Sunday, May 22, 2011

Cuticle Care

Theallamenta asked about my cuticle care recently, and I thought discussing that would fit into my Skin Care Sunday series—cuticles are a kind of skin, right?

As I do with my face, I tend to switch up my hand care routine regularly as I come across new things to try (or rediscover old ones), so what I'm sharing today is just what I'm using now. I'm only going to detail the specialized products I use only on my cuticles, but know that I also use a lot of hand lotion which of course gets rubbed into my cuticles as well. I'm not especially particular about the brands of lotion, just about using it before I head out for the day (that one has SPF 30), every time I wash my hands, and before bed. Here's what I use on my cuticles in addition to all the lotion:

I use the Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover once a week. I apply it around my cuticles—it's in a squeeze bottle and is fairly thick so it's easy to put it where I want it—then wait a minute or so (I know the bottle says 15 seconds, but my cuticles seem to need a bit longer) before taking a metal cuticle pusher and gently scraping off any excess cuticle on my nail surface and pushing back what's left. (I used to push with my thumbnails but am trying very hard to stop using them as tools so now use the metal tool instead.)

I use the Mango Mend as many times a day as I remember, usually two or three at least, rubbing it into my cuticles until it's absorbed. When Sally Beauty had the small tubes of it, I bought a bunch and keep one in my purse and one in my desk (and the big tub in my bathroom) so it's never far from me.

The Poshe Cuticle Care is the most recent addition to my routine; I've been using that every night just before bed (the tube lives on my nightstand) for a few months now, applying just like the Mango Mend. I think the AHA in it is what's finally gotten the hard skin at the corners of some of my nails to behave; I'm no longer nearly as tempted to attack those areas with a file (or, I admit, my teeth, which has happened in the past) as I was before I started using this.

You may notice there's no cuticle oil here. I have plenty, and have used it in the past, but my cuticles seem to respond better to lotions and balms than oils, so that's what I've been focusing on using. (The Mango Mend is made with a lot of different oils, but somehow in the balm formula they work for me.) I know a lot of people do great with oils; I just don't seem to be one of them.


  1. hmm, i might have to look for that sally hansen one. i have so much dead skin around my fingers that i am always cutting off.
    do you think that would help for that?
    i may know a lot about polish but i don't know much about what to use on my skin! hah

  2. OMG I thought I was the only one with that nasty hard skin on corners of nails (tried the "file" thing, too, as I can't stand to feel the rough surface when I touch fingertips and all lotion and shea butter I apply doesn't help very much).
    Thank you for this useful post!

  3. I think I might have to try the Poshe cuticle care because that happens to me too! Cuticle oil and my hand moisturizers never seem to be able to infiltrate and destroy it haha. This is such a great and helpful post =) Thanks for sharing!

  4. Thank you for this post! I always love reading what fellow bloggers use to care for their nails and cuticles.

  5. Great post. Cuticle care has started to be my number 1 priority now I'm on a no-buy.

  6. Aww thank you so much for this post Karen! It's so useful!
    What is the mango thing? is it a moisturizer, isn't it? I've never heard about it.

    have you ever used Nfu-oh cuticle remover? I tried it yesterdat, but I'm quite disappointed... maybe I don't know how to use it properly.

  7. Great post!!! Im always confused and lost when it comes to lotion and oil. I dont like having oil on my finger and they feel kinda weird. I try to hunt down the mango lotion, it seems promising. Thank you!!

  8. Awesome post! I already use the Sally Hansen cuticle remover and love it. I see a trip to Sally's in my future to look for the others. Like you, oils don't do much for me. Thanks

  9. Great post and good advice! I'm still pushing my cuticles back with my thumb nails. I know it's bad, but I'm so clumsy when I tried to use a tool for it I kept slipping and scrapping my skin. I must try to be less clumsy :) x

  10. rebecca, the cuticle remover might help with the dead skin but you might also want to try a cream with AHA in it like the Poshe to soften it up, too.

    maisenzasmalto & necessary nails, I still have some spots that are harder than I'd like but they're much, much better now that I've been using the Poshe for a while. Something about the acids in it seems to do the trick, and I know there are other cremes that have similar ingredients if you don't have access to the Poshe.

    Cel, you're welcome!

    jaljen, I admire you for holding strong on the no-buy.

    theallamenta, Mango Mend is a moisturizing balm; it's very thick and a bit greasy going on but it rubs in nicely. I've not tried the Nfu-Oh cuticle remover.

    Silence is Loud, the frustrating part is how things that work for some people don't work for others so there's a lot of experimenting needed. Hope the Mango Mend works for you!

    Sara, Sally's is the only place I've seen the Mango Mend but the Poshe is in some drugstores.

    Gemx, maybe try a rubber pusher?

  11. Just the post i was wishing to come across on! and its so refreshing knowing that im not the only one with hard skin on the corners of my nails . i though i was alone on this! im sooooooooooooooooooooooo searching for the mango thing! sallys right?! thanks for the post! BTW i love ur blog ;)

  12. that mango mend is calling me i have alot of oils and use them daily but still get those hard areas on the sides and i always end up biting em! ugh i know so bad, i def have to try this...

  13. I use the Sally Hansen and love it, but like you I have some hard skin at the edge of one of my nails, so I am going to try the Poshe. Thanks for the recommendations!


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