It never fails: "Cut cuticles or no?"
Uhh...Every time I get a mani, I never know how to reply to this question. I've heard that cutting cuticles is bad, but then why do they make cuticle nippers? That's it. I'm phoning Ji.
"First off, you should never cut your own cuticles," says Ji Baek, the founder of Rescue Beauty Lounge in NYC. "They're there to protect the root of the nail from bacteria." Ji herself admits to having serious trouble tending to the cuticles on her right hand (since she's a righty). If a seasoned professional finds the whole operation tricky, don't you dare try it. (Read more on how to get a great pedicure.)
As for whether or not to let a professional nail technician nip your cuticles, Ji says, "A skilled professional knows how to do it safely, and she'll always ask."
So how should I keep my nail beds looking neat?
"After a shower, when your skin is soft, just gently push your cuticles back with a Q-tip," she says. "And consistently keep them hydrated." A good one to try: OPI Avoplex Cuticle Oil to Go, $7.50, a Best of Beauty winner.
I've been doing the Q-tip and cuticle oil thing for about a week now, and the results are so good, I'll respectfully decline the next time I'm in the chair.
image via drugstore.com
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