Dry cuticles: causes, home remedies, treatments, and more
Although a manicure can transform your nails into an Instagram-worthy creation, even the best design won’t look good if you have dry and cracked cuticles. Moreover, it can diminish the appearance of your mani, and if ignored, it can create an entryway for bacteria, potentially leading to infections. So what causes dry cuticles? And what are some home remedies for dry cuticles? Here are a few tips that can help you tackle the issue!
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Why are my cuticles so dry?
In most cases, dry cuticles will be caused by the following:
- Lack of skin hydration
- Often washing your hands
- Frequent nail treatments
- Contact with chemicals
- Harsh weather conditions (especially cold)
- Improper diet
- Nail or cuticle biting
How to fix dry cuticles?
Of course, typically, dry cuticles aren’t a cause for alarm and can be easily treated. This is especially easy if you know the root of the problem. In such a case, the first step will be eliminating the factor causing the issue. The second step will be to help moisturize and heal your cuticles. You will likely be able to do this at home without the necessity of seeing a specialist. However, if your cuticles seem infected or are swelling, you will want to see your doctor.
A great way to boost hydration levels in your skin and cuticles is to apply nourishing hand cream before bed and putting on cotton gloves. The moisturizer will work on your hands and skin during the night, resulting in healthy and smooth cuticles in the morning. As an additional benefit, you will be hydrating your hands as well!
Typically a combination of a few oils and vitamins, cuticle oil was formulated with a specific target in mind. Not only does it provide hydration to your cuticles, but it also softens them. All you need to do is apply a tiny amount of oil to each nail and then massage it into the nail bed. This will help the oil absorb better and promote blood circulation. In most cases, cuticle oil absorbs quickly. However, if it still takes too long for your liking, apply it just before going to sleep.
Another great moisturizer is shea butter. Featuring hydrating and softening properties, shea butter can help bring your dry cuticles back to life. Since it contains natural fatty acids, it can also aid with damaged nail beds. To make full use of shea butter, apply it before going to sleep, thus allowing it to absorb throughout the night.
Hand soak for dry cuticles
A spa-like treatment you can try at home is soaking your nails in olive or argan oil. With oil being able to deeper penetrate the skin, a soak will quickly deliver the much-needed hydration and nourishment to your cuticles. For amazing results, soak your nails for ten to fifteen minutes daily.
Avoid biting and picking
Biting or picking your nails and cuticles, although tempting, can lead not only to dry cuticles but to even more serious issues. Biting and picking causes trauma that creates an opening for bacteria and fungi. This can lead to infections, swelling, and bleeding. If you know the risks and still are having a hard time giving up biting, invest in a no-bite nail top coat. If you’re having a bigger problem with picking, hydrate your cuticles until they are smooth and you don’t have anything to pick. For some people, squeezing a stress ball can be a healthy alternative.
Forgo nail treatments for a while
Nail treatments typically include the application of a moisturizer, but still, over time, they can have a negative effect on the cuticles. Harsh chemicals found in polish and acetone dry out not only your nails but also your skin. Moreover, during a manicure appointment, the nail tech either trims or pushes your cuticles, thus affecting their natural state. So take a break from manis and let your nails heal.
Best cuticle treatment
So what is the best treatment for dry cuticles? Well, there isn’t really one that will miraculously fix them with the snap of the fingers. What you need to do is to hydrate your hands, apply nourishing oils, avoid things that tend to dry out your skin, and finally, be patient and consistent.