This $16 serum singlehandedly stopped me from biting my cuticles


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Photo: Getty Images/Ksenia Lyubasova

It happens when I’m stressed, under a deadline, or right as the plot twists in a movie. Sometimes it happens when I’m nervous, or annoyed, or even when I’m bored. Whatever the case may be, when tense times strike, you can find me biting my cuticles. Often.

“Biting your cuticles can cause damage to the nail, create more hangnails, jagged edges, and even cause infection,” says Sarah Gibson Tuttle, founder and CEO of Olive & June.  According to her, this creates an unhealthy condition, which is not optimal for nail growth. When nails are dried out, we have a tendency to pick at them more, so maintaining well-moisturized fingertips can be helpful. “The more hydrated the cuticle, the less tempted you’ll be to pick or bite,” says Tuttle.

Yet—I have always found moisturizing my cuticles to be annoying. A lot of the times cuticle moisturizers come in oil form, and leave your fingers sticky and damp for awhile after you apply them (not to mention they leave their mark—just look at my keyboard, which is fully stained from oily-fingertips). This was all until I found the Olive and June Cuticle Serum ($16), which helped to halt my cuticle biting compulsion.

Photo: Olive & June

Instead of a sticky oil that I haphazardly drop onto my nails, this one’s applied with a fuzzy ball tip that’s infused with moisturizing ingredients, including cactus flower. It feels like you’re giving your nail beds a kiss from a Charmin teddy bear, and it leaves your cuticles looking smooth, with no stragglers left to gnaw on.

“We worked with a chemist on a proprietary blend that was modeled after an under-eye serum because they are both areas of thin skin that need layer upon layer of hydration,” says Tuttle. “Once they are fully hydrated, a daily dose maintains that hydration.” I stash it with my pens at work, and reach for it when I feel the urge to pick at my cuticles in times of stress. Ya know: Regularly.

This is how to strengthen your nails if they’re always breaking, BTW. And this is how to stop that burning sensation if you cut your nails too short (I feel you). 

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