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How to Cut Nail Cuticles Properly

Learn how to cut nail cuticles properly from Spa Taxi owner Danielle Corbin Jaime in this Howcast nail tutorial.


I always recommend never cutting your cuticles. If you use a good-quality cuticle remover, you'll never have to cut your cuticles. The only thing you ever have to do is cut the flyways, and if you look at the finger right here, you'll see that there's a little bit of dead skin left. If you're at home, use a nipper, your personal nipper, and I would say always clean it and sanitize or disinfect it afterwards. One part bleach, nine parts water, or use a hospital-grade cleaner to always clean your nipper after you use it.

As you're clipping, hold it in you hand. Make sure you have these pieces together, so that it allows you some pressure, and you only remove the dead skin. Never go all the way around to clip it away unless the cuticles are that dry. What I also want you to do is use your skin as a guide. Try to avoid cutting your finger as you're removing the cuticles. Always remember, whether you're right- or left-handed, that you take the nipper, hold it on an angle, and push this way under the skin to remove the dead skin. This will avoid cutting your finger going around, and it also avoids hurting yourself as well. As I said before, a good cuticle remover, the only thing you'll have to do is clip the flyways. You use it on an angle, and you just nip really closely, and that's it. If there's cuticle left around the entire nail, try to clip it consistently, so that there isn't a break. Always remember, as you're clipping your cuticles, to be as consistent as possible as you clip. If you find that there's cuticle around the entire nail, start from one side, from the left or the right, and go completely around the nail, so as not to create a break as you're clipping.

If you do, you may see little breaks in the section where you started and stopped, and it may start to break, cause soreness or an infection, because you don't want to leave an open wound around your fingernail. Of course you know everything gets into our fingers, because we're always washing our hands, and we use our hands to touch everything. Always remember to sanitize and disinfect your nipper before and after every use. Wash it with warm soap and water to sanitize, and disinfect it with either a hospital-grade disinfectant or one part bleach, nine cups water, small cup. If you're going to get your nails done at a salon, you should be looking for a sterilized pouch which means that the instruments were sterilized in an autoclave machine, and they're placed in the pouch by someone who has gloves on, and this is sealed. Normally that means that they've sanitized it, and it's safe for you to use.

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