How to Use a Cuticle Remover (Step-by-Step Guide)

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cuticle remover guide - featured imageHaving well-manicured nails is every girl’s dream. However, overgrown cuticles can make this difficult as they leave your nails looking neglected. Also, being rough while removing cuticles can be harmful to your nails as it damages the living tissue which can leave you exposed to infection.

Fortunately, using the best cuticle remover can make your work easier. Cuticle removers come in two types, and there’s one that uses high pH to soften and break down dead skin around the nail. There’s also another that uses alpha hydroxyl acid to break down the sticky substance that binds the skin cells, making it easy to use a cuticle pusher.

What’s a Cuticle and what is its Function?

The cuticle is a layer of clear skin around the bottom area of your finger or toe. It’s also called the nail bed. Cuticles protect new nails from a bacterial infection when they grow from the nail root.

The nail bed area is delicate, and it can get damaged, dry, and infected. It’s essential to keep the area clean and dry to have healthy nails.

Steps on How to Use a Cuticle Remover

Here are some necessary steps on how to trim your cuticles.

Clean Your Nails

It’s essential to have clean nails before using the cuticle remover. Use a non-acetone nail polish remover to get rid of any nail polish. Wash your hands with soap and dry them off.

Moisturize your Nails

Use a few drops of a nail moisturizer on your cuticles. The moisturizer makes your cuticles soft. Olive oil is also an excellent moisture fix after a shower. You also need to soak your hands in warm water for a few minutes.

Dry Your Hands

Shake off any excess water after you’ve finished soaking your nails. Use a soft towel to pat your hands. A clean cloth is recommended to avoid the spread of infections.

Select the Right Tool

You can choose a metal cuticle pusher that has a spoon shape or find an orangewood stick. The metal cuticle pusher is easy to use and more efficient, but if you can’t find it, an orangewood stick would be a better alternative.

Orange sticks are available at a beauty supply store or a drug store and work well for people with sensitive skin. You can wrap the tip of the stick with a cotton ball.

Have a Firm Grip

You need to rest your hand on a flat area to steady yourself. Having your hands in the air will make it impossible to control the pressure you apply with the cuticle remover.

Keeping your grip light but firm is critical. Place the edge of the cuticles remover against the cuticle area and press against it. The eponychium slides back and exposes the cuticle. Use the same method on all your nails.

If you notice some excess skin on the area where you pushed back the cuticles, do not tear or cut them off. Use a clean cloth dipped in warm water to exfoliate the area.


Finish the process by using the best cuticle oil on all your nails. Almond cuticle oil is a perfect moisturizer as it conditions your cuticles and nails. Cuticle creams also do the same work but contain wax that protects your skin and replenishes any lost moisture, thus leaving your cuticles healthy and soft.

You can also find creams with natural ingredients which work to repair damaged skin, seal in moisture, and ensure that your cuticles don’t dry out. Rub the moisturizer around the nail bed in the morning and at night. Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before you paint your nails.

When using a pusher, dull any sharp or rough edges using a nail file before pushing the cuticle. After exposing the cuticle, remove any non-living tissue from the nail plate. Remaining cuticle interferes with the adhesion of any nail enhancements including nail polish.

Experts recommend the use of a flat scraper blade, a curette, or an orangewood stick to remove the cuticle. Avoid using an electric file or nippers to remove the cuticle. Files only cause friction that can irritate the nail plate. You should use nippers to get rid of a dead skin tag. Make sure that the nipper blades are sharp to provide a clean cut.

Caring for your cuticles is essential for your overall health. Always use clean nail instruments and avoid cutting your cuticles as this can expose you to infections. In case of any nail infection, talk to your doctor who will recommend a treatment plan.