Why You Need To Use Cuticle Oil! Plus DIY Cuticle Oil Guide
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Our nails say a lot about us. They can reveal how hygienic we are and even whether or not we have a job that involves lots of typing. Through nail polish we have even more of an opportunity to express ourselves, showing off a more subdued look or something that’s out there. We can even use our nails to help show our celebration for certain holidays or milestones (hello nail designs and stickers!). Yet it’s impossible to address the nails without considering the unsung heroes of our manicures -- our cuticles.
I remember going to the nail salon with my mom as a child. She sometimes treated me to a manicure, but she would always tell the technician not to cut my cuticles. As a kid, I totally see why she did this. After all, cutting them opens the door to cuts and infections. But as an adult, I’ve learned how to take care of my cuticles properly. This means trimming them or pushing them back when necessary (especially during those cold winter months). It also means getting into cuticle oil, which has now become an essential part of my beauty regimen.
What Is Cuticle Oil?
Cuticle oil is exactly what it sounds like- an oil to put on your cuticles. It moisturizes your nails and cuticles to make them look and feel healthy. This nourishment also helps to prevent nail and cuticle damage later on. It’s often made of vegetable oils and sometimes also includes vitamins and citric acid. Common oils found in cuticle oil are jojoba oil, flaxseed oil, and safflower oil.
What differentiates cuticle oil from plain ol’ vegetable oil? Well, you could technically use something like coconut oil by itself, but with worse effects. After a manicure, coconut oil applied on its own won’t go across your manicure in the same way, and it might even mess the polish up. (You can also apply it before you apply your nail polish, but if your skin doesn’t absorb it fully then your polish won’t stick as well.) It will also only work on the top layers of your skin, whereas a good cuticle oil will penetrate the skin deeper.
Cuticle oil contains nutrients that the skin can absorb quickly. These include vitamins A, E, and B.
What Does Cuticle Oil Do? Benefits Of Cuticle Oil
Your cuticles might need a little TLC for all sorts of reasons. This could be due to cold weather, exposure to harsh chemicals in cleaning products, chlorine, or salty or soapy water. Or perhaps you tend to pick at your cuticles, in which case you must stop this immediately! All of these conditions can make your skin dry and cracked. Enter cuticle oil, which can bring your nail bed back to life and strengthen your nail plates. It also makes your nails thicker. This will make your cuticles and nails look their best, while also protecting them from harsh weather, normal wear, and tear, etc.
The goal of cuticle oil is to moisturize the cuticle, the skin near it, and the nail. By encouraging circulation in the nail bed, cuticle oil can promote nail growth. By preventing the cracking of nails, nails that have separated from the cuticles can even reattach.
An added benefit of this kind of oil is that it’s antimicrobial. This helps to prevent fungi from growing which can (unsurprisingly) harm nail growth.
As if you needed another reason to get on board with cuticle oil, it can also help your manicure last for longer. This is true even for gel manicures. When your nail bed gets dry, your polish can also dry out and start separating from the nail. This makes you more prone to chipping. Plus, it then becomes so tempting to peel or pick at the polish, which can cause additional nail damage.
How To Use Cuticle Oil
It’s best to use a regular moisturizer before applying the oil to your hands. And while it’s great to use cuticle oil for all of its hydrating benefits, know that your cuticles can get addicted. If you use it too often then once you stop using it your nails might become extremely dry. Therefore, only use it when getting a manicure or as needed when your cuticles are particularly dry.
When applying the oil to your hands, you’ll only need to use a small amount. You can apply it either with a brush or with an applicator.
Essential Oils For Cuticles Breakdown
Essential oils can help you calm down when you use them in aromatherapy, soothe bug bites, and even help with sleep. Yet a little-known benefit of them is that they can also help with your cuticle woes. A good cuticle oil will contain a blend of several different essential oils so that you can enjoy the benefits of each of them, combined.
Let’s start with carrot seed oil, which is great for strengthening and moisturizing your cuticles and nails. It contains beta carotene as well as vitamins A and E, a win all around.
Lemon essential oil has antioxidant properties, which help keep your skin and nails healthy. It’s also antifungal, which means that it will prevent infections in your cuticles. Plus, it will leave you feeling good after you use it because it will make your nails look shiny and clean.
If you’re not super into essential oils, you might not be familiar with myrrh oil. This oil is a great candidate for helping your cuticles due to its antibacterial and antifungal properties. People have been using myrrh essential oil for ages to treat skin issues such as sores, acne, and rashes. When it comes to your nail, skin, and cuticle health, this oil can really help address dryness and chapped skin.
Essential oils like tea tree oil and cypress oil provide antibacterial benefits as well.
Best Oil For Nails And Cuticles
When it comes to finding the best cuticle oil, a lot of it will depend on your specific wants and needs. Luckily there are plenty of options to choose from, so you can decide which scents you like best and which ones your body reacts well to. As we said above, cuticle oils will typically include a combination of different oils. Here are some to look for in these mixes.
Coconut oil for cuticles is extremely popular. It strengthens them, hydrates the skin surrounding your nails, and helps eliminate hangnails.
If you’re trying to determine the best nail cuticle oil, consider grapeseed oil as well. After all, it’s great for hydration. It also has plenty of vitamins C, D, and E. The fatty acids and polyphenols in grapeseed oil can help to fight symptoms of aging on the skin, including the nail bed. This carrier oil is also so great because it’s not expensive, and it doesn’t have a scent.
Wheat germ carrier oil is another one to add to the ‘best cuticle oil’ list. It contains high amounts of nourishing vitamin E. Wheat germ oil helps protect the skin around your nails from free radical damage, which is something that everyone is at risk for.
How To Make Cuticle Oil: DIY Cuticle Oil Recipe & Guide
Rather than having to buy the oil, you might want to opt to make a homemade version yourself. In order to make cuticle oil, follow this DIY cuticle oil recipe & guide.
Sweet almond oil
Lavender essential oil
Rose geranium essential oil
Empty nail polish bottle
To start, you’ll need some sweet almond oil, vitamin E, lavender essential oil, rose geranium essential oil, an empty nail polish bottle, and a small funnel. Using the funnel, pour half a tablespoon of sweet almond oil into the bottle. Then add some drops of vitamin E. Continue by adding 2 drops of lavender oil and 2 drops of rose geranium oil. Screw on the cap and shake well. Keep your cuticle oil away from light so that the oils do not become damaged.
It’s really as simple as that! This is of course a recipe for regular cuticle oil which you apply with a brush, but you can make a version to use with a pen-like applicator as well.
For many, nails are not just another body part- they’re a way of life. They’re a way to express yourself, a way to tell if someone pays attention to their personal grooming and upkeep, and they can even indicate if a person is suffering from heart, lung, or liver disease.
Because of how much our nails are truly on display, as well as all they have to say, we have to make sure to give them proper care and attention. Cuticle oil is the easiest, and possibly the best, way to do this with its abundance of benefits for your skin, cuticles, and nails.
From hydrating to nourishing to preventing infections, what more could you want in one little product? So do yourself a favor and get some cuticle oil ASAP, or make some yourself. Your manicure will thank you!