Best oils for Healthy Nails & Cuticles
Many times we get caught up in life and neglect our fingernails. With the current scenario, going to parlor for manicure and pedicure has also taken a backseat. Some of us shred them rather than cut them when they get too long, some chew them, some use them as tools and some take no notice of them at all.
The way our nails look can indicate about the health of rest of our body. The colour of the nail in itself can be a warning sign of a fungal infection, malnutrition, or disease. Puffy nail beds can indicate illness. Dry cuticles are not usually a sign of disease, but can occur in the winter simply because of the lack of moisture in the air causing the cuticles to dry out
It is important to take care of your cuticles because if the cuticles become cracked and damaged, this may allow bacteria to infect the nail bed.
How oils help with brittle, dry nails:
There are certain oils which are excellent for strengthening nails and healing cracked cuticles. Oils provide nourishment and moisture which is important for healthy nails and cuticles. They act as a lubricant which seals in moisture to keep the cuticle area and nail plate soft and flexible. Oils also promote healthy nail growth and preserves resilience in nail enhancements
Some essential oils can not only help get longer nails but also protect them from breakage, thinning, splits, beau lines and brittleness and this help get the healthiest nails ever.
Best Carrier oils for healthy nails:
- Jojoba oil: Jojoba oil makes up for an excellent cuticle oil as it is light, penetrating oil which gently opens the skin’s pores and delivers moisturizing and healing benefits. Jojoba oil is rich in amazing fatty acids that provide intensive hydration and natural moisture to dry and brittle nail beds and cuticles. Jojoba also helps repair damaged collagen inside nail beds, improving strength and promoting healthy nail growth.
- Sweet Almond oil: It is another lightweight oil which is found perfect for being used in oil manicure. Its light consistency eases application and the softening properties it displays ensure fast dry cuticle elimination. Almond oil smooths nails out and maintains the adequate level of hydration.
- Avocado oil: Avocado oil is one of the most highly penetrative oils among the plant oils, and has excellent moisturizing properties along with sun protection and some bactericidal effects. The potassium in avocados boosts keratin content, which strengthens nails, and vitamin E gives nails a natural luster while encouraging healthy growth.
- Olive oil: Olive oil is a moisturizing and healing oil and is easily absorbed into the skin making it an excellent choice for nail and cuticle care. Rich in vitamin E, olive oil helps in the absorption of calcium, improves bone mineralization and the process of calcification, to help nails grow faster. Olive oil also strengthens brittle nails, softens cuticles, helps prevent hangnails, and increases nail flexibility to avoid breakage.
- Sesame oil: Sesame seed oil is extremely moisturizing and deeply hydrating for the cuticles in order to keep the nails healthy. This oil coats the skin with high levels of minerals and fatty acids, that act as a barrier, to protect it from damage. It is also naturally anti-microbial, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, making it a great nail treatment during the winter months when nails are more susceptible to infections.
Best Essential oils for nails:
- Myrrh Essential oil: Myrrh is one the best essential oils for nail growth. It has wonderful properties which protect cuticles from getting dry and protects nails from brittleness, thinning and easy breakage.
- Lemon Essential Oil: Lemon oil can help keep nails looking shiny and clean, and is a good antifungal agent too, preventing infection in the cuticles. This essential oil is also rich in antioxidants which makes it popular for a number of cosmetic applications
- Lavender Essential oil: Lavender is one of the most versatile oils and is known to strengthen nails and cuticles and moisturizes them. The antibacterial properties of this oil fight off germs which can infect cuticles.
- Frankincense Essential oil: Frankincense is one of the most ancient essential oils known for nail growth. It protects cuticles from infection and its moisturizing properties prevents peeling. It also has the ability to fight off nail fungus which is known to slow down nail growth.
- Geranium Essential oil: Moisturized nails naturally tend to grow longer and stronger than dry nails. Geranium oil can instantly moisturize nails as if is one of the best moisturizing oils. It restores moisturize to dry cuticles and skin around the nails. It also has antibacterial and antiseptic properties that protect the cuticles and nails from infections and fungus, which inhibit nail growth.
How to take care of your nails:
- Trim nails regularly
- Clean nails with a soft brush
- Apply hand cream regularly
- Wear gloves when working in kitchen or with cleansing products
- Don’t bite your nails
Safety & Precaution:
- Essential oils are only for external use and should never be ingested
- Store essential oils out of reach of children and store them apart from other products. Some essential oils can be fatal to pets and therefore always research before using them
- Essential oils must ALWAYS be diluted before applying on skin as they are highly concentrated as can cause irritation. You can dilute them in carrier oil of your choice and the max concentration of essential oils should be 3-4%
- Always do a patch test before applying on larger areas of skin
- It is unclear what effects essential oils have on pregnant and breastfeeding women. While some consider them safe, many doctors advice pregnant women to avoid use of essential oils
- Always buy pure essential oils and stay away from fake counterparts as they wont contain same therapeutic benefits
Dry cuticles can be a common issue for many, so finding a way to moisturize them, especially during the dry winter months is good for your health but also a great self-care technique. Keeping nails and cuticles healthy can be easy when using the right ingredients.
When making your own blend of oils, be sure to use therapeutic grade organic oils in order to avoid toxins and additives that can be harmful to your health. In addition to topically treating nails, a diet rich in healthy fats, such as avocados, nuts and seeds, and antioxidants can also help in keeping your nails and cuticles healthy. Try out some of the essential oil and carrier oil combinations described above to see what works for you and enjoy the benefits they’ll provide for your nails and cuticles.