How to Trim Cuticles

by Contributor ; Updated September 28, 2017

How to Trim Cuticles. Caring for the hands in an effort to keep them looking professional and well-maintained includes caring for the cuticles. Cuticles are pieces of skin that grow over the edge of the nail as a layer of protection but should be pushed back and trimmed away from the nail. Here are some tips to trim your cuticles.

Apply a cuticle remover to the base of each nail, rubbing it in. Allow the remover to sit on your nail for 1 to 2 minutes. Cuticle removers work by softening the skin, making it more pliable and easy to trim.

Leave the remover on for a minute. Use an orangewood stick and in a circular motion, push back all of the skin that meets the nail, even the sides. If any areas are red or sore, skip that area.

Be careful only to remove the skin sitting on top of the nail. Going too far and trimming the skin on your finger, will cause pain and possibly infection.

Use cuticle nippers to slowly and carefully trim away the cuticles. The nippers can be sharp, so trim small pieces at a time to get a smooth, clean finish.

Be careful. Stop if you experience any bleeding while trimming your cuticles.


  • When applying cuticle remover, your skin should never burn. If it does, it may be irritated or dry. If you experience a burning sensation, rinse the cuticle remover immediately and wait to work on your nails when they aren't feeling so sensitive.

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