Why would a man use cuticle cream?
A number of years ago I was working as an auto mechanic, amongst many other manual labor gigs. With this type of work comes a pair of hands that almost never come completely clean. Multiple times per day, I would use a stiff bristle brush and harsh, grease cutting soap to scrub the life out of my fingernails and cuticles.
The result was fingers and cuticles that were constantly dry, split, and peeling. During one particularly nasty incident, one of my cuticles became so dry, it retracted from my nail completely, after which an infection set in and my entire fingernail fell off. Don't worry, it grew back – a little wavy at first, but it's back to normal now.
Needless to say, after abandoning that profession, I began taking better care of my hands. Even in the absence of extreme scrubbing, my cuticles always seem very dry and tend to peel back. This not only looks bad, but it's uncomfortable and can make the nail bed susceptible to infection.
Now, in no way am I pursuing a pair of baby soft hands. I lift weights and have the callouses to prove it. I don't mind scraped knuckles, cuts, or bruises. But there's something I hate about cuticles that have turned to jerky and detached from the nail, snagging on things when you reach into your pocket.
Luckily, after some trial and error, I discovered this product by Burt's Bees.
An Overview of Burt's Bees Cuticle Cream
Appearance – 0.60 ounce tin of yellowish wax. Opaque and slightly grainy.
Scent – Very strong lemon, in a good way. If there're any other notes in there, I can't pick them out.
Ingredients – The nice thing about using an all-natural cuticle treatment like Burt's Bees is that it's not completely disgusting if you happen to bite a stray fingernail or catch a whiff of your hand while eating. This cream contains:
- Sweet almond oil
- Lemon peel oil
- Cocoa seed butter
- Candelilla wax
- Vitamin E
- Sunflower seed oil
- Rosemary leaf extract
- Soybean oil
- Vitamin A
- Canola oil
- Vegetable oil
Application – Although this wax is solid in the tin, it melts quickly as you begin to apply it to warm skin.
I use my index finger to dab a small amount and massage it into the cuticles of the opposite hand, spreading the product as far as it'll go. Sometimes I have to transfer the leftovers onto the next finger if I've gone overboard with the allocation.
It doesn't take long before the product is absorbed into the skin, leaving only an light sheen without any greasy residue.
It's best to use this product multiple times per day. Most importantly, use after showering. I use this more often to repair damage, then once per day for maintenance.
Bonus tip – Use a sharp pair of fingernail clippers to cut off any dead skin. Don't get too aggressive, just clip any jagged pieces around the nail. Doing this prevents future snags and allows the cuticle cream to better penetrate the healthy skin.
After running out of my previous supply and neglecting to immediately restock, my cuticles didn't hesitate to return to their previously retracted state (thanks, Chicago winter!).
Within about two weeks of somewhat regular use, my cuticles have regrown and are securely attached to the nail as they should be.
I've tried a number of alternative treatments in an effort to reduce the time it takes to get ready and also, the number of products I have to use. They've included various face and body lotions, lotion formulated for cuticles, and coconut oil. Unfortunately, none of them even came close. Completely ineffective is a better description. I guess I'm a Burt's Bees customer for life, at least for this product.