Makeup Products » Best Cuticle Creams

The 13 Best Cuticle Creams for Soft, Healthy Nails

The Glowsly editors independently test and choose the best products. We may receive commissions on purchases made from the affiliate links.

Ragged cuticles don’t look good on anyone and certainly won’t do your manicure any favors. You might consider adding a cuticle oil or cream to your beauty box and your nightly routine to restore your nails’ luster, rehab their health, and keep them looking sharp.

The best cuticle creams are packed with good-for-your-skin ingredients that hydrate, restore and renew. When shopping for a good cuticle cream, look for ingredients like shea butter, jojoba oil, and avocado oil, all of which can do wonders to boost hydration and nail health. 

Best cuticle cream overview:

Our picks for the best cuticle cream

Best overall
Sally Hansen Color Therapy Nail and Cuticle Oil

What we love

  • Pleasant scent
  • Moisturizing
  • Absorbs quickly

What we don’t love

  • Inventory can be spotty

Sally Hansen’s Color Therapy Nail and Cuticle Oil is a divinely sweet-smelling pick-me-up for dry, ragged cuticles. This cuticle oil relies on argan oil to do the heavy lifting, and while you might think that would translate to a greasy, oily mess, it doesn’t. This nail and cuticle oil absorbs quickly into your skin so it can nourish your nails and restore your cuticles back to their former glory. 

A healthy list of benefits and an affordable price tag get this one on our list as the best cuticle “cream” overall. However, speaking from experience, you might want to grab this oil when you see it in stock, as inventory can be hit or miss in many places.

Main ingredients: Argan oil | Application: Brush onto cuticles and nails daily | Benefits: Hydrates, nourishes

Best budget
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

What we love

  • Fresh lemon scent
  • Budget-friendly
  • Lemon oil cuts through dirt and oils

What we don’t love

  • Tin may be hard to close for some

With good-for-your-skin ingredients like vitamin E, beeswax, cocoa seed butter, and almond oil, Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream boosts brittle nails, restores moisture to peeling nails, softens cuticles, and locks in hydration for lasting results. It’s 100% natural, so there are no parabens or petrolatum, just a fresh, clean lemon scent. 

This cuticle cream seems to have a lot going for it in terms of performance, and for just $6, you can’t go wrong. However, it’s packaged in a small round tin, and many reviewers have said it’s hard to close. The tin is cute, kind of retro, and really makeup bag friendly.

Main ingredients: Sweet almond oil, cocoa seed butter, lemon oil, vitamin E, sunflower oil | Application: Massage the cream into cuticles as needed | Benefits: Strengthens, hydrates

Best splurge
Dior Crème Abricot Nail Creme

What we love

  • Emollient-rich formula
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Smells great

What we don’t love

  • May feel sticky at first

Anyone looking for a self-care splurge that doesn’t rock their budget too much will find it with Dior’s Crème Abricot Nail Creme. This emollient-rich formula, fortified with beeswax, lanolin, and vitamin E, softens your cuticles and repairs past damage, leaving you with healthier, hydrated nails. 

Sifting through the reviews, we found that Dior’s Crème Abricot Nail Creme has a pretty loyal following, with many indicating they’ve been using the years the cream for years. Plenty of reviewers have said this cuticle cream has a pleasant fruity smell, and others have noted that a little goes a long way.

Main ingredients: Mineral oil, beeswax, vitamin E, lanolin | Application: Apply around nails and gently massage until absorbed before bed | Benefits: Strengthens nails, softens cuticles

Best oil
L’Occitane Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil

What we love

  • Softens cuticles
  • Easy application
  • Features 30% shea oil

What we don’t love

  • Small but pricey

Prefer a nourishing oil over a cream? Try L’Occitane’s Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil. Enriched with 30% shea oil and other skin-supporting superstars, like apricot oil and sweet almond oil, this cuticle oil softens cuticles and nourishes your nails back to health. 

L’Occitane’s Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil earned top marks for being purse-friendly, and we love that the brush tip tube that makes for easy applications wherever, whenever.

Main ingredients: Shea oil, apricot oil, sweet almond oil | Application: Brush oil onto nails and massage to soften cuticles | Benefits: Softens cuticles, moisturizes nails

Best for hands
Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream

What we love

  • Oil-free formula
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Great for sensitive skin

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

Clinque’s Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream offers a one-and-done solution for hand and cuticle care. This restorative cream effectively soothes dry, cracked skin, offering up to 12 hours of hydration. While it does a nice job of conditioning cuticles and nails, it also strengthens your skin’s moisture barrier and improves its ability to retain moisture over time. 

This hand-cuticle cream is emollient-rich, but it’s also a quick penetrating formula, so you get all of its moisturizing benefits without a greasy, sticky residue. Staying true to Clinique’s brand promise, Deep Comfort is dermatologist-tested, allergy-tested, and fragrance-free, so it’s an excellent option for sensitive skin.

Main ingredients: Water, glycerin | Application: Use daily, as needed | Benefits: Conditions, moisturizes

Best for peeling and splitting
Ella + Mila Oil Me Up Cuticle Oil

What we love

  • Light but nourishing
  • Smells great
  • Absorbs quickly

What we don’t love

  • Dropper application could get messy

Whether recovering from a set of acrylic nails or dealing with some winter dryness and damage, the safflower seed oil and vitamin E in Ella + Mia’s Oil Me Up Cuticle Oil does a bang-up job of nourishing weak, thin, or peeling nails back to health. 

While this is a cuticle oil, users have noted that it’s not overly oily and absorbs quickly. Many have given it top marks for the light lavender scent that’s purely delightful and never overpowering.

Main ingredients: Safflower seed oil, vitamin E | Application: Massage a small amount into the cuticles as needed | Benefits: Nourishes nails

Best drugstore
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

What we love

  • Smells great
  • Hydrating formula
  • Absorbs quickly

What we don’t love

  • Some users say it stained their nails

Anyone who visits nail salons regularly is intimately familiar with Essie — the reigning champ of nail color and nail care — so it should come as no surprise that Essie’s Apricot Cuticle Oil hits our list as the best drugstore cuticle fix. 

This cuticle oil is formulated with skin-softening apricot oil (which is chockful of fatty acids and antioxidants) and other nourishing ingredients, like almond, jojoba, and sunflower seed. It absorbs quickly to soften and condition your cuticles while giving your nails a much-needed dose of moisture.

Main ingredients: Apricot kernel oil, jojoba seed oil, and sunflower seed oil | Application: Apply daily as needed | Benefits: Conditions, hydrates nails

Best moisturizing
OPI Pro Spa Nail And Cuticle Oil

What we love

  • A little goes a long way
  • Smells great
  • Nourishing ingredients

What we don’t love

  • Pricey

OPI takes grapeseed, sesame, kukui, sunflower, and cupuaçu oils, blending them all into an ultra-nourishing cuticle oil that protects, replenishes, and strengthens nails and cuticles with daily use. 

This rich yet lightweight formula absorbs quickly, getting to the business of moisturizing dry nails and conditioning rough cuticles. And while it’s a blend of oils, it doesn’t leave your hands greasy or sticky.

Main ingredients: Grape seed, sesame, kukui, sunflower, and cupuaçu oils | Application: Apply daily as needed | Benefits: Softens, nourishes cuticles

Best balm
Butter London Quickfix Moisturizing Cuticle Balm

What we love

  • Enriched with antioxidants
  • No-mess application
  • Intense hydration

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

Coconut and avocado oils provide intense hydration. Vitamin E provides antioxidant protection. Phospholipids seal in moisture. And all these powerhouse ingredients can be found in one bottle of Butter London’s Quickfix Moisturizing Cuticle Balm, our pick for the best cuticle cream in a balm. 

With continued use, users will find healthier-looking cuticles and stronger nails. The precision applicator makes this a no-mess process, and the formula absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy mess behind.

Main ingredients: Coconut oil, avocado oil, vitamin E | Application: Massage cream around the cuticle area, re-apply as needed | Benefits: Moisturizes, conditions cuticles

Best nail strengthening
Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil

What we love

  • Hydrates nails
  • Conditions cuticles
  • Doesn’t feel greasy or sticky

What we don’t love

  • Messy

Strong nails and healthy cuticles are the keys to a great manicure, and Sally Hansen’s Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil delivers just that. This highly rated oil is packed with vitamin E, wheat germ, apricot kernel oil, aloe, and panthenol, aka Sally Hansen’s Natural Essential Oil Complex.

It softens cuticles, hydrates dry, brittle nails, and restores their shine with continued use. This lightweight cuticle oil can be used over the nail color or on bare nails, and it doesn’t leave behind a greasy, slick residue.

Main ingredients: Safflower seed oil, apricot kernel oil, wheat germ oil, coconut oil, aloe | Application: Brush on nightly, massage into nails and cuticles | Benefits: Moisturizes cuticles, strengthens nails

Best serum
Olive & June Cuticle Serum

What we love

  • Mess-free application
  • Hydrating
  • Great on the go

What we don’t love

  • Pricey for the size

Olive & June’s highly rated cuticle serum is ideal for those who need to grab a little self-care wherever they can. This serum may have a tiny footprint, but don’t let its size fool you; it’s every bit as hydrating and soothing as its competitors. 

And let’s not forget that it’s fast absorbing, the soft foam tip allows for controlled application, and it doesn’t leave behind a greasy, icky slick — three very important qualities when you’re pressed for time. Like some creams and oils on our list, this one is meant to be used once or twice daily. It’s also dermatologist-tested and fragrance-free.

Main ingredients: Avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, glycerin, jojoba seed oil | Application: Apply 2-3 clicks of serum to your cuticles and nails once or twice daily | Benefits: Hydrates, soothes nails

Best for damage repair
Deborah Lippmann The Cure Ultra Nourishing Cuticle Repair Cream

What we love

  • Repairs and protects
  • Absorbs quickly
  • No greasy residue

What we don’t love

  • Expensive

In addition to being the best cream for damage repair, Deborah Lippmann’s The Cure Ultra Nourishing Cuticle Repair Cream should probably win the award for the most appropriate name. 

Infused with raspberry stem cell extract, red algae, shea butter, sodium hyaluronate, and vitamins A and C, The Cure brings damaged cuticles back to life as it repairs and protects. This cream promises instant relief and absorbs quickly with no greasy residue. 

The container may be small for what it costs, but users still seemed chuffed with the results. We called it the best cuticle cream for damage repair, but one reviewer called it the best cuticle cream on the market.

Main ingredients: Raspberry stem cell extract, red algae, shea butter, sodium hyaluronate, vitamins A, C, and E | Application: Massage onto nails and apply as frequently as needed | Benefits: Nourishes cuticles, repairs and protects nails

Best pen
Ella + Mila Soften Me Up Cuticle Oil Pen

What we love

  • Travel-friendly
  • No-mess application
  • Smells good

What we don’t love

  • Pricey for the size

With their Soften Me Up Cuticle Oil Pen, Ella + Mila makes another appearance on our list. And if you didn’t see this one coming, this entry is for the best cuticle cream in a pen format. Infused with safflower seed oil, and vitamin E, this travel-friendly cuticle oil certainly holds its own to help restore dry, brittle nails and tattered cuticles to their former glory, ultimately promoting healthier nail growth.

Using it is as easy as removing the cap, twisting the pen a few times to release liquid into the tip and onto your nail, and massaging it in. Users have reported that the pen dispenses the right amount of product, so you’re not dealing with an oily mess and can quickly get back to what you’re doing. Others have noted that it smells good, without an overpowering fragrance.

Main ingredients: Safflower seed oil, vitamin E | Application: Twist pen 2-4 times, apply around the cuticle, and massage | Benefits: Softens, moisturizes cuticles

Cuticle creams can breathe new life into dry, damaged nails

When your nails aren’t looking their best, cuticle creams can restore them to their former glory. 

Typically infused with nourishing oils and butters like shea, safflower, and jojoba, these creams soften cuticles and infuse your nails with much-needed moisture to keep peeling, cracking, and chipping at bay. Moreover, you’ll find that your nails are stronger and more resilient, especially with continued use. 

Not sure where to start? Sally Hansen’s Color Therapy Nail and Cuticle Oil is a good jumping-off point. Brushed onto nails daily, this argan-infused oil hydrates and nourishes dry, damaged nails and cuticles. It won’t bust your budget and as an added bonus, it smells divine. 

How to pick the right cuticle cream for you

When choosing the best cuticle cream, consider the ingredients, their benefits, and the application process. 


Oils and butters teem with antioxidants and fatty acids that beautifully protect and nourish dry cuticles and nails. Some of the best ingredients to look for are shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil. 

  • Shea butter. With softening properties to help keep your cuticles healthy and heavy doses of emollience, shea butter is an excellent ingredient to look for in a cuticle cream. Not only can it deeply hydrate your skin, but it also contains essential fatty acids that can help heal damage as well. 
  • Avocado oil. Avocado oil can do a lot of the heavy lifting to heal dry, brittle nails, soften cuticles, and reduce breakage. 
  • Jojoba oil. Remarkably similar to the oils that naturally occur within our own bodies, jojoba oil is one of the best oils for dry cuticles. It absorbs into the skin giving your nails a healthy blast of intensive hydration for noticeable results. 


  • Hydrates. When your cuticles look a little worse for wear, hydration is key to getting them back on track. Look for a formula that delivers deep hydration with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil. 
  • Enhances nail appearance. Dry nails that crack and peel are never a good look. So while you may be looking for a cuticle cream, be sure to choose one that’s formulated with the best ingredients for dry nails. 
  • Quickly absorbs. Cuticle creams are often a blend of nourishing oils, which can have implications for their use. While you don’t want to skip these important ingredients, you should probably note how fast or slow a cuticle cream absorbs into your skin. If you’re using it throughout the day, you don’t want to be sidelined for however long it takes to absorb, and you don’t want to leave a greasy mess on everything you touch. 


The more complicated and intrusive something is to use, the less likely you are to follow through long enough to make a difference. So, be sure to check how the cuticle cream on your shortlist will be used. If the directions indicate that you need to slather it on multiple times daily for it to work, you may want to think twice. 


What’s the best thing to put on dry cuticles? 

Cuticle creams with moisturizing butter and oils are the best solutions for dry cuticles. 

Does cuticle cream really help?

Yes, by giving them a much-needed boost of hydration, cuticle creams can nurse dry cuticles and nails to health. 

What do nail techs use to soften cuticles?

While some nail salons will soak your nails in warm soapy water to soften them up, others may use cuticle oils or massage creams to get the same effect.