How do I keep my nails and cuticles healthy? 💅🏽First up, no cutting your cuticles or pushing them back. Keep them moisturized, but otherwise leave them alone.Here’s why: Your nails grow from an area beneath the cuticle called the nail matrix, or nail root, Nada Elbuluk, M.D., a clinical associate professor of dermatology at the University of Southern California, tells. The cuticles are just skin that protects the matrix and the new nail as it grows. Cutting or pushing cuticles back is standard practice during salon manicures, but Dr. Elbuluk says this is a DIY beauty don’t and to put down the cuticle cutters and wooden pushers. The cuticle is essential to “protecting the nail matrix from bacteria and other germs entering the body [that can] cause infections,” she says. You can use a cuticle oil daily and they will look just great! Beyond that, make sure that your at-home nail tools are clean. Disinfecting previously used clippers and files is a must. “Tools should be disinfected on a monthly basis,” Dr. Elbuluk says. “This can be done by soaking a brush in isopropyl alcohol (70% or higher) and using this to clean the clippers followed by a hot water rinse.” She also says that you should use a separate nail clipper for your fingers and your toes.