Glycolic Acid for Cuticle Care
While many consumers opt for extra moisturization, or heavy-duty hydration to try and repair damaged cuticles, these are largely ineffective measures. Instead, there’s a surprising – and extremely effective – ingredient that can heal and repair the cuticles. Glycolic acid, a top ingredient for treating facial skin, is also a powerfully potent ingredient that can both restore and repair their health and appearance.
What are Cuticles?
Cuticles are actually a part of the skin, but they’re skin that resides on the top of the nail growth matrix. That’s comprised of three parts: the nail plate, the cuticle, and the eponychium
The nail plate covers the nail growth matrix, or tissue, underneath the hard keratin that creates fingernails or toenails. The cuticle is the layer of translucent, non-living tissue that adheres to the nail plate and is shed from the underside of the eponychium. The eponychium is the area of living skin bordering the base of the nail plate that protects the nail plate from bacteria as the nail grows.
While caring for all parts of the nail are important, the cuticle holds an especially important job. The cuticle creates a barrier between the living tissue of the eponychium and the outside world. Essential for protecting against infections in living nail tissue, maintaining cuticle health is not just a cosmetic issue, but an important health issue as well.
Problems with Common Cuticle “Care”
Cuticles are skin that is often neglected – until dry, peeling, or split cuticles become too irritated or ugly to look at any longer. Unfortunately, once cuticles become a nuisance, many consumers attempt to fix the damage with a variety of inappropriate techniques.
Cutting cuticles seems like an easy fix for ragged cuticles, but cutting can open the door to infection and irritation. Additionally, cutting cuticles makes the typically soft skin harder, which then only leads to more peeling, splitting, and damaged cuticle skin.
Additionally, overapplication of highly hydrating products, like lotions, creams, or hand salves, is also ineffective in treating damaged cuticles. The thin, non-living skin of the cuticle cannot absorb products designed to impart moisture, so slathering on more and more hand lotion to soften up cuticles is a waste of time and product.
Instead, the solution to maintaining healthy, highly kempt cuticles lies in the consistent use of nail care products containing the ultra-potent Alpha Hydroxy Acid, glycolic acid.
The Cuticle Damage Eraser: Glycolic Acid
Glycolic acid is the perfect ingredient to manage cuticles, because glycolic acid is the best ingredient to soften the cuticle skin. Thanks to the powerful chemical exfoliation of topically applied glycolic acid, removing or trimming damaged or frazzled cuticles become exponentially easier.
Glycolic acid is the best at sloughing off dead, damaged cuticle skin because glycolic acid’s superpower is dissolving the glue that bonds skin cells together. As the smallest molecule of the AHA family of acids, glycolic acid is easily able to penetrate the walls of the epidermis (or in this case, the cuticle) in the fastest, most efficient manner possible. This helps both slough off the damaged skin cells creating an unhealthy cuticle quickly and drives newer skin cell growth.
Glycolic acid is also the best option for cuticle maintenance products because it is a more gentle option for exfoliation. Unlike harsher products that physically remove skin, the chemical exfoliation of glycolic acid has been shown to be one of the safest, most gentle options for dealing with the thin skin of cuticles.
With eye-catching nail art one of the most on fire cosmetic trends of 2019, cuticle care is set to become more important than ever to a wider swath of consumers. Creating options for gentle, effective cuticle care products featuring glycolic acid is an excellent occasion to hone in on a small, but mighty, skincare issue.