Fragile, brittle, thin or yellow… every day, your fingernails suffer. Whether its nail polish or washing the dishes, excesses can damage your cuticles and nails. Some natural remedies however, can repair all that damage and more. Learn how to have a beautiful manicure with essential oils for fingernails.
In this post, you’ll be reading about:
- The reason why you should make essential oils part of your manicure maintenance. Their benefits and effects on fingernails and cuticles.
- Some of the best aromatic oils to use for beautiful and healthy looking nails. With their usual advantages and disadvantages as natural remedies.
- The best ways to use them safely and simply.
- Some really interesting blend recipes for a very well-maintained manicure.
- More about the damage on fingernails and what can cause it. Plus a few tips to prevent it.
Did You Know?
- Fingernails grow faster than toenails, which you’ve probably noticed by now. They do so at a rate of about 0.1 mm/day.
Why Essential Oils for Fingernails and Cuticles? Pros and Cons, plus Manicure Blends
The perfect manicure is what every woman desires. This perfect manicure, ideally takes very little effort and maintenance.
Luckily, there are a few simple things you can do to have very well cared for fingernails, cuticles and hands. All they need is constant moisturizing with natural oils.
Fingernails are specialized structures that help feeling and picking up small objects. The loss of just one single fingernail can prevent a person from living normally. Nobody actually sits and ponders upon the importance of fingernail. But once one gets damaged, we immediately notice it.
Women who’ve cut their long nails short, can probably relate to the strange feeling that leaves behind. It’s almost like missing part of the finger, or at least that’s how it always was for me.
Nails are made of keratin, a protein that makes the hair and skin too. Keratin has a porous nature. Because of that, it is particularly sensitive to all sorts of external damaging factors.
Fingernails suffer some sort of damage every day. Anything, from applying hard pressure on them, washing agents or nail polish, they can all affect the nails. Keratin also needs hydration and nourishment.
Carrier oils and essential oils for fingernails can provide what they need and more. Here’s how the anatomy of a fingernail looks like.
Why Use Essential Oils for Fingernails and Cuticles?
Aromatic oils are volatile, concentrated plant extracts. They have lots of benefits and effects on the skin and nail. They can protect against fungi and bacterial infections, but they can also improve and prevent inflammation.
Essential oils have important regenerative abilities. These abilities can help in growing cuticles and implicitly, nails too.
The purpose of using natural oils for a healthy manicure is to:
- Help the nails and cuticles grow stronger.
- Prevent and avoid brittle, soft and prone to breakage nails.
- Give nails luster and improve their appearance.
- Treat and prevent bacterial and fungal infections.
- Promote nail growth.
- Nourish the cuticles and skin around the nails.
Using essential oils for nail growth or maintenance is a safe and efficient method. It is simple and natural, and most of the benefits of these oils have already been proven. They are also very cost-effective.
Essential oils come in tiny bottles but they must be used in small dosages anyway. Always blend them with carrier oils or other neutral substances (milk, salt, etc.).
Thus, a single 10 ml bottle of a certain essence can last even for a year or more. Their shelf life depends on proper storage conditions: dark and dry places, with the caps tight on.
That said it’s time to see which oils are the best and why.
1) Myrrh Essential Oil
Commiphora molmol (myrrha) is the Latin or botanical name of Myrrh. This essential oil is very popular in nail and cuticle care, but its virtues spread well beyond that. It has a very long history and its literature is abundant in references and remedy recipes.
- The oil has impressive regenerative effects on the skin. Thus, Myrrh oil for nails can be used to stimulate the regeneration of cuticles.
- It is also nourishing for both the nails and cuticles.
- Myrrh has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties. These effects can help with scars and trauma of the cuticles or at the base of the nail/finger top.
- Studies have found Myrrh to have cytotoxic effects too. They are useful in stopping bacteria and viruses from spreading throughout the tissue cells.
- Internal consumption of Myrrh oil is not recommended without medical consent. In large dosages, the oil can cause kidney problems and diarrhea.
- The oil can stimulate the uterus, thus it can affect a fetus too.
Why I like it:
The fragrance of Myrrh is very soothing and it can change your entire mood within minutes. Using Myrrh oil for nails not only does it improve their appearance, but it’s great for your well-being too.
2) Lemon Essential Oil
Citrus limonum is one of the most popular essential oils for fingernails. Its chemical composition makes this oil good at almost everything. From beauty to perfumery and household to pharmaceuticals, they all use Lemon oil.
- Lemon oil is good for nails because it has strong purifying effects. It is antibacterial and antifungal. These properties help in preventing and protecting from nail diseases.
- The oil also has astringent properties. They stimulate the microcirculation in the cuticles and the base of the nail. The skin will tighten around the nail while it grows stronger. Thus, the blood can deliver more nutrients to the nail and help it regenerate faster.
- The oil can penetrate deep into the nail keratin and have mild whitening effects on the nail bed. The nail bed is found right beneath the nail plate, or the surface of the nail that gets painted.
- Lemon oil for fingernails must be used 12 hours before sun exposure. The oil is phototoxic and can cause irritation, burning or sensitization among others.
- This oil should be used in a relative short time after opening. It should also not be used after 3 years since the date of manufacture. It oxidizes pretty fast.
Why I like it:
Lemon is a great essential oil for nails, especially for brittle ones. Its uplifting and refreshing fragrance can put anyone in a better mood instantly. This makes for a great ingredient to use in your manicure routine.
3) Lavender Essential Oil
One of the most versatile essential oils for nails is Lavender. It is great for skin protection and keratin growth. Lavandula angustifolia is also known as the true lavender.
It is probably the most famous aromatherapy oil, and for good reason too. There are countless studies and research materials that confirm the benefits and effects of this oil on skin and health.
- Anyone can use Lavender oil for nails as it has great antibacterial properties. Thus, it can protect the nails from infections through cuticle damage.
- The oil can also help the tissue regenerate and heal without much scarring.
- It contains nourishing substances that can fortify the nails and cuticles. This oil is a good natural nail strengthener and can be used on a regular basis.
- Lavender is a good essential oil for nail growth too.
- And on top of these nail benefits, the oil can also relax and regulate blood pressure.
- Make sure you buy the angustifolia type. Other Lavender oils have different properties and benefits.
- The oil can cause more allergies than normal. Make sure you test it before any widespread use.
Why I like it:
Using Lavender oil for nails is easy and enjoyable. Its relaxing effects can make you feel more at peace and it can also help with sleep. Lavender can kill bacteria and fungi. That’s why your cuticles will be safe and the nails will grow stronger.
4) Green Myrtle Essential Oil
The Mediterranean oil of Myrtle, Myrtus communis L. is beneficial for the respiratory system, coughs, and the skin. But it is mostly popular for its cosmetic benefits.
- Why is Green Myrtle a good essential oil for nails and cuticles? It is so because it has very good regenerative properties. They make this oil great for damaged and brittle nails too. The cineole in its composition will help in renewing cells and keratin.
- It also has detoxifying effects that help the nails and cuticles become stronger.
- Myrtle is one of the best essential oils for fingernails in case of trauma. It has astringent and tonic properties that contract the blood vessels and the tissue. This helps in a faster recovery.
- Green Myrtle has two other cousins: red and lemon. Make sure you use the green variety to get the above mentioned nail benefits.
- Avoid Green Myrtle oil if you suffer from asthma or epilepsy.
Why I like it:
Green myrtle has a mountainous and fresh fragrance, which refreshes the mind and body. The oil has many benefits and behaves well in all sorts of cosmetic blends. Whether it’s about wrinkles or acne, it can help you deal with them. On top of it, it is a highly effective essential oil for nails and cuticles.
You can also choose from other good essential oils for fingernails:
- Carrot seed
- Rose Geranium
- Tea Tree
No essential oil should be taken internally without medical approval. These essences can be toxic and harm your body if the wrong dose is administered.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid them in the first 3 months. Elderly and children must also use oils with caution or medical guidance.
How to Use Essential Oils for Nails and Cuticles
The safest and most effective method is of course the topical application. Since these plant essences are very concentrated, they need not be applied undiluted.
You can therefore use a carrier (vegetable) oil in which to add a few drops of essential oil. You can add up to 20 drops of EO per Oz carrier oil.
Fingernails and cuticles should be cared for daily. However, some more intense treatments should or could be applied weekly. A manicure is usually done weekly or biweekly in some cases.
Regardless of the frequency, that’s the perfect time to dip your fingers in a soothing, warm massage oil blend. That’ll nourish and soften the cuticles and give your nails more glow. I will give you some recipes in a few.
So, you can use natural oils for nails in a massage blend. Ideally, you would make it in a roll-on bottle and apply on your nails and cuticles every night.
For the weekly maintenance, before painting your nails you can also dip your fingers in a bowl of warm oils. Heat helps them penetrate deep into the skin and nails.
Since we’re talking about blends, it’s only fair to say something about the best carrier oils for fingernails too. They can be:
- Sweet Almond
Nail and Cuticle Care (Manicure Blend Recipes)
The most fun and relaxing part about a manicure is the products you use. From the file to the nourishing lotion, they can all make it faster and easier.
Fortunately, the use of essential oils for fingernails also has mood enhancing benefits.
Here are some blend recipes that’ll help you grow stronger and longer fingernails. Take your pick or simply inspire yourself from these recipes to make your own manicure blend. Don’t forget to use it regularly and have fun making the blend!
Fortifying Nail Serum Recipe
- Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
- Castor oil: 1 tablespoon
- Lemon essential oil: 13 drops
- Tea Tree essential oil: 3 drops
- Myrrh essential oil: 4 drops
Add the essential oils over the carriers and shake the blend well. Transfer the blend in an Oz roll-on and apply on each fingernail. Massage your nails one by one, every night and avoid rinsing afterwards.
This fortifying nail serum is meant to nourish and hydrate deeply. It’ll help damaged nails revive and become stronger.
Finger Bath Recipe for Soft and Split Nails
- Jojoba oil: 3 tablespoons
- Myrrh essential oil: 3 drops
- Green Myrtle essential oil: 3 drops
Pour the Jojoba into a small glass bowl and warm it just a little bit on a double boiler. Add the essential oils and mix/stir really well. Dip your clean fingers in the blend and keep them there for 5 minutes or more.
Wipe off the excess oil with a napkin and the rest massage it in your cuticles, nails and the skin around them. Keep the blend in the fridge to reuse it one more time. But don’t use it for longer than that or the risk of bacteria growth will increase with each passing day.
This treatment should be done every week, the perfect time being the day when you do your nails.
Essential Oil Blend for Yellow Fingernails
- Lemon juice
- Lemon essential oil
- Argan oil
Wipe each nail with lemon juice, with a cotton pad or swab. Or simply keep your fingernails in a bowl of lemon juice for 5 minutes. Pat dry and apply a drop of Lemon oil on each nail. Massage it well into the nail without touching the rest of the skin (if possible).
When that is done and dry, massage some Argan oil into your fingers, cuticles and nails.
Nails can become yellow from strong pigmented nail polish, cigarette smoke and/or certain detergents.
The lemon juice and oil will help brighten the nails. They can also protect them against bacterial infections. Argan will nourish, protect and soften the skin after the lemon treatment.
Repeat twice a week, for a month. Either use only clear nail polish during this time or nothing at all. Wipe your nails with lemon juice and apply Lemon oil every time before painting them. That’ll prevent your nails from getting stained again.
Soft and Damaged Nails Daily Blend Recipe
- Olive oil: 1 tablespoon
- Coconut oil: 1 tablespoon
- Lavender essential oil: 3 drops
- Myrtle essential oil: 2 drops
Blend all the oils together and give it a good shake before each use. That way, you’ll activate the oil molecules faster. Apply this blend on your nails and cuticles every night to fortify and repair damaged nails. These essential oils for fingernails can help you get the manicure you want in a matter of a few weeks – a month.
Other natural ingredients to use as nail remedies are:
- Garlic cloves
- Vitamin E
- Baking soda
Rub these ingredients directly on the nail (when possible) or mix them with a carrier oil and other natural oils for nails.
Did You Know?
- The cuticle contributes to the nail shininess.
What Causes Fingernail Damage plus Tips to Prevent It
Stress or nervousness can often lead to the biting of nails or the skin around them. The end result is neither aesthetic nor healthy. These bad habits can cause nail deformities and bacterial infections. If stopped in time, the nails usually recover very well.
Any kind of finger trauma can cause many nail problems. Most of them can be very unattractive, while others could lead to more serious problems. Some may even need medical attention (surgery, grafts, etc.)
Besides trauma and stress-related symptoms, another cause for nail damage is fungal infections. They can cause a nail to peel and prevent it from growing. Some fungi like tinea manis or tinea unguium are responsible for finger mycosis.
The tinea fungus is the same one that causes athlete’s foot. Because it is highly contagious, each body part can be affected and so each type of infection got its own name. Tinea corporis for instance, is the fungal infection on the body.
Some essential oils have been proven very effective in killing bacteria. They can also deal with certain fungi and viruses. These oils are especially effective in skin conditions as they have a direct effect.
Onychomycosis is among the most frequent nail diseases. It changes the nail color (yellow, brown, white, green or black). It also makes the nails become very thick and irregular.
The best essential oils for fingernails affected by fungal infection are:
- Tea Tree
All of these oils have strong antibacterial and antifungal effects. Most of them have also been tested and proven in this regard.
A Few Tips to Avoid Nail Damage or Diseases
- Wash your hands and nails well with a mild soap and warm water. This is also useful in preventing colds or flu.
- Apply essential oil blends for fingernails to prevent infections and help your nails grow stronger.
- Avoid cutting the cuticles. It can cause nail deformities and lack of glossiness.
- Stop opening things with your fingernails. That can cause them to separate from their bed and get infected.
The perfect manicure starts with daily maintenance. This daily or nightly routine is simple and fast and it can reduce the time you spend weekly to do your manicure. Whether you do it yourself or go to a salon, your hands will look their best.
Using essential oils for fingernails and cuticles is effective. They contain all the right substances to prevent and protect against infections. But they can also boost nail growth and make them shinier and stronger. What else is there to ask from a natural remedy?!
What is your favorite aromatic oil and how does it make it into your manicure routine?