How to Remove Nail Cuticles

Rashmi SSep 1 2011

Nail care is an important part of your beauty regime. A little carelessness on your part and you’ll start observing thickening cuticle at the base of the nails. As the cuticle gets older the base of the nails starts hiding and the nails appear shorter than their original size. Also, sometimes it gets rough and your nail doesn't look finished and maintained. So, it becomes necessary to remove the nail cuticles. If you want to get rid of them, it isn't going to be much of a mess. All that you need is to follow these easy steps. Read on.

Complexity Level: Basic

Time Required: 15-20 minutes

Resources required:

  1. Nail cuticle cutter
  2. Orange stick or any other cuticle pusher
  3. Nail paint remover
  4. Nail cutter
  5. Cuticle cream
  6. Massage cream
  7. Mild shampoo
  8. Dry cloth
  9. Small tub and mug
  10. Cuticle remover

1. Remove nail paint residues

To get properly cleaned nails, remove any nail paint that is still applied on your nails with the help of a nail polish remover. Don’t rub it on nails too much and don’t remove nail polish by scratching it as it will damage your nails.

2. Use cuticle remover

Most of the cuticle removers that are easily available in the chemist shops or cosmetic stores contain sodium or potassium hydroxides and are available both in an oil and lotion form. These help in removing cuticles to a large extent. In case, you have small cuticle deposits it may remove it on its own thus saving you of pains of removing cuticle with a cuticle cutter. Apply cuticle remover properly on the nails emphasizing near the bed area. Now, wait for 5-7 minutes. A better idea of time should be taken from the cuticle remover’s bottle that states clearly the amount of time that particular remover needs.

3. Clean your nails

Always clean your hands using a very mild soap or shampoo to do away with any residues of cuticle remover or nail polish remover. Rinse your nails well. Now, apply cuticle oil on the nails. Wait for 7-8 minutes.

4. Push back the cuticle

Use a cuticle pusher. Push the cuticle backwards using the tip of the cuticle pusher so as to define the shape of the nail. If there is lot of cuticle, when you push it back you’d realize the excess cuticle as a thick layer rising a little. Use a cuticle cutter to cut it. Start this from the bed area of the nail and then come to the sides. Remember to be gentle on the nails. One you are through with the pushing back of cuticle, cut it using a cutter. Check your nails after doing this and don’t cut too deep.

5. Clean the nails, again

Clean the tip of the nails and the area between the skin of finger tip and nail which is prone to deposition of dirt. Remove any deposits beneath the nails. You can use a soft brush or the back side of cuticle pusher for this.

6. Make your nails shine

This is actually buffing of nails that is done to give it extra shine and look lustrous. It also removes any minor oil deposits in case they are left on the nails. Do buffing softly so that you don’t damage your nails. Half a minute is sufficient for this.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Can’t cuticle be removed by merely using a cuticle cutter directly?

The nails are cleaned, washed and cuticle remover is applied to make them soft and help remove the cuticle softly. Using cuticle cutter on dry skin may damage the skin around your nails as it is dry and it might be painful plus it won’t give your nails very finished look; rather, cuticle would look chipped.

2. Why the cuticle needs to be pushed and not cut directly to the edge?

Pushing the cuticle in case you have less deposits is enough as it would give your nails a proper shape. Remember removing the cuticle is done to get rid of excess and waste cuticle, but a part of it is needed to keep the nails safe. The trick behind every successful beauty regime is to go soft.

3. Why is buffing necessary?

Buffing gives your nails shine and also helps remove excess deposits over nails in the entire process. It also makes the nails look smooth, as sometimes pushing the cuticle may cause slight scratching on the top of the nails.

4. How to remove cuticle in French manicures?

The process is pretty much the same. Apply a cuticle remover, push the cuticle backwards and trim the excess cuticle. However, in a French manicure you need to apply almond oil on the cuticle after cutting it and rub it for a while. Cuticle cream can also be used as an option. Also, clean below the front edge of the nail to remove any deposits.

Quick Tips:

Use the orange stick to push cuticle. Orange wood stick is soft on nails. Use this to push the cuticle starting from the bed area and moving towards the sides. Use the broader end of the stick in circular motion on the nails after pushing back the cuticle. It would remove the dead cells.

Things To Watch out for:

  1. Don’t go too deep while cutting the cuticle, remember the motive is to make the nails look defined and cleaner and not to remove every bit of the cuticle.
  2. Don’t use any hard material on the nails. Don’t use too pointed metal cuticle pushers as they may harm the surface of the nails.
  3. Don’t scratch your nails with anything. Not only would it make them look uneven but it could also damage them causing infection.
  4. Remember to use sterilized cuticle cutter, cuticle pushers etc.
  5. Don’t remove cuticles if you have any injury on or around your nails. Wait for it to heal.