woman applying oil to nails
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The 7 Best Cuticle Oils to Strengthen Your Nails, According to Experts

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Gel polish, biting, cuticle picking—sometimes we put our nails through the wringer. This results in weak nail beds that cause nails to break, peel, or crack easily. Apart from taking a break from your weekly manicure or looking for treatments to stop nail-biting once and for all, you can help start the healing process by using a cuticle oil.

What are cuticle oils?

"Cuticle oils are a blend of oils that soften your cuticles," says celebrity nail artist and founder of Nails of LA Brittney Boyce. "Cuticles tend to get dry and hard from the elements and daily handwashing. If untreated, they can peel, lead to hangnails, or worse, get really dry and cracked, making them vulnerable to inflammations and infections. Cuticle oils keep the cuticles moisturized so they don't get dry or cracked."

Ingredients to look for

Cuticle oils are made of so many nourishing ingredients and have loads of benefits to help strengthen nails. Boyce says to look for ones with plant oils like jojoba oil, coconut oil, and argan oil, as those contain a lot of antioxidants and fatty acids that protect and nourish dry skin. She says that essential oils with antimicrobial benefits are especially helpful to keep any potential infections at bay. She also recommends looking for oils that have wound healing and anti-inflammation benefits such as bergamot, lavender, and coconut oil to help dry cuticles when they get red and inflamed.

How to use cuticle oil

Even though there are many types of cuticle oils out there, application is fairly simple for all of them. "Depending on the application bottle of each cuticle oil, you can brush, roll, or use a dropper to apply the cuticle oil directly to your cuticles and rub it in so it soaks in," says nail artist Hang Nguyen. "Depending on the skin type of the individual, you can apply it however many times to add hydration."

If you're looking for some sort of timeline guide, Boyce says that you can apply oil at least twice a day at a minimum. Nguyen adds that you can apply cuticle oil over dried regular polish, gels, or bare nails if you need a breather from all the polish.

Expert-Approved Cuticle Oils to Shop Now

Ready to shop for the best cuticle oils? Boyce and Nguyen share some of their favorites (and we throw in a few of our favorites, too). So if you're looking to give your nails some TLC, you've come to the right place.

Cuticle oil on background
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

ORLY Breathable Cuticle Oil

$13, walmart.com

One of Boyce's picks is the Orly Breathable Cuticle Oil. It blends jojoba and argan oils and vitamin E to nourish the nails and help nails grow. It is also made with bergamot and citrus essential oils as well as cardamom seed oil to protect skin.

Cuticle oil on background
Credit: Courtesy of Neiman Marcus

Dior Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive Serum

$28, neimanmarcus.com

For more of a splurge, Boyce likes Dior's Huile Abricot Daily Nutritive Serum. It contains apricot and olive oil to deeply moisturize cuticles and soothe any cracks or damage. It also comes in a tube applicator so you can apply the product to precise areas around the nail.

Cuticle oil on background
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

ISDIN SI-Nails

$32, amazon.com

Dr. Graf often recommends ISDIN SI-Nails to strengthen nail beds as it increases nail's thickness, density, and durability. Reviewers claim that they notice their nails are harder, more hydrated, and less brittle after 28 days of use.

Cuticle oil on background
Credit: Courtesy of Revolve

Jinsoon Cuticle Oil

$35, revolve.com

Boyce also likes the Jinsoon Cuticle Oil for intense moisture. It contains honeysuckle, primrose, and other moisturizing ingredients to restore dry brittle nails and promote healthy cuticles. It's not too heavy and feels nice when applied on, which is always a bonus.

Cuticle oil on background
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Barefoot Scientist Inner Strength Nail and Cuticle Renewal Drops

$20, ulta.com

For another deep conditioning nail oil, Boyce recommends the Barefoot Scientist Inner Strength Nail and Cuticle Renewal Drops. It contains six different conditioning oils, including tea tree, sunflower seed, and olive fruit oil, to reverse daily damage and repair chips and cracks. It also contains a proprietary celery seed extract to support your nail's keratin cells to promote healthy nail growth.

Cuticle oil on background
Credit: Courtesy of Mazz Hanna

Mazz Hanna Cuticle Oil

$29, mazzhanna.com

Nguyen recommends the Mazza Hanna Cuticle Oil. It contains nourishing ingredients like jojoba and hemp seed oil and vitamin E to promote healthy nail growth and lavender and geranium oil to soothe cracked cuticles. For spiritual gurus out there, it also has an amethyst roller ball to help promote breaking bad habits like picking at cuticles or biting nails.

Cuticle oil on background
Credit: Courtesy of Target

Ella+mila Oil Me Up Cuticle Oil

$10.49, ulta.com

Made with safflower seed oil, Boyce recommends Ella+mila's Oil Me Up Cuticle Oil to soften and nourish splitting and peeling nails. You'll notice your cuticles also get softer and more moisturized after each use.