Dealing with raggedy cuticles.

A few weeks ago, when I put the call out for questions for my F.A.Q vlog, I got this question sent to me:

“I have really horrible nails. The cuticles are all scraggly and I always get hangnails and torn bits of skin at the edges. I’d like to fix them but I have to ask…where do I start?”

DSCF7972I often get asked questions about my nails.  I was fortunate enough to have been blessed with very strong nails.  But I also take very good care of my nails.

From the information in the question above, it sounds as though your nails and cuticles are very dehydrated.  The lack of moisture will cause the skin around the nail to peel and split.  Not a pretty sight.  However, there are a few very simple things that you can do to combat this:

– First of all, increase the amount of moisture going into your body.  Make sure that you’re getting enough to drink each day.

– Then, get into the habit of using a cuticle oil or cream regularly.  Just dab a little bit on each cuticle, rub it in and then leave it to absorb into the nail bed.  I like to do this at night before I got to bed, because the oil will have a better chance to sink into your skin.  If your cuticles are really dry, I would recommend doing this two or three times a day until they start to look a bit softer.  Then you could just moisturise them once a day.  My favourite cuticle butter is Lush’s Lemony Flutter.  It smells divine and does the job.

Next, you’ll need too do some grooming.  You could book yourself in for a fancy manicure, or just do it yourself at home.  Get yourself a cuticle stick, and gently push the cuticles back.  I like to wait until I’ve just gotten out of the shower, when the skin is nice and soft.  Do this once a week, to make sure that the cuticle isn’t growing over the nail bed.  Carefully trim off the excess skin with a pair of very sharp cuticle scissors.


The next step is prevention.  To keep your nails and cuticles in tip-top condition, be sure to wear gloves when doing household chores like washing the dishes.  The detergents and hot water can be very drying. Also, take care when washing your hands.  Avoid using regular soap, as this can be harsh on the skin.  Look for a moisturising hand soap which contains wheat germ, olive oil or vitamin E to nourish your hands.  Be sure to wash your hands in warm water only.  Very hot water can dry your hands out and cause the cuticles to crack.   Hand sanitizer should also be used sparingly.  Handy as it is, the alcohol in these products can be drying, so only use hand sanitizer when you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands.

In cold weather, shield your hands from the elements with a pair of cute gloves.  For really soft hands, apply a light layer of hand cream before you put your gloves on.  When you remove them, your mitts will be soft as kittens.

Do you have any tips for caring for nails and cuticles?

Also, if you have a beauty question that you’d like me to answer, please get in touch with me.  I’d love to help you out.


  1. Wonderful post, Ness!!! I have awful nails, so I have no advice of my own. Mine grow TOO fast, for me and worst of all, I can never have them look… nice. If I cut them, okay. Short but decent. But rarely do they cut in a good shape. Filing is even worse, and causes damage. Letting them grow out a tiny bit ends up in uneven ridges, yargh! It’s frustrating. 😉

    • Mine grow super fast as well! I used to grow them super long, but lately I’ve been trimming them for work and I’m shocked at how quickly they grow.

      I have a couple of tips that might help with shaping and filing. First of all, make sure that you’re using an emery board rather than a metal file. Metal files will weaken the nail. Always file in one direction only, rather than ‘sawing’ the file back and forth. It takes longer, but it will be kinder to your nails. Also, when you file, do it fairly slowly and with a gentle touch. Don’t push the file too hard into your nail, as this puts pressure on the nail.

      If your nails have ridges, a buffer will help. I only started using one of these about a year ago, and they work wonders. You can get them quite cheaply from the supermarket or chemist, and they really help to smooth the nail over. Use the rough side to buff out the ridges and the smooth side to add shine to the nail. Don’t do this more than once a week though, because it can make your nails weak if you over do it.

      Hope this was helpful.

  2. My cuticles were awful until I started consistently using a restoring hand cream at night. These were some good tips though. I should really keep an eye out for a good cuticle oil. It would really help in the long term. Nice post 🙂

    • Using hand cream regularly is a great way to keep your hands and nails in tip-top shape. I have a tube on my nightstand that I put on every night before I go to bed. I also keep a tube on my desk and another in my handbag to slather on during the day. It really does help.

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