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Why Are My Cuticles Peeling? The Reasons and What You Can Do

Knowing why your cuticles are peeling and how to look after them is not only essential for how your nails will ultimately look and how they feel, but it can help your natural nails grow longer and stronger. Having been plagued by dry cuticles for years I decided to speak to some experts and conduct some thorough research into the topic. Here is what I have been able to find.

So, why are your cuticles peeling? Cuticles peel due to localized trauma that causes them to break and thin out. This can be caused by a number of reasons including: general lack of moisture, excessive hand sanitizing, poor product usage, chronic cold exposure, malnutrition, picking/biting, medications or eczema. Using specially formulated products, like a vitamin-enriched Cuticle Oil (like the Bee Naturals Product on Amazon) can restore your nails back to their natural and strong healthy state.

If you want impressive natural nails, where you can apply some fashionable designs, you will need to be able to not only prevent your cuticles from peeling, but to restore them from any damage/trauma that may have occurred.

You may feel that you have had damaged Cuticles for some time and that you are not sure what is actually causing them to peel in the first place. You may even feel quite overwhelmed about why they are actually peeling to begin with.

To prevent them from peeling once more, you will need to review your current lifestyle habits to try to locate why they may have peeled in the first place. Prevention is always better than cure, but Cuticle Oil is a fantastic corrective measure that will strengthen them and assist them I their natural healing.

What Are Cuticles?

Your Cuticles are there to provide a seal between your skin and your nail plates. This barrier stops bacteria, viruses and fungi from entering your nail, residing there and causing damage.

If your Cuticles become dry, they can actually lift up from your nail bed and let in infection. This can lead to damage and over time, cause them to peel.

Now if you have peeling Cuticles all is not lost! You have the ability to reverse the damage, but it is going to require your attention and care.

Having spent numerous hours talking with clients and fellow nail care technicians, I’d like to discuss with you today the different causes that I have identified that causes Cuticles to peel and how you can treat and prevent it from happening again.

Why Are Your Cuticles Peeling?

Your Cuticles can peel for a variety of different reasons. This can range from your daily habits to your lifestyle and even unfortunately to some things out of your control.  Here are some of the most common causes of Cuticle peeling.

  • Dryness/Lack of regular moisture.
  • Too much hand/nail washing.
  • Excessive hand sanitizing products.
  • Nail polish remover with harsh/toxic chemicals.
  • Cold Weather
  • Eczema
  • Malnutrition
  • Specific medications, e.g. chemotherapeutic agents
  • Picking/Biting your Cuticles.
  • General poor nail care

I personally believe that depending on the cause of your peeling Cuticles, you will want to vary your treatment.

However, it is widely known among nail technicians and those in the industry that a specialy-formuated Natural Cuticle Oil will benefit most, if not all, damaged Cuticles. This is because it helps to restore the natural and essential oils to your Cuticles that are likely to be missing and essential to their health. My favorite is the Bee Naturals brand which you can get for a great price over at Amazon.

But if your Cuticles are damaged due to some of the conditions as outlined above, you may need to consider adding some other treatments.

The following recommendations will not only treat Cuticle peeling, but they will also help to prevent this from happening in the future once again too. Here are the most effective solutions:

Dry Hands? Try a Moisture-Rich Hand Lotion

If you have dry hands then it is likely that you have dry Cuticles too. The strange thing is, washing your hands, particularly with standard soaps, can exacerbate the problem. But simply not washing yours hands is not really an option.

Therefore there are a couple of solutions that you can try to keep your hands and your Cuticles to retain their moisture:

  • Wear gloves where possible when cleaning and washing, so that your need to wash your hands diminishes and you can abstain your hands from regular wet and dry contact.
  • Apply toxic and chemical free hand moisturizer frequently and preferably daily. This is a more realistic solution to wearing gloves and can ensure that you go about your day as is. Moisturizing is critical for your nails and more so your Cuticles, as it helps to prevent them from drying out, peeling and cracking.

In terms of the best moisturizers available, celebrity manicurist Rachel Shim recommends Ruby Organics Shungite Balm Moisturizer Made with 100% Pure and Natural Ingredients. The formulation is made up of oils and ingredients which are scientifically proven to hydrate and combat dry skin and regenerate nail cells. It also contains water-reactivated components, which helps to retain the hand moisturizer regardless of frequent hand washes with regular soap.

Click here to see the product listing on Amazon.

Almond Nails Additional Tip: Another great approach is to apply Coconut Oil each night to your damaged Cuticles. Coconut Oil helps hydrate the nail, but it also contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which help to defeat and lingering infections or fungi.

To do this, apply some Coconut Oil to each nail and softly massage it in. Let it sit and soak for a period of time (1-5 mins). You can then wipe off any excess with a clean tissue.

Dry Cuticles? Use Cuticle Oil

To heal tired, broken, or chipped Cuticles, regularly moisturize them with a reputable Cuticle Oil.

Enriched Vitamin Cuticle Oils will add moisture, hydration and all the essential vitamins and minerals to the nails and Cuticles that they require, making them grow stronger. This will stop peeling and cracking in its tracks.

Products like Bee Naturals Enriched Vitamin Cuticle Oil with its natural formulation of Vitamin E and essential oils are proven to assist your nails ability to strengthen and grow, and to replenish lost oils which are essential for nail and Cuticle health.

Stop using Harsh Chemical Nail Polish Remover –  Use Natural Products Instead!

Now onto what not to apply.

Nail polish removers with Acetone and other chemicals are renowned for causing havoc to your nail bed and Cuticles. Cheap nail polish removers are loaded with chemicals that do not promote long term nail health, but instead only focus on removing nail polish quickly and easily. Unfortunately they do more harm then good.

It is also likely that you will be allergic to the harsh chemicals and irritants in these products; particularly the glues and acetone removers.

Thankfully there are a range or natural formulations that do as good if not better a job which you can take a look at here.

If you want to reduce your exposure to chemicals altogether, then you can also purchase some non-toxic nail polish. This will be free of harmful ingredients like camphor, ethyl, formaldehyde resin, tosylamide, toluene and xylene. A nail polish like 100% Pure 10-Free Nail Polish is completely free of the toxic ingredients found in most polishes.

Poor Nail Care Treatment? Time for a new Salon?

As a nail technician myself, I don’t like to talk negatively but others in the industry. However, if you are regularly visiting a salon, its worth considering if it is actually causing your problems.

As Salon treatments can be expensive, some off you may be tempted to look for cheaper services. However, you usually get what you pay for in life.

Make sure that you are visiting licenced salons that have positive reviews and that are reputable for clean, sanitized and sharp nail instruments.

Also pay special attention to how your nails and hands feel after attending a salon, because the antibacterial solutions that they use to clean their instruments can also be irritating to skin.

You’re Harming Your Cuticles Accidentally

Did you know, cutting your Cuticles incorrectly can make them hard, causing them to crack?

Aggressive buffing, filing, Cuticle trimming and pushing can also cause your Cuticles to crack and to peel.

If you feel that this could be the issue that is causing your peeling nails I would suggest you check out either or both of the following articles:

How To File Nails Step by Step

How To Shape Nails at Home with a Nail Cutter

Poor Diet lacking in Vitamins and Minerals?

Certain vitamins, minerals and proteins play a key role in the health and strength if your nails. Collagen supplements like this one are widely regarded for their ability to grow your nails stronger and faster. The proteins Glycine and Proline has anti-inflammatory effects and promote cell growth.

It is also advisable to ensure you ate meeting your nutritional requirements. Peeling Cuticles can be a sign that you need to increase your intake of essential fatty acids and/or vitamins A and E. A daily multivitamin and biotin can help promote exemplary nail health.

Final Words

In conclusion, I am sorry that your Cuticles are peeling; I’ve been there and not only is it incredibly painful and irritating, but it is highly inconvenient.

Peeling Cuticles can be the result of many of your daily habits and lifestyle choices; and they may even be outside of your complete control.

Thankfully there are effective treatments and solutions that will help you get your nail health restored and return your nails back to their natural best.

Are your nails peeling? Be sure to drop a comment down below outlining how long you have had them and what you have tried. I would love to help!

Recommended Products

Toxic and Chemical Free Cuticle Oil | Bee Naturals Enriched Vitamin Cuticle Oil

Moisture Rich Hand Moisterizer |Ruby Organics Shungite Balm Moisturizer

Coconut Oil |Viva Naturals Organic Coconut Oil

Toxic Free Nail Polish | 100% Pure 10-Free Nail Polish