Even for those of you who don't opt for regular manicures, keeping your nails clean and cared for is an essential task. Cleaned, trimmed nails reflect good hygiene and encourage healthy digits. However, cuticles should never be cut because cutting the skin can increase the chance of infection and compromise the health of your nails. Don't worry, you still have plenty of healthy alternatives. While the outright cutting away of the protective cells surrounding the base of your nail should be avoided, some basic nail-care routines can help keep cuticles smooth and remove any leftover rough spots for healthier hands and nails.
Soak your nails in warm water for about five minutes to soften the area and hydrate the cells. Apply a small amount of cuticle remover to the base of the nail bed -- be sure not to use a cuticle oil or cream.
Push back any overgrown cuticles with a rounded cuticle pusher. Use tiny circular motions to massage the area and gently remove any dead skin cells clinging to the nail. This process will gently massage the cuticles to the edges of the nail without damaging the cells or ripping up the base of your nail.
Sweep a nail buffer over the base of your nails after you have pushed back the cuticles. This process will gently remove any leftover dead cells and help expose softer, refreshed skin.
Apply a moisturizing hand cream to your hands, and focus particular attention on the nail and cuticle area to hydrate cells and give your hands a soft, healthy glow.