Cuticle Oils, Creams and Lotions
Nail Products are products that are used to color the nails, to protect them against damage, to soften and condition cuticles, and to supplement the nails. They include nail polish and enamels and nail polish and enamel removers.
Cuticle oils, creams and lotions are designed to moisturize, exfoliate and address a variety of cosmetic conditions of the skin in the finger nail area (i.e. dry skin or hangnails). These products serve one or more of three main functions: 1) to exfoliate living skin, 2) to remove dead skin from the nail plate, and/or 3) to condition and moisturize living skin in the finger nail area. The ingredients typically used in this category have a long history of safe use. The difference between products lies in their unique combination of these well known and understood substances. Exfoliators Cuticle area exfoliators generally contain common chemical exfoliating ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids ("AHAs") (i.e. lactic, glycolic, maleic, and citric acids), in a quantity sufficient to gently exfoliate the skin in the finger nail area. The pH of these products is adjusted to provide for varying levels of exfoliation for this sensitive area without excessive drying or flaking of the living skin. It is important to note that AHAs can also be used in lesser quantities as a pH adjuster for the product. Due to the exfoliating properties of these products, care should be taken to follow the manufacturer directions for use, which are based on the manufacturer’s product testing, knowledge, and experience with these ingredients. Conditioners Cuticle area conditioners generally contain common moisturizing, softening and other skin conditioning agents. Some of the most common ingredients are natural oils (i.e. almond, avocado, jojoba, and sunflower), waxes (i.e. cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and beeswax), and moisture-binding agents (i.e. aloe vera, ceramides, and glycerin). All of these ingredients are generally recognized as having little or no risk, are very efficacious, and have a long history of safe use. Removers Cuticle removers are those products designed to break down and remove dead skin from the nail plate. These products are alkaline in nature, with a pH of greater than 12. The most common ingredients used to achieve this alkaline pH are sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. It is important to note that sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide can also be used in lesser quantities as a pH adjuster for the product. Due to the dramatic exfoliating properties of these products, care should be taken to precisely follow the manufacturer directions for use, which are based on the manufacturer’s product testing, and knowledge, and experience with these ingredients.