DIY homemade cuticle oil recipe

I have had really nice nails for a long time. I've taken care of my cuticles and nails by rubbing cuticle oil into them several time a week, for the last 30 years! It started when my mom went on a trip and came back with a bottle of cuticle oil from a local shop. Of course I ran out eventually and tried just about every cuticle product I could buy before settling on my own recipe for homemade cuticle oil.

Pretty nails and cuticle oil with recipe

I like making things at home for many reasons, but the main one being that there are not a ton of chemicals added. There is enough toxins in everyday life I don't need to be rubbing them into my hands. My favorite recipe for cuticle oil has only two ingredients and neither one is toxic! 

The main ingredient is sweet almond oil. 

Well a little while back I ran out of cuticle oil and ran out of almond oil to make more...and just forgot to order it. You know how it goes, right? I just got busy. Then one day I was waiting in traffic and looked down and saw this.

Dry cuticles with split nails

I swear it had only been a few months, but my nails and cuticles looked horrible! They were splitting, cracking and peeling. They were quite literally a mess. I immediately placed my order for the ingredients, while in traffic! lol 

My nails were worse than usual because I was using chemicals at work. They had bought this new heavy duty cleaner to wipe things down with and it was drying my hands and nails out horribly!

Over the years I've noticed that when I'm sick or going through a  rough time I don't pay much attention to my nails and my hands look horrible. Then I glance down at them and it's like *ugh!*, kinda makes you feel worse, ya know? On the other side, ever notice how when your nails are looking good you glance at them and notice how good they look? Kinda of gives you a little boost.

Well, I strive to hit that happy medium because honestly I don't have it in me to go to salons anymore, but I still like to look neat and pulled together. Taking care of my hands and nails helps me to do this. Making my own cuticle oil helps me to save money and avoid excess chemicals. 

With frequent use, it only takes a few months to go from the photo above to this:

Nails after using cuticle oil for 3 months

Essential oils for cuticle care

Thankfully that little bottle of cuticle oil from so long ago had only 1 ingredient in it, sweet almond oil. I started adding essential oils to my cuticle oil a few years back and loved the smell and feel, plus the way my nails looked.

Now I like to use lavender and rosemary essential oils with my almond oil. Lavender is soothing when used in skin care and rosemary stimulates growth. There are several other oils I've tried over the years and really liked though. 

Since we're all slightly different I'm going to give you the list of the best essential oils for nail care and let you decide which ones work best for you!

Lavender: Soothes dry, ragged cuticles, strengthens nails and promotes growth. Antifungal.
Rosemary: Improves circulation which stimulates growth. Antifungal.
Frankincense: Strengthens nails, moisturizes and helps protect from age related dryness. 
Grapefruit: Stimulates nail growth, moisturizing.
Myrrh: Protects from breakage, strengthens nails.

Feel free to mix and match essential oils til you find a recipe that works perfectly for your nail issues!

DIY homemade cuticle oil recipe

1 Tablespoon sweet almond oil
up to 8 drops of essential oil, total. I use 4 drops of lavender and 4 drops of rosemary. 

Combine in a small bottle and shake to mix. I use a small bottle and apply with a small makeup brush, but they sell bottles with a dropper applicator or empty cuticle oil pens that you can fill for an easier application.

This dropper bottle kit is easy to fill and use.

Bottle of homemade natural cuticle oil

To use: apply a small amount to each nail and rub in. I do this once daily unless  my nails are particularly ragged, then I do it morning and night.

Herbal cuticle oil recipe

I really believe in the powers of herbs to help heal the body and nails are no different. One of my favorite herbs to use for skin care is calendula. Calendula (Calendula officinalisis known for it's skin healing properties, so it just makes sense to add it to my cuticle oil for an extra healing boost. 

We're simply going to infuse the sweet almond oil with calendula. I have a whole tutorial on making infused oils, that you can check for extra details, but I will give you a quick overview here:

To infuse an oil with herbs: 

put about 1-2 tablespoons of dried calendula petal into a short Ball jelly jar and cover it with sweet almond oil. Make sure the oil covers the dried flower petals completely. 

Cap tightly and leave in a sunny window, shaking once a day for 4 weeks. For the faster heat method, set on the warming section of your stove top for a few hours, or use a double boiler and simmer gently for 1 hour.

After the time is up, strain the herbs out using a cheesecloth and funnel. Strain into a clean, dry jar or bottle. I still add the essential oils as above using the same ratio of 4 drops EO per 1 Tbsp of infused oil.

Infusing herbs for cuticle oil

How to fix your cuticles

  • Part of the reason a cuticle oil helps to repair your cuticles and encourage nail growth is because when you apply it, you will be massaging it in. I was told years ago to rub the oil into each cuticle for at least 5 seconds...per nail. This not only helps the oil to penetrate but stimulates circulation in the nail bed which promotes nail health. 
  • If possible, avoid contact with harsh cleaning chemicals or wear rubber/nitrile gloves when using them.
  • Keeping your nails short if you know they are brittle will keep them from breaking. While a broken nail might not phase you, it really hurts if it breaks down so low that it rips the nail bed! Give them time to grow in health, then grow them long!
  • Use non-acetone nail polish remover if possible.
  • Make sure you're taking a good daily vitamin. Your nails can be affected by iron deficiency, low levels of zinc, iron can also lead to nail problems. There are hair, skin & nails supplements that contain biotin which is also good for nail growth.

I decided to write about this today because as we go through this whole pandemic thing, many of us are washing our hands much more than usual. Add daily hand sanitizer use to that and you'll find yourself with dry, ragged cuticles in no time!

The best way to keep that from happening is using a good hand cream often and daily use of cuticle oil. 

Want more information on using herbs for health? Check out these popular posts on natural healthcare.


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