by ZOE FOSTER
Stop letting them trim your cuticles at the nail bar.
And I don’t even have a really gory, nail-was-infected-and-the-size-of-an-adult-rabbit-and-I-had-to-have-it-cut-off story to lead in with, I just realised that it was one of those beauty things that didn’t make enough of a visual or emotional (yes, eyebrow appointments are emotional for me, don’t judge) difference to warrant the potential nail-gets-infected-and-is-the-size-of-an-adult-rabbit risks and the annoyance of regularly wounded cuticles from overzealous manicurists, not to mention cuticles that seemed to grow faster than fungi and are tougher than beef jerky.
Ask yourself: how many times has it really f*cking hurt when someone has taken to my poor, unsuspecting little cuticles with their snippy, bitey little scissors and not paid attention, or been too boisterous, and I’ve ended up with a whopping great cut?
Or, you’ve noticed, and you should notice this, that their trimmer has not come from a sterilised bag or steriliser machine, and that makes you nervous, because unclean equipment is how you get shitty, painful, antibiotics-required infections, when they break the seal of the cuticle, and disrupt the very important barrier that exists to stop bacteria getting in from said unclean equipment, and protect the nail bed and surrounding skin from infection.
Like the one I got on my toe once from a cavalier pedicurist, which really pissed me off because I was off to Thailand for an adventure the next day, and had this big red toe that hurt so much I couldn’t wear most of my shoes, nor could I drink sugary cheap cocktails by the pool because of the antibiotics. (And yes. I am aware of precisely which world that brand of problem resides.)
But also there’s the fact that when you get them trimmed constantly, they grow back in fury, and so you’re back in there a week later with worse cuticles than you ever recall having in your whole life, needing them trimmed again.
‘I don’t remember ever having such bushy cuticles,’ you think to yourself, forgetting that bushy usually refers to matters of hair. ‘Also, they’re so DRY these days. Why is that? Am I, could it be, is it possible that they are actually making my cuticles WORSE with all this cutting and so on?’