How To Trim Your Cuticles

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Do you know how to properly cut your cuticles? While they play an important role in protecting your delicate hands (they're just like the calluses on your feet!), your hands still need to look pretty and groomed. We chatted with Hollywood's go-to manicurist Deborah Lippmann on the perfect cuticle protocol.

HOW TO Trim Your Cuticles

  1. Soak Deborah recommends soaking the nails lightly to prep them for work. "Soaking helps soften the nail and cuticle, but remember to use a cuticle remover—which breaks down dead skin cells—instead of a cream or oil."

  2. Push Use a round cuticle pusher to lightly rub the nail bed with minimal pressure. Your nails will immediately feel smoother and healthier.

  3. Buff Buff the rough skin attached to the cuticles with a rectangular coarse nail buffer. You'll be amazed at much dead skin you can take off with gentle pressure.

  4. Nip After you've pushed back your cuticles, you can turn to your nippers for any extra hangnails. "Stay away from nippers unless you're trimming a hangnail," Deborah warns, "and make sure your nippers are sharp. I prefer a 1/4" blade—that way you'll only trim the skin you need to."

  5. Maintain "The key to well-groomed cuticles is moisture and exfoliation! You have to remove dead skin cells on your nails just like your face. Keep fingers hydrated [see our cuticle cream favorites!] and push the cuticle back every week to prevent buildup."

From Vogue, InStyle, W, and Vanity Fair to Versace, Valentino, Balenciaga, and Zac Posen, Deborah Lippmann is the go-to manicurist for top magazines, fashion houses, and celebrities. Her namesake line of best-selling nail lacquers and treatments are loved by her A-list clientele.