How to Groom Cuticles

Use a wooden cuticle stick to push back your cuticles gently.
Use a wooden cuticle stick to push back your cuticles gently. (Image: Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever had a beautiful manicure ruined by ragged, unkempt and jagged cuticles, you will need expert beauty tips to groom your delicate digits at home. But, getting the upper hand on the skin around your nails can be tricky to master. Because the cuticles protect the nail from infections, it is important to push back the skin gently without damaging your nail bed. To have well-groomed cuticles and perfectly polished nails, apply a gentle and pampering treatment to your hands once a week.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Towels
  • Small bowl
  • Liquid soap
  • Small towels
  • Cuticle remover
  • Wooden cuticle stick or cuticle groomer
  • Cuticle oil
  • Cuticle clippers

Wash your hands with soap and warm water to clean your cuticles and hands. Dry hands with a clean towel.

Fill a small basin with warm water and liquid soap. Immerse your fingertips in the water for five minutes or more to soften the cuticles and the nail plate. Dry your hands with the towel. To clear away dead skin and excess tissue, use a damp washcloth to push back the cuticles gently.

Apply a few dots of cuticle remover to your nails. Rub the product into your fingertips and let it sink in for two to three minutes.

Push back the cuticles using a wood stick or a rounded, metal cuticle groomer. Work the cuticle stick or groomer around the nail bed gently, using small, delicate strokes. Attempting to push back the entire cuticle in one stroke may break the skin and damage the natural nail.

Complete the treatment with a few drops of cuticle oil to rehydrate your cuticles. Add the cuticle oil before bedtime each night to prevent cracked and irritated cuticles.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a hangnail, use sterile and alcohol-wiped clippers to cut the hangnail only. To prevent tearing your cuticles, use a pair of sharp clippers.
  • While it is tempting to cut your cuticles weekly with cuticle clippers, frequent snipping -- of anything other than a hangnail -- exposes your fingertips to infection, hangnails or scar tissue.

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