The 7 Best Cuticle Oils To Hydrate Your Nails

Photo: Getty/Anastasia Gorlanova
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When it comes to self-care routines, skin serums and hair masks get the majority of our attention and shelf space, meaning that our nails and cuticles often end up coming in third (or sixth) place in our regimens. Luckily, the best cuticle oils can help provide your digits with a little extra TLC to make sure they stay healthy and hydrated.

The best cuticle oils at a glance

What does cuticle oil do?

If you stop and think about how much our hands do for us every day, it's no wonder our nails can wind up cracked, dry, or peeling.

Oils are the ultimate multitasker—they're great in the kitchen, in our vitamins, in the shower (and after), to help maintain proper moisture levels and hydration. Cuticle oils, specifically, help nails get stronger, grow faster, and stop them from breaking or peeling. They are quick and easy to apply—just dab a little bit at the base of the nail and along the sides, and gently rub it in, and they are fit perfectly into your nighttime routine after a hand cream (to avoid daytime slippery fingers).

Cuticle oils are made with blends of an assortment of different natural oils and vary in scent and viscosity, and the best part is that Evelyn Lim, a NYC-based manicurist who shared her picks with us below, says there is no over applying them.

Read on to discover a few of the best cuticle oils for healthy, hydrated hands.

The best cuticle oils, according to the pros

A bottle of purple deborah lipmann cuticle oil treatment
Best jojoba cuticle oil: Deborah Lippmann, Cuticle Oil Treatment — $22.00

Size: .5 ounces

Looking for intense hydration at your fingertips? Lim touts the benefits of jojoba oil and vitamin E in your nail care routine. This oil has both in spades. The fast-absorbing formula is perfect to use on the go because it won’t leave your hands slick and greasy.

Key ingredients: Jojoba oil, vitamin E, coconut oil, camphor

Scent: Coconut


  • Manicurist recommended
  • Nourishing blend of vitamins and oils, including jojoba


  • Pricier pick
An orange tube of essie on a roll apricot cuticle oil, best cuticle oils
Best 8-free cuticle oil: Essie, On-A-Roll Apricot Cuticle Oil — $15.00

Size: .46 ounces

On top of leaving your hands smelling like a summertime picnic, this cuticle from polish powerhouse Essie rehydrates and revitalizes both cuticles and nails without any sketchy ingredients. The combination of jojoba and sunflower seed oils helps to seal in moisture and provide maximum nourishment. Plus, it’s completely vegan, cruelty free, and 8-free, which means they’re free of things like formaldehyde and sulfates.

Key ingredients: Apricot kernel oil, jojoba seed oil, sunflower seed oil

Scent: Apricot


  • 97 percent natural formula
  • Fruity scent
  • Great for mess-free application


  • No other scent options
Cnd solar oil nail and cuticle care cuticle oil
Best nail strengthening oil: CND, Solar Oil Nail & Cuticle Care — $10.00

Size: .25 ounces

Called a ”manicure in a bottle,” this blend of three natural oils (rice bran, jojoba, and sweet almond) and vitamin E packs a mega punch. CND’s multi-tasking Solar Oil serves as a nail strengthener, conditioner, and cuticle softener. Best of all, Solar Oil is available in multiple sizes, as well as a pen applicator.

Key ingredients: Sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, rice bran oil, vitamin E

Scent: Almond


  • Strengthens and conditions nails
  • Available in a variety of sizes


  • Some customers say it could be more moisturizing
a bottle of gold colored cuccio cuticle oil, best cuticle oils
Best value cuticle oil: Cuccio, Revitalizing Cuticle Oil — $14.00

Size: 2.5 ounces

For a moderately-priced pick that’ll last, opt for this larger bottle of Cuccio cuticle oil. A little will go a long way with this dropper-style bottle, and the formula is paraben free and cruelty free and includes cold-pressed safflower oil, sunflower oil, and vitamin E. Plus, it’s available in a wide variety of scents, as well as smaller sizes for travel.

Key ingredients: Vitamin E, safflower oil, sunflower oil

Scent: Milk and honey, vanilla bean, or pomegranate


  • Extremely popular with customers
  • Large 2.5 oz bottle with hygienic dropper
  • Multiple scent options


  • Not as much information on ingredients as other brands
best cuticle oil
Best cuticle gel: Qtica, Solid Gold Cuticle Oil Gel — $14.00

Size: .5 ounces

A pin-sized amount of this oil gel is all you need for a full cuticle spa day. Solid Gold is a patented 12-oil blend that starts as a gel and turns into an oil as you massage it into your nails and cuticles. If you’re wanting an oil that uses mess-free, sanitary application for sharing with friends or family, this is a great pick.

Key ingredients: Tea tree oil, citrus oil, aloe vera

Scent: Light citrus


  • Easy, sanitary application
  • Contains 12 oils plus moisturizing aloe vera


  • Only one size available
A bottle of bee naturals cuticle and nail oil, best cuticle oils
Best natural cuticle oil: Bee Naturals, Cuticle and Nail Oil — $13.00

Size: .5 ounces

This super clean formula from Bee Naturals is stocked with oils. On the ingredients list you’ll find olive, avocado, jojoba, castor, and apricot kernel oils, as well as lavender and lemon essential oils. Despite all of the oils, surprisingly, customers say it doesn’t leave their fingers feeling greasy.

Key ingredients: Olive, jojoba, and avocado oils, vitamin E, lavender and lemon essential oils

Scent: Lemon and lavender


  • Natural blend of oils
  • No greasy residue


  • Only one size option
a bottle of opi pro spa best cuticle oil for hands and feet
Best cuticle oil for hands and feet: OPI Pro Spa Nail & Cuticle Oil — $11.00

Size: .3 ounces

The ingredient list on this formula from OPI is a little wordier than the rest, but don’t let that scare you. It contains a hydrating blend of seed, nut, and fruit oils (have you heard of kukui or cupuaçu? You have now!), as well as white tea, which has antioxidant properties.

Key ingredients: Grape seed, sunflower, sesame, kukui & cupuaçu oils, white tea

Scent: Citrus


  • Unique blend of nut, seed, and fruit oils
  • Uses a dropper for clean application


  • More ingredients than others on this list
  • Some customers report greasy hands

How to use cuticle oil

Again, cuticle oil is one beauty product you can't really go overboard with. In fact, Lim recommends applying an oil two to three times a day for best results. If you're worried about having cuticle oil on your hands while you work, try keeping a bottle by your bedside so you can apply it to your hands right before dozing off to sleep.

Things to consider before buying


The biggest decision to make when considering a cuticle oil is how you'd prefer to apply it. Brush-on oils are easy to use, but you will have to replace the brush in between uses, which isn't the most hygienic, especially if you have serious cracks or cuts on your nails. If sanitary application is a priority for you, go for a dropper-style cuticle oil. That way you can drip a drop on each nail and rub it in with your fingers.


The best cuticle treatment oils contain nourishing and natural ingredients, like avocado and jojoba seed oils. If you have sensitive skin, opt for formulas with less ingredients (and focus on ingredients you can pronounce!).


Almost every oil we researched had a scent. While the smell will likely fade away quickly, you'll want to prioritize a cuticle oil that comes in a scent you won't mind sniffing every day. Added bonus: if you're a nail biter, having a scent on your fingers might help you kick that habit.

Frequently asked questions

Is Vaseline or cuticle oil better?

When it comes to nail care, both Vaseline and cuticle oil have their uses. Cuticle oils provide a nourishing treatment for your nails, while Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, acts as a protectant shield. The former tends to contain ingredients with healing and antioxidant properties, while Vaseline's main job is to contain moisture. Both are useful tools in your beauty arsenal!

Is it OK to use cuticle oil every day?

It's absolutely OK (and even encouraged!) to use cuticle oil every day. As long as you're not experiencing any adverse reactions from the oil you choose, feel free to apply it as often as you like.

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