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: