The What And Why Of Cuticle Oil
Nails looking a little shabby? Maybe you bite them or pick the polish off.
Maybe you work with your hands and it takes a toll on them. Or you’ve had acrylics or extensions on for years and recently removed them, and now your nails are weak and peeling.
So how do you remedy this situation?
Your secret weapon for strong healthy nails should be cuticle oil. Think of it as conditioner for your nails and skin. How often do you wash your hands in a day? Now imagine if you did that to your hair without conditioning! It would be a wreck.
First let’s explain what is a cuticle?
- The cuticle is a layer of clear skin located along the bottom edge of your finger or toe.
- They’re found at the base of your nail, at the intersection between the nail and skin.
- Its function is to protect new nails from bacteria when they grow out from the nail root.
- Cuticles provide a natural barrier to fungus and bacteria. The area around the cuticle is delicate. It can get dry, damaged, and infected. It’s important to care for the entire nail area and keep it clean so that your nails stay healthy.
So, what is cuticle oil?
Cuticle oil is a moisturizing product for your nails and cuticles which is used to moisturize the cuticle, skin and nail area.
It is applied with a brush, cotton ball or pen on the cuticles. It’s most commonly made up of vegetable oils and sometimes contains vitamins and citric acid.
Cuticle oil can protect the cuticle and nail against damage and improve the health and appearance of the cuticles and nails. It can also help to protect your nail and cuticle against trauma.
If your cuticles are looking a little damaged, cuticle oil is the product that you should be looking into. So, if your cuticles are a bit cracked, dry or broken, it’s probably time you started applying the nourishing oil to your nails.
Cuticles that are exposed to excessive cold, sun, chlorine, or salty or soapy water or other environmental conditions, can become chapped, cracked, and dry. In these cases of extreme dryness and damage, cuticle oil can help moisturize your cuticle and nail, restoring it to health.
Not in the habit of applying cuticle oil?
Then you definitely want to read this.
- If you want to get into the habit of nourishing your nails and skin every night, start keeping cuticle oil right next to your bed.
- Hydrated nails and healthy skin keep your nails strong but flexible. Applying cuticle oil every night will keep your nails and cuticles nourished and protected against drying out and splitting.
- Using the product regularly will smooth cuticles and restore them to health.
- Apply a few drops to both your nail and cuticle to help soften and hydrate. Massage it into your skin for about a minute to help stimulate the blood supply.
- The main purpose of cuticle oil is to deeply moisturize not only the cuticle, but also the skin and surrounding nail area.
- Cuticle oil helps increase circulation in the nail bed and can stimulate new nail growth. When cuticles or the surrounding nail are extremely dry and cracked, to the point of separation of the nail area from the cuticle, the oil provides quick repair and protection. The oil deeply moisturizes the area, repairs the nail, stops the cracking and eventually allows the nail to reattach.
Important thing to remember
However, do keep in mind that cuticle oil should not be used as a first-line of defence against dryness, but rather to fix extremely dry, cracked nails. Before using cuticle oil, regular skin moisturizing creams should be used.
If you apply the oil too often, your cuticles can become dry and cracked when you discontinue use. Cuticle oils should be used only when the nails are extremely dry.
With all this said, do not forget to protect your hands while doing chores; try to wear gloves when hand-washing dishes. It’s the little habits that matter.
Certain nail shapes are stronger than others, and it has to do with how your fingers meet with things. Square shapes and stilettos are easier to break because pointy edges can snag or snap easier, resulting in breakage. Round or oval shapes absorb the impact from typing or hitting your fingertips against anything. Similarly, picking at the cuticles, typing, folding laundry, brushing hair and cooking can all cause damage.
Which Cuticle Oil should I buy?
Now if you are wondering which cuticle oil should use, then you must certainly look for a cuticle oil that is jojoba oil or Vitamin E based. The molecules in these are small enough to penetrate through gel or polish and into your nail.
Keep an eye out for vitamin E as an ingredient – it works wonders to help repair any damaged or torn skin and will keep your cuticles soft and supple.
The best cuticle oils absorb quickly into your skin. They’re also rather thin, because thick oils won’t absorb into your skin as well. Most cuticle oils contain a combination of different oils, such as:
- jojoba oil
- flaxseed oil
- safflower oil
- Olive oil
- Almond oil
- Common cuticle oils include any one or a combination of flaxseed oil, wheat germ oil, apricot oil, safflower oils, lavender oils and jojoba oils. Some of these oils may be infused with citric acids and vitamins. The citric acids make the oils absorb quickly. Other ingredients may include vitamins, such as vitamin E, which is an anti-oxidant.
You can also purchase a cuticle oil that has vitamins or other ingredients included, such as antioxidants. While cuticle oil isn’t necessary for the health of your nails, it can be a great treatment if your nails and cuticles are feeling especially dry. By using it, you will be doing yourself and your nails a service!
In addition to moisturizing from the outside, the beauty advice that never fails in any respect is to hydrate by drinking lots of water. It’s good health advice in general, and nice nails is just another benefit.