As much time as you put into thinking about your next manicure, you probably rarely (if ever) give the same attention to your actual nail health. But just like your skin and hair, your nails are made up of layers of keratin that can become damaged from things like overexposure to water, harsh weather, acetone-based nail polish, or removing gel manicures improperly. With the help of the best nail moisturizers, however, you can repair current damage and protect your nails from turning weak and brittle in the future.
You can help ensure your nails and cuticles stay smooth with a variety of different types of products, but one of the best ingredients to look for is vitamin E, which is a particular superstar when it comes to nail health, since it not only moisturizes your skin and nails, but can also help treat yellow nail syndrome. Other nutrient-rich ingredients that help moisturize and protect your cuticles, hands, and nails are jojoba and sweet almond oils.
You'll also want to help prevent your nails from drying out in the first place by cutting back on gel manicures (and making sure to have them properly removed when you do get them), steering clear of drying ingredients like formaldehyde in nail polish, and avoiding using nail polish remover that contains acetone.
Whether you're in need of a concentrated formula for your cuticles, something your whole nail plate can benefit from, or an all-over hit of hydration for your hands, these are the best nail moisturizers to try.
1. Best Nail Oil
This has been a longtime go-to for me because of its simple formula that really works. The CND SolarOil Nail & Cuticle Care combines sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, and rice bran oil with vitamin E to condition and protect your nails. The lightweight formula smells like delicious almond oil, and you can rub it into your nails and continue to apply more throughout the day. While it will certainly help rehydrate post-gel nails, this also smooths rough cuticles and aids in repairing existing brittleness. It also gets a considerable amount of love on Amazon, with over 700 five-star reviews.
2. Best Nail Cream
If you prefer a nail moisturizer that can be used as an all-over hand treatment, the Yes To Coconut Hydrate & Restore cream has got you covered. The rich formula is strong enough to revive dry, cracked hands and cuticles, but since it's non-greasy, you can apply it during the day without it leaving your hands feeling slick. Ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil (which contains vitamins A, C, and E), and jojoba, avocado, and sweet almond oils are what allow this cream to strengthen nails and leave hands smooth. It also contains passionfruit extract; combined with the coconut oil, this gives the lotion a yummy, tropical scent.
3. Best Value
Whether you like to stockpile your beauty products or carry your favorites wherever you go, this three-pack ensures you'll never be without your new favorite nail moisturizer. The Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream has a balm-like consistency, which makes on-the-go application easy, since you'll never run the risk of a spill in your purse or all over your keyboard. Burt's Bees included the usual nail nourishing ingredients in this formula — like sweet almond oil, cocoa seed butter, and vitamin E — plus lemon oil, which has natural astringent properties to leave your nails, skin, and cuticles healthy and soft.
4. Best Nail Serum
If you like to keep your beauty routine as clean and pared-back as possible, this Leven Rose Vitamin E Serum is free from chemicals and synthetic ingredients (in fact, it solely contains a handful of natural, botanical oils — and that's it). In this formula, jojoba, sweet almond, argan, apricot kernel, sea buckthorn, prickly pear, coconut, and rose oils combine with pure vitamin E to repair, smooth, and moisturize your nails. The dark bottle helps protect the oils from potentially damaging light exposure, and the dropper allows you to apply the serum exactly where you want it (it can be used on your hair and skin, too). It's also an extremely popular pick on Amazon, with over 8,000 reviews, many raving about its ability to soften rough cuticles and strengthen formerly brittle nails.
5. Best Nail Moisturizer That Doubles As Polish
When your nails need a break, but you still want a hint of color and shine, there's the Butter London Sheer Wisdom Nail Tinted Moisturizer. This two-in-one product helps restore damaged nails while instantly making them look healthier with a subtle tint. Ingredients like vitamin E, tea tree oil, keratin, and arginine help to protect, lock in moisture, and strengthen nails. The formula also features Butter London's micro smart active technology, which releases the ingredients as you wear the treatment for longer-lasting benefits. The cruelty-free polish also comes in several different tinted shades that were designed to complement every skin tone.
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