Your fingernails play a far more important role than simply protecting the skin at the tips of your fingers.
Keeping a close eye on your nails can help you identify potential health issues before they start to affect other parts of your body, so they also deserve a little care and attention.
Aside from your diet, there are plenty of other ways you can improve the quality of your nails. Using essential oils for nail care can help keep your nails strong and healthy and it’s a natural application that is kind to your skin and your budget.
What essential or carrier oils can encourage nail growth?
Continued growth of your nails is important to their long-term health and it should be the next thing to focus on once you have given your cuticles some TLC. Here are a few examples of the best essential oils and carrier oils for nail growth:
- Sweet Almond Carrier Oil
Almond oil is rich in Omega 6 and 9, vitamins E, A, B1, B2 and B6 and fatty acids. Once applied, it coats the nail and protects them from cracking, dryness, peeling and breakage.
Aside from its protective qualities, your cuticles will also feel that little bit smoother and you’ll enjoy a nice glossy shine on your nails.
- Myrrh Essential Oil
If you want to help your nails grow, myrrh is thought to be one of the best around.
Aside from keeping cuticles moisturised, which also supports nail growth, myrrh can stop nails from becoming thin, brittle and breaking.
With regular application it can strengthen nails and promotes growth of less rigid nails.
- Avocado Carrier Oil
You can find many more uses for avocado beyond spreading it onto your toast. In oil form, it’s an extremely moisturising remedy that easily absorbs into the skin which makes it the ideal choice for nailcare.
Avocado oil is rich in vitamins A, B, and E, so it is easier to absorb calcium, which in turn improves bone mineralisation and the process of calcification, resulting in faster growing nails.
It is also high in potassium, meaning it can help to promote keratin and keep our nails from going brittle.
Can essential or carrier oils help to soften nail cuticles?
Your cuticles play an essential role in maintaining healthy nails. Your nails are growing all the time and do so by producing a protein called keratin. The cuticle is there to protect the new keratin as it emerges onto the nail, which will eventually harden.
The better you look after your nails, the more likely it is that they will grow to be strong and healthy. Here are some recommendations on how to help your cuticles using essential oils and carrier oils for nails:
- Jojoba Carrier Oil
If you want to soften up your cuticles, jojoba oil is a wonderful treatment to apply.
It easily absorbs into the skin to release natural moisture and is also rich in vitamins Be and E.
It’s a recommended oil for repairing damaged collagen inside nail beds, promoting healthy nail growth and improving all-round nail strength.
- Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender has a lot to offer your nails, largely thanks to its versatility. Use It to improve nail and cuticle strength and boost moisture levels.
People tend to use lavender because of its hydration properties, so if you suffer from dry, inflamed or ragged cuticles, this is a great place to start.
- Geranium Essential Oil
Another deeply hydrating option is geranium oil. It ticks both boxes of deep moisturising for your cuticles and also helps to strengthen your nails and prevent them from damage.
Geranium oil is also naturally gentle, and can protect the delicate skin around your nails from peeling.
You will also benefit from its natural anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it’s a great option for the winter when infections tend to be more likely.
Can you prevent nail fungal infections using essential oils or carrier oils?
Essentials offer an array of benefits for your nails and in some cases can also help to protect your nails from fungal infections. Toenail infections are more likely to happen during the winter as the weather changes and creates the perfect breeding ground.
A combination of wet skin, nails and shoes – along with a little heat – is usually all that is needed for unwanted fungi to form. Here are a few of the best essential and carrier oils for nails to protect them from fungal infections:
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil possesses powerful antiseptic properties that when applied to your nails can help to prevent growth of fungus infections.
There is some scientific research to support this, especially for the type of fungus that can affect toenails and lead to athlete’s foot. Many people tend to use it to strengthen, and repair discoloured or damaged nails.
- Vitamin E Carrier Oil
Carrier oils are usually mixed with essential oils to make them safe for your skin, but they also offer their own benefits.
Vitamin E isn’t a single vitamin, but rather a group of fat-soluble vitamins which contain antioxidant effects.
You can apply a carrier oil directly to your nails which can help to improve their strength and its hydrating properties may also alleviate dry skin around the nail bed.
- Clove Leaf
Another natural treatment you could apply to your nails to treat a fungal infection is clove leaf essential oil.
Studies have been carried out to test its antifungal properties and found that it can be useful, helping to remove fungus from the skin.
While there are many essential oils that have antifungal properties, clove leaf remains one of the most popular and is widely recommended.
With a little care and attention, you can keep your nails healthy without having to rely on chemical-based products.
Combined with a balanced diet rich in healthy fats (seeds, nuts, avocados etc.) you will soon start to the see the benefit shine through on your fingertips. It’s also a natural treatment you can apply anywhere, so whether you need to maintain your routine at home, at work or anywhere else, essential oils can easily adapt to your routine.
Also remember to use a carrier oil every time you apply an essential oil to avoid irritating your skin.