I really have problems with my cuticles as I do not bite my nails but rather my cuticles and the skin around my nails. I have had this habit for 4 years now and I cannot seem to stop. It is really disappointing as I have the absolute perfect nails (not to brag). They are strong, white and they can grow super long without splitting, chipping, or breaking. I decided to do research on how to improve my cuticles and just to get more educated on the subject so I will share what I learned and give the tips and tricks that I am going to try out.
Well the causes are quite simple and it basically comes down to Maintenance, which in my case would be the fact that I chew them. If unhealthy cuticles are left unchecked If left unchecked, cuticles will grow wildly and may cover an inappropriate surface area of the nail, setting you up for bacterial infections, hangnails, split cuticles and similar issues. While less common, systematic issues in the body can cause cuticles to grow at an excessive rate and to be dry. A lack of moisture can lead to split and infected cuticles, while certain dermatological disorders have also been linked to the problem. If you have other issues with your skin such as dryness, itchiness or breakouts, you should consult a dermatologist and mention your cuticles as part of the issue.
So Soaking your Cuticles is a big part of maintaining them. I noticed that I never seen Cuticle/Hand soaks in the shops before, maybe because it is South Africa or I just never paid attention. I decided to look at Handmade soaks that uses natural ingredients and that logically sounds better in terms of the fact that their are no chemicals and so on.
Citrus Cuticle Soak
2 Teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice – 1 Teaspoon Honey – 1/5 Cup warm water
Combine the Lemon juice and Honey and stir for 2 minutes, add the warm water and continue to stir until well mixed, dip the tips of your fingers into the soak and leave for 5-7 minutes.
Warm olive oil in the microwave and allow to cool slightly, soak your nails in the warm olive oil for 15-30 minutes. This provides moisture to the nails and cuticles using the heat to speed up absorption.
I am so scared of these tools as I previously had bad experiences with them, but now that I researched how to use the properly I will give them another chance.
Soak your fingers in a bowl of warm water or cuticle soak for several minutes. This will soften the cuticle and prepare it for grooming.
Choose good quality, stainless steel cuticle cutters. This will ensure the cleanest cut and lowest chance of nail damage.
Snip any hangnails as close to the base as possible. Cuticle cutters will allow you to get rid of all of your hangnails, without damaging living tissue.
Cut away any cuticle that is lifting away from the nail bed. Dead, dry skin around the nails can also be removed using the cuticle cutters.
Scrape the edges of your nail bed gently using the cuticle cutters. This will remove any dead cuticle build-up on top of your nails.
I have used so much cuticle oils before and non of them seem to work, so I normally give up and it ends up collecting dust, so now maybe I will give the natural road a go and save money along the way.
Olive oil is one alternative to cuticle oil. Simply apply a small amount of olive oil to the cuticle, nail and surrounding skin and massage it in. The skin soaks up olive oil quickly, so olive oil as a cuticle oil can be both money– and time-saving.
Sweet Almond Oil and Tea Tree Essential Oil
Sweet almond oil and tea tree essential oil can be found in most grocery stores in the health–food section, in most stores specializing in health foods or online. Mix 10 drops of tea tree essential oil with two tablespoons of sweet almond oil. Store the mixture in a small jar. When you’re ready to use this homemade cuticle oil, a small amount can be warmed up on the stove and then massaged into the cuticle, nail and surrounding skin. Don’t wash your hands for an hour or so after applying this cuticle oil to allow enough time for it to absorb into the skin. Keep in mind that if you’re allergic to nuts, you should not use sweet almond oil as it could produce an allergic reaction
Other natural oils that can be used to heal dried cracked cuticles and nails are jojoba oil, almond oil, sunflower oil,and coconut oil. CAUTION: Bear in mind that bacteria and moisture from your cuticles, nails and the surrounding skin are going to be picked up and transferred to the oil in the bottle by the little brush. Because of this, you should discard any leftover homemade cuticle oil every two weeks. Then clean the bottle and brush and make a new batch.
Now that I am more educated on this subject hopefully my cuticles will improve to compliment my nails. Fingers Crossed