Rehab your nails: Carrier Oils

5:29 PM

Todays post is a quick one about choosing the right cuticle oil for your nails.

Cuticle oil has one simple purpose: to moisturize your nail and cuticle.  There are lots of kinds, colors, oils and fragrances to choose from, which begs the question, 

"What is the right cuticle oil for me?"

The main thing to watch for in these oils is the base oil and the oil content. Esesntially, you want to choose one which has more oil than "fluff" and which has a carrier oil (or even more than one carrier oil) in order to be sure that it's going to penetrate your nail instead of just sitting on top of it.  Application is important too. I don't know why, but I see a lot of people, even at salons, slap some on quickly, rub it around and then swipe the nail with remover or primer and continue the manicure.  You're really doing yourself a disservice this way.  The BEST time to apply cuticle oil when doing a manicure is after the entire process is complete. That's right, even AFTER polishing!  The right cuticle oil will not only assist in drying your nails, but it will penetrate right through it to the nail below. Plus, since you're already waiting for your polish to dry, you have plenty of time to let it soak in so it can do it's job.

So what is a carrier oil? Carrier oils are oils that "carry" into our skin.  In other words, they SOAK INTO the skin instead of sitting on top.  When combined with other ingredients, like Vitamin E, they can also assist in carrying those vitamins or ingredients into your skin.  Here are some of the most common carrier oils:

Sweet Almond Oil     Kukui Nut Oil
Apricot Kernel Oil
Macadamia Nut Oil
Avocado Oil
Meadowfoam Oil
Borage Seed Oil
Olive Oil
Camellia Seed Oil (Tea Oil)
Peanut Oil
Cranberry Seed Oil
Pecan Oil
Coconut Oil
Grapseed Oil
Rose Hip Oil
Hazelnut Oil
Sesame Oil
Hemp Seed Oil

You probably won't see most of these in cuticle oils and that's mainly to do with the texture and absorbancy of them. Of these, the most absorbant are Grapeseed Oil, Coconut Oil and Jojoba because they are thin and absorb well without leaving residue on your hands. That said, some cuticle oils blend heavier oils, like avocado oil, with thinner oils so that you get the benefit of a more fatty oil which absorbs more rapidly.  You'll probably want to experiment a little before choosing the one that best suits you. Remember to apply it, rub it around gently and then allow it five minutes to absorb. During that time, if you need to add more, do so. Anything left over after five or ten minutes can be massaged into the skin with a light lotion. I really love to use CND Solar Oil and Almond lotion for this. The Solar Oil soaks in well for me and when the lotion is massaged in with the remaining oil it leaves no trace of oily residue on my hands. I'm also a fan of the OPI avocado oils.  If you need an extra boost, use the oil with hot towels or a paraffin treatment. 

Here are some of the most common cuticle oils along with the carrier oil used:

CND Solar Oil: Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Vitamin E
OPI Avoplex: Avocado, Grape Seed, Sunflower, and Sesame Seed
Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil: Cotton Seed,Sweet Almond, Soybean
Deborah Lippmann: Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, Mineral Oil*
Butter London: Safflower Seed Oil
Sally Hansen Vitamin E: Vitamin E, Wheat Germ, Apricot Kernel,
Zoya Qtica Solid Gold: Sweet Almond, Jojoba and Tea Tree Oil
China Glaze Orange Oil: Sweet Almond, Jojoba, Castor Seed

*A carry over point from yesterday: AVOID Mineral Oil and Petroluem. Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are byproducts of petroleum production. Mineral oil is used in baby oils and many commercially available moisturizers because it is an inexpensive oil to manufacture. It, however, can clog pores, prevent the skin from breathing naturally, prevent essential oil absorption, prevent toxins from leaving the body through the natural process of sweating. These same concerns apply to petroleum jelly.

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  1. Sweet! I have CND and am getting Qtica in the mail soon. Thanks for this post! :)

  2. Awesome post! Thank you so much for it!

  3. Just checked on the oil I use and it has: Grapeseed oil, Soybean oil, Rice Bran oil, Avocado oil, Apricot oil, Walnut oil, Rosemary oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, a type of Vitamin D, some fatty oils, Shea butter, and an emollient. This is Barielle Intensive Nail Renewal Oil. Good too see that it has some of the good ones that you mentioned! :)

  4. I have been using Bliss Kiss Cuticle oil and it have been working wonders on my cuticles.

  5. Great post! You've made me realize I knew pretty much nothing about cuticle oil! I used to just use whatever on my cuticles, but since I started using CND Solar I've noticed it moisturizes so much better and even absorbs faster.


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