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Cuticles: Defending Your Digits

Cuticles form an occasionally contested border between skin and nail. Learn how nail technicians can safely get them into good condition with Groupon’s investigation.

No one pays much attention to cuticles until they start causing trouble. Either they grow thick enough to intrude on a uniform manicure or they tear and cause pain. But the clingy strips of skin at the bottom of each nail actually perform some important functions. First, cuticles act as protective barriers that help new keratin cells grow into long, healthy nails instead of short, creepy talons. Second, they help keep bacteria out of the nail bed, where it can cause painful infections.

Though some nail salons offer to trim your cuticles during a manicure, the risk of infection—even with properly sanitized instruments—may outweigh any aesthetic benefit. After all, cuticles will grow back no matter what, so even a temporarily neater line at the base of the nail is unlikely to last for more than a few days. But nail technicians do have ways of fashioning smooth ovals or almond shapes without exposing the nail to dangerous intruders. First, they’ll avoid tearing the skin by making sure it’s as soft and supple as possible. An intensive moisturizer will help, as will a soak in a bowl of warm water. Once the hands are well-conditioned, the tech will begin carefully, gently working with a cuticle stick, first pushing the cuticles back and then, with a tiny circular motion, buffing away any dead skin remnants and dried-on cupcake frosting still clinging to the nail.

50 Metric Dr
Tallmadge,
OH
US

Carol Martin SalonSpa staffs a team of style-savvy designers, technicians, makeup artists, and massage therapists to pamper people scalp to toe. During the signature spa pedicure, nail nurturers scour, clip, soak, and prep toes for open-toed exposure. When finished, human hooves are beautifully primed, like boy-princes resting atop cushions of fresh fruit.

137 East Ave
Tallmadge,
OH
US

Expert nail tech Helena Jones deploys an army of microscopic architects to renovate nails during her specialty mani-pedi services. Not only is she certified by Creative Nail Design, but she's also a certified Shellac master painter. In addition to CND polish options, clients may request other high-end brands in non-gel formulas such as OPI and China Glaze.

50 Metric Drive
Tallmadge,
OH
US

Upon graduating from the National Institute of Massotherapy, licensed therapist Cynthia Ours started her practice to help clients achieve internal balance and freedom from pain. Within the walls of Serenity Massotherapy, she cultivates a homey ambiance while easing tension with various techniques, such as Swedish, deep-tissue, and therapeutic massage. Cynthia also practices energy medicine and chakra balancing, which aim to improve the body's energy flow without visitors having to French-kiss electrical sockets.

2252 Stone Creek Trl
Cuyahoga Falls,
OH
US

Dawn, owner of Dawn2Dusk Holistic Center, employs seven years of energy-work experience to nurture the mind, body, and spirit with a range of holistic applications. Dawn soothes the nervous system and stimulates circulation during relaxation massages, and she promotes proper energy flow through reiki and chakra sessions. Along with bodywork, Dawn promotes overall well-being with raindrop technique and aromatherapy, offers intuitive services such as tarot-card readings and psychic readings, and warns against counterintuitive products such as tar toothpaste.

331 Portage Trail
Cuyahoga Falls,
OH
US

Working out of a charming rehabilitated brick warehouse, four massage therapists perform six types of massages inside private treatment rooms, including classic Swedish, hot stone, athletic, and pregnancy. They also offer relaxing couples massages for duos looking for an alternative to traditional dates involving dinners, movies, and mammoth hunts.

232 Portage Trail
Cuyahoga Falls,
OH
US