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How to Use Essential Oils for Healthier Nails & Cuticles

Our nails are one of the unsung heroes of our body, and quite honestly, we neglect them too often. These tough bad boys are responsible for protecting our fingertips, providing better grip, and scratching that pesky bug bite. Good thing there are essential oils for nails that provide a natural way to take care and pamper them. 

Why We Need To Take Care of Our Nails

Our nails are a pretty useful but very underrated part of our body, and we use them more often than we think. From scratching an itch, to using them as mini screwdrivers, scrapers, or picks–they can get pretty beat up. 

Nails also reflect our general health and wellbeing. Medical professionals often look at nails to look for signs of more serious diseases like psoriasis, diabetes, anemia, or nutrient deficiency. Chapped and ragged nails are usually a result of being frequently chewed at, which can suggest anxiety and other mental health problems. 

Everyday chores like washing the dishes, gardening, cleaning the bathroom by hand also contribute to beat up nails and cause them to dry out and go brittle. 

Poor hygiene and persistent neglect can also cause serious fungal infections and nail ingrowth which can be pretty painful.

Best Essential Oils & Carrier Oils for Nail Care

Luckily there are essential oils that do a great job at promoting strength and healthy growth for nails.

Get Soft Cuticles

The best essential oil for soft cuticles is lavender. Carrier oils like sesame and jojoba are also useful for promoting cuticle health. 

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender oil  is a pretty popular ingredient in many cosmetic products including those for nails. It helps to hydrate and strengthen, which makes it great for ragged and dry cuticles. It’s anti-inflammatory properties also help tame inflamed cuticles. 

Sesame Oil (Carrier)

Sesame oil is a very potent moisturizer and helps in deeply hydrating the cuticles to keep the entire nail healthy and strong. Because it is also high in minerals, and is a natural antibacterial and antifungal, it’s great to use during the cold seasons where nails can dry out and become more susceptible to damage and infection. 

Jojoba Oil (Carrier)

Jojoba oil is a very popular carrier oil, and it does an excellent job on it’s own to treat dry cuticles. As a carrier oil, it helps other more potent essential oils to be safer to apply directly on the skin. Jojoba oil is very rich in vitamins E and B that help repair damaged collagen in the nail and promote healthy growth. 

Encourage Nail Growth

Myrrh Essential Oil

Myrrh oil is generally considered to be the best essential oil for nail care. It protects the nail from ever becoming brittle due to its moisturizing properties and it also strengthens and encourages smooth, less rigid, and healthy nail growth. 

Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Another essential oil for nails that’s a must-have is carrot seed oil. Carrot seed oil helps stimulate nail growth and its antiseptic properties help protect the nail from infections. 

Almond Oil (Carrier)

Almond oil helps in restoring and maintaining nail health. As it is very rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, it can help in protecting the entire nail from dryness, cracking and breaking. It also helps in smoothing your cuticles and promoting healthy nail growth.

Olive Oil (Carrier)

Olive oil is considered to be a great moisturizer and is rich in many vitamins and nutrients that help the nail grow faster and healthier. It also helps in promoting flexibility and strength of the nail, making it tougher against breakage. 

Protect from Fungus

When fall and winter come, the colder weather can cause your nails (especially the toenails) to be susceptible to fungal infections. Potent essential oils like tea tree, clove and thyme help protect the nails from ever becoming a breeding ground for nasty fungus.

Tea tree

Tea tree oil is a potent antiseptic and is very effective in preventing fungal growth as well as repairing damaged nails. 


Clove oil is a powerful anti-fungal that both prevents and heals fungal infections.


Another oil that has strong antifungal and antibacterial properties is thyme oil. It is also great in maintaining the healthiness of the entire nail.

Nail Care With Essential Oils

There are several ways and different recipes you can try out to pamper your nails with essential oils. Of course, we would recommend the best brands to ensure the best results. 

Remember to always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil when applying directly to your skin and always do a patch test on a discreet part of your body like the inside of your arms. If you observe any adverse effect, discontinue use immediately. 

Here are some recipes from Rocky Mountain Oils you can try:

Nail Nourishment

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

Combine oils in a 2-ounce dark glass bottle with a dropper top. Shake vigorously and allow the oils to synergize for 24 hours in a dark, warm place (between 60-80ºF) before using them. Apply a drop to each nail and massage with a soft flannel cloth for a minute then follow with a hand moisturizer. You can use this oil blend recipe nightly. 

Clean Nails Blend

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

Combine oils in a dark glass bottle with a dropper top. Apply on and around the nails 2-3 times a day.

Nail Strengthening

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

Blend and store in a dark glass bottle. Massage into nails and cuticles after a manicure. Don’t put on nail polish for 24 hours.

Other Tips For Nail Care

We’ve mentioned how our nails can get pretty beaten up. Here are some tips on how to take better care of them:

  • Proper hygiene is vital in nail care. Cut them short every few weeks or so and file them properly so they won’t be jagged and rough around the edges.
  • Include your nails when you wash your hands.
  • Always use the appropriate type of gloves when doing manual chores: Latex or rubber for washing the dishes, or cleaning the bathroom; cloth, rubber-coated, or neoprene gloves for gardening and outdoor work.
  • If you really want to keep your nails long for aesthetic purposes, make sure to clean the insides of your nails to keep them free from dirt and other nasty stuff that might get in there. 
  • A proper and healthy diet rich in calcium and magnesium can encourage healthy growth and can prevent your nails from being dry and flaky. Being properly hydrated matters as well. 


The bottom line is our nails need proper care and using essential oils is a great way to provide the pampering they deserve. Our nails reflect how we take care of ourselves and our general health, so it pays to give them the proper attention, considering how useful they are as a part of our body.

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