My work requires me to use my hands a lot. I can see the impact that it has on my hands and nails. Especially during ongoing pandemic, we have to wash and sanitize our hands frequently and negative effects of it show on my skin.
Washing and sanitizing is drying out skin and nails, so good hand cream is a must. But using hand cream is not enough for me, as it would not prevent my nails from breaking and cuticles from being overly dry, so I decided to try old and proven method – oils.
Benefits of Cuticle Oils
Cuticle oils are meant to help us moisturize. It can help us to prevent nails from breaking, which helps if we are trying to grow our nails (or just keep them in decent condition). Moisturising improves elasticity of our nails, so they will bend under pressure, instead of instantly snapping off, as they tend to do when they are overly dry.
This happened to me plenty of times before I started using cuticle nail oils. It’s not only frustrating but also painful. After a week of regular use of cuticle nail oil, I could see and feel improvement. Not only my skin looked better but also my nails didn’t break in situations they would before I started taking care of them with oils.
Drugstore Cuticle Oils
The easiest option is to get readymade cuticle nail oils from a drugstore. I used them irregularly after doing my manicure in the past, so when I decided to try using them daily, I took a look into my nail stuff box. Apparently I had not one, but two cuticle oils that currently are sold out at local drugstore.
Essence Nail Repairing Oil with Argan Oil
Ingredients: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Parfum (Fragrance), Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Butyl Acetate, Limonene, Linalool, Coumarin, Eugenol, Geraniol, Citronellol, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Cinnamyl Alcohol, Ci 47000 (Yellow 11).
Downside of this oil is the fact that it contains fragrance (and it’s second ingredient!) and its scent can be irritating to some people, as it is a strong smell. I don’t mind it that much but after I’m done with this bottle, I will not buy it again.
Kruidvat Nail Oil
Ingredients: Glycine Soja Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) oil, Limonene, Cyperus Esculentus Oil, Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil, Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Linolenate, Tocopherol, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis Oil, Citral, Linalool, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Carotenoids, Echinacea Purpurea Root Extract, Olea Europaealeaf Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract.
It’s yet another time when Kruidvat’s home brand proves that they can be as good quality (or even better) as other brands. Ingredients of Kruidvat Nail Oil are comparable with name brand cuticle oils that can be found on drugstore shelves.
It doesn’t have this strong artificial scent that can be found in Essence Nail Repairing Oil. It also has lighter consistency and absorbs faster, so I like it better.
How to Use Cuticle Oils?
Oils I included in this post are used for ‘cold’ applying method. You just apply them to your cuticle and under your nails with a brush and after couple minutes massage it in with your fingers. Then try to avoid washing your hands until you can feel the oil soaked into your skin.
I personally do it 3 times a day – in the morning, before I go to work and before I go to bed.
Some people use cotton gloves after applying oils before bed but I don’t. I haven’t stained the sheets or see worse results because of not using cotton gloves. It’s just an extra step. I wouldn’t skip applying cuticle nail oil in my nighttime routine, because it is the time when our body can rest and take in all the benefits that come with nail oils.
DIY Cuticle Oil SPA Treatment
Another way of using oils on your cuticles and nails is to soak your nails in a warm oil or oil blend (you can microwave them or use a cup with hot water to steam a bowl with oils 🥣) for couple minutes and massage them in.
This method is more time consuming but on the other hand it is perfect for me-time moments.
Most popular oils good for your nails are:
- Jojoba oil – lightweight, quickly absorbed by the skin. It is considered the most effective oil to nourish nails and soften cuticles;
- Tea tree oil – it has strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Couple drops of tea tree oil are a great addition to the nail oil mixture. You shouldn’t use it alone on your skin, because it can dry it out;
- Almond oil – it’s another lightweight oil, perfect for moisturising your nails;
- Olive oil – commonly used in kitchen, it can also help to strengthen your nails and soften cuticles.
Effects of Using Cuticle Oils
You can see both short and longterm results of using oils on your nails and cuticles. When used regularly, it can help prevent nail breaking, soften cuticles and generally help our nails to grow healthier.
But you have to keep in mind that results will not show up overnight. Or that oils can repair current damage. Even though some oils claim that they ‘repair’ nails (Essence Nail Repairing Oil 🤣), you can’t repair dead keratin cells with magic of oils. So if you have any white spots, bruises or mechanical tears on your nails, you need to wait for it to grow out.
I personally saw first results of moisturising with oils after a week – my cuticles were softer and skin around my nails stopped tearing easily.
Then I had couple accidents when I hit my nail pretty hard while carrying heavy boxes. Before they would snap easily but not this time – I noticed my nails are more bendy, so it is what prevented them from breaking under pressure. In this sense oils helped me ‘repair’ my nails.
Key to success is to use oils regularly. So far I haven’t skipped a day since I started using cuticle oils and I want to keep it up. I will post an update with some pictures of before and after when I get more material 😁 At some point – when I use up current supplies – I also plan to do my own oil blend.