I have read a lot of nail posts lately hating on cuticle nippers. I definitely agree that they can be unsafe and when used improperly they can seriously injure you. That being said, I use cuticle nippers and I love them. Salons have been using them for years. Why?? To help clean up dead skin and hangnails around your fingers. Now here's my take on the proper usage of them.
- GET A GOOD SHARP SET!!! A $2 grocery store pair simply will not cut it. No pun intended. Did you know that you are more likely to cut yourself with a dull knife than a sharp one? Same goes for cuticle nippers. Get yourself a nice sharp set. Mine were close to $20 and worth every penny. I have been using them for years and have not had to replace them. And here's a helpful tip *only use them to cut dead skin and they'll last longer. Use them to hack off your toenails and you'll dull them quicker.
- SOAK YOUR FINGERS WELL BEFORE USE!!! When you do, the hangnails and dead skin around your fingers magically make themselves visible. I fill a small bowl with the hottest water I can stand, drop in a little bit of antibacterial hand soap and soak my digits for several minutes. When you do this, you get what I call "prune hands" and you'll be able to see white dead skin all around your finger. Or, to save time, simply use your nippers after you take a shower or a bath.
- DON'T OVER-DO IT!!! I don't use nippers for every manicure and I don't trim off my cuticles unless they are torn or over-grown (which is almost never). When you do your fingers get angry, red and you often times end up cutting yourself. Your first defense against bad cuticles is to use cuticle creams and push them back often. I just use my fingernails to push back my cuticles so that I don't scratch my nails with pushers. Occasionally I use wooden sticks or plastic pushers. This will "train" them. Also, keep your fingers well moisturized with oils and creams. You can buy the pricey balms but I just use whatever is closest because I put lotion on several times a day paying special attention to my nail bed.
I really wanted to do this post and defend cuticle nippers because I believe, that if they are used properly, they can be a helpful tool for a home manicurist.