butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator
Made with clean ingredients
Vegan and cruelty-free
Makes it very easy to remove dry, overgrown cuticles
Stings a bit
butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator
We put the butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
Pre-pandemic, I was very diligent about nail care. By that I mean I got a gel manicure every three weeks, so my cuticles (and nails, for that matter) never fell into disarray. Then quarantine hit, and for the first time since I was a teenager, I wasn’t getting regular manicures and pedicures. Once I was vaccinated and felt comfortable entering a nail salon again, I went straight back to getting pedicures. I love pedicures, and they last a full month. I was less gung-ho about resuming regular manicures, though—they don’t last long, and I find the process of someone plucking away at the dead skin on my cuticles and aggressively pushing them back to be kind of awful. Plus, it’s an expensive habit!
At the same time, I often look down at my nails and cringe when I see how unkempt they look. I know a lot of people got good at doing their nails during quarantine, but I was not one of those people. I’ve never been that coordinated, so I opt for a short (often uneven), unpainted nail instead. When I heard about the butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator, I was excited to try it: Could this be the solution to keeping my nails looking halfway decent without stepping foot in a nail salon?
Diane Madfes, MD, FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist and assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai in New York City.
Keep reading for my review.
Best for: Anyone who wants easy nail maintenance at home
Uses: Removes dry, overgrown cuticles in minutes
Potential allergens: None
Active ingredients: Butylene Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Carrageenan
Byrdie Clean?: No
About the brand: butter LONDON is a makeup brand that offers high-performance collections for the face, lips, eyes, and nails.
About My Nails: Strong and quick-growing
Some people might fight me on this, but in general, I’m of the mind that you’re born with a specific kind of nail and you can’t do much about it: brittle nails that break easily or strong, quick-growing nails. I’m in the second camp. My nails have always been strong, and they grow quickly. A gel habit that I’ve since given up did some damage, though, so I feel relieved to be done with that habit (at least for now).
The Feel: Glue-like, and it stings a bit
The instructions for the butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator tell you to paint the solution on your cuticles, wait two minutes, and then push them back with that little stick that’s probably been used on you at a nail salon. After two minutes had passed, I noticed that this smooth, jelly solution had become glue-like. This exfoliator promises to be pain-free, and while it goes on very smoothly, I have to admit I felt a bit of a sting on the cuticle on one of my thumbs, and I think this is probably because I had a microscopic cut there. It wasn’t a big deal or that painful, but it’s worth taking into account.
I had to push through it a bit to get to my cuticles, but when I finally did, I was surprised by how easy it was to push them back and get rid of dead skin (but more on that later).
I had to push through it a bit to get to my cuticles, but when I finally did, I was surprised by how easy it was to push them back and get rid of dead skin.
One thing worth noting is that Diane Madfes, MD, FAAD, says that cuticle exfoliators can be a bit drying for certain people, so you may want to refrain from using them too much. “People who have underlying eczema or hands are constantly in water should not exfoliate, trim or push back their cuticles. Instead, just moisturize.”
The Results: Excellent
To be honest, I was a little bit skeptical of the butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator. I just didn’t believe it would make it easier for me to get rid of dry skin around my cuticles. But as the package promised, after two minutes my cuticles were much softer and I was able to easily push them back and get rid of the excess skin that makes my nails look less than great.
While I was happy with the results and glad that I now have a very easy way to clean up my nail area without stepping foot in a nail salon, Madfes warned me to use this nail exfoliator in moderation.
“Cuticles protect our nails from foreign substances like bacteria, yeast, trauma as our hands are in constant motion exposed to everything,” she says. In other words, while they may be annoying to look at, cuticles do serve a purpose…and a pretty important one at that.”
The Value: Affordable
If you compare the bottle of butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator, which is $18 for 0.4 ounces, it’s a great deal: While 0.4 ounces is not a very large amount, this stuff will last a long time. If you’re paying $20 or more for a manicure every two weeks, that’s a lot more expensive—even if you take into account the nail polish that you’ll also have to buy for a full-blown manicure experience.
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Olive & June’s Cuticle Remover ($10): Truth be told, I haven’t had a ton of experience with cuticle exfoliators. That being said, I have tried Olive & June’s Cuticle Remover. While it's less expensive than the butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator, I wasn’t nearly as impressed with the results. If you ask me, butter LONDON’s version stands out, and I’ll be using it on my nails in the foreseeable future.
I was shocked by how well the butter LONDON Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator worked–it quite literally melted away my cuticles.
- Product Name Melt Away Cuticle Exfoliator
- Product Brand butter LONDON
- Price $18.00
- Weight 0.4 oz.
- Ingredients Water (Aqua/Eau), Butylene Glycol, Potassium Hydroxide, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Isopropyl Myristate, Laureth-7.