Why Are My Cuticles Always Peeling?

Put an end to cracked, dry, and peeling nail beds once and for all.

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As the weather becomes cooler, you take the time to care for your dry skin and chapped lips, so why not pay your cuticles the same attention? Unfortunately, this area is one of the most susceptible to dryness and peeling—something you might notice year round, and not just during the winter months. If you can't seem to prevent peeling cuticles, it might be time to step up your routine. To help, we chatted with Olivia Van Iderstine, Olive & June's Mani Trend Expert and VP of Content and Creative; she shared everything there is to know about peeling cuticles, including how to prevent them once and for all.

Dehydration causes peeling.

"Cuticles peel because they are dehydrated," Iderstine says, noting that cuticle skin is especially delicate. To prevent this, you need to give them some extra care. "As the weather gets cooler outside and we turn up the heat indoors, cuticles tend to dry out even faster—so hydration is key," she adds.

woman using nail file
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Moisture is your friend.

Treating this issue comes down to basic hydration. (There is absolutely no need to cut or rip the peeling pieces of skin off.) "Treat peeling cuticles by being diligent with your hydration routine," Iderstine notes, explaining that a cuticle oil or serum is your best bet. Be liberal during application, too. "For the first few days, re-apply our Cuticle Serum ($19.59, target.com) every couple of hours and apply a thick layer before bed," she says; for even more hydration, applying hand cream or serum, like Olive & June's Hand Serum ($18, oliveandjune.com), on top can work wonders. "You'll wake up with instantly hydrated hands and cuticles," she says.

Prevention is key.

The best way to prevent peeling cuticles is the same way you treat them: ample hydration all day, every day. While treatment serum application should be maintained every couple of hours, preventative cuticle care requires notably less effort; aim for two to three layers per day. That said, if you're particularly prone to cuticle dryness, she recommends re-applying after every time you wash your hands or apply sanitizer, as both actions will dry out the delicate area. And, if you frequently forget to stick to your beauty routine, Iderstine recommends placing a product in highly trafficked spots—your car, desk, nightstand, and so on. "That way, you'll just get in the habit of caring for your cuticles," she says.

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