When it comes to an at-home manicure, a great nail polish shade and a steady hand can only go so far. For the best, most professional-looking result, proper nail care, and maintenance are equally important. That means taking the time to tend to your cuticles, aka the rough layer of skin that lines the base of your nail bed. At the nail salon, technicians will usually cut the dead skin of the cuticles during a manicure — a process that can be intimidating to try on your own, whether or not you are a nail newbie.
If you want to give yourself a salon-quality manicure at home but are not so sure about going at your cuticles with clippers, cuticle remover is an excellent product to have on hand. Typically formulated with hydrating ingredients like aloe or jojoba oil as well as gentle exfoliators, cuticle remover helps to loosen and soften the rough skin around your nails. Many cuticle removers actually slough off this dead skin so that no cutting is necessary, while others help to loosen the cuticle skin to make it easier to remove.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up the best cuticle removers on the market that will seriously up your at-home manicure game.
The Best Cuticle Removers
Sometimes a manicure has to be about efficiency rather than a luxury. In those cases, Sally Hansen’s Instant Cuticle Remover is the best cuticle remover. It promises to eliminate cuticles in just 15 seconds while aloe and chamomile work to condition and soothe the skin.
This adorably packaged cuticle remover gently exfoliates the cuticles so there’s clipping necessary. Plus, there are nourishing ingredients like avocado oil, argan oil, and jojoba oil to moisturize delicate skin.
This cuticle remover exfoliates and hydrates rough cuticles using AHAs, or alpha-hydroxy acids.
For a bit of a splurge, go for this pick from Deborah Lippman. The exfoliating formula acts quickly to loosen dead skin around the nails, making cuticle removal a breeze.
With ingredients like glycerin and jojoba oil, this is one of the best cuticle removers for locking in moisture. After applying to your cuticles, leave the product on for two to three minutes. Then, gently push the back cuticles back and thoroughly rinse with warm soapy water.
Inspired by luxury facial peels, this professional-strength formula from Essie softens the cuticles so you can easily push them back.
The plant-based conditioning ingredients (such as Irish moss and potassium hydroxide) in this Butter London cuticle exfoliator help to soften and gently exfoliate cuticles with each use.