Surprising Uses and Benefits of Cuticle Oil
Using cuticle oil provides a number of important benefits for the health of your nail beds, cuticles and the skin of your hands and fingers. This oil also provides a level of protection against cracked skin, split nails, potential infections and the inevitable wounds that occur to people who bite or pick at their nails.
There are very few side effects of using cuticle oil but skin irritation can occur, if you are allergic to it. Also, depending on the composition of cuticle oil that you purchase or make at home, it may contain powerful chemicals and compounds that should not be ingested. Therefore, if you tend to bite your nails or nervously chew on your cuticles, use this oil with caution.
What are the Ingredients in Cuticle Oil?
Cuticle oil is not defined by having a specific recipe or ingredient list, but most contain one or more of these elements like jojoba oil, vitamin E, almond oil, avocado oil, aloe vera gel, olive oil, tea tree oil, cocoa butter, lemon juice and sesame oil. In addition to these potential ingredients, many cuticle oil products will also contain essential oils to add fragrance or further boost the therapeutic value of this remedy. If you are making your own cuticle oil at home, it is best to understand some of the health benefits of these common ingredients.
Jojoba Oil: This oil is acquired from the seeds of the jojoba plant, which is scientifically known as Simmondsia chinensis. With well-known emollient and moisturizing properties, and its inclusion in many cosmetic products, this is a popular addition to any cuticle oil. This oil can be prepared naturally or synthetically, and is widely available from herbalists.
Sesame Oil: This plant-based oil is rich in antioxidants, particularly the active ingredient sesamol. This helps to remove free radicals from that area of the body, which can prevent oxidative stress and promote the growth of new cells. Sesame oil is very powerful and only a small amount is needed in a recipe of cuticle oil.
Almond Oil: One of the most popular bases for cuticle oil is almond oil, which has proven moisturizing qualities, while also helping to protect the skin from infection and irritation. This oil works as a shield for the nail beds, and is particularly important if the skin is cracked or broken.
Tea Tree Oil: The anti-fungal, antioxidant and antibacterial properties of tea tree oil, along with its healing properties, make this a popular ingredient in cuticle oil. This oil can also help to strengthen nails and make them less brittle, preventing accidental breakage.
Wheat Germ Oil: This oil happens to be very high in vitamin E content, which is one of the best antioxidant vitamins for your skin. This can heal inflammation and stimulate blood flow to the nail bed, which can increase the growth of your nails and prevent brittle nails.
Vitamin E: Pure vitamin E oil is a great addition to any cuticle oil recipe, as tocopherols are famed for their effect on skin health. Not only can they moisturize dry, chapped or broken skin, but will also improve the smoothness and appearance of your cuticles and fingers, while curing certain infections of the nails.
Aloe Vera Gel: For inflammation or redness on the cuticles or beneath the nails, adding some aloe vera gel to your cuticle oil is a very good choice. Again, this is a potent oil, so only a small amount is required within your cuticle oil preparation.
Lemon Juice: The astringent and vitamin-rich nature of lemon juice makes this ideal for healing cracked, cut or broken cuticles, as well as softening the nail, which improves healing and repair, while simultaneously preventing breakage of the nail.
Why Do You Use Cuticle Oil?
Cuticle oil is very important for people who are concerned about the health and appearance of their nails and cuticles. Over the course of a single day, the nails and cuticles are exposed to environmental allergens and irritants, and are highly susceptible to bumping, breaking, bruising and scrapes. The heavy use of our hands and fingers means that they lose oils and moisture faster than other areas of the body, so dehydration and dryness on these areas are very common.
Everything from typing or washing the dishes to physical labor and opening doors, all of these activities can compromise the health, moisture content and appearance of your fingernails. Cuticle oil is able to stimulate blood flow to the fingers, which will promote the growth of new cells, while also healing any injuries, inflammation or irritation on those tender areas of skin. If nails are beginning to pull away from the cuticle, or the area is becoming tender or prone to cracking, regular application of cuticle oil can also help repair this damage.
How Do You Use Cuticle Oil?
Cuticle oil is very effective, but it works best on clean skin and nails. Only a small amount is necessary for the oil to have an effect, so use in moderation. Following these simple steps outlined below will ensure that your cuticle oil will be as effective as possible.
Step 1 – Remove all nail polish from your nails. The oil will not be able to penetrate the nail polish, and will simply sit on top of your nail until it is eventually wiped off.
Step 2 – Thoroughly wash your hands with warm soap and water. This will open up the pores in your nail bed and make your skin more receptive to the nourishing components of the oil.
Step 3 – Applying to one hand at a time, lay your hand on a towel, with your nails facing up.
Step 4 – Shake the cuticle oil to ensure that none of the ingredients have separated or settled. Then, remove the brush and begin applying a coat to your fingernails and the cuticle area.
Step 5 – A single layer of the oil on each target area should be enough. Re-apply oil to the brush as it dries (every 2-3 fingers).
Step 6 – Once the oil has been applied, gently rub the oil deeper into those areas, into the corners of your nails, and even under the tips of your nails. The oil should absorb into the skin relatively quickly. Wipe off any excess oil with a paper towel.
Note: For best effect, you should use cuticle oil every night for 1-2 weeks in order to fully rejuvenate and moisturize those areas.