Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What to do about those ugly hangnails?

What causes those nasty hangnails?

We have all experienced them at some point in time.  Those little bits of skin around the cuticle, that are so unsightly and irritating.  They are so annoying that we want to pick at them, rub them, maybe even cut them off hoping to get rid of the unattractive look they give our nails and hands.  Not to mention the fact that they completely ruin a lovely, well-done manicure.  Those dreaded hangnails!
Hangnails cause soreness and irritation.

What actually causes hangnails has a lot to do with what you do to your cuticles.  Over-stimulation of your cuticles causes them to grow down your nails.  Yes, that’s right.  ANY kind of massaging or rubbing  of products into your cuticles will result in dry, cracked cuticles, and they will go into over-drive trying to repair themselves, thus growing down your nail. 
A great example of how dry, cracked, irritated cuticles take away from the appearance of your nails.

Many of us have purchased cuticle oils that instruct you to rub them in.  If you are using T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner – this is a huge NO-NO.  We try to tell all our customers that only by leaving your cuticles alone, which means absolutely no massaging, rubbing, cutting or clipping of the cuticles or hangnails, will it be possible for your poor cuticles to actually recede naturally.

The problem is that people don’t realize what cuticle stimulation is.  Recently I embarked on a extensive spring cleaning weekend.  In doing so I banged, bumped, snagged and ultimately damaged my cuticles by not wearing gloves.  This was only the case on my right hand; my left hand was fine.  Upon realizing how hard I was on my cuticles – using harsh chemicals, having my hands in water a lot and not wearing gloves – I was mortified (but not entirely surprised!) to see how irritated, dried out, cracked, torn they looked.  It has taken me the better part of 10 days to get them back in good shape again, thanks to T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner.
My nails after treating them daily with T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner.  I wish I had taken a before picture to show you how banged up they looked post spring cleaning!

Many people may stimulate their cuticles in other ways – for example, some have an unconscious habit of rubbing one finger against the other when sitting in front of the computer or while watching T.V.  You can also stimulate your cuticle by reaching into your purse and scratching it along an inner zipper.  You may have a hobby  which causes havoc to your cuticles, such as gardening.

Whatever the case may be:  it is imperative that you ALWAYS leave your cuticles alone.  NEVER cut or clip your hangnails, NEVER rub in any kind of hand cream/lotion, NEVER pick at your bothersome hangnails, NEVER massage in any product to your cuticles!!!  If you have a terrible hangnail put a bandage over the area for a few days and it will eventually go away.  By tampering with the hangnail, you will be right back at square one again.  In addition, take note of your daily activities to find out how you are stimulating your cuticles, because hangnails = too much cuticle stimulation!  That’s a fact.  So, if you want to get rid of those ugly, sore hangnails, leave your cuticles alone at all times. 

One of the BARE NAKED NAIL CHALLENGE participants sent me her progress report yesterday:

Hi Lisa: Here are pics of Week 4 using TIPS Nail Conditioner.  I find increased nail growth, have to clip my nails more frequently.  I faithfully apply it every morning before my nails are in water.  Big problem with my nails is chipping or they flake at nail tip, but that has improved. I use Skin Conditioning Milk in evenings around cuticles and seems to help with hangnails.  I hope continued use will see nails get harder.  Loving the product.  Thanks for the opportunity to try product. Will keep you posted, Tracey.

My advice for Tracey is to file the ends in order to seal them with the Contour Nail File by ASK Cosmetics.  This has helped several other participants (see Sarah of “The Beautiful Lagoon” as an example) to get rid of peeling, flaking ends and promote longer, stronger nail growth.  Moreover, follow the instructions mentioned above concerning cuticles and hangnails.  Leaving them completely alone is the only solution.
Another participant in the challenge passed on her progress update:

Good day Lisa, Time to report in again.  I just finished week 8 and things are looking good , ridges are improving and can't wait for them to improve more.  Still having a bit of trouble with my cuticles, but  have been using the product religiously.  I am excited to see what week 9 will bring.

My advice for Betsy is to avoid any cuticle stimulation whatsoever.  Cuticles become dry and cracked, either due to lack of hydration and lipids (which isn’t the case here as Betsy is applying T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner faithfully) OR because of over-stimulation – rubbing the product in, massaging in hand lotions, cutting or clipping them.  All of these things are huge NO-NO’s if using T.I.P.S. Nail Conditioner, or any products for that matter.  Be aware of what you are exposing your cuticles to, as it may be an unconscious action that stimulates them.

Thanks for stopping in and reading my blog.  If you are interested in entering a nail challenge in the future, please contact me and I will put your nail on the list.  We are always looking for people who would like to improve the look, texture and growth of their nails.  You can reach me at:  lmueller@askcosmetics.com
What do your cuticles look like?   All comments welcome.


  1. thanks for sharing.

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    (clip-right.com) which has a reverse pressure lever. My hand shakes less when using this new style and the result better and using it is easier.