Cuticles are a common problem at any age — dry, ragged, easy prey for paper cuts. And they are only likely to get drier. Unless you wear those manicure gloves full time.
A friend of mine (53) who prefers to remain nameless (which makes it really hard to address her, sort of like Prince) recently complained that her cuticles suddenly felt like splinters, just in the last year or two. To the point where she's had to use cuticle cutters — tweezers — a lot (to practically perform minor surgery, it seems) just to relieve the pressure and discomfort (she cites actual pain).
Michele Pierno, a product developer at Kiss Products, emphasizes that it's not just cuticles that get drier as we age; it's the skin all over our bodies. The collagen that keeps our skin "plump" starts to diminish. Plus, washing dishes, gardening and exposing skin to harsh cleaning solutions can deplete moisture.
To counteract dryness, she recommends "taking vitamin E supplements, drinking plenty of water, and always applying moisturizer after each hand washing. Always wear gloves in the cold weather! I have mine on as soon as the temperature drops to 45 degrees!" she emphasizes.
"Of course, not picking or peeling cuticles, and applying cuticle oil is helpful. Avoid trimming cuticles, as they will only grow back thicker." (Uh oh.)
Michele also suggests a weekly soak in warm olive oil as extremely beneficial when cuticles are extremely dry and ragged.
That might make you hungry, but you can at least open the fridge with softer hands.