Why I Quit Cutting My Cuticles & How I Recovered


I stopped cutting my cuticles because the process turned into a dangerous roller coaster ride with no stops to get off. Eventually, I just had to jump.

I tried to get a Mani/Pedi about once a week. One benefit to living in New York City is the affordable Mani/Pedi, best known as the “Monday – Thursday $19.00 special.” Which didn’t work in my favor this time because I went on the weekend, but that’s beside the point.

Each week I went into the salon, and each week they pushed back and cut my cuticles. As someone who bites my nails occasionally, this always helped the nail beds look bigger, healthier, and cleaner.

In about 3 – 4 days, my cuticles usually started to peel a tiny bit. Then, I started to pick. As a result of the picking and cutting things began to look pretty ugly. This is right about the time that the paint usually chipped. After taking off the polish, my cuticles were Dry! Peeling! Chipped! and Gross!

So… what did I do? I went back to the salon to get them fixed up again.

The cycle was never ending.

I stopped. I got off the ride.

I went to the salon and instead of letting the manicurist cut my cuticles I said, “Do not cut my cuticles, please.” Oddly, at first, she was opposed to this idea. It seems, to me, less work for her, but I guess many people probably come in asking for such things without realizing… This statement includes leaving the nail salon with less than perfect nails. But, they will be much healthier in the end.

Almost every credible beauty source has had an article on the damage endured by cutting the cuticle. Just google it, plenty come up. In most of the articles it is very clear that trimming the cuticles can break the seal that protects the surrounding skin from infection. Without the cuticle barrier to protect that surrounding skin and developing nail, an infection is more likely to develop. The main concern with trimming your cuticles is getting an infection from instruments that are not cleaned and sterilized properly.

It took a couple weeks before my cuticles stopped looking frayed and raged. I started by dabbing some oil each day around the cuticle area. I bought OPI oil to go and throw it in my bag. I also made sure to moisturize my hands throughout the day. Especially, after I washed my hands. I love L’Occitane Rose Hand Cream. It smells amazing.

I am currently using some of my favorite Essie product that I used on my toes. I also push them back sometimes in the morning and because they aren’t all raggedy my nails look really nice. I am interested to see if they start to look bad over time.

Has anyone else stopped cutting their cuticles? What was your experience?

I am really wondering how this is going to go. I’m a newbie.


***beauty always comes from within, photo taken by Amanda Teague, xoxo behind the mirror***
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  • Esmée van Leeuwen

    I cut my cuticiles for over 12 years now, more of a nailbiting kind of habit to me (which I do too but less and more pickig and cutting the cuticle) as a result the skin behind my cuticle is thick its like a bump. And when I try to stop picking and cutting it looks horrible and i just cant help myself from picking it. Is the bump ever going to flatten down whhen I leave my cuticles at peace d: sometimes i think it will never look normal again

    • behindthemirrorbeauty

      I completely know what you are talking about and I can say that the bump does go down, but never goes away. I’ve recently started picking and biting my nails again after a long time of being at peace with them. The bump is back… and my cuticles are looking horrible too. LOL, maybe soon I will eventually kick this bad habit!

  • Love this post, we’ve been pushing our cuticles back forever, and it definitely get’s better with time!

    xx 365Hangers

  • I’m a cuticle-cutter and I need to quit like you did!

    Le Stylo Rouge

  • Jane Fitfabfun

    Definitely want to try this cuticle eraser! Thank you for sharing!

    xo, Jane

  • I actually never cut my cuticles unless I’m getting a manicure, which is pretty rare for me. For some reason it creeps me out to do it myself! I just paint over them haha it doesn’t look as pretty but oh well! Definitely want to try a cuticle eraser!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  • Biana Perez

    Oh gosh – I am pretty religious when it comes to my cuticles and try not to do anything myself!! I’ve seen cuticle erasers and I’m interested in trying that!! xo, Biana – BlovedBoston

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