I was sat getting my nails done recently at the salon and I over heard the person next to me query why her nail technician wasn't cutting her cuticles. The technician reassured the client by explaining that it is a practice that should never happen - I was quite shocked! I had always assumed it was the right thing to do. I'm sure most of you reading this will remember getting a manicure somewhere and having the process done.
Well, as it turns out, cutting the cuticle is one of the worst things you can do. The thin sliver of skin at the bottom of your nail bed serves an important purpose - to protect you from infection. And you should never cut it, only push it back - and even then only if they are so far up the nail. The skin is so delicate that it is really easy to cut too deep or accidentally cut the skin leaving the floodgates open for bacteria and fungus to get inside and start an infection. Plus, once you get into the habit of cutting your cuticles, you always have to cut them because they grow so quickly, but in a way that makes them fray and look unsightly.
Clippers should only be used to tackle hangnails and even then we'd recommend leaving it to the specialists nail technician as opposed to doing it yourself. Cuticles should just be pushed back after applying a good cuticle remover to soften the skin.
A good time to tackle cuticles is right after you get out the bath or shower - your skin is at its softest and the cuticles will be easy to push back - or you could soak your hands in warm water to soften the cuticle.
So next time you reach for the clippers, resist the temptation. There is nothing worse than a freshly manicure nail with a side of infection!