How You Should Really Be Using A Cuticle Pusher

Nail files, trimmers, and cuticle pushers. All tools you've heard of, right? But do you actually know how to use them? It may seem like a no-brainer, but did you know that there are specific instructions on how to use nail tools properly?

Take a cuticle pusher for example. According to Shape Magazine, a cuticle pusher is used to — like the phrase says — push back your cuticle. The premise doesn't seem too complicated in theory, but the cuticle is a sensitive area of skin. You don't want to hurt yourself or your nails in the process. Plus, Shape Magazine said you can even get an infection if you use a cuticle pusher improperly. That said, you need to follow specific directions to remove your cuticles safely.

First, invest in good cuticle remover, which is a solvent that softens the skin and makes it easier to remove (per Byrdie). Simply apply the cuticle remover, wait a few minutes, and then you're all set to start pushing the skin back.

Using a stainless steel pusher (as these are the best), hold the tool at a 45-degree angle and slowly push back that flap of the skin using the round edge of the tool. Remember: Don't do it too hard, or you'll hurt yourself.

Push back the skin to your desired length and you're all set. Manicure prep is complete!

How often you should push back your cuticle

We know it's tempting to be free of cuticles. There's just something about a cuticle-free manicure that looks so good, right? It's important to remember, though, that your cuticle is there for a reason. Cuticles protect the nail from bacteria, so it's safe for your nails to leave them intact (per Shape Magazine). There's nothing wrong with occasionally trimming that dead skin away, but even this is a risk, and you can't remove your cuticle skin repeatedly.

So, how often can you push your cuticles back? Shape Magazine recommended pushing back your cuticle every four to six days. A routine of pushing back your cuticles regularly within this time frame preps your nails for a mani, and it also prevent hangnails. Anyone who has experienced a hangnail knows how painful they are, so this is a good tip to follow.

However, if you find your cuticles growing at an extended rate, you can invest in some cuticle oil that will hydrate that dead skin, per Byrdie. Not only will cuticle oil give your nails that extra shine, but it will also protect your skin from dryness, something we all need during the winter time.