Spring is here and so is the gardening season. This means that my hands need all the help they can get. Working in the garden is so much fun, but it also takes a toll on the skin on my hands, my nails, and my cuticles. I could use gloves, true, but I like playing in the dirt. So, aside from good hand cream, I wanted to make something specific for my battered cuticles and nails. Enter a nail and cuticle oil! So what does a cuticle oil do for the skin and nails?
According to dermatologists, nail health – like everything else:) – changes as we age. Add to it the change in seasons and exposure to outside elements and it’s easy to see how spring is the season when our nails and cuticles need an extra dose of love.
“As we age, the cells in our bodies produce keratin at a slower rate, which can cause the nails to weaken and appear dry and dull.”Rhonda Klein, MD
Cuticle Oil or Balm?
I researched two options for a cuticle moisturizer: an oil or a cream. I made and like both of them. Each has its advantages and specific uses.
What Does a Cuticle Oil Do?
Cuticle oil can be a lifesaver for both your cuticles and nails. It moisturizes, nourishes, and makes them shiny. There are many carrier oils to choose from: olive oil, jojoba oil, argan oil, or macadamia oil. All would do great on their own or in a mixture. Adding a few drops of essential oils will add therapeutic benefits to the oil.
Geranium Essential Oil
Not only smelling divine, this essential oil can help overall skin complexion with its gentle, skin-balancing qualities.
Myrrh Essential Oil
It is one of the traditional resinous gifts mentioned in the Bible, and for good reason. It is a miracle worker when it comes to skin health. Use myrrh especially if using the oil on your foot nails.
Myrrh oil alone inhibited 43–61% of the growth of five fungi that cause skin conditions, including ringworm and athlete’s foot.The anti-dermatophyte activity of Commiphora molmol
Manuka Essential Oil
Similar to its cousin, Tea Tree, Manuka has scientifically proven antibacterial properties and will help restore dry cuticles and nails to vibrancy.
Lavender Essential Oil
Finally, the oil that can do it all, the humble Lavender, the queen of essential oils, perfect for moisturizing and nourishing the skin.
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My Recipe for a Cuticle Oil
1 TBS Argan Oil
1 TBS Grapeseed Oil
8 drops Geranium Egyptian
8 drops Myrrh
8 drops Lavender
1 oz bottle with a dropper
Mix all the ingredients together, shake, ready!
Use a few drops daily, straight from the bottle.
When doing my nails, I go for hot oil treatment. After taking the nail polish off, I warm up 1 TBS of the cuticle oil in a tiny bowl. Just 10-20 seconds in the microwave is enough to warm it up. Then I dip the nails of one hand for a few minutes, then the nails of the other hand (unless the bowl is big enough to place both hands at the same time.)
After soaking, I massage the oil into the nails and cuticles. after the massage, remove the excess oil and when the nails are dry, I can apply a nail polish and just enjoy my bare, nourished nails.
How Different is a Cuticle Balm?
While cuticle oil is perfect for the hot oil treatment, for daily use I prefer a cuticle balm. Why? it is less messy to apply and it is in a small tin container which can be easily carried in my purse so I can reapply when needed.
The only difference between the oil and the balm is the addition of a bit of beeswax and Kokum Butter which is highly moisturizing and helps heal dry and cracked skin. Beeswax itself also has great properties for skin health. While the oils and butters moisturize, the beeswax helps to seal the moisture in.
I also like to add a few drops of pure raw honey into the mixture. Honey is a humectant which means it pulls and retains moisture to the skin on which it is applied.
How to Make a Cuticle Balm with Honey?
The process is almost as simple as making the oil. This time we are adding just one extra step: melting of the beeswax.
Add 2 TBS of Jojoba Oil to the melted beeswax and butter (or 1 if using lip balm tubes rather than tins).
Add ½ tsp of raw honey (optional).
Add 25-30 drops of essential oils of choice (I am partial to Geranium and Sandalwood)
Place into a tin or lipstick tube.
The balm will solidify quickly. Enjoy! BTW, use it also on your feet. Show some love to the toes and make your nails ready for the sandal weather and the beach.
Not a DIY Person?
In case you are not interested in making your own, I sell my cuticle balm in my Etsy shop. Check it out and tell me how you like it!