Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

A Quick Primer on Cuticles

        Health | Nail Care Tips

Choosing Nail Care Products for Cuticles

Sometimes, even companies with excellent reputations put out products that are later found to have detrimental effects. Given the many recalls that have occurred over the years with medications, skincare products and various other items, it's a good idea to do some research before purchasing anything you're going to come into direct contact with.

For example, products containing acetone can be really hard on cuticles and nails alike, causing them to quickly become dry, itchy and more prone to breakage. Cosmetic appearance aside, many acetone-based jojoba oil and removers produced in 2007 or before contained formaldehyde and/or formaldehyde resins. Both have been proven to be damaging to nails; plus they're toxic, to boot. Take care to read the fine print to ensure that any nail care product you select is acetone- and formaldehyde-free.

It's also worthwhile to note that all commercial cuticle lotions are not necessarily created equal. In general, lotions containing plant-based ingredients are better equipped to hydrate your nails and cuticles, rather than inadvertently dry out or irritate them. Check labels for specific mentions of almonds, avocados and vitamin E, in particular. Products containing coconut or jojoba oil are also ideal for nails, or you can pick up them up in their natural form for similar results.

As with most other types of products, it's often not necessary to shell out big bucks to achieve the results you desire. Once you've identified the best item for you, don't hesitate to shop around for the ideal price. Dollar stores and sale item-laden drugstores are known to carry many of the same or comparable products as nail shops, salons or spas, but at vastly reduced prices.