Do Nail Cuticle Removers Really Work?

The nail cuticle is the thin layer of skin at the base of your nail that serves as a protective cover for new nails as they grow (via Healthline). This thin layer of skin is said to be made of dead tissues, per Bliss Kiss. Hence, removing them or pushing them back isn't likely to cause any pain or injury, especially if done correctly.

However, the decision to push your nail cuticle back or remove them is entirely up to you (via Byrdie). If you choose to remove your cuticle or push it back, be sure to, first of all, moisten your nails to get them soft. You can achieve this by moisturizing them, enveloping your hands in a warm towel, or simply by applying cuticle remover (via Bustle).

Here's how cuticle removers work: They disintegrate the thin layer of skin at the base of your nail bed, making it easy to trim or push them back. Speaking with Good Housekeeping, Jin Soon Choi, expert manicurist and founder of JINsoon, said, "These products remove that thin layer of dead skin by dissolving it or physically getting rid of it." So, now we get the idea of the science behind the working of cuticle removers, but how effective are these products, really?

Cuticle removers can be pretty effective

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of nail cuticle removers, you need to bear in mind that they only help soften the cuticle so that you can easily trim or push them back with a cuticle pusher (via Well + Good). Cuticle removers will likely not cut off the cuticles for you.

According to beauty and lifestyle blogger, Christina Leigh, who documented the result of using cuticle remover for the first time on her blog, Christina's Chic Corner, "​​​​I haven't looked into the specifics of what cuticle removers are expected to do, I just went into it thinking it would loosen the dead skin and would be easy to wipe away. It takes more work than what I thought and I still have to go in with other clippers to trim the dead skin around my nails."

An interesting fact to also note about cuticle removers is that they don't work at the same rate. Some work more slowly than others, depending on the chemicals used for their formulation, per Beautiful With Brains. It should also be mentioned that some cuticle removers can be made at home. Clearly, the length of time it takes for them to dissolve your cuticle can influence how one would rate the effectiveness of different cuticle removers.

Once you understand what to expect from cuticle removers, generally, it helps you set your expectations accordingly. All in all, it is safe to say that cuticle removers are quite effective.