The Beauty LessonYour Guide to Cuticle Care by Janelle September 12, 2017Let’s talk cuticles. We all go through it – damage to our nails or cuticles. But we all know damaged cuticles can be painful and frustrating. Fortunately there are everyday preventative measures. With winter around the corner, this is especially important. Here are some valuable tips to keep your cuticles safe from those dreaded hangnails! Cuticles are soft, making them particularly susceptible to damage. This can be from the dry winter air, dehydration, holding your phone (yes, I’ve known people who this happened to!), or even biting your nails. Drink water I can’t emphasize enough the importance of hydration. Not only should you be drinking it on a regular basis for your basic health (says this self-proclaimed coffee addict), but also for your cuticle friends! It’s even easier to forget how thirsty we are during the cold season. One thing to keep an eye out for is your hands’ overall dryness. If your hands are feeling dry or rough, think about when you last had a generous cup of water. Cuticle Balm Do you ever find yourself randomly staring at your nails? If you do, take a peek at your cuticles. Are they looking rough or have outstanding skin on the side of the nail? It might be time to bust out the cuticle balm. These are compact and perfect for on-the-go. I have one just for my cosmetics bag so I never forget it! Cuticle balms are helpful to combat winter air and other daily routines that dry them out, like hand- washing, dishes, even rummaging through our bags. My favorite go-to balms are the awesomely affordable Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream (made with cocoa-seed butter and sweet-almond oil, only $6!) and the Dior Crème Abricot (on the pricier end at $27, but smells amazing and a little goes a long way!). If you remove your manicures with anything acetone-based, I also recommend washing your hands right after and applying cuticle oils for some extra love. But make sure to keep water away from bare nails as much as possible– it makes them more brittle. Peel-off base coats Say what? Yep, you read that right! If you like to change up your manicure frequently, this is handy in avoiding nail polish remover. I recommend UNT Cosmetic’s Ready for Takeoff Peel Off Base Coat. The safest way to peel off the manicure is using an orange wood stick cuticle pusher, created specifically for the nails and do not splinter. Be sure to gently push the cuticle lines to tease up the base. Your manicure will eventually peel off! This takes some getting used to for one-fell swoop – not to mention keeping the manicure actually on – but it’s a safe way to prevent your cuticles from acetone, which dehydrates your skin. But if you prefer a regular base coat, Mineral Fushion makes a non-acetone remover that works just as well – if not better. (I’ve been converted.) Cut those bad habits! This last bit of advice sounds extremely basic, but I can’t emphasize this enough. There are some bad habits we can cut out! Put down your phone more and hold it differently so it doesn’t rest on your nails or cuticles. The constant rubbing and contact can develop calluses (yes, it’s happened to my friends!) or tear down the skin. Be sure to also break that manicure cardinal rule: don’t bite your nails. This habit is sometimes due to anxiety or boredom and can damage your cuticles! Find a healthier habit to ease your mind (like that cuticle balm I suggested) or a reading book. Not only will you save your cuticles, but your sanity, as well. Hangnails are not only painful, but easily preventable. It’s important to stick to these gems during the winter so your cuticles remain gorgeous and healthy. Hopefully these tips will help you and your cuticles safe during the winter!