I never remove cuticles. I know they “ruin” an otherwise perfectly polished manicure, BUT, those cuticles are there for a reason. They prevent bacteria and other nasty stuff from entering our nails. Kind of a good reason to keep them there, don’t you agree?
Maybe not. Doesn’t matter. I’m not gonna jump on my soapbox and start preaching against cuticle removers. Instead, I’ll just tell you how cuticle removers work, ok?
There are two types of cuticle removers. Neither of them is particularly good for the nails, but one is way worse than the other. Let’s take a look:
The Harsh Kind
What it contains: potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide.
How it works: these ingredients are very alkaline (ie, have a high ph) and caustic, so they can soften and break down the dead skin around the nails, allowing you to quickly remove it with a nail knife or orange wood stick.
Side effects: can cause irritations and dryness.
The Mild Kind
What it contains: alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), a group of exfoliants derived from fruit and milk sugars.
How it works: AHAs dissolve the glue that hold skin cells together, so they can be pushed away.
Side effects: can cause irritations, if you have sensitive skin.
Which one is better?
The mild kind, obviously. It may not work as quickly, but is much gentler on the skin and nails.
Do you use a cuticle remover? If so, which type do you prefer?
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