How to Groom Cuticles

by Mimi Abney ; Updated September 28, 2017

Use a wooden cuticle stick to push back your cuticles gently.

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If you’ve ever had a beautiful manicure ruined by ragged, unkempt and jagged cuticles, you will need expert beauty tips to groom your delicate digits at home. But, getting the upper hand on the skin around your nails can be tricky to master. Because the cuticles protect the nail from infections, it is important to push back the skin gently without damaging your nail bed. To have well-groomed cuticles and perfectly polished nails, apply a gentle and pampering treatment to your hands once a week.

Wash your hands with soap and warm water to clean your cuticles and hands. Dry hands with a clean towel.

Fill a small basin with warm water and liquid soap. Immerse your fingertips in the water for five minutes or more to soften the cuticles and the nail plate. Dry your hands with the towel. To clear away dead skin and excess tissue, use a damp washcloth to push back the cuticles gently.

Apply a few dots of cuticle remover to your nails. Rub the product into your fingertips and let it sink in for two to three minutes.

Push back the cuticles using a wood stick or a rounded, metal cuticle groomer. Work the cuticle stick or groomer around the nail bed gently, using small, delicate strokes. Attempting to push back the entire cuticle in one stroke may break the skin and damage the natural nail.

Complete the treatment with a few drops of cuticle oil to rehydrate your cuticles. Add the cuticle oil before bedtime each night to prevent cracked and irritated cuticles.


  • If you have a hangnail, use sterile and alcohol-wiped clippers to cut the hangnail only. To prevent tearing your cuticles, use a pair of sharp clippers.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Mimi Abney is a lifestyle writer specializing in online content for women. Her work has appeared in and "Keepsake Magazine," among other publications. With over 15 years of writing and editing experience for the web and print, Abney is also a contributor to online health, beauty and fashion publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Spelman College.