If you’ve ever had your nails done at the salon, you’ll know that part of that process is cuticle care. The nail technician will always use some sort of cuticle treatment.
There is a reason for that.
Cuticle care is important to overall nail and skin health. And besides, there’s no sense in getting or giving yourself a nice manicure, only to have it offset by dry, wrinkly, cracked cuticles.
In this article, we are going to talk cuticles and cuticle oil, as well as give you a couple of DIY cuticle oil recipes and give you all the info you need to make your own.
Why Cuticle Oil Is Important
Everyday activities such as cleaning and cooking, too many harsh chemicals from manicures like acetone or the application of acrylic and gel nails, as well as frequent hand washing, can lead to dry, cracked, peeling cuticles.
If left untreated, this, in turn, provides a gateway for bacteria and fungus to enter and cause infections.
Applying cuticle oil increases the circulation around your nails, stimulating nail growth. It can also help to protect your nails and cuticles against trauma. Healthy, moisturized cuticles are less likely to rip or tear.
Not only is cuticle oil good for your cuticles and surrounding skin, it’s also good for your nails. Cuticle oil acts as a barrier and goes a long way to protecting both your nails and cuticles from chemicals and detergents.
Having stronger and healthier cuticles encourages healthy nail growth. Healthy nails grow faster and stronger.
Which Oil Is Best For Cuticles?
There is a bevy of specialty cuticle oils available on the market. Here’s a brief list:
But you don’t have to spend the big bucks on fancy nail cuticle oils. Before you go shopping, take a look in your pantry. Chances are you most likely have something in there that will work just as well.
We are going to take a look at some different oils and their nail and cuticle healing benefits, so you can find one, or a combination of oils that you can use at home without having to go out and buy another product.
And a little further down we will give you a few different DIY cuticle oil recipes you can try out.
Rich in vitamins E and B, Jojoba helps to repair damaged collagen inside nail beds, improving strength and promoting healthy nail growth.
Jojoba oil is quickly absorbing and it also aids in the absorption of other ingredients, which is why jojoba oil is often found as a carrier oil in nail and cuticle products.
Jojoba oil has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties which can help to prevent your cuticles and nails from developing bacterial and fungal infections.
Rich in vitamin E, olive oil is extremely moisturizing and easily absorbed, promoting both hydration and healthy nail development.
Olive oil helps in the absorption of calcium, which is one of the most vital minerals to prevent nails from becoming weak and brittle.
Olive Oil is great for repairing thin, brittle nails giving them more flexibility, so they are less likely to break.
It also softens cuticles, making them easy to push back.
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and helps to restore brittle nails, reducing the risk of nail breakage.
Vitamin E is very hydrating and increases moisture to the nail bed and the surrounding skin and works to rejuvenate and restore dry cuticles.
Sweet Almond Oil
It is rich in many restorative ingredients including omega 6, antioxidants, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6. These moisture-dense ingredients keep the nail in great condition, reducing the chance of peeling, cracking, dryness and breakage.
Almond oil also moisturizes and improve the appearance of dull cuticles.
Avocados – not just for toast anymore! Avocado oil contains potassium, which promotes keratin production. Our nails are made of keratin, so increased keratin production means stronger, healthier nails. It also softens cuticles.
Sesame oil is deeply nourishing, keeping both your nails and your cuticles moisturized. The fatty acids contained in sesame oil create a barrier between your nails/cuticles and harmful toxins, like chemicals and detergents.
It is both antiseptic and antifungal.
Coconut oil is good for so many things so it’s no wonder that it’s good for cuticles, too. It can be used to prevent bumps and ridges on the nail surface and restore damaged cuticles.
It’s an ideal skin barrier that contains multiple fatty acids, which act to lock in moisture.
Castor oil is a thicker consistency than most oils, making it perfect as a deep conditioning treatment. It helps to strengthen and protect nails, as well as moisturize cuticles.
Castor oil also has antifungal properties to fight infections.
Sunflower oil is ideal for cracked cuticles. Restorative, moisturizing and smoothing, Sunflower oil is an emollient which helps to lock moisture into your nails and cuticles.
It also has high levels of omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E, improving the health of your nails and the surrounding skin.
Our next two options aren’t technically oils, but both are very effective at moisturizing and softening cuticles.
Vaseline can protect against moisture loss, help prevent dryness and heal cracked skin.
The American Academy of Dermatology recommends petroleum jelly (Vaseline) as a budget-friendly way to care for nails and cuticles.
Like coconut oil, Shea butter has tons of uses, including in hair, skin, and nails.Shea butter is a lot thicker than oil, so there are a couple of ways it can be applied. Either slather it on thick on your cuticles and just let it sit for 20 minutes, then wipe off the excess. Or you can just use a smaller amount of shea butter and rub it into your cuticles.
Shea butter will nourish cuticles and help keep nails strong. The reason shea butter works so well for nail health is that it’s high in fatty acids. These fatty acids work to strengthen, heal and rebuild your nails and cuticles so they don’t tear, chip, or grow unevenly. Keep in mind Shea Butter does go bad eventually.
DIY Cuticle Oil
We have a couple of recipes for you to try, but you can get creative and make your own.
The oils on the above list are highly beneficial for cuticles and nails, and really you could use any of them, combined with some essential oils.
There are also essential oils that have strengthening and healing properties for cuticles and nails as well that you can add to your homemade recipe.
Here are some of the most beneficial essential oils for nails and cuticles to add to your DIY cuticle oil:
Myrrh, Lemon, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Carrot Seed, Grapefruit, Rosemary, Cypress, Balsam of Peru, Roman Chamomile, Geranium.
Cuticle Oil Recipe 1
- 1 tbsp sweet almond oil
- ¼ tsp Vitamin E oil
- 4 drops ¼ tsp lavender essential oil
- 4 drops grapefruit essential oil
Cuticle Oil Recipe 2
- 3 Tsp olive oil
- 1/2 Tsp avocado oil
- 1 Tsp jojoba oil
- 4 drops carrot Seed essential oil lavender essential oil
- 12 drops rosemary essential oil
- 12 drops lemon essential oil
You will need a closeable, air-tight container that will make the oil easy to dispense and apply. You have a few of options:
- a clean nail polish bottle
- A rollerball vial, like a lip gloss tube
- A bottle with a drop dispenser
Combine all ingredients and shake well.
Swipe the polish brush, roll it on or place a few drops along the cuticles and allow the oil to sit on the skin for a few minutes before rubbing it gently into your cuticles and nails with your fingers.
Tips To Maintain Healthy Cuticles
And finally, here are a few helpful tips to maintaining health cuticles.
- Make cuticle oil part of your nail care routine.
- Do not clip, trim or remove cuticles. Instead, moisturize and soften them with cuticle oil to push them back.
- Wear gloves when cleaning.
- Avoid rough manicurists or manicurists who trim cuticles
- Don’t chew your nails