When the cuticle becomes dry, the nail is more likely to crack, and the area around it can become infected. However, the skin covering the nail’s base always seems to be neglected. While it generally appears best to remove the cuticle so that the pin is no longer damaged, the infection may go down if you do it incorrectly.
Using a cuticle remover to remove dry cuticles is a much safer way to get neat nails. If this sounds better, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve prepared a whole article on safely removing those pesky cuticles with cuticle removers!
What Is Cuticle Remover?
Before I get into the realm of a cuticle remover, I think it’s important to explain what cuticles are and why they are present on our nails. The cuticle is a layer of dead skin around the nail plate that provides a barrier between the pin and the living skin, preventing infection and bacteria. Therefore, because the cuticle is such an essential part of the nail bed, it is important not to overuse cuticle removers as they can damage living tissue.
So, what exactly is a cuticle remover?
Cuticle remover is a solvent that softens the dead tissue around the nail’s cuticle, making it easier to push back and trim. It usually contains potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, which are very alkaline chemicals with high pH levels that can cause skin irritation and dryness with regular use.
There are also gentler exfoliants based on alpha-hydroxy acids (glycolic or lactic acids), natural exfoliants of milk or vegetable origin commonly used in skin care. However, they work more slowly and can still irritate the skin if used too often.
The acidity of cuticle removers makes many people wary of using them. Cuticle removers are necessary to achieve salon-quality nail care, and it is essential to use them safely.
Pros & Cons of Cuticle Removers
Like other products, cuticle removers have their advantages and disadvantages, which we discuss below.
It softens the dry, dead skin around the nail, making removal a breeze.
It protects the nails from infection by preventing flaking and dry cuticles.
It also prevents hangnails.
Cuticle remover makes the nail look neater and gives the illusion of long nails.
It does not work as fast for rough cuticles.
There is a risk of damaging nail tissue if used longer than prescribed.
Cuticle Remover vs. Cuticle Pusher
Cuticle remover is a liquid used to soften the cuticle and make it easier to cut or push back. As mentioned earlier, it is a solvent at an acidic pH level.
On the other hand, cuticle pushers are metal, wood, or plastic tools used to tuck the cuticle back under the skin and push it away from the nail bed.
For better results, you may want to use them simultaneously – first using a cuticle remover and then gently pushing back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher.
Is It Safe to Use Cuticle Removers?
While cuticle removers are excellent and practical, damage can occur when they are allowed to stay on for too long. For this reason, it is essential to read the instructions, see the time limit and follow through. If the cuticle remover you purchase does not give you a time limit on how long it should stay on your cuticles, know that 2-3 minutes is a reasonable limit.
Because of the alkaline ingredients contained, they can be drying and irritating to the skin, so using sparingly and moisturizing and nourishing your hands and nails afterward is a safer way to remove cuticles.
Other than this issue, cuticle removers are safe to use and will not cause any harm to your nails, hands, or body.
How to Use
While the instructions on your cuticle remover’s packaging will guide you perfectly well, this is how you use it safely:
Start by washing your hands and removing any nail polish or gel coating from your nails.
Read the directions and apply the cuticle remover around the cuticles, as instructed.
- Leave on
Leave it on for around 30 seconds (or as long as the packaging instructs) so that the cuticle softens. If your cuticle doesn’t come off in this time, repeat the process on another day to not cause any unwanted damage to your nails.
- Push the Cuticles Back
Push the cuticles back or trim them. We recommend simply pushing them back since trimming them without identifying the living tissue might mean that you’ve taken something away from the nail that it needs.
- Get Rid of the Excess
Use a damp towelette to wipe off any excess dead skin or cuticle remover. Then wash your hands again.
- Do Your Mani
Start your manicure and enjoy your beautiful, healthy, and elongated nails!
How Often and When to Use?
Cuticle remover is essential to creating a flawless manicure, therefore each time you give yourself a DIY manicure, it would be good to apply a bit of cuticle remover. If your cuticles tend to lean towards the thicker side, then once-a-week cuticle remover use would be a nice touch – just don’t forget to moisturize well afterwards.