"The problem with cutting is that you can't cut the cuticle in one piece, you have to make little snips," Hughes said. "The skin can fray where the new snip was made." And while we're talking about bad habits, buffing can also be detrimental to your nails. According to Hughes, you should only buff your nails twice a month maximum.
Don't clip your cuticles — seriously. Don't trim them at home, and don't have your manicurist clip them at the salon. You are allowed to cut off any annoying hangnails, but be careful. "The frays are the only part of the cuticle I do clip because it can stop them from fraying further," Hughes said. "Get as close to the base of the skin that's loose and snip. Make sure you're using clean, sharp clippers." Hughes recommendsOPI Mini Cuticle Nipper ($18).
"You can get cracks in your cuticles from the weather, so frays can happen even if you aren't a cuticle clipper," Hughes said. Dry skin tends to get worse in the Winter. The heating in your apartment can steal moisture from your skin — and your nails are no exception.
Moisturize regularly by keeping a hand cream in your purse, by the sink, and at your desk. Hughes recommends an all-purpose balm like Butter London Hydrating Balm ($24). Also look for a base coat with ingredients like keratin and soy to protect nails from drying lacquers.
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The freezing winter temperatures aren't the only reason we're wearing chic gloves. We need to rock the accessory to cover our awful nail condition - painful peeling cuticles, aka hangnails. "A hangnail is a bit of skin torn at the base of the nail, not your actual nail," Katie Jane Hughes, Butter London global color ambassador, explains.
But how did those frays start in the first place? Keep reading to find out two manicure sins that could be causing your hangnails and your personal solution.