In order to keep cuticles their healthiest, it is necessary to occasionally remove excess cuticle cells. This will not only prevent hangnails and maintain a healthy barrier from bacteria, yeast, and fungus, but will allow cuticles to look their best.

Cuticle Pusher

Cuticles are designed to grow naturally as the nail grows, stretching to help keep unwanted microscopic objects out of the body. When the skin stretches too far, however, it can tear, causing a hangnail.

To properly remove cuticles, two things are needed: cuticle remover and a cuticle pusher (often called an orange stick).

Cuticle remover works by reducing cuticle size, freeing potential hangnails, and softening cuticles enough so that they can be safely pushed back. Why cuticle creams and oils can help repair damaged cuticles, only a good cuticle remover can soften the cuticle enough to begin working on it. There are many products on the market to remove cuticles, so shop around to find the one that works best for you, or try a home cuticle remover recipe to save money.

After using a cuticle remover to help soften cuticles, use a cuticle pusher to push them back. Hold the cuticle pusher at an angle, gently pushing the cuticles back. Be sure to use the cuticle pusher in tiny circles around the cuticle base, removing the dead skin and residue, called pterygium, which may remain. Experts advocate careful cuticle grooming, not cutting, although a cuticle nipper may be used after to remove hangnails.