Cuticle Oil May Be The Missing Piece of Your Nighttime Ritual
Have your nails or cuticles ever been cracked or dry? Maybe you have a love for painting your nails and wish your nail polish would last longer? Or perhaps you just want your nails to be as healthy and strong as possible; cuticle oil could be the perfect solution for you.
- Many factors may affect the health and appearance of our nails and cuticles, so in order to keep them healthy and protected, cuticle oil is a great, flexible option to add to your daily practice.
- If using cuticle oil, it helps greatly to use it on a consistent daily basis and to choose a good oil that is thin with quick absorption and that leaves your nails feeling hydrated and healthy.
- There is a wide variety of beneficial ingredients and amazing products to choose from, so it is important to look for one that suits your needs.
Let’s take a deeper dive into this simple yet amazingly effective nail treatment option, and find out if it’s for you. Here’s to having healthy, moisturized, and fabulous nails!
What is Cuticle Oil?
Many day to day factors that we may not even think twice about actually can lead to nail dryness and/or fragility. Daily actions such as washing your hands in soapy water or being exposed to excessive cold or sun may lead to progressive dehydration of the nail plate. These factors can cause damage to the periungual tissues which surround your nails, impairing their protective function and leaving them brittle (1). Now that we know the science behind dry and fragile nails, how does cuticle oil come into the picture?
Cuticle oil is a moisturizing product, commonly made up of vegetable oil and sometimes vitamins, such as vitamin E, or citric acid (2). The oil is absorbed into the matrix of the nail and surrounding skin. Then, when the oil penetrates the skin, nutrients are distributed and moisture is locked into the nail plate (3), leaving your nails feeling moisturized and looking shiny as ever!
How Does It Help Nail Health?
Cuticle oil actually has many benefits:
- Helps to restore cuticle and nail health, leaving your nails both strong and flexible
- Increases blood circulation around your nails, promoting nail growth
- Protects nails against trauma, such as cracking or drying
- Improves the appearance of your nails
- Promotes longevity of manicures (it actually helps to protect polish and create a lasting shine — and who doesn’t love a little more shine!)
Why Is Consistency Important?
When it comes to using cuticle oil, less is actually more! The product works best in small amounts, so just a few drops to each nail will suffice. Depending on the type of applicator your products come with, you may dab some oil onto your cuticles with a cotton ball, brush it on, or maybe place a few drops onto each cuticle, then be sure to massage the product in for a few minutes.
Now, I must note that consistency is key if you’re looking to attain all the possible benefits of cuticle oil. Daily use is recommended, if possible, but just try to use it whenever you can or whenever you like. Regular use will allow your nails to nourish back to health faster and give you more consistent results (4). Ideally, apply some product onto your nails after each time you wash your hands to avoid your nails and cuticles from drying out due to soapy water. And yes, you can absolutely use cuticle oil on painted nails!
There are many easily portable and accessible cuticle oils, such as pen applicators, which help loads if you often struggle with adding a step into your daily practices. You can just store the oil in your bag or in your pocket and bring it along with you, so even if you forget to apply it at home, you still have it on you when you are out and about!
What Ingredients Should You Look For In Cuticle Oils?
You might be wondering, well exactly what ingredients make for a good cuticle oil? To keep it simple, the best ingredients to keep an eye out for are: jojoba oil, sesame seed oil, and sweet almond oil. Other great ingredients include vitamin E and antioxidants.
- Jojoba oil: One of the best oils to treat and soften dry nails and cuticles. It is easily absorbed into the skin, leaving your cuticles ultra hydrated! In addition to its moisturizing properties, the oil also contains vitamins E and B, which help to repair damaged collagen inside nail beds (5). This improves nail strength and promotes healthy nail growth.
- Sesame seed oil: This oil has deep hydrating properties for the cuticles and is rich with minerals and fatty acids, which help to act as a barrier to protect your nails from possible damage. Being naturally anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal, sesame seed oil becomes even more beneficial when the weather starts to become cooler and nails become more susceptible to infections (5).
- Sweet almond oil: Known for being rich in essential antioxidants, Omega 6, nine fatty acids, and many vitamins, including vitamin E, sweet almond oil is an amazing oil for helping to naturally restore nail health (5). It also has protecting properties through coating the nail with these rich nutrients to prevent them from peeling, cracking, and breakage, as well as leaving your nails with a fresh shine!
In addition to these three miraculous oils, there are many other oils that have great healing, moisturizing, and/or protective properties. Generally, the sign of a good cuticle oil is a thin oil with quick absorption and leaves your nails feeling hydrated and healthy!
List of Cuticle Products
Here are some amazing cuticle oil products that you may want to considering buying and adding to your daily practice:
- CND Essentials Solar Oil Care Pen: portable pen applicator with simple ingredients including sweet almond, jojoba, and rice bran oils, as well as vitamin E
- Cuccio Revitalize Cuticle Oil with Milk & Honey: this oil stands out for its light and sweet fragrance, and its blend of vitamins and oils moisturizes the skin so your cuticles will be healed quickly
- Opi Avoplex Nail & Cuticle Replenishing Oil: brush applicator with fast-absorbing oil and well conditions the cuticles
- Dior Crème Abricot: a great product if you are looking for a more luxe option, this cream formula product has been around since 1963 and is very well known for its nourishing and moisturizing properties
Overall, while it is not absolutely necessary for nail health, cuticle oil is definitely a great treatment AND prevention option for those who are looking to keep their nails healthy and happy. Damaged nails are not fun to have, and cuticle oil, especially with the variety of products and applicators there are to choose from, allows for a great way to heal your nails back to health. Not only is it effective but it is also an extremely simple process to add to your day. So go and treat yourself and your cuticles to a mini at-home spa day!
Written by Jessica Li