Why You Might Want To Ask Your Nail Tech To Skip Cuticle Cutting During Your Next Manicure

You probably don't think much about your cuticles during a manicure. You simply give your hand over to your nail tech and let them go to town, all the while trusting that they have your best interests at heart. After all, nail technicians are trained professionals. And, once you find one you like, your nails reliably come out of an appointment looking dazzling, and you leave happy. But the story doesn't end there.


It's imperative you keep those natural nails under that flawless manicure happy and healthy and your cuticle plays a big role in that process. Sure, it might just seem like a little layer of skin sticking to your nail, but looks can be deceiving. It's actually one of your nail's major lines of defense against germs. If you've ever fallen victim to an infection, you know how crucial it is to do everything you can to keep bacteria out. 

So, before you give your nail tech the go-ahead to start trimming away, it's important to learn more about your cuticle and its purpose — especially since, more than anything else, nobody has the time to deal with the repercussions of an infection. 

The importance of the cuticle to nail health

Contrary to popular belief, your nail cuticle isn't just a fun little accessory that has no purpose like the appendix, for instance. The cuticle is the thin layer of clear skin around the base of your nail bed by the little half-moon crest. It's attached to the nail itself and provides a barrier from bacteria and germs that might want to wriggle their way under the skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD). It's also your body's first line of defense against nail infection. 


Celebrity manicurist Stephanie Stone pointed out to Harper's Bazaar: "The more you cut them [cuticles], the more your body will think they need to be produced, which leads to their growing back even thicker." This creates a need to keep constantly trimming the cuticle to make it smooth. Cutting it, therefore, kicks off a neverending cycle, which can have long-term effects on your nails. However, trimming isn't the only option available when it comes to rocking a seamless French matte manicure

How to keep your cuticle intact and still get a perfect manicure

The whole point of cutting your cuticle is to make sure your polish gets as close to the nail bed as possible, to create a smoother transition. You don't want a line of dead skin screaming at you, ruining your flawless look. Fortunately, cutting it isn't the only option. Rather than just snipping off that precious cuticle, simply move it out of the way. 


You'll need to invest in a good cuticle remover to moisten the area and a cuticle pusher to move the skin back. It's a relatively simple process of applying the remover and letting it soften up the cuticle. You'll then use the cuticle pusher to gently move the visible cuticle under the skin. However, Stone still recommends, "If you have a hangnail or snagged skin it is always better to trim it down as short as possible to prevent it ripping on its own." 

So, you should probably still have some trimmers on hand. However, "when it comes to your live skin, care is always better than cutting." Now that you have the facts, think twice before taking those little scissors to your cuticle the next time you're tempted, and be prepared to let your technician know you'd rather they were left alone too.