The cuticle is one of those features of the body that defies its name – it’s not cute at all! Joking aside, the cuticle is an area of skin that sits between the base of the nail and the rest of the finger or toe. It grows harder than the rest of the skin, but it does serve a purpose. This is, primarily, to protect the nail and finger from any infections that might come about when new growth occurs.
However, cuticles – and the areas around them – are susceptible to damage and infection, and can become quite stubborn and ugly. This is when cuticle removers come into play! Cuticle removers come in a variety of forms and often resemble scissors or cutters of some kind. They are designed to carefully take away the dead or hardened skin around the nail.
However, it’s worth noting this is not only a cosmetic transaction. Cuticles that are damaged or hard may prevent the proper growth of the skin around the base of the nail. This area needs to ‘breathe’ or the skin will grow in hard and unhealthy, which is what you really don’t want! Rather than go into a detailed description of how cuticle removers work – as some do it a different way to others – let’s get down to business and talk about ten of the best cuticle removers on the market right now.
The Top 10
1. Saxhorn Cuticle Nipper
We are not expecting much in the way of innovation with these cuticle cutters, so let’s get going. Our first choice is this one, from Saxhorn, and it’s what you would expect a cuticle or nail cutter to look like. These are nicely finished in stainless steel with a sprung handle for better usage, and are designed to cut neatly without damage to the rest of the skin. We expect to see others very much like this as we select our products for you.
Rather neatly, this package also comes with a separate nail cleaner – a slim stainless steel device for cleaning under the nails – and almost 250 buyers have left reviews. Of these, close to 80% give these cutters 4-stars or more, while the negative comments include a few who say the cutter arrived but the nail pusher did not, and others that they break easily. For less than a fiver, we think they’re worth a chance.
2. Kaeso Bearberry Smoothie Cuticle Remover
There are two main ways of dealing with hardened cuticles: one is to cut them off, using the type of implement we described above. The other is to apply a lotion and let them soften, which is what this product is designed to do. Which is best? That is very much down to individual choice and – we should add – to the health and state of your cuticles. This 195ml bottle – it’s also available in 495ml – contains a natural liquid including bearberry extract which is apparently conducive to softening.
The idea is you apply the lotion to the cuticles, give it time to work, and you have soft, healthy skin. Does it work? Of the 100 and more buyers who commented on it, some 85% gave it 4-stars and more, with comments such as ‘excellent’ and ‘love it’ to the fore. The few negative comments included ‘didn’t do anything’ and ‘not worth it’. The choice is yours, and at not much more than £5, we think this is another product worth a second look.
3. Sally Hansen Instant Cuticle Remover
Another take on the liquid cuticle remover – or more correctly, cuticle softener – is this one from the Sally Hansen brand, a well-known name in beauty products. It works much the same as the one above – you apply it to the hardened area and it ‘dissolves’ the cuticles, which we take to mean softens, as customers tend to state. It comes in a 29.5ml bottle, and it is easy to use and apparently successful.
This contains camomile and aloe for soothing and active properties, and is ‘maximum strength’. Do customers like it? Indeed they do, to the tune of 83% 4-star and above, with comments such as ‘easy to use’, ‘say bye to hard cuticles’ and ‘works well’. However, there are a few complaints, which mainly centre around the fact that all it does is soften the cuticle, and ‘you have to cut them off’. Nowhere does the maker say it does anything but soften them, although ‘dissolve’ is perhaps the wrong word for them to use.
4. Royal Functionality Cuticle Trimmer
The is a cleaner and pusher in one item, a clever little design that we thought worth having a close look at. Convenient, as there is only a single part, and very cheap at well under a fiver, it is a curious design and appears to do the job. One end has a couple of sharp blades attached for the cutting, and the other has the feature for cleaning under the nails. It comes as one part, and is easy to use.
As for customer testimony, it fares quite well although there are some complaints. Almost 70% of users gave it 4-stars or more, saying it is ‘good value’ and ‘does the job’, but the negative comments included it being not sharp enough, the pusher is flimsy, the quality is poor and one customer complained it was ‘cheep’. If you’re expecting professional quality for less than two quid you’re not going to get it, so perhaps it’s one to have in your bag for convenience.
5. Professional Stainless Steel Cuticle Pusher
This design takes the pusher element and incorporates it into the cutting part. In other words, it doesn’t act like scissors: you push the twin prongs over the cuticle and – hopefully – it cuts it off. Many people have stated that it does do the job – as we shall see – but we’re always wary of products claiming to be ‘professional’ when they cost a fiver.
Nevertheless, it’s stainless steel and looks good, and curiously comes with the warning ‘you’d better wet your hands before using them’ which is a little alarming. Two-thirds of customers give it 5-stars, with appraisals such as ‘good quality’ and ‘must have’. However, the rest give it 2-stars or lower, with complaints that it is poor quality, blunt and – quite simply in one case – ‘rubbish’.
6. Elegant Touch Cuticle Nipper
These cuticle cutters take the form of the ‘scissor type’ models as we talked about at the top of the list. This is a nice example in stainless steel, a very simple design that has a spring action in the handles for ease of use, and is one that comes at a price that you would expect, which is not very much at all! There are no accessories with this one, it is just a pair of cuticle cutters as stated.
As it is, a quite remarkable 83% of buyers gave these cuticle cutters four stars or more in their reviews. Comments include ‘professional’, ‘love these’ and ‘good quality’. Among the rest are customers who commented that they are ‘not that good’ and ‘blunt’ with some other comments on poor quality. At the price, we guess you’re taking a chance, but the overwhelming opinion is in favour of these cutters.
7. Orly Cutique Cuticle Remover
Orly is a very well known name in the beauty and skin care world, so that’s a bonus. However, it does mean you pay a little premium for this product, which is a liquid cuticle softener rather than a remover. It’s important we get that across, as we’ve already seen people complain that they had to cut the softened cuticles off with a trimmer – the same is true here. A natural formula with no nasty ingredients, it’s supplied in an 18mm bottle.
The bottle comes with Orly’s patented ‘Gripper Gap’ lid which makes it easier to take off and screw on. Customer reviews are very good on the whole with 86% giving this product 4-stars and above. The sole 1-star review is a very informative one that simply reads ‘rubbish’. If you like name brands and are looking for a softening liquid, this one comes highly recommended by a good number of satisfied customers, despite the higher price.
8. All-Skr 3-piece Cuticle Set
This neat little three-piece manicure set comes at a sensible price – you’ll get change from £10 – and includes a snipper type of cuticle cutters, complete with sprung handles for ease of use, plus a cuticle pusher, and a device that can be used to scrape varnish off or clear dirt from under the nails. Each is made from stainless steel, and while these are clearly not designed for professional use, we think this is a handy set for when you’re on the move.
This set is well-packaged and, in the list we have put together, also very sensibly priced. Designed for ease of use and durability, each of the tools has a purpose and will be used. Although only two buyers so far have left comments about the product, each is a five-star review. At the price, we don’t think you can go far wrong with this set.
9. Ushion Cuticle Nippers
This is another pair of traditional cuticle nippers. These are nicely finished in stainless steel with a sprung handle for better usage, and are designed to cut neatly without damage to the rest of the skin. There’s not a lot more to add to this, apart from that they are finished in a nice rainbow pattern, but one thing that is noticeable is that there are pretty much identical items that are a few quid less in price.
If you’re looking for simple, basic cuticle nippers – to use once you’ve applied your softening lotion – then we don’t think you can go far wrong with these, and nor do the 85% of buyers who gave them 4-star or 5-star reviews. ‘Very sharp’ and ‘Fantastic’ are among the many favourable comments. There are a few single-star reviews, one complaining that the spring is not very effective and another saying they are poor quality.
10. NailFun Cuticle Trimmers V-blade
There are, we have discovered, three distinct products on this list: the ‘scissor’ type cuticle nippers, the liquids that soften the cuticles, and this type, which is the ‘pusher’ version with a small, fixed v-shaped blade. Which you want is up to you, but if it’s this type it would appear you can’t go wrong with this one, as you get two pusher type cuticle trimmers for a very sensible price. They may be plastic, but they have metal blades.
What is interesting is that of the 50 customers who have left comments about this pack of two, almost 80% gave them 4-stars or 5-stars. Some of those mentioned that they do blunt quite quickly, while acknowledging they are designed to be disposable. Of the few poor reviews, all of them indicate that the blades are not as sharp as they should be, which is in contrast with the many that said they are very sharp indeed. Ideal, we think, for occasional use.
That’s our list of the top 10 cuticle cutters – and related products – that we have picked out for you, so which would we recommend? Before we give you our verdict, it’s worth a recap as there are three different product types here to think about.
The Three Product Types
We have on our list three distinct product types, each intended to be used where cuticles are concerned. It’s important you understand what each one does, so let’s have a brief description of them:
Cuticle Clippers – this is the ‘scissor’ type of cuticle cutter, the genuine article that comes with twin sharp blades. They cut by way of placing the blades over the cuticles, and pressing the handles ‘just as you would a pair of scissors! All of those on our list are made from stainless steel and are of the same size.
Cuticle Pusher – this type resembles a ling handle with a very small pair of fixed v-shaped blades on the end. The idea is you ‘push’ the device against the cuticles and it cuts them away. Perhaps not as efficient as the above, they nevertheless have their place in a beauty tool kit and tend to be very cheap.
Cuticle Lotions – also among the list are a few examples of cuticle softener lotion. These do not remove the cuticles. They are used to soften up hardened skin areas, which can then be cut using one of the above. We must add, life is a lot easier when you use a lotion in conjunction with a cutter.
So, now we have that cleared up, let’s see if we can wrap this up!
Unusually – as we have highlighted above – there are three different types of item on the above list. The first thing we will say is that if you want the best cut for your cuticles, we think an actual cutter is better than the push variety, but if you do want a pusher, the Royal Functionality Cuticle Trimmer is just a couple of quid and worth adding to your kit.
However, our recommendation is this: buy a proper clipper-type cutter, along with a lotion to go with it. This is the best way to get very neat and healthy skin around your cuticle area. Each of the cutters is pretty much the same item, but if we are to recommend one, we say buy the Saxhorn Cuticle Nipper which is decent and at a great price comes with a separate nail cleaner, and add to your basket the top quality Orly Cutique Cuticle Remover which soothes and softens the skin, and which scores very highly with buyers.
We hope we’ve helped you get the package right, so take care of those cuticles and you’ll enjoy lovely healthy hands.