While we often treat myself ourselves to a mani/pedi, the idea of cuticle oil can be foreign to some — who uses that stuff anyway? Well, we all should. And two to three times a day! We spoke with Mandi Levanah, Revitanail Nail Care's expert, ambassador and celebrity manicurist — she did Rihanna's nails when she was last in Sydney — to find out about cuticle care. What she told us about nail salons and letting them snip your skin will astound you. Click through.
So, what is a cuticle anyway?
"Your cuticle has purpose in life and its purpose is to protect the matrix from where the nail grows from. It’s to protect that from infection and bacteria and it needs to be soft and pliable and not stuck to your nail to do its job. You know when you get those little hang nails and those split pieces of skin? The reason that happens is your cuticle is stuck to the nail plate and the nail then grows and stretches the skin, and eventually the skin will snap and cause those painful things."
How can we stop that happening?
"To avoid that, you’ll be using cuticle oil two to three times a day, but to push your cuticles back, use the Revitanail Nail Care Cuticle Remover Gel ($14.95). Pop it on once a week, leave it for a couple of minutes so it can work its magic and soften the cuticle, then push back really gently. It's a good idea to do it after a shower or bath when your skin is already all soft, push back, massage it away, apply Revitanail Nail Care Nourishing Oil ($14.95) and you’ll be right until the next week."
We've never done that! We'll sometimes get a manicurist do it...
"The key thing about the cuticles is to never, ever, ever cut them and under no circumstances in a salon should you let anyone cut your cuticles, ever, unless (and this is very rare) they’re opening the equipment from an autoclave bag — like when you go in for surgery and they rip open bags that have been sterilised.
"By law under the NSW Health and Safety Guidelines for nail technicians under the Skin Penetration Act, it is illegal for them to cut cuticles unless the implements have been sterilised in an autoclave, and that is something that a lot of people don’t know. The reason is because even if they don’t draw blood, they’re still opening that area of the skin and there is a clear liquid that is released from your skin once it is penetrated and that can carry viruses such as hepatitis and HIV and all that kind of stuff.
"[And] the reason you shouldn’t do it to yourself at home — even if you’re doing it with your own clippers — is because the cuticles need to be soft and pliable and lifted up away from your nail plate, and if you’re cutting them all the time, your skin is going to form a defence where it sends lots of skin cells to the area that is being assaulted and your cuticles will grow back, drier, rougher and harder because its protecting itself.
"So the only way around it, if you’ve been doing it and you’ve got those cuticle issues, is the Revitanail Nail Care Cuticle Remover Gel. Just keep on using that, something gentle to exfoliate it away and be constant with your Revitanail Nail Care Nourishing Oil, that’s really the only way.
"Your cuticles are similar to a round window where you see that jelly silicone seal, it is always soft and you can poke it. It’s never hard because it needs that flexibility in there to protect that area around the window. So your cuticles are the same."
Revitanail Nail Care stockists: 1800 630 056