The 7 Best Cuticle Oils to Strengthen Your Nails, According to Experts
Gel polish, biting, cuticle picking—sometimes we put our nails through the wringer. This results in weak nail beds that cause nails to break, peel, or crack easily. Apart from taking a break from your weekly manicure or looking for treatments to stop nail-biting once and for all, you can help start the healing process by using a cuticle oil.
What are cuticle oils?
"Cuticle oils are a blend of oils that soften your cuticles," says celebrity nail artist and founder of Nails of LA Brittney Boyce. "Cuticles tend to get dry and hard from the elements and daily handwashing. If untreated, they can peel, lead to hangnails, or worse, get really dry and cracked, making them vulnerable to inflammations and infections. Cuticle oils keep the cuticles moisturized so they don't get dry or cracked."
Ingredients to look for
Cuticle oils are made of so many nourishing ingredients and have loads of benefits to help strengthen nails. Boyce says to look for ones with plant oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, and argan oil, as those contain a lot of antioxidants and fatty acids that protect and nourish dry skin. She says that essential oils with antimicrobial benefits are especially helpful to keep any potential infections at bay. She also recommends looking for oils that have wound healing and anti-inflammation benefits such as bergamot, lavender, and coconut oil to help dry cuticles when they get red and inflamed.
How to use cuticle oil
Even though there are many types of cuticle oils out there, application is fairly simple for all of them. "Depending on the application bottle of each cuticle oil, you can brush, roll, or use a dropper to apply the cuticle oil directly to your cuticles and rub it in so it soaks in," says nail artist Hang Nguyen. "Depending on the skin type of the individual, you can apply it however many times to add hydration."
If you're looking for some sort of timeline guide, Boyce says that you can apply oil at least twice a day at a minimum. Nguyen adds that you can apply cuticle oil over dried regular polish, gels, or bare nails if you need a breather from all the polish.
Expert-Approved Cuticle Oils to Shop Now
Ready to shop for the best cuticle oils? Boyce and Nguyen share some of their favorites (and we throw in a few of our favorites, too). So if you're looking to give your nails some TLC, you've come to the right place.