There’s barely a touch of fall in the air, and I can already feel my hands starting to get chapped. Despite slathering them in lotions, butters, and balms, as soon as the air starts to dry out, my hands take a beating—especially my nails. This is where essential oils can come to the rescue.
Maybe it’s genetics (my mom’s cuticles are always cracked). Or maybe it’s just that I run my water a little too hot. But either way, I think we can all agree that dry nails need a little extra TLC during the colder months.
This DIY cuticle oil works wonders on dry skin of all types, but it’s especially effective when it comes to soothing cracked, peeling cuticles. Store it in a refillable cosmetic pen to stash in your purse, bedside table, or kitchen cabinet, so you can apply it on the go.
The Best Carrier + Essential Oils for Nails
Certain carrier oils are great for strengthening nails and healing cracked cuticles. Carrier oils like grape seed and carrot seed are hydrating, while vitamin E oil is strengthening. And for essential oils, tea tree and cypress oils are antibacterial.
A good cuticle oil blend should also contain a healthy mix of different essential oils for nails so you can reap all the benefits they have to offer. While you don’t have to use all of the same oils I do (two or three should work just fine), a well-rounded mix helps to cover all your bases and heal your cuticles as quickly as possible.
Remember, essential oils should not be applied directly to the skin. They are best when diluted into a carrier oil, making up a small proportion of the total application.
Vitamin E oil has long been used to help strengthen brittle nails and hydrate chapped skin. It has been shown to improve the tissues involved in blood circulation with its anti-inflammatory effects [source], which could be important also for nail growth and healing.
Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil is one of my favorite oils, not just for nails but for skin, in general. It’s rich in beta carotene and fatty acids [source], vitamins A and E, and pro-vitamin A. It’s great at restoring moisture that dry, cracked skin so desperately needs.
Grapeseed is another one of my favorites. It’s rich in vitamins C, D, and E, and it contains a plethora of fatty acids and polyphenols [source], which may help reduce the appearance of aging. Plus, it’s inexpensive and odorless, making it the perfect carrier oil.
So now, let’s go over the particular essential oils that just happen to be our favorites for nails and cuticles.
Cypress oil helps to prevent some bacterial infections [source] and is believed to help soothe inflammation. By keeping bacteria at bay, applying it directly to cracked cuticles will likely help them heal more quickly.
DIY Cuticle Oil Blend
Here’s a quick and easy cuticle oil blend, plus a video showing you exactly how to do it. Don’t be afraid to mix up the oils in the recipe to suit your needs.
For safety, just make sure to use the same ratio of essential oil to carrier oil. That will keep the concentration of essential oil from getting too high, possibly giving you a skin reaction. And note that, even though they are from nature, essential oils are in an extremely concentrated form. For this reason, they should always be diluted before using on the skin.
Healing Cuticle Oil Blend
- Small bowl
- Refillable brush pen
- Combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir to mix through.
- Using a small funnel, transfer the mixture to a refillable brush pen.
- Apply to cuticles 2 or 3 times a day to strengthen nails and soothe cuticles. Store in a cool, dry place indefinitely.
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Holly Smith, a board certified physician in nephrology and internal medicine with a background in nutrition. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical review board here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.17