To help keep the skin around your nail beds healthy, the best cuticle oils use hydrating plant oils that penetrate deeply into the skin to relieve dryness. Cuticle oils come in liquid, serum, and balm forms, and you can choose the method that’s most convenient for you. Plus, moisturizing cuticle oils will not only
make your nails look and feel healthier, but they can also help your manicure last longer — so it’s a win-win in terms of self-care.
When it comes to
nourishing your nails, cuticle treatments usually contain plant oils such as sunflower, jojoba, and grape seed, all of which can help restore the skin barrier and have anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, many cuticle oils include moisturizing vitamin E or hydrating squalene.
Since many cuticle oils contain similar ingredients, your biggest shopping consideration is the application method — and you’ll want to choose an oil you find easy to apply so you’re likely to use it regularly. If you have a few minutes to sit down while treating your nails, you might want a bottle of cuticle oil that you apply with a dropper or brush, allowing you to thoroughly saturate your cuticles and nails. But if you want a convenient on-the-go application, there are easily portable options such as a cuticle oil pen brush, an oil-infused balm, and a roll-on bottle.
Whichever application method you choose, read on for the best cuticle oils that are all highly rated, packed with moisturizing ingredients, and available in a variety of scented and fragrance-free formulas. While you can apply oil before and/or after using nail polish, there are a few tips to keep in mind: If you apply oil before nail polish, be sure to
remove the oil before applying polish to ensure the polish adheres well to your nails. Post-manicure, applying a small amount of oil a few minutes after painting your nails can help the polish dry faster. 1 The Fan-Favorite Cuticle Oil With 100,000+ Reviews
More than 80,000 Amazon shoppers have given this
cult-favorite cuticle oil a five-star rating. The lightweight treatment is made from cold-pressed safflower and sunflower oils along with vitamin E to moisturize the cuticles. This particular formula also includes hydrating honey and skin-soothing milk, but the cuticle oil is also available in 15 other scents, including a fragrance-free option. Additionally, there are three sizes to choose from: 0.5, 2.5, and 8 ounces. One glowing review: “This is exactly what I needed to help my very dry cuticles, and even dry, cracked fingertips! Lovely scent, completely soaks in so that ‘greasy’ feeling is gone. Makes such a difference!” 2 The Best-Selling Cuticle Oil Pen
The pen brush applicator of this
cuticle oil reduces the risk of a potential mess and is super portable, while still delivering all the moisturizing goodness your cuticles need. It’s made with nourishing, cold-pressed jojoba wax ester that penetrates the skin to deliver hydration. It also contains cuticle-softening olive, grape seed, and tea tree oils, as well as vitamins A and E and olive-derived squalane. The popular cuticle oil has garnered more than 4,000 five-star ratings and comes in seven scents, including vanilla (featured) and a fragrance-free option. One glowing review: “The best nail oil! I love that it is so easy to use. Just remove the cap and twist and the oil dispenses out thru the tip. I keep in my night stand and use at night before bed and it has made such a difference in my nails!” 3 A Soothing Cuticle Oil Balm
cuticle oil balm is a mess-free way to keep your nails healthy and comes in a tube that makes it super easy to use. The balm is infused with aloe, safflower oil, and vitamin E, and the moisturizing formula can be used on bare nails and over nail polish. It’s scented with a synthetic fragrance that one fan described as a “very faint scent of bubblegum.” One glowing review: “Really great for keeping your cuticles well conditioned on the go. I keep one in my purse or gym bag at all times and my cuticles have never looked better or been so easy to remove. Highly recommend.” 4 This Highly Rated Cuticle Oil That Goes On Like Nail Polish
Made with moisturizing ingredients including jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E, this
CND cuticle oil has earned more than 14,000 five-star reviews. It has a brush applicator that’ll be familiar to anyone who uses nail polish and makes it easy to apply oil to the entire nail and cuticle. The oil has an almond scent that “smells amazing,” according to one reviewer. In addition to this 0.25-ounce bottle with a brush, it’s also available in a 4-ounce bottle with a cap. One glowing review: “It has a very light smell, but a nutty and pleasant one. And I noticed that it absorbs almost instantly into the skin so in just a few minutes, my cuticles are soft and hydrated without being greasy. And you need just a little dab for each cuticle.” 5 A $6 Budget-Friendly Cuticle Oil
Another great brush-on option, this
budget-friendly cuticle oil contains safflower, wheat germ, coconut, and apricot kernel oils to moisturize and condition the cuticles and nails. The formula also includes vitamin E, aloe, and nail-strengthening panthenol, and according to reviewers, it has a light oily scent. It’s also a well-loved product, having earned a 4.7-star overall rating after more than 9,000 reviewers have weighed in. One glowing review: “I put it on my fingers and toes before going to bed at night. I also put it on before an at-home manicure. It makes my cuticles nice and soft and easy to manage. It feels like it is nourishing! I've noticed my nails are far stronger and healthier after I started using cuticle oil, so I recommend it!” 6 A Creamy Cuticle Serum With A Squeeze-Tip Applicator
This mildly scented
cuticle serum has a creamy texture, absorbs quickly into the skin and nail bed, and comes in an easy-to-use precision applicator tube. Its ingredient list includes moisturizing shea butter, rice bran oil, aloe vera, and vitamins A and E. One of its unique ingredients is seaweed, which can help moisturize and has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. One glowing review: “This cuticle cream brought my dry, peeling cuticles back to life immediately after applying. It soaks in and doesn’t leave my fingers greasy and lasts a long time.” 7 A Roll-On Oil For Hands & Nails
The ingredient list of this
roll-on cuticle oil is packed with nourishing superstars, including sunflower, grape seed, rose, rice bran, rosemary, and neem oils. The roll-on bottle is extremely convenient to take on the go, and you can apply the oil to cuticles, hands, and dry patches of skin. Plus, the essential oil blend creates a citrusy floral scent without the use of synthetic fragrances. One glowing review: “Smells good, easy application and softens my cuticles. I use it daily and am on my second bottle now. So happy I found this product.” 8 The Cuticle Pen From A Tried-And-True Brand
Made to nourish your whole nail, this
OPI cuticle oil is easy to dispense using the squeeze-tube applicator outfitted with a small brush. The star ingredients include plant oils such as sunflower, sesame, and grape seed, as well as moisturizing cupuaçu oil. Plus, it has a “pleasant scent,” according to a reviewer. The convenient applicator and moisturizing formula have earned the cuticle oil a 4.7-star overall rating, with more than 13,000 reviewers weighing in. In addition to this 0.25-ounce tube, the oil also comes in 0.29, 0.5, and 0.95-ounce bottles. One glowing review: “I LOVE this product and keep going back for more! I’ve tried a lot of different products to condition my nails and especially cuticles and this is the one I keep going back to. Instantly makes your nails look healthy and helps prevent the cracking and cuticle tearing constant hand washing.” 9 The Cult-Favorite, Apricot-Scented Cuticle Oil
cuticle oil from the classic drugstore brand Essie is infused with moisturizing apricot kernel, sweet almond, sunflower seed, and jojoba oils to keep cuticles and nails looking their best. The fast-absorbing oil can be used anytime to soothe dry cuticles, but the brand recommends applying it after your manicure or overnight. One glowing review: “This stuff smells AMAZING! It is nourishing but not so oily it gets everywhere or leaves your hands greasy. I have mixed some of this in my unscented hand lotion for the scent and extra moisture. I really can't say enough good things about it!” 10 The Splurge That’s Packed With Moisturizing Shea Oil
Every tube of this
L’Occitane cuticle oil contains 30% ultra-moisturizing shea oil to soften and nourish the skin around your nails. Other hard-working ingredients include sweet almond, grape seed, castor seed, and apricot kernel oils. The scented oil is also easy to dispense by gently squeezing the tube and brushing on with the applicator tip. One glowing review: “I love this product because it’s super hydrating and easy to use—just glide on, rub in and enjoy. I have cheaper ones [...] but this is a thicker oil. This made my cuticles so so supple and prolonged several manicures. It’s a must have despite the price.” 11 A 2-Step Cuticle Treatment That Hydrates & Exfoliates
two-step cuticle treatment includes an exfoliating cuticle remover made with moisturizing lanolin to exfoliate, and a softening cuticle oil made with coconut and jojoba seed oils to nourish. The cuticle oil has a coconut scent, too. Both treatments are packaged in easy-to-apply pens with brush applicators. One glowing review: “Love this fast absorbing cuticle oil. Provides great hydration, after just a few uses my nail beds look and feel significantly better.” Study referenced: Lin, T. K., Zhong, L., & Santiago, J. L. (2017). Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(1), 70. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms19010070
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