DIY recipes with essential oils for strong nails, soft cuticles & healthy hands

By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

Our hands and nails are on show so much, and we use our hands all the time, but often they don’t get the same attention as we pay to the skin on our face, or even our bodies.  As a beauty therapist and aromatherapist, I often get asked of alternatives to over the counter preparations, to use to improve nails and hand condition. Using essential oils on your nails and hands, and even making your own recipe blends for the nails, cuticles and hands could be the natural way to give them the attention they deserve!

We can use essential oils to;

Strengthen the nails and promote a healthy strong nail growth

Soften the cuticles and prevent hangnails

Prevent or relief bacterial or fungal nail infections

Soften and hydrate skin on the hands

DIY recipes with Essential oils for Strong nails, Soft cuticles & healthy hands

(For purchasing, see buying guide below)

DIY nail strengthening balm

Use this balm every evening; massage a small amount into the base of the nail, around the cuticle to encourage blood circualtion, cell renewal, and moisturised nails.  Blend and store it in a small amber jar and keep beside your bed to ensure regular use.

10ml plain cuticle cream, 2 drops carrot seed oil, 2 drops lavender oil and 2 drops lemon oil

Essential oils on a shelf with a DIY Strengthening Balm for nails.  DIY recipes with essential oils for strong nails, soft cuticles and healthy hands.

DIY dry and damaged nail oil

Nails can often become dry, and we may experience ridges, flaking or peeling on the nails.  Damage caused by illness, trauma to the nail or, most commonly use of nail extensions, can cause sore, weak, flaking, dry and damaged nails.  Using this nourishing, vitamin packed oil regularly can restore the health of the nail.

15ml Avocado oil, 2 drops carrot seed oil, 2 drops lavender oil, 1 drops patchouli oil, 1 drop frankincense.

DIY cuticle oil

This oil, will not only help to encourage circulation and promote cell renewal, but it will also have an effect on softening the cuticles, due to the addition of vitamin enriched avocado oil.  Blend and store in a small amber bottle with a pipette, or a roller bottle for ease of use.

15ml Avocado oil, 2 drops frankincense oil, 2 drops ginger oil, 2 drops rosemary oil

(Check out what else you can use ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL for!)

DIY cuticle oil on a shelf with essential oils.

DIY cuticle cream

You may prefer a cream rather than an oil.  Simply blend these ingredients together, store in a small jar and apply a small amount regularly to the cuticles and massage in.

10ml Plain cuticle cream, 2 drops benzoin oil & 2 drops chamomile oil

DIY fungal infection nail oil

On occasion you may suffer with a fungal nail infection – this is particularly common on the toenails.  Over the counter remedies may work, but often take time and have harsh chemicals or strong scents in them.  Some essential oils have anti-fungal properties, which means they will kill or prevent fungus from forming, so making an antifungal nail oil is ideal. Blend and store in an empty varnish bottle or roller bottle and paint on as needed.

15ml Sweet almond oil, 2 drops thyme oil, 2 drops tea tree oil, 1 drop lemon oil and 1 drop lavender oil

DIY hand cream for dry chapped hands

This hand cream is great for daily use and especially if you suffer with very dry or chapped skin on your hands, or if you spend a lot of time with your hands in water.  Blend and store it in an amber bottle with pump for ease of use.  A plain hand cream is good, so there are no additives or fragrances to interfere with the essential oils and the addition of a couple of vitamin E capsules, adds extra protection and nourishment.

20ml plain hand cream, 2 vitamin E capsules, 2 drops benzoin oil, 2 drops bergamot oil, 2 drops lavender oil & 2 drops sandalwood oil

Check out more uses for BERGAMOT OIL!

For further details and information on Blending Essential Oils, read here.

DIY hand scrub

A lovely treatment for healthy, hydrated hands!  Keep by the sink and use from time to time to remove dead skin cells, brighten and nourish the skin on the hands.  Simply add enough sweet almond oil to some mixed sugar and salt, to make a soft paste, then add a couple of drops of each essential oils. Store in an airtight jar.  Scoop a little out, and massage into the hands, then rinse thoroughly. This can also be used for a foot scrub too.

Salt and sugar, sweet almond oil, grapefruit oil, lime oil, bergamot and rosemary

See what else you can use LIME OIL for!

DIY hand scrub with essential oils.

Buying guides

All your ingredients for any of these recipes can be purchased by clicking these links.

(This post contains affiliate links and as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases)

Essential oils for strong nails, soft cuticles and healthy hands

Any of these oils can be used to promote healthy, strong nails and neat, soft, and healthy cuticles, and hydrated, soft hands. Simply add one drop of any of the oils, to a small amount of oil, or your hand cream and massage into the nails, cuticles or hands. 

Essential oils for nail growth

What we need to do to get good, healthy strong nail growth is to encourage improved blood circulation at the end of the fingertips and the base of the nail.  It is also useful to be able to encourage healthier cell renewal, so the cells of the nails multiply and therefore grow better.  These oils all encourage cell renewal and good circulation;

  • Carrot seed oil
  • Frankincense
  • Ginger
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Neroli
  • Patchouli
  • Rosemary
  • Rosewood

Essential oils to soften cuticles

Your cuticles can contribute to the health of your nail, by ensuring that the cuticles are soft, neat and pushed back, then the nails automatically look healthier and longer, and more of the matrix is revealed so that the nail has more of a chance of growing healthier and stronger.  These oils all have softening properties and relieve dry skin;

  • Benzoin
  • Chamomile
  • Myrhh
  • Sandalwood

Essential oils to prevent nail infections

Nails can often be prone to bacterial or fungal infections.  This can happen when a foreign material can enter underneath the nail plate or get trapped under the cuticle.  This can then result in a bacterial or fungal nail infection.  These oils can help to prevent or kill nail infections as they have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

  • Basil
  • Tea Tree
  • Lavender
  • Thyme
  • Citronella
  • Lemon
  • Myrhh

Essential oils for healthy hands

These oils are very hydrating, good at promoting cell renewal and add great additions to any hand cream or hand preparation.  Some of the oils also have anti-inflammatory properties which means the oils will calm and soothe too.

  • Bergamot
  • Chamomile
  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Mandarin
  • Rose

Carrier oils for healthy nails and cuticle

When blending essential oils for any purpose, a carrier oil is usually used to blend the oils in. These carrier oils can have magnificent properties in themselves, and be really useful additions to essential oil recipes for nails, cuticles and hands.

A selection of carrier oils sitting on a shelf.

Sweet Almond Oil

This is a very common carrier oil in many different skin and body-care preparations, as it is a lovely light, unscented oil with a high Vitamin E content.  Vitamin E is a great skin moisturiser that also protects and nourishes too.  Very useful for softening dry or hard cuticles.

Avocado oil

A great oil for healthy nails and cuticles as it contains essential fatty acids that are good at protecting and repairing skin and nails.  It also contains a high vitamin content so ideal for nourishing, dry and brittle nails or dry skin and cuticles.

Jojoba Oil

A good oil for hydrating and repairing dry skin conditions so makes a great addition to a nourishing hand cream

Rosehip Oil

Usually used in facial preparations, Rosehip oil will make an excellent addition to nail and cuticle treatments, as it has a high vitamin content

The Structure Of The Nail

The nail is made up in exactly the same way that the skin is, so needs to be treated the same way to encourage healthy and strong growth.  We need to encourage good blood circulation to reach the hands and the fingertips to feed the cells of the nail.  Underneath the cuticle at the base of the nail, is the matrix.  This is where the nail begins to grow and where health of the nail is determined. 

Structure of the nail

To encourage good, healthy nail growth, it is important to stimulate this area to get the cells to multiply, hence getting the nail to grow.  When the cells have divided they push up to form the main body of the nail, known as the nail plate, and from there the free edge, which is the white part of the nail right at the end.

To encourage good blood supply, we can simply massage the cuticles, however adding essential oils and other useful oils to this massage ritual will help the nails grow stronger, while also helping to keep the nails healthy, the cuticles soft and neat and free from infection.

The Health Of The Nail

There are many factors that can determine the health of our nails.  Our diet plays an important part.  A diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and water, will results in healthy, strong nails.  However long term illness, or long term medication use can have a detrimental effect on our nails, and result in dry, dehydrated, weak nails.   Boosting our immunity can also help to encourage good nail growth.  If we are healthy inside then the nails have more of a chance of growing well. (There are also essential oils that you can use for boosting immunity too!)

Products can help promote healthy nails too; nail strengthener, cuticle creams and oils, hand creams etc, however creating your own products with essential oils, is a far more natural effective way to get strong nails, soft cuticles and healthy hands!

Precautions of essential oils for nail growth, soft cuticle & healthy hands

Essential oils in the small amounts you are going to use for these recipes, are relatively safe, however there are some precautions to be aware of.

Proceed with caution if you have very sensitive skin or have skin allergies. Start with one drop only of each essential oil, to see how your skin or cuticles react.

Certain oils should not be used during pregnancy. Avoid the following, or consult your doctor if pregnant, before using the following oils; Carrot seed, Jasmine, Rosemary, Chamomile, Myrhh, Basil, Thyme & Rose.

About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, that has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.