Cuticles — we've all got 'em, but why? Cuticles are the dead layers of skin cells that surround the base and sides of fingernails. Glamorous image? No. Necessary for preventing infections? Yes. Cuticles help keep ward off germs that may otherwise enter through a gap between nail and skin. Scientifically known as eponychia, these little strips of skin need to be cared for to maintain nail health and appearance.
Here are some tips for keeping this hardened layer soft and jagged-free:
- Moisturize your cuticles with an oil or cream like Green by Nature Lemon Verbena Cuticle Cream ($4.99) to loosen the skin.
- Lightly push back cuticles with a cuticle pusher to improve appearance of the nail bed.
- With a super-gentle touch, trim any rough skin or loose edges with a cuticle nipper.
- Finish with a hydrating lotion, like Laura Mercier Almond Coconut Milk Hand Crème ($15) to keep hands and nails looking pretty.