I’ve previously written about how I grew my nails, and, trust me, I’ve tried so many products to get my thin, brittle nails to thrive. I tried supplements, nail-strengthening polishes and… eating a lot of cheese in a bid to top up my calcium levels. But the one thing that really did help was a product that I had previously overlooked: cuticle oil.
In my job as a beauty editor, I continue to learn new hacks every day. If there’s one lesson I’m planning to never forget, it’s that a cuticle or nail oil is essential for healthy nails and happy cuticles. In fact, every top nail tech I’ve spoken to would tell me that it is the single best thing you can do to keep your nails and cuticles in good condition. So naturally, I listened and decided to put some of the highly rated cuticle oils to the test.
It was only when I started applying a cuticle oil religiously that I started seeing results. Once or twice a week wouldn’t cut it. Instead, I applied a cuticle oil morning and night, and I’d carry a cuticle-oil pen in my bag to hydrate my nails on the go or keep one handy on my desk at work. After around four weeks, my nails were transformed. Not only were my cuticles in top condition, but I noticed that my nails were growing thicker and stronger with less breakage. “Dehydrated and brittle nails are more prone to breaking or chipping, so keep nails nourished by applying oil-based cuticle products and hand creams daily,” says session manicurist, Ami Streets. “Apply a drop on each cuticle before massaging it in. Nighttime is best, as it gives the oil time to be properly absorbed,” she says. Taking time to massage the oil in will encourage blood circulation, which will help boost the health of your nails and cuticles overs time too. Read on below to find the best cuticle oils that I tried to help give your cuticles and nails a boost.
I put my nail growth down to this incredible nail oil with sweet almond oil. This ingredient is one to look out for in cuticle oils and is one that nail technicians will regularly recommend. It made my weak, bendy nails grow thicker and stronger, and after four weeks, I saw a real improvement in my nail growth. The bottle has a brush applicator, which makes it easy to apply. I keep this on my bedside table to remind myself to apply it before bed.
Nourishing apricot kernal oil, magnesium and zinc are just some of the nail-nourshing ingredients in this nail treatment, which contains 65 powerhouse minerals to restore nails to full health, whether it be damage from gels or just everyday wear and tear, you can expect weak, bending and flaking nails to be transformed into long and strong lengths when used regularly.
OPI is another professional salon brand that I really, really rate, and its cuticle oil is brilliant. It contains a whole bunch of hydrating and nourishing oils that leave nails and cuticles conditioned. The dropper applicator makes it easy to apply exactly the amount you need to each nail.
For on the go application, I keep Chanel’s L’Huile Camélia Hydrating & Fortifying Oil in my handbag. Not only does it make my cuticles look and feel ten times better, but the bevelled nib applicator doubles up as a cuticle pusher to make your nail beds look neat. And who doesn’t love to chic Chanel product to pull out of your bag?
Don’t overlook the dinky bottle—it packs a nourishing punch for brittle nails. The bottle features a dropper applicator so you don’t apply too much. It has sweet almond oil and vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6 to bring weak nails back to good health. It also has a pleasant zesty scent.
It’s on the pricier side of the cuticle oils in this article, but you only have to read the reviews of Dior’s cuticle serum to see that it has garnered a loyal following. And every single nail tech I’ve spoken to says this really works, so it’s worth the investment. The pen applicator is handy to pop in your bag for touch-ups on the go, and the serum texture sinks in quickly.
Hear me out. This one is technically a face oil and also very expensive. But, I’ve seen all the top nail technicians use this La Mer oil to hydrate cuticles as a finishing treatment at the end of their manicures. So if you’re looking for a good facial oil and a luxe cuticle oil, this is a luxurious treat yourself investment.
Those in the know will already be aware that Margaret Dabbs is regarded as the authority in hand-and-nail care. This nail serum pen soothes ragged cuticles while antibacterial lemon myrtle oil keeps bacteria at bay around the nail bed.
This cuticle oil from Essie is a purse-friendly option to keep your nails and cuticles in top condition. It has apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba seed and sunflower seed oils to bring damaged nails back from the brink.
Dry cuticles can crop up year-round, but the colder winter months can pose a greater threat. When nails become weather-worn, keep this cuticle oil pen in your bag for on the go touch ups. Apply regularly to soften and condition dry skin.
This is the equivalent of a superfood smoothie for your nails. Sweet almond, argan and rose-hip oils intensely repair and hydrate dry cuticles and nails. Just apply a couple of drops morning and night, and you’ll notice a difference in a couple of weeks.
If you just getting into the swing of cuticle oils, a handy rollerball option is a good place to start. This handbag friendly oil is packed with naturally dervived seed oils like mongongo nut, sesame, macadamia as a nourishing boost to dry cuticles. This has fast become on of my daily must haves.
This is the latest cuticle oil that I’m testing, and so far, I’m impressed. It has a cocktail of sweet almond oil, coconut oil and walnut seed oil, which have really improved the quality of the skin around my nails. Plus, this bottle is pretty compared to most, and it will last for ages.
Using a UV lamp to set your gel nails at home is one way to get salon-level results at a more affordable price point but with repeated exposure can often leave your nails and cuticles brittle and dry. Luckily along with a multitude of gel colours, Mylee has got a conditioning cuticle oil to stave off any signs of damage.
This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.