The 13 Best Cuticle Oils for Stronger, Hydrated Nails

These nourishing formulas hydrate, soothe, and protect your nails from breakage.

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Cuticle Oils
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You know it's important to moisturize your face after washing it — but do you moisturize your nails enough after all the handwashing you do in the day? If you suffer from dry, ragged cuticles and weak nails, you probably are missing cuticle oil in your beauty routine.

"Cuticle oils are more hydrating than hand creams," says nail technician Melisa Bruce. "They absorb better and stimulate nail growth. They also act as a protectant for freshly painted nails to prevent any scuffs, along with a quicker dry time and longevity for your manicure." And if you're a nervous nail biter, the right cuticle oil can quickly heal your skin and even help you break the habit for good.

When looking for the best cuticle oils, we looked for products with nourishing ingredients, easy application, and amazing results. The Cuccio Revitalizing Oil won us over with its blend of oils that both mositurize and encourage growth. Coming in a variety of scents, it feels extra pampering too.

These are the best cuticle oils for delightful digits.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Cuccio Milk and Honey Revitalizing Oil

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What We Love: This formula combines moisturizing oils and lovely scents.
What We Don't Love: The bottle is easy to tip over.

If you're stuck on which nail oil to buy, you could try this best-selling cuticle oil on Amazon. In addition to sunflower and safflower oils that Bruce recommends, it's formulated with natural ingredients like honey, which soothes and moisturizes, and lactic acid from milk, which helps to stimulate and refresh the skin around your nails. It's available in a variety of scents, including lavender and chamomile, citrus and wild berry, and mango and bergamot, as well as a fragrance-free option if that's more your vibe. Besides moisturizing their skin, many reviewers claim it helps their nails grow faster as well.

Hydrating Ingredients: Sunflower Oil, Safflower Oil | Size: 2.5-8 oz | Package: Dropper

Best Value: Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

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What We Love: This balm-to-oil product is deeply nourishing and mess free.
What We Don't Love: The tin can be difficult to open.

Extremely dry and jagged cuticles have met their match. This balm-to-oil product blankets the skin in nourishing moisture courtesy of its vitamin E and sunflower oil-rich formula. These ingredients instantly soothe and repair damaged cuticles while ​​sweet almond oil and cocoa seed butter work together to soften. Plus, it has a refreshing lemony scent, and the small, flat tin jar is easy to throw in your bag and use anytime, anywhere. Be warned that customers say the tin can be hard to open, especially if you have oily fingers, so they suggest keeping it slightly open.

Hydrating Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter | Size: 0.6 oz | Package: Tin

Best Splurge: JINsoon Extract Cuticle Oil

Best Cuticle Oils
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What We Love: You get 20 different oils in this vegan, cruelty-free blend.
What We Don't Love: It's not widely available.

Once you realize that this vegan formula contains 20 different nourishing plant-based extracts and oils, you'll understand it's worth the investment. Our beauty editor Erin Lukas began using the oil during the pandemic and it quickly became one of her favorite products to save her cuticles. "While the oil does make my mangled cuticles and the skin around the nails look instantly softer and smoother, the brand says the ingredients will strengthen nails and restore chapped skin over time," writes Lukas. Consider this product a treat to yourself and an important part of your beauty routine.

Hydrating Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Almond Oil, Vitamin E | Size: 0.5 oz | Package: Dropper

Best Natural: Tenoverten Rose Oil

Best Cuticle Oils
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What We Love: This formula nourishes your nails with no chemicals.
What We Don't Love: The tube is pretty small.

It's important to know what's going into and on your body, and this nail oil is for everyone who's passionate about that. The vegan and paraben-free formula uses a blend of natural oils to hydrate, strengthen, and heal damaged nails or nail beds. It has moisturizing jojoba, argan, pomegranate, sweet almond, and hemp seed oils plus Vitamin E for anti-aging benefits. The lightly rose-scented oil is conveniently packaged into a rollerball tip for easy application. You can toss it into your travel bag without fear of it spilling.

Hydrating Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, Sweet Almond Oil | Size: 0.27 oz | Package: Rollerball

Best for Strengthening: CND SolarOil

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What We Love: It can help transform weak nails into strong ones.
What We Don't Love: Some are not a fan of the scent.

Not only does this oil condition your nails and soften your cuticles, it also acts as a nail strengthener thanks to the combination of vitamin E, jojoba oil, and almond oil (which gives it the delightful delightful scent). According to the brand, the deeply penetrating and fast-absorbing formula also helps nails hold color and enhancements better, which is great if you're someone that loves sporting acrylic nails. In fact, celebrity nail artist Patricia Yankee once told InStyle that you can apply this oil over dry polish to create a flexible, high-sheen seal that resists scuffs. With all its uses, no wonder this product is one of the best selling cuticle oils on Amazon.

Hydrating Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E | Size: 0.24-4 oz | Package: Brush

Best Pen: The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil

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What We Love: This twist-up pen makes for easy, mess-free application.
What We Don't Love: You get a small amount of product for the price.

This slim cuticle oil pen can fit in just about any bag for on-the-go nail conditioning. It has a brush tip for precision application and an easy-to-use twist-up mechanism that allows you to dispense more oil. The cap even has a cuticle pusher on it, making it easier (and quicker!) than ever to give yourself a mini manicure at home. Plus, the combination of shea butter and almond oil in the formula softens and moisturizes cuticles and nail beds in no time. And the product uses oils from Fair Trade organizations, so you can feel good about supporting the brand.

Hydrating Ingredients: Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter | Size: 0.06 oz | Package: Pen

Best Scented: Maccibelle Cuticle Oil

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What We Love: You can choose from a variety of scents, including a relaxing lavender option.
What We Don't Love: The oil can evaporate from your nails quickly.

This healing cuticle oil from Maccibelle comes in three exquisite scents: milk and honey, pomegranate, and tea tree lavender. But according to the brand, the scent is subtle and light, so it won't overwhelm your senses (even if you're extra sensitive to fragrances). Along with softening and healing dry or cracked cuticles with vitamin E, this oil can also help protect nails from future damage.

The lavender scent, in particular, is a great choice if you apply your cuticle oil before bed. Lavender is known to promote relaxation, so this option would make the perfect addition to your nighttime routine as you unwind before bed.

Hydrating Ingredients: Vitamin E | Size: 0.5-8 oz | Package: Dropper

Best Roll-On: French Girl Nail & Cuticle Oil

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What We Love: The rollerball ensures an even application.
What We Don't Love: It's pricey.

French Girl Organics celebrates natural ingredients and the French lifestyle to create no-fuss beauty products that transform your vanity into a Parisian escape. This fan-favorite oil uses a blend of delicious-smelling, natural ingredients to completely revitalize your cuticles with a foolproof application. A quick breakdown of the nourishing formula shows argan and pomegranate oil provide for extra moisture, rosemary and rose geranium essential oils to promote nail growth, and hemp seed oil for its healing benefits. Even better is that the roller ball applicator means it's virtually impossible to spill, easy to use, and compact enough to throw in your bag and take anywhere.

Hydrating Ingredients: Argan Oil, Pomegranate Oil, Hemp Seed Oil | Size: 0.3 oz | Package: Rollerball

Best Drugstore: Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil

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What We Love: This drugstore oil has a nice fruity smell and absorbs quickly.
What We Don't Love: The oil can give nails an orange hue while it's on.

With Queen Elizabeth and Duchess Kate Middleton being major Essie fans, it's no surprise that the cult-favorite nail polish brand also creates some top-notch nail care treatments, like this cuticle oil. For one, it has a fresh apricot scent that's unique compared to the many almond- or flower-scented products out there. It's also designed to absorb into the nail beds quickly for maximum hydration. In addition to apricot oil, it contains jojoba, sweet almond and sunflower oil for extra nourishment.

Hydrating Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil | Size: 0.46 oz | Package: Brush

Best Fast-Absorbing: Ella+Mila Oil Me Up Cuticle Oil

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What We Love: This oil absorbs quickly.
What We Don't Love: The scent may be too strong if you are sensitive to fragrance.

We use our hands all the time, so it's helpful to find a cuticle oil that doesn't require you to wait around for it to soak in. This vegan treatment from Ella+Mila absorbs quickly so you can get back to your life without accidentally leaving oil stains on everything you touch. Formulated with safflower oil, it works to hydrate and revitalize damaged cuticles while also strengthening weak nails. The formula is vegan and Peta-certified cruelty free. Plus it has a lavender scent for extra relaxation.

Hydrating Ingredients: Safflower Seed Oil | Size: 0.45 oz | Package: Brush

Best for Damaged Cuticles: Sally Hansen Vitamin E Nail and Cuticle Oil

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What We Love: It brings damaged cuticles back to life.
What We Don't Love: Sometimes the bottle doesn't close tightly.

Overworked and parched cuticles need the healing powers of this vitamin E-rich oil. The intensely hydrating formula caters to damaged cuticles and brittle nails using a nourishing and soothing blend of softening apricot kernel and moisturizing aloe, which also boasts antiseptic properties. Panthenol strengthens the cuticles and nails, while wheat germ reduces redness and promotes healthier overall-looking skin.

Hydrating Ingredients: Vitamin E, Apricot Kernel, Aloe | Size: 0.45 oz | Package: Brush

Best Softening: Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil

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What We Love: The blend of oils does wonders to soften your cuticles.
What We Don't Love: The bottle's cap may leak.

Coconut oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E work in harmony to instantly soften rough, dry cuticles in this ultra-hydrating nail oil, which absorbs into the skin deeply for maximum efficacy. It envelopes the cuticles in rich, lasting moisture without leaving a greasy residue behind. According to the brand, the formula is best used as a preventative treatment for split-prone cuticles and brittle nails. While the Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Oil is thicker than its counterparts, reviewers assure that it "soaks in pretty quickly and doesn't leave [their] fingers oily."

Hydrating Ingredients: Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil | Size: 0.5 oz | Package: Dropper

Best Lightweight: Olive & June Cuticle Serum

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What We Love: This oil is lightweight and portable, so you can apply on the go.
What We Don't Love: You have to click the pen a few times before anything comes out.

If greasy nail care products are a total no-go for you, then the lightweight formula of Olive & June's Cuticle Serum should be on your radar. Designed for fast absorption, the serum-based cuticle oil instantly hydrates the skin using a blend of nutrient-rich oils like jojoba, sunflower, and avocado. Peppermint and spearmint extracts soothe irritation and reduce redness, helping you achieve salon-quality cuticles with every application. Plus, it's great for promoting nail growth and comes in a convenient travel-friendly pen applicator.

Hydrating Ingredients: Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sunflower Oil | Size: 0.14 oz | Package: Pen

Related: The Best Nail Polish Colors

What to Keep in Mind

Hydrating Ingredients

Most cuticle oils have a blend of different plant oils that help lock in moisture, reduce inflammation, and strengthen nails. "Look for hydrating ingredients such as sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, safflower oil, and jojoba oil," says Bruce.

Another common ingredient is vitamin E. Coming in oil form, this nutrient not only moisturizes the skin, but it also works to neutralize free radical damage to protect skin from UV light exposure, according to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner. Hands are constantly exposed to the sun, so it's important to apply antioxidants, in addition to sunscreen, to prevent sun damage.

Packaging

Cuticle oils come in different forms of packaging that suit different preferences and needs. If you want a bottle to keep on your nightstand or on your desk, a bottle with a dropper or brush should do the job. If you want an oil that you can stow in your purse or take on your travels, a rollerball, pen, or tin will be easier — and less messy — to use.

Your Questions, Answered

How do I use cuticle oil?

Nail oil can be applied as often as you'd like since there's really no such thing as too much hydration for dry fingers and nail beds. Many people like to leave a bottle in their purse or car so they can moisturize on the go. But one of the best times to apply cuticle oil is during your nighttime self-care regimen right before bed — since you won't be using your hands while you're sleeping, the oil has adequate time to soak in and work its magic.

But to really get the most of your cuticle oil, Bruce suggests massaging it into your skin to maximize its absorption and encourage growth. "Think of it as your daily skincare routine for your nails," she says. "Apply a small drop daily onto your cuticle area morning and night — a small drop will go a long way. I would recommend it especially after you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer since those can be drying to your cuticles."

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