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13 Best Cuticle Oils for Dry Nails and Damaged Skin

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Summer months always seem to dry out our hands with the constant swims, salty air, and sunbathing, but our hands have had it extra hard this past year and a half with the need to wash them more often than they are perhaps used to. Each time we washed our hands, the soap would strip away the natural oils and the germs – something that led many to have cracked and dry hands. Of course, a soothing moisturizer was most likely applied, but you may have forgotten about your nails and cuticles. This is where cuticle oils come to the rescue to moisturize and nourish the skin around your nails and keep them silky soft, and healthy. 

In this article, we’ve rounded up all of the best cuticle oils we’ve been obsessing over as of late, with detailed reviews to help you pick the perfect option for you! We have also added a buyer’s guide to ease the selection process for you.

In this article:

Best Cuticle Oils Overview


Our Picks of the Best Cuticle Oils

It’s time to sit back with a glass of water and read about all the perfect products for your cuticles that will leave them feeling hydrated and refreshed for the upcoming months.

1
Best Overall
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil
Essie Ulta.com
$9

When hunting down a good cuticle oil that can revitalize your dried skin quickly, it only makes sense to look to one of the top leading brands in nail care. This hydrating blend of cottonseed, soybean, and apricot oils quickly soaks into your dry nail beds to leave your nails smooth and the cuticles around them well hydrated. For this reason, many consumers consider this best cuticle oil, as it leaves them feeling happy and confident when heading out to get a manicure or just running around town. Get it from Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.46 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Apricot kernel oil, jojoba oil, cotton seed oil, soybean oil, vitamin E
  • Brush-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: No
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • 97% natural ingredients, vegan
  • Lovely scent
  • Perfect for all skin types
  • Easy to brush on

Cons

  • The orange tint can rub off on furniture, so it’s best to let the cuticle oil soak into your nails for five minutes and then wipe the sides of your nails to avoid any staining

2
Best Budget
Maccibelle Cuticle Oil
Maccibelle Amazon.com
$7.95

When trying something out for the first time, nobody wants to spend a large amount of money on it. This would be the reason Maccibelle’s cuticle oil is your best bet for you to test. Honey in the cuticle oil will soothe and moisturize, while lactic acid gently exfoliates and refreshes the skin. So even if you don’t want to spend much, know that this will take good care of your cuticles too! It is available in 7 different scents, each containing different beneficial ingredients for your cuticles. Grab it online on Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin E, lactic acid, vegetable oil, honey
  • Dropper style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: Dry

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Good ingredients with antioxidant properties
  • Pleasant honey scent
  • Sanitary glass dropper bottle
  • Manufactured in the USA

Cons

  • Small amount, considering a generous amount is required to best help your cuticles

3
Best Drugstore
Sally Hansen Good. Kind. Pure Island Coconut Nail Oil
Sally Hansen Ulta.com
$8.99

Float away each night on a coconut-scented dream with one of the best cuticle oils you can find out there. This 100% vegan and plant-based combination from Sally Hansen goes on smoothly and hydrates your cuticles quickly without the oils getting everywhere. For this reason, it remains one of the most popular cuticle oils to purchase at Ulta, with all of the respondents stating they would recommend this product to a friend. Pick it up from Ulta!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.33 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, cotton seed oil, plant extracts
  • Brush-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: No
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • 16-free, clean, vegan, plant-based ingredients
  • Brush with 100% natural, plant-based bristles for even application
  • Nice scent
  • Works well if used multiple times a day
  • Bottle seals shut well so you can carry it around with you

Cons

  • Oils are thin, so it takes more than one coat to work well

4
Best for Extreme Dryness
L’Occitane Shea Nail and Cuticle Oil
L’Occitane Sephora.com
$19.50

L’Occitane’s cuticle oil is by far the best for extreme dryness. Winner of Allure’s ‘Best of 2020’ Beauty Sward, this cuticle oil is free of parabens and phthalates and is vegan. The combination of different oils will leave your hands feeling silky smooth and ready to take on whatever comes at them, including more soap and water! Shea oil combined with apricot oil nourishes and protects the skin from dehydration, while sweet almond oil is soothing and softening, also perfect for extremely dry and sensitive skin types. Pick it up online at Sephora!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.25 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Shea oil, apricot oil, sweet almond oil
  • Pen style application
  • Cruelty-Free: No
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Nourishing, soothing, also perfect for sensitive skin types
  • Easy-to-use brush applicator
  • Isn’t runny at all
  • Long-lasting

Cons

  • Potent baby powder scent

5
Best Multipurpose
Lalicious the Oil
Lalicious Nordstrom.com
$34

This luxurious oil is perfect for being multipurpose. It easily absorbs into the skin, stimulates blood flow, strengthens the nail, and softens the cuticle. It’s a multipurpose beauty oil that can be used as a hair and scalp treatment, bath oil, massage oil, cuticle oil, skin oil for stretch marks, dark patches, and scars. Truly a lifesaver for a busy person! And if you happen to fall madly in love, you can pick up the mini ounce to live in your purse and the other 4-oz. option for home! It’s available at Nordstrom.

Key Features

  • Size: 4 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, marula oil, macademia nut oil, plant extracts
  • Roll-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Free of sulfates, phthalates, parabens, petrochemicals, mineral oil, silicone and talc
  • Perfect for all skin types
  • Sweet smell
  • Glass roll-on bottle
  • Multi-use oil

Cons

  • None

6
Best Professional Formula
CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner
CND Ulta.com
$12.50

This cuticle oil is made of almond, jojoba, and rice bran oils that create the perfect triad for a well-maintained manicure. It features naturally light, fast-penetrating oils with excellent moisturizing and nourishing properties. While the oils soften and condition the cuticles, vitamin E contained fights against premature aging, keeping hands and nails healthy and strong. Find it online at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil, vitamin E
  • Brush-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Fast-acting
  • Brush from bottle spreads easily for full coverage
  • Gentle product that works for all skin types

Cons

  • Almond scent can be strong for some

7
Best Fast-Absorbing
Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil
Deborah Lippmann Sephora.com
$20

If you are looking for a fast-absorbing formula that won’t leave hands slick, look no further. It’s a godsend that Lippmann’s brand has branched out from sought-after eccentric colors to a moisturizing cuticle oil that seems to heal any flaws in your nails quicker than you can blink. Its formula perfectly hydrates and softens the skin around the nails, also protecting from free radical damage. It is available for purchase online at Sephora.

Key Features

  • Size: 0.45 oz.
  • Key ingredients: Jojoba oil, coconut oil, vitamin E
  • Dropper style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Paraben- and sulfate-free
  • Absorbs quickly
  • Super hydrating
  • Great packaging

Cons

  • None

8
Best Scented
Flowery Scented Cuticle Oil
Flowery Ulta.com
$7.99

When letting your hands take a rest, have your nose take a vacation into a flower garden with the cuticle oil that is easily the best scented option you will find. Whether you choose rose or lavender to be your oil scent of choice, be rest assured that this cuticle oil still does the trick with softening the skin around the nails and smoothing the rough ridges. Get your favorite scent at Ulta or Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Sesame oil, vitamin E, grape seed oil
  • Brush-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Perfectly moisturizing, softening
  • Goes on smoothly
  • Long-lasting
  • Gentle non-greasy formula

Cons

  • Scent can be overpowering to some

9
Best Natural Formula
Cuccio Naturale Revitalizing Cuticle Oil
Cuccio Amazon.com
$10.66

Who doesn’t love seeing the ‘all-natural’ label placed on a product? Natural beauty products are one of the greatest items of all time, and when you’re looking for an all-natural cuticle oil, this is the best choice for you. Cuccio’s natural formula is cruelty- and paraben-free, lightweight, and designed to hydrate effectively with cold-pressed oils and vitamins. Whether you’re wanting to apply a generous amount or simply give your nails a little refreshment, this is certainly the best choice for anyone looking for a clean product. Pick up your favorite option out of the six scents available on Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Safflower oil, sunflower oil, cotton seed oil, vegetable oil, milk extract, honey extract, vitamin E
  • Dropper style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: Different options available for every skin type

Pros

  • Great scent
  • Natural formula
  • Lightweight and deep-penetrating
  • Hydrating, strengthening, nourishing
  • Various options for different skin types and needs

Cons

  • Best to not use continuously and mix + match with other cuticle oils

10
Best Roll-On
French Girl Nail & Cuticle Oil
French Girl Revolve.com
$24

Who doesn’t want to be a French girl – the effortless beauty, easy-going attitude, and sophisticated sultriness…  And French girls know just how much we admire them because it’s often used as a marketing ploy. This time, however, the product could come with any odd name, and we’d still love it. The fatty acids in this deeply penetrating roll-on cuticle oil easily heal the nail bed, all while the hemp oil stimulates circulation for nail growth. So, if you’re always on the go, suffering from sad cuticles, and adore the French chic ideals, this roll-on cuticle oil will be your dream come true. Pick it up from Revolve!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.3 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Jojoba oil, sunflower oil, castor oil, argan oil, rosehip oil, hemp oil, pomegranate oil
  • Roll-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Multiple features (both stimulant and healing)
  • Plant-based, vegan, cruelty-free
  • Great packaging
  • Fast results

Cons

  • None

11
Best Anti-Aging
OPI Cuticle Oil
OPI Amazon.com
$9.95

Since your hands will show age before any other parts of your body, why not treat them to a bit of extra care? It seems that OPI was considering this when they engineered this cuticle oil formula designed to combat aging and cuticle damage. Like many other beauty products out there, this oil was tested in many trials. However, it came back that 9 out 10 users noticed a difference in their cuticles within a week – rare statistics in trails. So, while this product may target aging, it’s still ideal for anyone – young or ‘old.’ Get it online on Amazon!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.29 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Avocado oil, grape seed oil, sesame seed oil
  • Dropper style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: Aging

Pros

  • Anti-aging
  • Fast-absorbing, lightweight
  • Nourishing, strengthening
  • Good reviews

Cons

  • Dropper doesn’t extend all the way into bottle
  • Bottle doesn’t seal perfectly

12
Best Vegan
Pacifica Nourish Nail & Cuticle Oil
Pacifica Ulta.com
$10

We get it, sometimes natural doesn’t cut it with our personal codes, or veganism is just a healthier lifestyle choice for you. For this reason, we’ve selected Pacifica’s cuticle oil as the best vegan option. Disregarding the adorable bottle, the product is not only vegan, but also 16-free (meaning the main chemicals found in nail polish have been removed), affordable, designed to hydrate exceedingly dry nails, and filled with a clean scent. There is no reason not to want this product – even if you aren’t vegan. You can buy it online at Ulta.

Key Features

  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Key Ingredients: Coconut oil, sweet almond oil, baobab seed oil, passion fruit seed oil, kukui seed oil, vitamin E
  • Brush-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Soft brush bristles
  • Not greasy
  • 16-free nourishing and hydrating formula

Cons

  • None

13
Best for Nail Growth
Elon Essential Cuticle Oil
Elon Dermstore.com
$11.99

Fast-growing nails don’t always have to do with good genes and collagen tablets – sometimes, it’s just a little bit of extra care. So, whether you’re striving for long nails that look like acrylics or just getting your nails to be longer than they currently are, this would be an excellent choice for cuticle oil. While some of the other options above also boast nail growth benefits, Elon’s cuticle oil has additional vitamins specifically added to stimulate blood circulation and help nail growth faster. Pick it up from Dermstore!

Key Features

  • Size: 0.5 oz.
  • Key ingredients: Almond oil extract, vitamin E, vitamin B5
  • Brush-on style application
  • Cruelty-Free: Yes
  • Skin Type: All

Pros

  • Perfect for free radical damage and dry nail beds
  • Paraben-, sulfate- and cruelty-free

Cons

  • Thick, so little goes a long way


What to Look for in the Perfect Cuticle Oil for You?

Skincare tends to be even more personal simply because it soaks in, and whatever is in that product will eventually become part of you. Along with the ingredients, various application strategies, packaging, textures, price points, and other minute details are essential to every one of us. For obvious reasons, fewer ingredients are always the best, and people will often want to reach for products that aren’t too far out of their price range. Below are the things to consider when picking out the best cuticle oil for you.

Ingredients and Texture

Check to make sure that there are no ingredients on the list that you are (or could be) allergic to. Many various oils and ingredients can be found in cuticle products, however, some are simply just more hydrating than others. For instance, jojoba oil, flaxseed oil, and safflower oil are the most common ones to find in cuticle oils. However, vitamin E, olive oil, and coconut oil are also great ingredients simply because we also know what they are and have been using them for centuries because of their moisturizing benefits.

Essential oils are the primary ingredients, and some cuticle oils might also contain a combination of essential oils, such as lavender, safflower, and apricot oils. Also, look for added vitamins for extra protection and hydration, like vitamin E, which is a great antioxidant and a moisturizing ingredient, vitamins A, B1, B2, and B6, all of which are good hydrators.

Along with looking at the ingredients list, check the thickness and consistency of the cuticle oil. The heaviness in texture doesn’t always mean more hydrating and thus better for you. Sometimes, using a thinner oil that you can apply several times a day while continuing to work is best for you. Citric acid in the oil makes it absorb more quickly.

Packaging

Cuticle oils often come in three different applicator types: droppers, roll-ons, and brush applicators. When picking out the best cuticle oil for you, it’s a good idea to think of what you want to apply it to. For instance, roll-ons can be best for on the go, brushes are the go-tos for after manicures, and droppers are the key for heavy moisturizing.

The Price

Price is personal. Deciding if you want to spend more on something to strengthen your nails rather than paint them might seem strange, or it might seem perfectly normal. For this choice, we’ve given you multiple options from various price points. Just remember that this is something to help your nails and not hurt them.


Cuticle Oil FAQ

Here are common cuticle oil questions answered that could help you make the right choice:

How Often Should I Use Cuticle Oil?

Part of this question comes with personal preference and just how dry your cuticles are. Most dermatologists recommend using cuticle oil three times a day, yet even once a day can still be beneficial. However, you will need to use cuticle oil more frequently if you wash your hands often, if you live in extreme temperatures, or in any other situations that would dry out your skin.

What Is the Shelf Life of Cuticle Oil? How Do I Store It?

Think of cuticle oil as any other oil product – it’s best to be stored in a cool, dry place where moisture can’t impact it. As for shelf life, this will depend on the oil you purchase. Raw oils have the capability of lasting far longer, but when mixed with other extracts, the oils may be best if used between three to six months of their purchase.

Photos via Sephora