You need to manage your cuticles well, not just to make them look good, but also because they have a very important function in keeping your nails healthy. Some people assume that cuticles are made up purely of dead skin that accumulates near the base of the nail. On the contrary, cuticles are a combination of dead cells and living tissue, and therefore need to be taken care of really well. If they become dry, they can crack and expose the nail to infection and damage.
Out the very outset, it needs to be stressed that preventing damage to the cuticles is always easier than treating it after the damage is done. Wear rubber gloves whenever your hands come in contact with strong chemicals or solutions that can cause damage to your skin and nails. Use a non-drying soap that has a hydrating component so that your skin does not feel dry after washing. Take good care of your cuticles especially during winter as cold weather outdoors and heat indoors can damage your cuticles.
Here are simple steps to moisturize your cuticles:
1. Soak your nails in lukewarm water for about ten to fifteen minutes. This will soften your cuticles and make them more pliable. If they have grown over, gently push them back with a cuticle pusher.
2. Choose a natural moisturizer that contains shea butter, glycerin and petroleum. You can use this when your cuticles are intact and have not detached from your nails. Do not use regular hand lotion for your cuticles, as it cannot provide adequate moisture. If your cuticles have detached from the nail, then use a cuticle oil that has citric acids, flaxseed and other vegetable oils. This will hydrate the cuticle and make it attach to the nail eventually. You can also use vitamin E oil for more intensive treatment for cracked cuticles.
3. Exfoliate your skin with a good exfoliating scrub. Gently rub the exfoliating scrub into your cuticles using a circular motion. Spend around thirty seconds for each fingernail. Finish off by rinsing the fingers with water and drying them.
4. Finally, slather some rich moisturizing cream on your nails at night if you require deep moisturizing and go to sleep wearing a pair of gloves made of 100% cotton.
5. Keep an eye on what you eat, as it will affect the health of your cuticles too. Consume a rich mix of vitamins, zinc, lean protein and other nutrients for a well-balanced diet.
Following these simple tips will help you maintain healthy cuticles and beautiful nails that are infection-free.