How To Push Back Cuticles The Right Way In 2023

It’s never a good idea to cut your cuticle instead, push them back. So how do novices like me go about pushing them back? If this is the kind of question going through your mind, then you don’t have to worry because I’m going to work you through a step-by-step procedure on how to push back your cuticles.

Getting a regular manicure is something a lot of us love, I do that a lot, but then, nothing is as bad as you getting nail polish on only to find out that one tiny skin – your cuticle has messed the whole thing up. It’s excruciating and may seem like a waste of your time and money, but you know what? I’ve got you covered.

By the time I’m done showing you how to push back those cuticles of yours successfully, you can’t help but appreciate how lovely your nail polish will start looking good on your nails henceforth.

Should You Push Your Cuticles Back?

No, it is not advisable to push your cuticles back. However, if you do it gently, you can go ahead to push them back. The cuticle is a layer of skin that covers the nail plate and protects it. It’s not a part of the nail plate, but rather a flap of skin that hangs over it.

Pushing this flap of skin back can be harmful to your nail if you are not careful. Pushing too hard could cause pain and injury and may even lead to infection or pus buildup under the cuticle which can cause discoloration and/or yellowing of your fingernails.

4 Reasons Why You Should Push Back Cuticles

Why do you push back your cuticles or why should you push your cuticles back? Can you try it? If you’ve ever been to a beauty school, you ought to have known by now that cutting or trimming your cuticle is bad.

Well in case you were not opportune to attend any, here’s the real reason why you should never nip at your cuticle but rather, push them back. They are;

1. To make your nails appear longer.

2. To enable acrylic fits ideally to your nails.

3. It adds aesthetic beauty to your nails.

4. And lastly, For nail hardener and other nail products to adhere to your nails correctly.

1. It Makes Your Nails Appear Longer.

Pushing back your cuticle is one way you can get longer nail beds. So if you’re that type with extremely short nail beds, pushing your cuticles backward a little bit can actually in a way lengthen your nail beds. Here’s an article on how to lengthen short nail beds.

2. To Enables Acrylics Fit Better

Have you ever wondered each time you take a walk to a nail salon in the quest to wear acrylics, the first thing most manicurist does is, try to push back your cuticle?

Well, the reason is not far-fetched. It’s only because they want those acrylics to stick perfectly on your natural nails. By pushing them back, they’re creating a texture that can hold onto those fake nails because glue does not stick well to cuticles.

3. For Beauty

If you’ve ever had polishes on, on your nails without pushing back your cuticle, you’ll agree with me about how messed up those polishes will look on your hands. It’s crazy to spend time and money on your nails only for one tiny dead skin – your cuticle to mess things up.

But when you push them back, it creates and adds this aesthetic beauty to your nails and gives you countless accolades.

4. For Nail Products To Adhere Perfectly

The majority if not all nail products don’t do well when applied to open cuticles. Well, that’s because nothing sticks on dead skin. But when you take them back, it removes those barriers and creates for even more surfaces to stick to.

So if you want your nail polishes, hardeners, or fake nails to stick and last longer on your nails, do well to always push them back.

Now that I’ve enlightened you on the reason why you should push back your cuticles let’s now look at how to protect them and keep them in the right shape.

How Often Should You Push Back Your Cuticles?

Pushing back your cuticles is a very personal and often debated topic. Some people push back their cuticles daily, some once a week, and some never.

The answer comes down to a few factors including personal preference, the condition of your cuticle, and the time you have available to dedicate to it. There are benefits to pushing back your cuticles daily including less chance of infection (possibly due to frequent exposure to the cuticle bed) and more flexibility in nail growth.

How to Push Back Cuticles in 4 Different Ways

There are various methods you can use to push back your cuticle, and the good news is, the end product is the same. So you can go after any that you feel it’s best for you. They are

  1. Using cuticle pusher
  2. Orange stick
  3. Medicine leaf
  4. Your fingernails

1. Use a Cuticle Pusher

Soften your cuticle by following any of the methods above. Now that your cuticles are softened, towel dry then use the curved flattened edge of the cuticle pusher to push. Allow the pusher to glide over your nails as you push them back gently.

After pushing, apply another coat of oil on them to keep them healthy all day. If you don’t have a cuticle pusher within your arsenal, then you can consider using orange wood.

2. Orange Stick

An orange stick is a pair of tiny sticks with two different ends and it’s gotten from orange wood.

The pointed end can be used to take away debris or grime underneath your nails, while the slant ends can be used to push back your cuticle.

How To Push Back Cuticles with orange stick

To use, be sure that your nails are well moisturized also, and try not to push too hard, especially if you have tough cuticles.

3. Medicine Leaf

Medicine leaf is another great way to push back your cuticle especially if you’re on a low budget or you’re far from the reach of the above tools – Orange sticks or pusher or you don’t want to use tools on your delicate cuticle.

To use, be sure your cuticle are in their best shape. Then slide the leaf over your nails gently to push back your cuticle.

4. Your Fingernails

This is another cuticle hack you can apply to push those stubborn cuticles a step backward. You can decide to do this just after taking your shower or after applying essential oils to your nails. To push, gently slide any of your fingers over your nails, and push them until they’re no more sight of any visible cuticle.

For example, you can use a single finger let’s say the index finger of your right hand to push that of your left hand and that of your left hand to push those of your right.

Is pushing cuticles back bad?

Pushing cuticles back is bad for your nails, but it's not a big deal if you do it occasionally.

can you push your cuticles back too far?

Yes, you can push your cuticles back too far if you are not careful. This can give way to painful cuticles and a risk of infections.

Can Lollipop Stick Push Back Cuticle?

No lollipop stick cannot push back cuticles. Both ends of the sticks-Lollipop have the same sides (that are rounded) and for anything that can be used to push overgrown cuticles back, one or both ends must have a flat edge which the lollipop lacks.


Pushing back your cuticle indeed is a requisite for a perfect manicure, and that is what this article is all about.

Before you push, care should be taken not to push too much. Also, the best time to push them can be after taking your bath, or by merely applying oil to them.

Besides this, cutting or trimming them isn’t the best approach to overgrown cuticles; instead, I advise that you push them back using a cuticle pusher, orange sticks, or medicine leaf.

2 thoughts on “How To Push Back Cuticles The Right Way In 2023”

  1. hi im a teenager

    iv never ever pushed back my cuticles but iv always been fine

    in fact, iv actually been complimented for my nails and never been told i should do something to make them better

    i wanted to try this once to see any improvement but the whole idea made me shiver

    but if its good for the health i want more insight

    could you elaborate further on how?

    thanks x

    • Well, the idea behind pushing your cuticle back is to help elongate your nail plate. Since you stated clearly that you’ve never received a negative statement about your nails then I’ll suggest you leave it that way. But if you insist, then don’t forget to keep them moisturized before pushing. Also, be gentle while at it. Cheers.

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