by BR Tabatha
If there's one thing that will ruin a beautiful nail polish its thick, overgrown or ratty cuticles. Well sort of. You see, the bits most of us call cuticles are actually called the 'proximal fold of the eponychium'. Yes. Catchy.
Ok, so now you know what your cuticles aren't. But what are they? The cuticle is actually a group of cells that are pulled out from the bottom layer of the eponychium as the nail grows. The cuticle cells grip both the proximal fold of the eponychium and the nail, creating a barrier to prevent infection and bacteria getting under the skin or nail bed.
You can see on the top half of this photo (thanks Pinterest!) that the Proximal Nail Fold has released from the cuticle. The bottom half shows the Proximal Nail Fold is still attached to the cuticle and is being pulled tightly over the nail.
Whatever you call the bit of skin around your nails, you probably know that it does have needs. And lucky for us busy/lazy girls, our Proximal Nail Fold of the Eponychiums are easy to please.
There are just three things you need to do to keep them happy.
1. Moisturise. The skin around your nails is always thirsty - so hydration is the key. Dry skin are likely to snag (hangnails), opening your nails up to infections. Hydrated folds will be softer and easier to manage. They'll also be less likely to split.
2. Don't cut the skin around your nails - the Proximal Nail Fold and Cuticle act as a barrier to protect your nail roots and bed from bacteria. Break the seal by cutting and you're just inviting infection in.
3. Gently push your folds back everyday. After applying a cuticle balm gently use an orange stick to push the back - never, ever push a tool underneath the nail fold. If you don't like the look of your (actual) cuticle, you can purchase a remover, but only use this if your cuticles are particularly built up. Remember - the nail fold and cuticle serve a purpose!
So tell us beauties - do you put the cute in cuticles by looking after your nail folds? Or are they simply something you forget about and neglect?
Get chatting below!
Labelled nail images via Pinterest.