness and swelling around the nail plate or the cuticle. If the infection has gotten in further the nail bed, this can cause your nail plate to turn brittle, change in color, crack, split or worse detach. To save yourself from dealing with the pains of a nail infection, you ought to give your cuticles some tender loving care.
Here are some nail care tips focused on the cuticles.
Caring for Your Cuticles
Protect Your Cuticles
When doing chores that would involve harsh chemicals such as laundry and dish washing soaps, detergents, bleach or cleaning solutions, make sure that you protect your cuticles. Wear a pair of rubber gloves to prevent your cuticles from getting a hard beating from harsh chemicals. Water can also be harsh to your cuticles as it can strip away natural oils. Whenever washing dishes or clothes, or whenever doing anything that would mean prolonged hand contact with water, wear a pair of rubber gloves.
Do Not Manipulate Your Cuticles
As mentioned earlier, cuticles act as a barrier. If this barrier is breached in any way, infectious organisms would have a way in to your system. Do not cut your cuticles unless of course it is necessary (like when a part of the cuticle is hanging loose and causing discomfort) and if you do need to cut your cuticle be very gentle and careful and make sure that the nail clipper you use is clean. Many of us have the habit of pushing back our cuticles and even salons do this. But it is best to just leave them alone.
Keep Them Moisturized
Moisturizing your cuticles can prevent them from drying up and detaching from the nail. Before you moisturize your cuticles, you should prep them first. It’s best to take a shower first or soak your cuticles in lukewarm water for a minute or two. After you’ve prepped them, it is time to moisturize. You may think that your trusty body lotion can do the job of moisturizing your cuticles, but you’re wrong. The skin that makes up your cuticle is actually very delicate and needs a moisturizing product that delivers heavy moisture with just a gentle touch.
Here are some of the best picks in cuticle moisturizers
Best Cuticle Moisturizers
For dry cuticles that have not yet detached from the nail, a cuticle cream is an excellent pick. Cuticle creams with citric acids are very effective moisturizers. You can also look for one with shea butter, safflower seed oil or Argan oil.
For cuticles that have detached from the nail, your best choice would be a cuticle oil. Usually, cuticle oils are made with a mixture of enriched vegetable oils, flaxseed oil, or citric acids. Cuticle oils give potent hydration and allows the cuticle to self-repair and reattach to the nail. A word of caution though. Use cuticle oils sparingly as your cuticles can become used to the kind of deep hydration that cuticle oils provide making it impossible for you to use anything else on them in the future.
Argan Oil for Cracked Cuticles
If your cuticles are dry and cracking, a drop of Argan oil will do wonders. The oil is loaded with Vitamin E, which alone is a potent moisturizer. It also contains other powerful moisturizing nutrients such as sterols and essential fatty acids.
Start caring for your cuticles properly now!
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