Apr 15 2010

The ugly truth: My cuticles are CRAP! And I need YOUR help!

Hi Folks! Just a quick reminder…don’t forget to enter to win the nail polish ring from Ginger Kitty! Contest ends Sunday! And if you haven’t checked out her jewelry site, go here!

If you don’t hear from me for a few days, while posting, I’m on vacation! My best friend in Florida had a baby and I’m going to meet her!!! <3

So recently I got a couple comments on the state of my cuticles. One person’s comment seemed to be a blatant advertisement for a product and I hate that so I didn’t post it. I did post the other one, because as much as it sucks to hear it the ugly truth is that my cuticles are CRAP!

I’m-a gonna spare you the photographic details. But the skinny is this: I bite the skin around my nails. It’s a nervous, bored, stressed habit. THAT’S why my cuticles are crap. They’re dry. They’re flaking. Because I and constantly picking and biting at the skin.

I do this so much that I get little angry scabs, and boy does it suck during polish removal – nonacetone or acetone doesn’t discriminate with pain! Also, I recently did this so badly that I chewed the skin all the way to the pad of my thumb, and had a little wound. It’s healing now, but here’s what I mean (Ok, I lied. Photographic details!):

I probably have tools at the ready to take care of this – Diamond Cosmetics Almond Cuticle Oil, Mango Mend. But I don’t use them because I never remember to.

I’ve decided I’m going to pick a regimen, and STICK TO IT. And report back to you how it goes. But I need YOUR suggestions. Here’s your chance to say, “hey, you know, yeah. The polish is cool but the nails are crap, BeautyJudy.” Tell me what works for you, and why! I need suggestions!

My cuticles thank you in advance 🙂

  • Debbie

    Hi – I’m a big fan of Lush’s Lemon Flutter; Crabtree and Evelyn’s Gardner’s Hand Therapy; and almond oil. I use a combination of all three – but I probably use C&E’s most frequently. Good luck; it’s a continuing effort for me to keep my fingers/skin near fingers away from my mouth – nerves/stress!!

  • Jenny

    My favorite product that has saved me from cracked and peeling cuticles is Jason Natural Tea Tree Oil Nail Saver. This product was recommended to me by an employee in the health and beauty dept. at my local Whole Foods. My nails were brittle and my cuticles were so cracked that nothing seemed to help. I previously used both oils and moisturizers from OPI and CND to no avail. I know these brands make outstanding products but for whatever reason my nails and cuticles were not responding. Jason’s Nail Saver was nothing short of a miracle for me. My nails and cuticles now look as great as the nail bloggers I follow 🙂 Another plus is the natural smell from the tea tree oil in this product will definitely make you want to keep your finger tips away from your mouth 🙂 I hope this helps!

  • JenB

    My cuticles and skin on my fingertips got really bad, too. I decided that meant I should cool it a bit on the numerous polish changes (gah!) and also I got one of those cuticle oil pens to carry in my purse and use when I get the chance. Also, I mixed up some coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil, vitamin e oil and glycerine in a small jar to keep in the fridge and before bed get a scoop and oil and massage up my hands/fingertips/cuticles for a few minutes. Sometimes I do that in the mornings, too. And I must say they are improving a lot. Oh and when I was dishes, I’m grouping them together, not doing them as they get dirty. Sorry I don’t have anything magical to tell you other than back off what bothers the skin and do more of the things that are good for the skin. Best wishes!

  • http://nailaddictsanonymous.blogspot.com/ Lissi

    Don’t feel so bad. I hope that whoever commented on the status of your cuticles did it with good intentions. I don’t bite my fingers but my cuticles are pretty crappy too. I also have cuticle oil but also forget to use it! Good luck with whatever method you try to fix them!

  • http://musicalhouses.blogspot.com Musicalhouses

    Wow, I honestly never thought your cuticles were bad (maybe I just never looked closely enough) but of course it would be so much better if you didn’t bite them! Anyway, I use CND cuticle eraser…It’s not a miracle worker but regular use with time helps to get rid of all the flaky skin around the nail (actually I should start using that thing more regularly myself) and I use Burts Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream to moisturize. My cuticles aren’t great either (they get dry and cracked) but I’ve found these two helped. Good luck!

  • Lucy

    I rarely bite my cuticles but they aren’t good. I’ve been reading all the replies and the whole key is to just moisturize faithfully and don’t bite. I have cremes everywhere and always use them. What I don’t do is put the Solar Oil on my cuticles. I keep forgetting even though it’s right next to me on the computer and next to me while I’m watching TV. It’s something we have to make a habit of. I use cuticle clippers and clip of all the bits. I also use nail clippers to cut all the dry skin around my nails. That gets really bad. The problem is once you cut the skin it grows back like scales at first. Then I have to keep cutting. I believe it’s the central heating that makes our skin the driest. I notice my skin on my legs isn’t as dry since my heat isn’t on or as high when it’s cold out. Good luck Judy.

  • Aimee

    I’ve done this, too. Like Keerthi and Painted Lady Fingers, I made the change by keeping hand creams everywhere and nail tools in many places. I do have some cuticle oils/creams but, like Keerthi, I’ve found that the better solution for me has been rich hand creams rather than oils. They help the rest of my hands and, while thick and rich, they absorb faster than oils and I can use them and get back to typing right away.

    I have hand creams at my desk at work, in my purse, near the couch where I watch TV, near the computer where I play video games, and on my bedside table. My favorites so far are Glamour Glove Gel by Bliss and Deep Comfort Body Butter in the tub. Glamour Glove Gel is ridiculously expensive for a 2.5 oz tube, but it’s lasted me 3+ months at my work desk and as expensive as it is, I’d buy it again. Of course, while I love those products, you might hate them. The most important things is finding something you like and will continue to use, whatever it may be.

    I always trim hangnails or any rough patches on my cuticle with a cuticle or nail clipper. I use creams with AHAs or BHAs, either specifically for cuticles or all of me. Foot/Heel creams with AHAs or Urea have actually worked really well for me. My cuticles aren’t perfect, but they don’t give me any trouble anymore. Good luck!

  • elizabeth

    hey.. it was I who posted the comment that you hated.. i was not trying to advertise anything, honestly! i just thought of two products that i’ve used and liked, so i thought i’d recommend them. sorry it offended you.

    one of my best friends was a chronic nail and cuticle biter when i met her, then she became inspired by my nails (at the time they were long and luxurious) and made a decision to STOP biting her nails!! now she has better nails than me. it is possible.. it’s just something you have to become conscious of.

    anyway, my cuticles are a lil dry right now due to dry colorado weather and.. obviously, a nail polish habit. i’ve decided the best solution would be to abstain from nail polish activities for at least 2 weeks =( and to be lotioning and oiling every night and throughout the day. i wash my hands frequently also, so i know that’s a contributing factor to the dryness. good luck!!

    • http://beautyjudy.wordpress.com beautyjudy

      No! It wasn’t you! I approved your comment! It was some random guy shilling a product I don’t remember! I appreciated your honesty!

      • elizabeth

        awesome, i’m glad! i really hope you can formulate the best regimen. i know it’ll be easy knowing that you’ve got a bunch of online peeps supporting you haha!

  • http://lacqueredlizard.blogspot.com/2010/03/holy-holo-fun-batman.html Elizabeth

    I haven’t found my HG for cuticle care yet. I’m going to try Zoya Remove, since the OPI isn’t working as well as I’d hoped to keep my cuticles happy. I’m currently trying Burt’s Bee’s Lemon cuticle balm and it’s a noticeable improvement but one day off and I’m dried out again. I’m thinking of combining it with some SkinMD lotion. I don’t bite mine, I clip them, but the thumbs are just scaly messes. LOL
    I think it’s a moisturizing routine really. I like the suggestion about moisturizing instead of biting. What a great habit for nervousness. 🙂

  • http://keerthamina.blogspot.com Keerthi

    I bite the skin around my nails too! Two things have helped improve the appearance of my nails a lot. First, I try to keep them SUPER moisturized so that there isn’t anything dry and hanging off to gnaw on – I’m lucky in that the skin on my body/hands is very dry and I hate the feeling of it, so every time I apply body lotion after a shower or after washing my hands my cuticles get moisturized as a bonus. This means that I personally don’t have to use any hand/cuticle-specific lotions or creams (which is good bc I’d never remember), but if you aren’t a body lotion addict like I am you may have to.

    Second, whenever I do find a hangnail and cave on the temptation of picking at/chewing it, I cut off any excess after with little nail scissors – this both helps my nails look neater (since I don’t have bits of dry/jagged skin hanging off) and also removes anything left to chew on so that I don’t get tempted again.

    My cuticles are far from perfect but they look a lot better than they used to… when I was younger I used to chew them until they were raw and puffy. Another thing that really helped me, I just remembered, was thinking about how the habit must look to others as I got older. It’s pretty unsightly when someone grown is chomping away on his/her grubby hands in public (that’s a kid’s habit, you know?), so keeping that in mind has helped me reduce how often I give in to my bad habit, at least in public… I don’t want to be that guy/girl!

    I hope that helps! 🙂 Good luck!

  • http://paintedladyfingers.blogspot.com/ painted lady fingers

    The biggest help for me is I have cuticle care items stashed everywhere! I have a mini OPI Juicy lotion in my purse. I have heavy duty nighttime hand cream in the bathroom AND next to the bed in case I forget to put it on after brushing my teeth. Nfu Oh cuticle oil is next to my bathroom sink. I actually stashed a bottle of cuticle oil at my boyfriend’s apartment!

    I would recommend having multiple pairs of cuticle nippers in your case, even carrying a pair in your purse. Having an immediate resource to handle a hang nail without biting could be really useful.

    When all the cuts are healed, CND Rejuvenator and Cuticle Eraser are great for maintenance.

    Good luck!

    • http://thevinylwordandothermusings.blogspot.com Deb

      I second Cuticle Eraser. It isn’t an “instant” cuticle remover. It does microexfoliate away dry, icky cuticle skin gradually with continued use. It’s a great maintenance product.

  • http://eyeconicmakeup.blogspot.com/ Heather / Eyeconic

    I do the same thing, unfortunately. Since I’ve been painting my nails frequently, I’ve been using a Borghese cuticle oil- I think it’s basically just a type of almond oil. It is AMAZING. I put it on before bed and in the morning my cuticles are a million times better- it really heals the skin. It also doesn’t burn getting in all the gross parts. I highly recommend it!

  • http://mylucidbubble.blogspot.com/ Kristina

    Oil and Mango Mend didn’t work for me. I have really dry skin and I’m a picker. Try cocoa butter or shea butter or a moisturizer that you like and works. I’m really, really liking Gold Bond Ultimate. Stay away from anti-bacterial stuff and scented hand lotions – they are drying! Moisturize, moisturize and within a week you will see a difference. Once things are no longer dry, try an exfoliating cuticle cream like CND Cuticle Eraser. Put that on once a day or so and continue to moisturize. This has worked wonderfully for me.

    Good luck!!

  • http://mysimplelittlepleasures.blogspot.com/ Colette

    Basically I try to always exfoiliate, moisturize & oil in between manis. I do my nails in the evening so I’ll usually take off polish when I get home from work, do my routine, and then not paint them again until after dinner. Of course, lately this has not been going so smoothly LOL but if nothing else I try to do cuticle oil at least once a day, all around the sides & under the free edge too.

    If you want a more detailed breakdown, including specific products & etc, you can check under my “nail maintenance” tag on my blog =)

  • http://bellebathandbeyond.wordpress.com bellebathandbeyond

    Have you tried Lush Lemony Flutter? I’m not particularly fond of the smell, but it works wonderfully!

    I think all of us polish fanatics have worried about dry cuticles at one point or another. I could just imagine how it is in the US where it’s particularly dry. These are the times when I’m thankful to spend most of my time in a tropical (and very humid) region of the world – my cuticles tend to stay decent for at least a couple of days. When I’m back in the US – they turn into this hideous monster!!!

    Good luck and I hope you find a regimen that works for you 🙂

  • Millie

    I use Lush Lemony Flutter every night before bed, after I apply face cream and hand cream. If you get into a routine it’s much easier. If you get the urge to bite, you could apply cuticle balm/oil instead since it would make them less palateable to bite. Or try the old elastic band around the wrist trick (ping it every time you want to bite, so you start to associate biting with pain).

  • Jen

    Now then, young lady. This is a very bad habit and you have to stop it. If I can stop drinking (nothing since Christmas Eve) then you can stop picking and biting. Willpower, dear. There’s a great Frog and Toad story about willpower! I’ll spare you. Stop it now, use your lotions and potions and post some pix to show us your improvement. This is not acceptable.

    OK? ;o)