Want to take a gander at what I’m talking about?
Here’s a hint: If you’re anything like me, you always feel better when you have your nails done.
And if you’re anything like me, you don’t want to pay all outdoors to get your nails done, so you tend to frequent cheap nail salons as opposed to a ritzy spa. And while the cheaper salons can be sufficient, they have one terrible habit.
They like to cut your cuticles.
Because our cuticles tend to get dry and rough, it’s common to clip them to keep them in check. But this just perpetuates the cycle. When you clip them, they grow back even more jagged. It never fails, when I leave the salon they look great, but two days later they are amuck with hang nails and rough edges. So I started instructing my manicurist to push them back without clipping them. Then I come to find out, it’s actually healthier that way.
Discovery Health explains why:
Your cuticles aren’t a pointless part of your finger structure. They help shield new keratin cells from harm as they age and add length to your fingernails. The manner in which cuticles overlap your nail plate also helps seal the gap between your skin and nails. Without this seal, your fingers would be more susceptible to intrusion and subsequent infection by bacteria and viruses.
Basically, cuticles provide a seal so that harmful bacterias can’t get into your body through the nail bed. By cutting (or biting) your cuticles, you open up an area for bacteria to get through. At the very least, you are allowing more germs to infiltrate your body, which causes your immune system to work harder; and worst case, you can get an infection around the base of the nail. Not fun. To say nothing of unattractive.
So what’s a girly girl to do?
The key is moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. You don’t need fancy cuticle creams. Just use regular hand lotion, whatever that you have that you use and like. And apply it often. I’ve heard that you should actually lotion your hands every time you wash them. I’ve been trying to do this lately, and it really has helped. Make sure to gently rub it in and around the cuticles.
And then protect your hands from the elements. Wear rubber gloves when you wash dishes, wear mittens or gloves when you’re outside in cold weather, all the stuff we know we should do but often neglect in our busyness.
I’m curious. Do you routinely cut your cuticles? (Or have them cut?) Do you give your hands the attention they deserve?
If not, how about you start now? There’s no time like the present!