4 Frequently Asked Questions about Nail Care

I covered some of this in the anatomy of your nails post and when I gave you 5 tips for winter nail health but nail care is important so I’m going there again. With pictures & whatnot.

nail care

Should you cut your cuticles?

No. First let’s take a good look at where and what your cuticles are. As shown in the picture above, your cuticles are the bit of dead skin on top of your nail plate. You can push your cuticles back gently, but you shouldn’t try to cut them. You should also not cut that bit of skin that is usually incorrectly identified as your cuticle. That bit of skin is the proximal nail fold and it protects your nail matrix from bacteria & whatnot. If you were to cut that, it could lead to infection.

Should you trim your nails?

Maybe. It’s best to use a glass file. When you trim your nails with nail clippers, it’s possible that it could lead to splitting or peeling, especially if your nails are short. But if you use a glass file, it helps to seal the keratin layers of your nails which means less peeling.

Should you buff your nails?

Probably not. This can weaken your nails. If you buff too much you’re removing layers of your nail. If you’re trying to buff out ridges to make them even, you’re buffing away the highest parts of the ridges which are the strongest points. What you’re left with is the “valley” of the ridge which was the weakest part! If the ridges are concerning to you, use a good ridge filler instead. With that said, if your nails are oily and you have a hard time getting nail polish to last (or Color Street to stick), you can buff very lightly to remove some of the shiny surface from your nail and that may help your mani last longer.

Do your nails need to breathe?

No. This is a myth! Your nails are made of dead cells. Dead cells do not breathe! What your nails actually need is oil and hydration. Get yourself a good cuticle oil (this is the one I like) and use it! Several times a day, if needed. Follow up with a good lotion or hand cream. Drink water. It’s good for you in general. And keep your naked nails out of water whenever possible! You can do this by keeping them polished and by wearing gloves when cleaning. When your nails are submerged in water for longer than a few minutes, the water can push the oils out of your nails. Dry nails can mean brittle nails that crack or peel.

Take care of your nails, friend!

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