Hello everyone!

This next step is the most important step of all.  And one that requires extra attention and care.


Cuticle care is important for the following reasons:

  • Prevents premature chipping, lifting and/or peeling of polish (and enhancements)
  • Prevent hangnails
  • Prevent nail Pterygium
    • which is the forward growth of the cuticle and eponychuim
  • Smoother application of polish and enhancement products
  • Enables the achievement of a beautifully refined finished look


Before I move on to the proper technique, there are a few terms I mentioned above that need clarification.  While working in the salon, I have discovered that there is a grave misconception regarding the "cuticle" and what it actually is.  Knowing what the cuticle and all parts of the nail really are will drastically improve the look of your hands and nails.

Image from skindermatoligsts.com
Pterygium: Pterygium is a disorder characterized by an overgrowth of the proximal nail fold onto the nail bed. By definition, pterygium forms if there is scar tissue in the nail matrix. Since the nail matrix at that particular site cannot manufacture nail plate, the proximal nail fold skin grows out with the skin of the nail bed, giving rise to the triangular formation known as pterygium.


  • Soak nails (2+ minutes) in warm water: softens the cuticle for easy removal
    • You can add a nail soak product - aids in softening
  • Remove from water, do not dry
  • Apply cuticle remover (optional)
    • make sure to adhere to manufacturers instructions!
  • Using cuticle pusher of choice, push back to the eponychium, with light pressure
    • Too much pressure can cause ridges
  • Using pointed end or side of pusher, lightly scraper to remove cuticle
  • Repeat this process at the sidewalls
  • If cuticle remover was used, rinse (or wash with soap & water) in clean water immediately
    • Water will deactivate the active ingredient in the cuticle remover
  • If cuticle still remains on the nail plate, use the nippers (or scrub)
    • Do Not Cut/Remove the Eponychium!!!
  • Add a drop of cuticle oil to each nail and under free edge
  • Rub into nail, and surrounding skin up to knuckle
  • Allow oil to absorb for a few minutes


  • Use a moisturizing scrub instead of a cuticle pusher 
    • Apply dab of scrub to each nail, then rub in a circular motion


  • Warm Water (2 bowls)
  • Nail soak (optional)
  • Cuticle remover product (optional)
  • Moisturizing scrub (optional)
  • Cuticle pusher
  • Nippers
  • Cuticle oil

Products mentioned: