Some, like Bliss Manicure’s Best Friend, Nailtiques Nail Moisturizer, Creative Nail Design Solar Balm and Kiehl’s Imperiale Moisturizing Cuticle Treatment, are supermoisturizers, with ingredients like collagen, vitamin E, avocado oil and shea butter. They are meant to be massaged into the nails and surrounding cuticles.

Others, like OPI Nail Envy and Sally Hansen Miracle Cure, are polishes packed with vitamins and minerals. There is even a new “manicure candle”: the Hot Soy Manicure Treatment by Aloette. Light it, blow it out, dip fingertips into the melted soy, vanilla and orange oils and then massage them into the nails and cuticles.

The anatomy of the nail, while not as complicated as that of many other body parts, helps explain how and why nails get brittle. The nail plate consists of layers of the protein keratin, lined up like roof shingles, with tiny pockets of space between. “If those pockets get filled with air or water, it swells the spaces and causes the nail plate layers to break apart and delaminate,” said Jan Arnold, a founder of Creative Nail Design, a nail products company in Vista, Calif.

In winter dry air permeates the layers, leaving them so arid that even the slightest impact, like striking a computer keyboard, can cause nails to crack and break. Nails that spend too much time in water are also more prone to brittleness. And while frequent hand washing is recommended to prevent the spread of colds, that same practice can wreak havoc on nails.

When hands are in water, the nail cells become saturated with water and swell. But unless they are coated with an occlusive moisturizer, the water is quickly lost, leaving nails drier than they were. Dr. Scher compares a dry nail to a piece of wood: When you soak it, the wood becomes soft and pliable, but when it dries out and you try to bend it, it will break.

They say your fingernails are one of the things people notice during a first impression — which isn’t good news for those of us who battle to keep our peeling nails in good health. It’s kinda hard to keep things looking perfectly manicured when our nails are splitting and polished crackles right off moments after it dries. Not only that, when a brittle nails breaks off, it can be pretty painful, too.

If dry, brittle, cracked, or peeling nails are your struggle, there are things you can do to get them back into good health. According to our favorite beauty experts, these at-home remedies that include good old-fashioned TLC and some nutrition tweaks could be your ticket to better nails.

Contents

1. Soak nails in olive oil

For weak, thin nails, soak them in extra virgin olive oil 10-15 minutes a day for a month, then twice a week thereafter. This inexpensive home beauty treatment will help fortify damaged, weak or peeling nails.

“Applying vegetable oil helps relieve dryness and cracking of toenails,” confirms Dr. Wenjay Sung, a board-certified podiatrist in Los Angeles. “Unlike creams, oils do a better job soaking into the nail bed and moisturize the structural toenail bed longer than creams and gels.”

2. Use a cuticle cream like it’s your religion

A soothing cuticle cream like Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Creme helps nourish dry cuticles and brittle, damaged nails with vitamin E. Massage the cream into and around your nails nightly before going to bed.

Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, advises, “Cuticles can dry out from repetitive hand washing and manicures, so if they are not given extra protection with a nourishing cuticle cream, they will crack and split, increasing risk of nail infection.”

More: 6 Real Ways Makeup & Skin Care Can Help Your Mental Health

3. Don’t overuse your nails

Your fingernails aren’t intended to be tools to open soda cans. Instead, use a pen or other object rather than your fingernails to do these everyday tasks.

4. Wear gloves for chores

When doing the dishes, cleaning and gardening, wear gloves. Detergents and cleansers are harsh on your fingernails, causing drying, spitting and peeling. Soil and gardening can also cause damage to your nails.

As Dr. Tanzi pointed out, the best way to take care of hands and nails is to avoid drying them out. “Frequent hand washing with antibacterial soap is very harsh,” she says. “I recommend washing with a gentle cleanser, which will sanitize just as well as harsh products and a good moisturizer afterward to lock in the hydration. At night, a thicker moisturizer on hands with a rich cuticle cream will keep hands/nails looking great.”

5. Eat biotin-rich foods

Make sure your diet features foods rich in biotin, such as liver, cooked eggs, whole grains, cauliflower and avocado, among others. In addition to other health benefits, biotin can help strengthen and thicken nails. You can also take a biotin supplement, if necessary.

Next Up: Take a multivitamin daily

Originally published September 2008. Updated September 2017.

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Top 5 Treatments for Brittle Nails

A lot of things can go wrong with nails. They can be brittle, pitted, discolored, flaky and ridged, among other common (and unpleasant) abnormalities. But brittle nails can be a natural part of the aging process, and they’re often represented by dry, cracking or splitting nails. They may also grow slowly or simply seem weak and easily breakable.

Nail abnormalities may be caused by a relatively minor condition like brittle nail syndrome, which is what it sounds like: excessively brittle nails, often caused by a lack of moisture. They also could stem from a lack of iron or zinc . But nail problems may also be representative of something more severe, such as hepatitis, jaundice, lupus or heart disease. When in doubt, look for basic causes first, such as a fungal infection, a reaction to nail polish or bruising from an impact.

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There’s ongoing debate about whether brittle nails are caused predominantly by a lack of protein or moisture in the nails. Consequently, most treatments for brittle nails are concerned with one of these two factors. In this article, we’ll look at five ways of boosting nail health and learn why a candle may be just what your troublesome fingernails need.

No matter how many vitamins I take, my fingernails always seem to break so easily. It makes it nearly impossible to ever grow them, plus it can be painful when they catch on things and tear. I’ve been looking into what I can do to make them stronger and have found quite a few remedies that I wanted to share here on the blog today – if you have any of your own tried-and-true remedies, please share in the comments!

For starters, when filing your nails, only file in one direction – NOT back and forth. I never knew this, but filing back and forth can worsen damaged nails and cause splitting.

Certain oils are great for strengthening your nails – particularly olive oil, vitamin E oil and tea tree oil! Olive oil is extremely moisturizing and easily absorbed into the skin and nails. Soak your nails in a dish of olive oil for about 20 minutes once a week, or every day for a few minutes, to feel its full affect. Tea tree oil is a powerful antiseptic that can remedy discolored nails and prevent fungus, in addition to repairing and strengthening damaged nails. Lastly, vitamin E oil is another great moisturizer that is rich in antioxidants and also has the added benefit of a very light scent. Apply it to your nails and cuticles and soak up its restorative properties!

Moisturizing your nails is just as important as moisturizing your skin – but it’s not something I ever think to do. Washing your hands can really dry out your nails, and keeping them moisturized is one of the easiest ways to keep them strong and healthy. Vaseline is an excellent way to keep them moisturized. Massage it into the nails to get the blood circulating, and if you have really dry and damaged nails, put on a pair of gloves after applying the Vaseline to lock in the moisture (many recommend doing this before bed and sleeping with gloves on).

Nails contain a lot of sulfur, and another way to strengthen them is to eat foods that are also high in sulfur – like broccoli, onions, and garlic. The sulfur in these foods will not only help to repair nails but will give them added shine.

Do you have any tips for strengthening nails? Share in the comments!

Jewelry pictured: Assorted Cluster Brass Bracelet, Trapped Crystal Cuff, Filagree Skinny Hard Bangle Set, Stacking Ring Set, Smokey Mountain Stone Ring, Novelty Flip Ring.

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If you are a nail biter, you probably have a habit of biting your cuticles too. Some do not bite nails but do bite cuticles that can cause them to bleed and weaken your nails since they are directly connected to nail bed. Also, cuticles peel due to dryness and when you don’t regularly moisturize it. Dry and damaged cuticles can be quite painful and look unsightly. There are cuticle oils that can be used on cuticles to keep them soft and moisturized. Cuticle oils are something you can easily make at home yourself using simple ingredients! Below is how you can make cuticle oil using coconut oil:

BENEFITS:

  • Coconut oil moisturizes your cuticles and also heal already peeled cuticle.
  • Coconut oil makes your cuticles healthy and less prone to dryness and peeling.
  • Coconut oil is great for treating brittle and cracked nails and also damaged cuticles since its adds a boost of moisture that prevents them from breaking and heals cuticles.
  • It also strengthens nail bed and nails and stimulates their growth.

METHOD:

Overnight treatment- Warm some coconut oil in a bowl and use it to massage your nails, hands and cuticles. Wear gloves before bedtime and wash your hands in the morning.

Hand soak: In a bowl full of warm water, add some coconut oil and hemp oil and soak your hands in it until the water comes to room temperature. Wash hands and moisturize. If you have cuticle pushes, you can use that too to remove excess cuticles.

Topical application: You can also apply coconut oil on your cuticles throughout the day if you have very dry and peeling cuticles.

Having healthy nails isn’t just about feeling pretty, nor is it something from which only women can benefit. (One of the most successful businessmen I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting got regular manicures, and for a good reason!)

The truth is, nail appearance can have a major impact on making a good first impression. Consider this: Would you rather shake hands with someone who has clean, healthy-looking nails or someone with broken, discolored, or otherwise ratty-looking fingernails?

Of course, even if you don’t have to worry about impressing higher-ups as part of your daily routine, taking care of your nails can simply be about feeling and looking your best purely for your own enjoyment!

Peruse the following list of 15 home remedies including six all-natural consumables plus nine topical treatments to learn how you can achieve better nail health using simple ingredients, many of which you probably already have in your home!

Foods That Strengthen Nail Growth

1. Protein

Nails are composed almost entirely of the fibrous protein keratin. Therefore, in order to grow strong, healthy nails, you’ll need to ensure that your diet includes high quality protein-rich foods such as lean meats, eggs, dark leafy greens, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds. Dairy products or dairy alternatives like almond milk and soy-based foods are also excellent sources of protein.

2. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one of the best sources of nail-strengthening vitamins A and C, as well as the natural form of B7 (also known as Biotin) which is essential for healthy hair, skin, and nails.

Have a glass of organic tomato juice in the morning to start your day off with more energy, add a few slices of fresh tomato to salads and sandwiches, and include more foods with tomato paste or sauce in your diet. Your nails will thank you!

3. Blackstrap Molasses

Blackstrap molasses is a bittersweet syrup that was a popular natural sweetener until the late 19th century when table sugar stole the spotlight. Unlike most popular sweeteners, blackstrap molasses is actually good for you as it still contains the vitamins and minerals naturally found in the cane sugar plant – nutrients which are stripped away during the refining process used to create white sugar.

For healthier nails, add a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses to warm water, tea, or another beverage of your choice. Drink 1 – 2 times daily for best results.

Diabetics beware: Despite its health benefits, blackstrap molasses will still have an effect on blood sugar!

4. Nettle Tea

Nettle leaf – an ancient natural remedy with a wide variety of uses including for the growth of longer, stronger, healthier hair and nails – is rich with minerals which your body needs to form new nail tissue.

Steep 2 – 3 teaspoons of dried organic nettle leaf in a cup of hot water for about 10 minutes to make this tea. Add your natural sweetener of choice and enjoy once per day for stronger nails.

5. Horsetail

Another herb known for its ability to promote stronger, healthier nail growth is horsetail (also known as shavegrass.) Like nettle leaf, horsetail contains high concentrations of nail-strengthening vitamins and minerals.

To make this tea, steep ½ – 1 teaspoon of dried organic horsetail in a cup of boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Sweeten to taste and enjoy once daily for best results.

6. Biotin

Also known as vitamin H, biotin is a vital nutrient necessary for the body’s production of keratin – the fibrous protein which is the primary component in hair, skin, and nails. Biotin is naturally contained in foods such as fish, eggs, legumes, whole grains and nuts, as well as some fruits and vegetables. ( for a more comprehensive list.)

While biotin supplements are also an option, all vitamins are better absorbed when obtained from the foods we eat!

Topical Solutions for Healthy Nails

7. Coconut Oil

When it comes to all-natural ingredients which can benefit every part of your body, coconut oil is king! To improve the strength and appearance of your nails, simply massage them daily with organic cold-pressed coconut oil. As an added benefit, your cuticles and skin will look and feel healthier from a daily treatment with coconut oil, too.

Learn more about making homemade hand cream plus 9 other brilliant applications for this one incredible natural ingredient in the 10 Ways To Replace Your Personal Care Products With Coconut Oil!

8. Flaxseed Oil

Flaxseed is another wonderfully nourishing oil that benefits nails when used daily. Flaxseed oil is full of essential fatty acids, as well as antioxidants and minerals which promote faster, stronger growth. To get the best results from this natural remedy, simply massage pure organic flaxseed oil into your nails for a few minutes 1 – 2 times per day.

9. Olive Oil & Lemon

Olive oil is one of the best moisturizers for nails (plus skin and hair, too!) Lemon juice contains antioxidant vitamin C which protects nails, removes stains, and encourages stronger growth. To create a nourishing nail soak, simply mix 3 parts olive oil with 1 part lemon juice, heat to just above body temperature, then submerge your fingertips in the solution for 10 minutes. Repeat this daily for best results.

10. Vitamin E Oil

Another highly effective natural moisturizer for healthy nails, vitamin E oil may be used topically as well as taken orally in capsule form. Massage vitamin E oil into your nails and cuticles for about five minutes each night before bed. After about two weeks, you should notice a big improvement in the strength, appearance, and growth rate of your nails!

11. Orange Juice

Soak your nails in fresh orange juice for 10 minutes per day to give your nails a boost of antioxidants that will improve their strength and appearance, as well as help them grow faster. When you’re done, remember to rinse thoroughly to remove the citric acid from your skin and nails, then apply a natural moisturizer like olive, flaxseed, or coconut oil to reverse any dehydration that may have occurred during the soak.

12. Beer

While it may seem like strange advice, try soaking your nails in beer to strengthen them up. Beer contains several minerals which are known to nourish and strengthen nails. Simply mix 2 parts beer with 1 part warm olive oil and 1 part apple cider vinegar, then soak nails for 10 – 15 minutes. The should be repeated 1 – 2 times per week to achieve maximum results.

13. Dead Sea Salt

Dead Sea salt naturally contains over 20 beneficial minerals, most of which are effective for improving nail health. Try dissolving a tablespoon or two of fine grain dead sea salt in a small bowl of warm water. Add a couple of drops of a moisturizing oil such as olive, vitamin E, or flaxseed. Optionally, you may also want to add a drop or two of lemon, lavender, or rosemary essential oils. Soak nails for 10 – 15 minutes, rinse with lukewarm water, pat dry, then finish with a natural moisturizer. Repeat up to three times per week for stronger, healthier nails.

14. Apple Cider Vinegar

If you have brittle or discolored nails, soaking them in apple cider vinegar once per day may help to fix these problems. The nutrients and acids naturally found in ACV are not only great for strengthening nails, they are also known to heal and prevent microbial infections that sometimes cause excessive breakage and yellowing.

Further Reading: 12 Reasons Every Home Should Have A Bottle Of Apple Cider Vinegar

15. Tea Tree Oil

Like ACV, tea tree oil is an incredibly effective natural remedy for healing brittle and discolored nails by fighting off infectious microbes. Mix a few drops of tea tree oil in about half a teaspoon of carrier oil (vitamin E, olive, flaxseed, etc) and massage into nails for a few minutes. Leave the oil on for at least 30 minutes, then rinse off with warm water, and remember to moisturize afterward. Repeat daily for best results.

If you’ve been using tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar daily for a about a week and have no noticeable improvement, your nails may be trying to tell you something important. Read up on these 10 Warnings That Your Fingernails May Be Sending to learn more!

Nails are a part of our body that take on quite a lot of abuse in our daily lives. They help us scratch and grab things, and they protect our fingertips, as well as enhance the nerve sensations in fingertips.

Manicures, pedicures, nail or gel polish and nail polish removers, fake nails, washing the dishes or scrubbing the house without gloves, physical work or even washing your hands too frequently can cause problems. Nails often become brittle, thin and weak causing them to break and peel off easily.

Unhealthy looking nails can also be a sign of more serious health problems that require medical attention. Upward or downward-curved nails, nail pitting, yellow nails or excessively brittle nails might be related to psoriasis, organ disease, diabetes, iron-deficiency anaemia, fungal infection or vitamin deficiency.

Be especially cautious if you notice dark spots on your nails as it might be a sign of melanoma. It is advisable to consult a medical practitioner if this is the case.

However, if purely lifestyle is to be blamed for the problem, essential oils can offer a natural and simple way how to strengthen your nails. But before we start discussing the remedies, let’s find out more on the structure and health of the nails.

Nail structure

Nails consist of various parts, such as the matrix or nail root which is actually the part underneath the nail itself that produces cells to grow the nail above. The nail bed is the skin underneath the nail plate: the hard part of the nail.

The eponychium or the cuticle covers the back of the nail plate and protects it from infections, that is why you should never cut off your cuticles. The paronychium is the soft tissue around your nail and hyponychium is the epithelium between the free edge of the nail and the skin of the fingertip.

Nail health

There are several factors that influence the health of your nails:

  • A balanced diet and enough water intake will ensure your nails (and the body as a whole) obtain all the necessary nutrients and vitamins for healthy growth.
  • Make it a habit to wear gloves when performing such activities as gardening, dishwashing or house-cleaning to keep your nails clean and protected from infections and the influence of detergents. This is also useful if you tend to have dry skin on your hands.
  • Do not clip your nails, file them instead. This prevents splitting.
  • Use hand cream after you wash your hands and after showering or bathing.
  • Massage the cuticles to improve oxygen and nutrient supply.

Be sure to provide your body with all the necessary vitamins and minerals for nails:

  • Vitamin A promotes healthy skin and nail growth among other benefits. It is found most in carrots, sweet potatoes, kale, spinach, eggs and other foods.
  • Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties and it plays a critical role in collagen production which is an important protein that makes up a large part of our skin, hair and nails. The body neither produces, nor stores vitamin C so it is essential to consume it daily with such foods as oranges, blackcurrant, broccoli, kiwi, red pepper, brussels sprouts and others.
  • Vitamin D which is produced by the body when reacting to sunshine helps maintain the health of teeth and bones by maintaining calcium and phosphorus levels, supports the immune system and regulates cell growth. Although the most efficient source of vitamin D is sunlight, for those people who are not in the sun much, several foods can come to aid, such as fish oil, fatty fish (herring, salmon, sardines, tuna etc.), eggs and milk, as well as mushrooms.
  • Iron is needed to build and maintain red bloods cells. Brittle nails may indicate that you suffer from iron deficiency anaemia. After successful treatment of iron deficiency, the condition of your nails should improve. To ensure enough iron supply to your body, consume lentils, dark chocolate, spinach, sardines, raisins, black peas and other foods rich in iron.
  • Magnesium is essential to the functioning of our bodies. A deficiency of the mineral can cause poor nail growth among other symptoms. To prevent this, pay attention to how much magnesium-rich foods are included in your diet. The best foods for sufficient magnesium intake are leafy greens, such as spinach, bananas, nuts, avocado or pumpkin seeds.
  • Zinc is vital for healthy skin, hair and nails. It ensures healthy cell division, fights free radicals and slows the aging process. Zinc deficiency can cause white spots on the fingernails. To consume enough zinc with your diet, eat oysters, seafood, lamb, chicken, mushrooms, cocoa powder and spinach.
  • Biotin or vitamin B7 belongs to a group of vitamins necessary for the metabolism, functioning of nerve and cardiovascular system, as well as digestion. There is research that suggests biotin supplements help improve the condition of brittle nails that tend to split. Naturally biotin can be found in salmon, eggs, cheese, avocado, nuts and other foods.

It is important to remember that vitamin and mineral supplements will only help if you have a vitamin or mineral deficiency. The only exception is biotin where biotin supplements have been proven to improve the condition of fingernails.

However, it is always beneficial to watch your diet and try to include the foods that have a high vitamin and mineral content to ensure the proper levels your body and nails need.

Best Essential Oils for Nail Strengthening and Health

1. Lemon (CITRUS LIMON)

While the valuable lemon once saved thousands of sailors from scurvy, it can also benefit your nails. Lemon essential oil is antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. Its biggest power lies in its ability to clean toxins from the body.

The purifying lemon essential oil stimulates the flow of blood and lymph and nourishes the skin. Lemon essential oil will naturally disinfect your hands and nails and rid them of any hard to clean grease – simply add a couple of drops to your soap. This oil will also brighten your nails and make them shinier and healthier, as well as nourish the cuticles.

2. Rosemary (ROSMARINUS OFFICINALIS)

Besides smelling gorgeous, refreshing and calming at the same time, rosemary essential oil is a universal tool to have at home. It is antibacterial and antifungal among many other beneficial properties.

It improves circulation and the look of your skin, as well as the condition of your fingernails. High in antioxidants, it will help restore the natural healthy state of your nails and make them stronger. Rosemary essential oil is also a good remedy against nail fungus.

3. Cypress (CUPRESSUS SEMPERVIRENS)

The essential oil of this evergreen tree has many beneficial features. It is antiseptic and antibacterial, as well as stimulating. Cypress essential oil can rejuvenate the skin and improve its appearance.

Since one of its chemical constituents is α-pinene, cypress essential oil has strong renewing properties which could help your nails become stronger, healthier and better-looking. Plus, it is also extremely effective in uplifting the mood and clearing the mind from unnecessary clutter, so your nail treatment might also make you feel a whole lot better!

4. Grapefruit (CITRUS PARADISI)

The Latin name of grapefruit is Citrus paradisi, thus it is not surprising that the smell of grapefruit essential oil might remind you of an aromatic tropical plant paradise! In addition to being a powerful antidepressant, grapefruit essential oil is antiseptic, antimicrobial, cleansing, disinfectant, stimulant and tonic.

You can even make a natural nail polish remover from grapefruit, lemon and sweet orange essential oil! Grapefruit essential oil will moisturize your cuticles and stimulate nail growth.

5. Carrot (DAUCUS CAROTA)

Carrot seed essential oil is a must-have beauty oil. It has antiseptic, toning and stimulating properties, and it is rich in antioxidants, as well as Vitamin B, promoting growth.

Carrot seed essential oil is rejuvenating, brightening and balancing thus it can renew your dull and peeling nails to their natural condition in no time.

6. Lavender (LAVANDULA ANGUSTIFOLIA)

The antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic lavender essential oil is beloved by almost everyone, and for a good reason. It soothes skin conditions, bruises and burns, headaches, insomnia and can even help with mild infections.

Lavender essential oil will moisturize your cuticles and protect them from bacteria, all the while promoting keratin growth. The antifungal properties of lavender essential oil are effective in combating nail fungus as well.

7. Myrrh (COMMIPHORA MYRRHA)

Myrrh essential oil is said to be the best oil for nails there is. Commiphora myrrha has been used for millennia in various parts of the world.

Its essential oil has antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and tonic properties, making it fit to soothe respiratory, as well as skin conditions among other complaints, and improve the overall look of skin, hair and nails. Myrrh essential oil is a wonderful moisturizer that will help your cuticles and fingernails stay healthy and strong.

8. Frankincense (BOSWELLIA CARTERII)

Frankincense is an ancient plant closely related to religious practices still today. In addition to the great meditative qualities of frankincense essential oil, it is also antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antioxidant and tonic. It reduces stress and boost the immune system.

However, frankincense essential oil is also a wonderful oil to include in your beauty routine. It ensures a radiant and smooth skin, prevents hair loss and moisturizes the cuticles around your fingernails, battles nail fungus and helps your nails become stronger, shinier and healthier.

9. Geranium (PELARGONIUM GRAVEOLENS)

Geranium essential oil is another valuable addition to your beauty care, as it has great moisturizing properties. This essential oil is also antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, regenerative and tonic.

It improves circulation and supports cell growth, promoting the growth of your nails. Geranium essential oil will moisturize the cuticles and protect them from infections.

10. Tea tree oil (MELALEUCA ALTERNIFOLIA)

Finally, tea tree essential oil is definitely the best antiseptic there is. It also has antibacterial, antifungal and antimicrobial properties, making tea tree essential oil the best household tool for ensuring your fingernails stay healthy.

Use tea tree essential oil to disinfect your hands and nails, for instance, adding it to your natural soap. If you suffer from nail fungus, try treating it with tea tree oil.

For more on uses of essential oils, and different things they can be used for, please check out our complete list of essential oils and what they are used for here.

How to Use Essential Oils for Healthier and Stronger Nails

To promote nail growth and health, the best way to use essential oils is to rub them into your cuticles and nails regularly, diluted in a carrier oil like jojoba, evening primrose, grapeseed, avocado, apricot kernel or almond.

Choose either one of the oils mentioned or make a blend of several essential oils in an approximately 2%-5% dilution in a carrier oil. For example, add 5 drops of lavender essential oil to 10 ml of carrier oil. Store in dark glass bottle and use daily for the best effect.

If you want to make a blend, take 10 ml of avocado oil, a couple of drops of evening primrose, 3 drops of lemon essential oil, one drop of carrot oil and 2 drops of rosemary essential oil. Use in the same way as said before.

To enhance the effect of essential oils, you can soak your hands in warm water before applying the blend.

Another way to use the benefits of essential oils is to make a natural hand cream, adding the oils that are best at promoting the growth of stronger and healthier nails. An added benefit is the fact that these essential oils are also good for your skin.

Remember to take care of your overall health and diet, throw essential oils into the mix and your fingernails and hands will look beautiful and well-cared for in no time!

Caution! Always conduct a patch test on the skin when trying out a new essential oil and avoid using essential oils undiluted as well as ingesting them without prior knowledge. It is best to consult a medical practitioner before using any essential oil, especially in the case of pregnancy, epilepsy or when used on children. This article does not substitute professional medical advice and is meant for general information purposes only.

Best Essential Oils for Nails

August 3, 2015

Essential Oils For Nails: Pamper Your Nails

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It’s so easy to get caught up in life and neglect your fingernails. Some of us chew our nails. Some of us shred them rather than cut them when they get too long. (That would be me!) Some of us ignore them and let them be abused by the kind of work we do. No matter how you currently care for your nails, it just may be time to add essential oils to this beauty routine.

The following are ways to use essential oils to make your nails much healthier. You can also refer to the article on how to Pamper Your Hands with Essential Oils for some more wonderful recipes for your hands. There are great recipes in the Pamper Your Feet with Essential Oils as well. Many of these recipes are interchangeable.

  • Essential oils: Myrrh, Lemon, Lavender, Eucalyptus globulus, Carrot Seed, Grapefruit, Rosemary, Cypress, Balsam of Peru, Roman Chamomile
  • Carrier oils: Jojoba, Borage, Apricot Kernel, Grapeseed, Almond, Avocado

Points of Interest

  • The best oil for your nails is Myrrh. Massage a drop or two into your nails and cuticles 3 times a week. Don’t do it more often than that because it will turn your nails yellow.
  • Never use your nails as tools. You know what I’m talking about! I know I have frequently ruined my nails because I can’t find my screwdriver. Don’t do that.
  • Keep moisturizer by every sink in your house.
  • There are various carrier oils that help to increase your nail health, such as coconut, jojoba, and tamanu oils.
  • Wear gloves when you garden. I don’t like fabric gloves because I can’t feel the dirt as easily so I use nitrile or latex gloves. It keeps my nails protected and I can still feel the soil.
  • Never cut your cuticles. Push back your cuticles every time you wash your hands. They seal off the opening between nail and skin and keep bacteria out. When you cut them, you open them up for infection. You also make it easier to have an ingrown nail..
  • Nails are very porous and we don’t often remember to keep them hydrated. Drink plenty of water during the day and use good moisturizers.
  • Many people use parraffin wax treatments can help to soften and moisturize the nails. The Parrafin wax is usually infused with various essential oils and other natural substances like aloe vera.

Recipes

Always test on a small part of your skin first before using all over your hands. Please be sure your skin can handle the blend before being covered in it.

Nourish-Your-Nails Oil

  • 15 drops Lavender
  • 10 drops Lemon
  • 4 drops Myrrh
  • 1 tablespoon Almond oil
  • 1 tablespoon Jojoba oil

Add the oils to a dark colored, 2-ounce glass storage bottle with a dropper top. Screw on the bottle’s dropper top, wrap your hand around the bottle, and shake the formula vigorously for 2 minutes to completely blend all ingredients and gently warm to body temperature. Place the bottle in a dark location that’s between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit for 24 hours so that the oils can synergize. Apply 1 drop to each nail and massage in with a soft flannel cloth for approximately 1 minute. Use nightly. Follow with a moisturizer.

Clean Nail Oil

  • 5 drops Tea Tree
  • 1 drop Cinnamon Bark
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 1/2 ounce Calendula Infused oil

Apply around and under the nail 2 or 3 times per day to nail beds.

Aromatic Nail-Conditioning Soak

  • 4 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Bay Leaf
  • 3 drops Sandalwood
  • 1/2 ounce Jojoba

Soak nails in formula for 10 minutes. Buff to stimulate circulation and bring out a healthy shine. Follow with a moisturizer. Great for torn or dry cuticles.

Nail Rescue

  • 3 drops Lemon
  • 1 tablespoon Beeswax
  • 1/2 teaspoon Castor oil
  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Almond oil

Heat the beeswax in a small glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. When it becomes runny, remove from heat and add the lemon oil and stir thoroughly. Add the almond oil and Castor oil a little at a time, stirring constantly. As the beeswax cools, it will become solid but pliable. If it is too hard, reheat and add more almond oil, drop by drop. Apply the wax to the fingers every night. Wear 100% cotton gloves to bed to allow the wax to absorb completely. When they are in good shape, apply once a week for maintenance.

Nail Strengthener

  • 2 teaspoons Grapeseed oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Jojoba
  • 3 drops Carrot Seed
  • 8 drops Lemon
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 3 drops Myrrh

Store blend in a dark colored, glass bottle. To use, add 10 drops to 1 teaspoon Avocado oil and massage well into nails and cuticles. Do this after a manicure but don’t put on nail polish for 24 hours.

A Last Thought

How do you like to treat your nails? What recipes do you use for essential oils for nails? After you go pamper your nails, let us know how it went in the comment section below.

There’s barely a touch of fall in the air and I can already feel my hands starting to getting 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 all can 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 pen and stash it in your purse, bedside table or kitchen cabinet so you can apply on the go.

The Best Carrier + Essential Oils for Nails

Certain oils are great for strengthening nails and healing cracked cuticles. Things like olive and grape seed oils are hydrating, while vitamin E and carrot seed are strengthening, and tea tree and cypress oils are antibacterial.

A good cuticle oil blend should 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.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E oil has long been used to strengthens brittle nails and heal chapped skin. It has been shown to improve blood circulation, which is important 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, vitamins A and E and pro-vitamin A. It’s great at restoring moisture and healing dry, cracked skin.

Grapeseed Oil

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, which can prevent premature aging. Plus it’s inexpensive and odorless making it the perfect carrier oil.

Lemon Oil

Lemon oil has strengthening properties which can help make weak nails a little stronger.

Cypress Oil

Cypress oil helps prevent infections and soothes inflammation. Applying it directly to cracked cuticles helps them heal more quickly.

Myrrh Oil

Myrrh has long been used to heal skin ailments such as sores, acne and rashes. Its astringent properties are known to strengthen the skin cells and prevent bleeding.

DIY Cuticle Oil Blend

Here’s a quick and easy cuticle oil blend. Don’t feel like you have to use all of the essential oils for nails listed in the recipe. Just use as many as you can or swap them out for oils you already have on hand. This blend would also make a great sugar scrub or hair mask, so don’t be afraid to make extra and use it later.

4.41 from 5 votes

Healing Cuticle Oil Blend

Strengthen your nails and heal dry cuticles with a refillable cuticle oil pen. Yield: 1 cup Author: Stephanie Pollard

Equipment

  • Small bowl
  • Funnel
  • Refillable cosmetic brush pen

Materials

  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 5 drops myrrh essential oil
  • 10 drops carrot seed essential oil
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 10 drops cypress essential oil
  • 25 drops vitamin E oil

Instructions

  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.
  • Using a small funnel, transfer the mixture to a refillable cosmetic pen.
  • Apply to cuticles 2 or 3 times a day to strengthen nails and soothe cuticles

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Nails can get pretty beat up and neglected in our daily lives. Some people chew them, some use them as tools (as mini scratchers, scrapers, screwdrivers, picks, etc), and some take no notice of them at all.

I know I am guilty of not caring for my fingernails. That is why I love this simple but effective DIY Cuticle & Nail Serum. Use this serum about 3 times per week and see the difference for yourself!

Essential oils and vitamin E can bring TLC to your fingernails and improve their overall health.

You can spend money on manicures and have someone else care for your nails but I personally like the DIY approach. It saves money and you can use natural products instead of chemicals that majority of salons use.

Wondering what essential oils will help keep your nails healthy & strong? Here are the best essential oils:

  • Lemon Essential Oil
  • Frankincense Essential Oil
  • Myrrh Essential Oil
  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Grapefruit Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil

To use, add 1-2 drops to 1 teaspoon of rosehip oil and apply to nails. If you have a fungal nail infection, Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) is the best choice for nails.

Nail Strengthening Serum

  • 1 oz Dropper Bottle
  • 6 drops of Lavender essential oil
  • 6 drops of Myrrh essential oil
  • 1 oz Rosehip Oil
  • 2 Vitamin E Oil Capsules

Directions:

  1. Add essential oils to 1 oz dropper bottle.
  2. Cut vitamin E capsules open and squeeze into bottle.
  3. Fill the remaining space of the bottle with rosehip oil (you could use jojoba oil, avocado oil, or fractionated coconut oil instead). Screw the lid on and shake to combine.
  4. To use, place a few drops onto a cotton ball and rub over nails to soften cuticles and to strengthen nails.

You can substitute Lavender and Myrrh essential oils for other oils. There are many essential oils that are beneficial for nails, see above for a list of other essential oils you could use in this recipe.

Tips for Healthy Fingernails

  • Keep 100% cotton gloves around. At night apply moisturizing lotion to your hands, then place the gloves on while you sleep to allow the moisturizer to absorb as much as possible.
  • Never use your nails as tools. You know, like as mini scratchers, scrapers, screwdrivers, picks…just don’t! Find a proper tool to use instead.
  • Keep moisturizing lotion by every sink in your home and apply after washing hands to keep skin and nails from drying out.
  • Make sure to wear gloves when you garden or clean. I like to use nitrile (medical exam) gloves. It keeps my nails clean & protected, plus I can maintain finger dexterity.
  • Never cut your cuticles, push them back instead. When you cut cuticles, you are more at risk for infections and ingrown nails.
  • Use care with artificial nails. They can encourage the growth of fungus under your nails. It is best to keep nails naked and natural, if possible.
  • Diet matters! Your nails will reflect your overall health. If your do not get proper nutrition, your nails will be dry and flaky. A diet high in calcium, Magnesium, and good quality protein will give you strong and healthy nails.
  • Keep hydrated. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help nails as well as your overall health.

50+ DIY Essential Oil Recipe Guide:

What more recipes like this? Download our 50 page recipe guide full of wonderful all natural cleaning, personal care and beauty products for your home, PLUS matching bottle labels for each recipe! Get FREE access below:

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ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEALTHY NAILS…

Poor or weak nails, often containing ridges, indicate a sulfur, calcium, and/or vitamin A deficiency, disease, infection, trauma, unhealthy diet, use of nail polish and removers,use of detergents, or excessive exposure to water.

SINGLES:
Myrrh
Lemon
Sacred Frankincense
Frankincense
Idaho Balsam Fir
Wintergreen

BLENDS:
Citrus Fresh
DiGize
GLF
Super B

NUTRITIONALS:
Sulfurzyme
MegaCal
Mineral Essence
Master Formula His & Hers
Essentialzyme
NingXia Red

APPLICATION:
Apply 1-3 drops of chosen oil/s to base of nails 2-3 times a day for 30 days, after 30 days, apply 1 drop to base of nails once a day.

Topical use for single oils, apply desired oil neat or diluted to base of nails daily to maintain a healthy nail bed.

Olive Oil is a great carrier oil to use for healthy nails because it penetrates deep into the skin and nails and thus helps nourish your nails. Plus, it contains vitamin E which improves circulation, helps repair damaged nails and promotes healthy nail strength and growth.

Ready to get started with essential oils? Start here

Essential Oils for Healthy Nails

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Having healthy fingernails is a reflection of overall health and good grooming, but it can be tough to maintain a nice manicure. Between doing the dishes a couple times a day, washing your hands and doing all of the things you have to do around the house– it’s hard to keep your fingernails looking nice.

Nail polish isn’t a good solution for me because it never lasts longer than a day before it’s chipped and ragged looking. So, a better option is to rely on essential oils for naturally pretty nails without polish.

How to Use Essential Oils on Your Fingernails

I start by strengthening them with a mixture of ten drops each of frankincense, lemon oil and myrrh combined with two tablespoons of Vitamin E oil. I use this mixture twice a week, or more if I’m having issues with peeling or chipping of my nails.

Next, I get rid of any yellow discoloration on my nails by doing a nourishing night treatment of a half cup of jojoba oil and two drops lemon oil. To do this, just spread the mixture generously over your hands and then apply a cover overnight. I use inexpensive winter gloves that are 100% cotton for this, but a pair of socks will work, too.

Finally, I encourage nail growth so that my naturally thin and sometimes brittle nails can actually grow out to an attractive length. To do this at home, just add ten drops of lemon and 20 drops of lavender to one tablespoon olive and one tablespoon jojoba carrier oils. Apply it once a day– I like to use a simple glass vial and a cotton swab to apply it. Not only does this strengthen and encourage nail growth, but the smell is also really soothing and it’s an enjoyable part of a beauty routine.

Essential Oils for Fingernail Fungus

If you have any issues with fingernail fungus, essential oils can solve this problem as well. Lavender, orange and tea tree oils will all do the trick. Just combine two or three drops with a carrier oil and generously coat your nails twice a day. The fungus will be killed, so your problems with brittle, discolored or thick nails will be over. Make sure to continue the treatment for a week or two after the nail looks normal again, because it will help to prevent the fungus from coming back.

One of the best things about this routine is the smell. Instead of the chemical smell of nail polish or acetone permeating the room, you have beautiful nails that also smell like natural, pure essential oils.

Find more beauty tips in my essential oils guides– these natural remedies can be used in almost any way imaginable!

With love,

Becki

ayo888/iStock/Getty Images

Thick, strong nails not only look better, they feel better too. Washing dishes, exposure to nail polish remover and dry winter air are just a few of the causes of thin nails. No matter what caused them to weaken, essential oils can help strengthen and thicken your nails, returning them to a healthy condition.

Essential Oils With Muscle

Lavender and jojoba essential oils can strengthen weak, brittle nails when applied daily. Other oils with strengthening properties include lemon, frankincense and myrrh oils. These oils restore moisture to reduce breakage and thinning.

Application Is Key

No matter which oil you choose, apply one to two drops onto each of your nail cuticles. Massage the oil around the cuticles and then upward over the entire surface of each nail. It’s important to apply the oil to the cuticle, as well as the nail, to nourish the new growth directly underneath it. Instead of massaging it in, you can soak your nails daily for 15 minutes in a small bowl of water and then use a cotton swab to apply the oil to your cuticles and nails.

Results Aren’t Immediate

Although you may see some improvement at the base of your nail where new growth occurs, full results take longer. According to Esther’s Nail Center, it can take two to three months of continuous application to start noticing results.

Taking care of our nails is up at the top of the self-care list for most women. It ranks alongside hair, skin, and facial care most of the time. For many women, it’s a vital part of their beauty routine, and for good reason. Keeping nails looking attractive and healthy helps you feel more beautiful. Nail care is likely a crucial part of your hygiene regimen whether it is done to complete your professional appearance or just for your own personal pleasure. Due to its importance, it becomes frustrating when despite your best efforts your nails break or split. Some may also struggle with cuticles. The good news is that there are ways to use essential oils for strong nails and cuticles.

What do you know about your nails?

Were you aware that your nails grow about 2 to 3 mm in a month? It’s interesting to note that women’s nails actually grow at a faster rate than men. For most women, growing long fingernails is important but often difficult. It’s especially frustrating when they become brittle or thin. They may also break randomly or develop beau lines. Using essential oils for strong nails is a natural way to keep them looking great for your own satisfaction and for the pleasure of others.

Top 6 Essential Oils for Nail Growth

There are a lot of EOs good for helping strengthen, grow, and beautify your nails. Here’s a look at the top 6 for you to focus on if your goal is growing your nails.

  • Myrrh Essential Oil is thought to be the absolute best EO to use for nail growth. It’s moisturizing properties help protect cuticles from becoming dry. It also protects fingernails from becoming brittle, thin, and breaking easily.
  • Lavender Essential Oilis a versatile EO that helps strengthen the nails and cuticles. It keeps them both moisturized. Due to its antibacterial properties, lavender EO fights off germs that could cause the cuticle to become infected. If you tend to notice dry skin around your cuticles, use lavender EO to hydrate and moisturize the area.
  • Lemon Essential Oilis a natural way to brighten dull or yellowed nails. This citrusy oil brightens them and leaves them looking shiny.
  • Frankincense Essential Oilis one of the ancient oils. It’s great for promoting nail growth. It is beneficial for fighting off fungus that is often the culprit for slowed nail growth. The moisturizing properties in frankincense EO help protect the cuticle from peeling and infection.
  • Geranium Essential Oilhelps moisturize fingernails so they can grow longer and stronger. Geranium EO is one of the best choices for providing moisture to your nails. It also has other beneficial antibacterial and antiseptic properties that protect the cuticles and nails from infections and fungus that often inhibit normal nail growth.
  • Cypress Essential Oilcan help prevent infection as well as sooth inflammation. To heal cracked cuticles, this oil can be applied directly.

DIY Blend for Nails and Cuticles

You can make your own cuticle oil using these recipes. It will help soothe cracked and peeling cuticles. It can be stored in a small container or refillable pen. This makes it the perfect portable remedy for your nails. There are several essential oils that are beneficial for strengthening fingernails and helping heal cracked cuticles. You’ll need carrier oils to dilute essential oils since you’ll be applying it to your skin. Several of the carrier oils also contain properties that help keep your nails growing and healthy. To make a good blend, you’ll want to combine a healthy mix of essential oils so you can get the various benefits each has to offer. You don’t have to use the same oils as are in the recipes. Mix and match and choose from your favorites. Using two or three and rotating them each time you make it is a good idea. This keeps your remedy well-rounded and covers all your bases. You might even want to blend up two or three different batches so you can alternate them to help heal your cuticles faster.

Other Oils for Your Nails

  • Vitamin E oilis known to be beneficial for strengthening brittle nails and aid in healing chapped skin. It ‘s also useful for improving circulation which is essential for healing and growth of your nails.
  • Carrot seed oilis rich in vitamins A and E, pro-vitamin A and beta carotene. It is useful for restoring moisture balance and encouraging the healing of dry, cracked skin.
  • Grapeseed oil is rich in vitamins C, D, and E. It also contains several fatty acids and polyphenols to help combat premature aging of the skin. It’s odorless and inexpensive.

DIY Cuticle Oil Blend

This recipe is easy and quick to make. Use what oils you have on hand or swap them out as you desire. You’ll find this blend is also great for your face and hair. You might want to make some extra and use it for later.

Ingredients Needed

  • ¼ cup of grapeseed oil
  • 5 drops of myrrh EO
  • 10 drops of carrot seed oil
  • 8 drops of lemon EO
  • 10 drops of cypress EO
  • 25 drops of vitamin E oil
  • Small bowl
  • Funnel
  • Refillable cosmetic brush pen (or small applicator bottle)

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the oils in a small bowl and stir them so they are combined.
  2. Use a small funnel to pour the mixture from the bowl to the refillable cosmetic pen.
  3. Apply the oil blend to your cuticles two to three times daily to soothe cuticles and strengthen your nails.

Essential oils for nails

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