*The cuticle and proximal nail fold is often called “the cuticle” and is often cut as part of the manicure service. The cuticle should be removed by soaking the fingers in warm soapy water, and a cuticle remover used to help lift the sticky cuticle from the nail plate by pushing and lightly scraping(…yes) but not cutting.
Fingernail: A fingernail is produced by living skin cells in the finger. A fingernail consists of several parts including the nail plate (the visible part of the nail), the nail bed (the skin beneath the nail plate), the cuticle (the tissue that overlaps the plate and rims the base of the nail), the nail grooves (the skin folds that frame and support the nail on three sides), the lunula (the whitish half-moon at the base of the nail) and the matrix (the hidden part of the nail unit under the cuticle).
An appendage of the skin, this horny,translucent plate protects the tips of fingers and toes. The nail is composed mainly of keratin. A healthy nail should be whitish and translucent in appearance, with the pinkish color of the nail bed below showing through.
Cuticles are to be cared for even in summer. Not only are the cuticles being over-exposed to more harsh chemicals but are going from wet to dry more often for most. We tend to wash and eat seasonal fruit and veggies more through out the summer months. Therefore, light oils, such as jojoba, sweet almond, coconut oil and even evoo may be applied often to dry and cracked cuticles. It is best to apply these oils right after water exposure to trap the moisture in the outer skin layer and these oils will also absorb into dry skin.
And, of course, damaged cuticles will look better after these oils are applied.