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I know I am not the only one that seems to have ads follow me around social media. Facebook and Instagram, which are the same company, see what their users search, dwell on, like, and click on. From that data, they share ads targeted to your interests. And even though I am not one to regularly share how I chew and pick at my cuticles, especially when stressed, they seemed to know by constantly showing me ads for PickFix, a product that is made to help with skin pickers like me. Will PickFix cure skin picking? I decided to take one for the team, buy a bottle and do a PickFix review.
I went through the comments on these ads for PickFix and they were either super curated (meaning the company deleted all the negative PickFix reviews), or the product was so new there wasn't time for customers to head to social and share their rants or raves. Most of the comments were individuals tagging their friends suggesting PickFix as a solution for their skin picking.
Looking online for PickFix reviews before buying the product, I found five glowing ones at Indie Beauty Market, an online shop that carries PickFix and other Carter + Jane products. I bought PickFix a few months ago and still, there are only the same five glowing reviews on that site. While writing this PickFix review, I found one positive review for PickFix on Influenster that was just published this month. That's about it, so I went into this purchase pretty blind.
What is PickFix?
PickFix isn't some magical product that will train your brain to stop picking and will heal your sores overnight or minimize their appearance. Instead, PickFix is a combination of organic oils to hydrate and soften the skin. For any skin picker knows, there's nothing more appealing/annoying/get in your head and you can't let go than a rough bit of skin.
Per the Carter + Jane website where I purchased the product, “PickFix™ is formulated with certified-organic, cold-pressed pomegranate seed oil (one of the highest sources of vitamin e in a plant oil), along with our award-winning The Everything Oil™ (organic prickly pear seed oil + A3 Concentrate). Coupled with the power of organic roman chamomile, lavender, tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils, PickFix™ is your new go-to emergency skin fix. These proven healing ingredients, with an exceptionally high percent of vitamin e, may help with speeding up the healing process and in scar reduction.“
The Everything Oil is another product from Carter + Jane; in 2019 it won “Breakthrough Brand” by Foundermade, which is a retail conference.
PickFix ingredients are organic pomegranate seed oil, organic prickly pear seed oil (with A3 concentrate including organic aloe, organic sweet almond, and organic avocado oils), and an organic blend of antimicrobial and healing essential oils including Roman chamomile, Bulgarian lavender, tea tree, and eucalyptus.
Tell Me about Carter + Jane
The brand started with one product, The Everything Oil. The Everything Oil by Carter + Jane is made from prickly pear oil, an oil that has 150% more Vitamin E than argan oil. The prickly pear oil in The Everything Oil is blended with a select group of other plant-based oils that Carter + Jane call A3 Concentrate, which supposedly improves the efficacy of the prickly pear oil.
Carter + Jane products, including PickFix, are sourced and handmade in Morocco. One million hand-dried prickly pear seeds and 40 hours of labor create one liter of oil. All of Carter + Jane products are vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, cold-pressed, certified organic and formulated without water, alcohol or silicone.
My PickFix Review
The Carter + Jane website doesn't share the ounce size of the bottle of PickFix and the ads I saw didn't show the bottle next to anything to get an idea of the size of the bottle. The bottle is small, like smaller than a standard tube of lip balm small. The bottle contains 6 ml/0.2 oz. of product.
The PickFix bottle is heavyweight glass (so if it falls off your nightstand it won't likely shatter) with a white cap that has a dropper in it and a button at the top of the cap to pull the oil into the dropper.
There is no need to press on the button to release the oil if the bottle is half full, it will drip out on its own. And be careful, a little goes a long way and this is not a quick-absorbing oil.
This is a heavyweight oil with a very herbal/spa scent that does not quickly dissipate. I found it best to apply PickFix at night as it will leave the area where it is applied greasy for a while. I find the scent to be relaxing in a massage at a nice spa sort of way.
PickFix can go anywhere skin is sore, rough, dry, or otherwise unhappy. My kid scraped her knee on the sidewalk and I applied PIckFix. I have used the extra oil from oiling my cuticles on my lips and knuckles.
As I mentioned before, PickFix is not magic. It is a mix of plant-based oils which if you wished, you could mix up yourself. However, I do find it to soften skin much better than just plain hand cream, and more so than the cuticle oil I got at the drugstore and used to use to try to soften hangnails. But if you don't use it regularly, it won't soften and heal the skin, and won't change your habits.
I haven't been consistent with PickFix, but when I have been using it at least twice a day, my cuticles were softer, healed nicely, and while I like the scent to smell, it's not appetizing and when fresh on my hands, helped resist chewing any hangnails during the day. The oily finish also made it far harder to grab and pick at skin around my nails while also in general hydrating my skin.
How Long Does a Bottle of PickFix Last?
When I received my tiny little bottle of PickFix I felt ripped off. $28 for this? But as I mentioned above, a little goes along way.
Now I don't use it daily as I should, but I think if you did use it daily it would last 6-10 weeks depending on the size and number of locations where it is needed. Seriously, a little goes a very long way.
Will PickFix Cure Skin Picking?
This is not a miracle cure, and let's be honest, Carter + Jane never said in those social media ads or on their website that PickFix would cure skin picking. PickFix is a product that can help heal the skin to possibly prevent future picking in the same location.
That being said, I think the greatest results are found by combining PickFix with other products that can help heal the skin to prevent additional picking, and supplements that can prevent the urge to pick, pull, and chew.
What Can Cure Skin Picking?
Most skin pickers who have done their research have found that hydrocolloid patches for zits and blister Band-Aids are great for healing spots while also covering them to prevent picking. I find if I apply PickFix at night and then during the day when I am prone to unconsciously chewing while working, apply a blister Band-Aid around my thumbs and any other fingers that have taken a beating. This combination lets the skin breathe while also being protected and given treatment to heal.
Does NAC Help with Skin Picking and Nail Biting?
I have also had success in the past with NAC (N-Acetycysteine). N-acetylcysteine has been proven in studies to work dramatically better than placebos in reducing the urge to pick skin, chew nails and cuticles, and pull hair and lashes. I recommend researching this and asking your doctor before using, but I myself have used NAC over the years with success. Some articles to read about N-acetylcysteine and skin picking, nail-biting, and trichotillomania:
- N-Acetylcysteine in the Treatment of Excoriation Disorder: A Randomized Clinical Trial (NIH National Center for Biotechnology Medicine)
- Antioxidants (N-acetylcysteine and glutathione) help treat skin-picking disorder in mice, researcher says (Stanford Medicine)
- N-acetylcysteine for Trichotillomania, Skin Picking, and Nail Biting (The TLC Foundation for Body-Focused Repetitive Behaviors)
- Clinical Trial: N-Acetyl Cysteine in Pathologic Skin Picking (US National Library of Medicine)
- N-Acetylcysteine Side Effects (Mayo Clinic)
- A detailed understanding of NAC and how it works (NCBI)
- The Health Benefits of N-Acetylcysteine (Verywell Health)
Most studies and doctors recommend taking 600mg of NAC twice a day. Taking more than 1200mg/day can cause headaches, nausea, and intestinal distress. In my experience, it does take several weeks to have NAC finally kick in.
While many articles will say NAC works better on an empty stomach, I highly recommend taking it with food as it can do a number to you with severe stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and all-around feeling like crap for about two hours. Honestly, I'd rather have it not be as strong to ever feel that kind of feeling again, and I have a pretty strong stomach. When I do take it regularly (and writing this article inspired me to order another bottle), I found it best to take it with my morning vitamins and supplements just before breakfast, and then again just before dinner.
NAC doesn't stop the urge but reduces it. In conjunction with products like PickFix that make the skin soft and healed, and products to cover the sore areas to let them heal, I found I could have decent-looking hands within a couple of months.
I am not a doctor or an expert, do not use my PickFix review as gospel, and do your own research. I wish you much success if you are looking for a way to cure skin picking or nail/cuticle biting. If you have tried anything that has worked for you, do share in the comments and help others dealing with the same issue!