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Brittle nails (medically referred to as “onychoschizia”) is a common dermatological complaint, says Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry, who spoke to Elite Daily for this article. He says the best nail oils for brittle nails contain vitamin E (which can also help prevent the yellowing of your nails), jojoba oil, almond oil, castor oil, clove oil, sunflower oil, and/or olive oil. These rich oils can stop the progression of nail damage and prevent new nail growth from becoming brittle, Dr. Chaudhry explains. He adds that preventing the flaking, crumbling, and splitting of nails that’s caused by a loss of elasticity in skin will most likely require a combination of lifestyle adjustments and the use of certain skin care products, such as the nail oils featured below.
Apply your oil three times a day, Dr. Chaudhry says. “Massaging oil regularly helps in the absorption of essential nail-softening nutrients from the surface of the nail into the body,” he explains. Also, Dr. Chaudhry says that applying oil onto your cuticles will keep the growing edge of the nail soft, moisturize the nail beds, and promote healthy nail growth, so don’t forget to apply your oil onto your cuticles, as well.
Another tip from Dr. Chaudhry: Some hand lotions can actually make your nails worse, so if you use hand creams, look for ones that have dermatologically tested formulas, and don’t use those in place of a nail oil. And as a rule, oils can penetrate moisturizers, so the doctor says it's better to apply your nail oil after you use lotion on your hands, not before.
Finally, our nails tell us about many things about our bodies, says the doctor. If using a good nail oil, paired with lifestyle modifications (e.g. wearing gloves when cleaning and washing dishes, and avoiding acetone if possible) doesn’t help, speak with a dermatologist to see if there’s an underlying condition causing your brittle nails.
1. Dermatologist’s Pick: Best Nail Oil For Brittle Nails
Dr. Chaudhry likes that this Sally Hansen nail and cuticle Oil is an “amalgam of essential vitamins like vitamin E, coconut oil, and nail [moisturizers that] greatly [impact] healing and prevention against nail brittleness.” He says the blend of nourishing ingredients, which also includes apricot, safflower seed, wheat germ, and aloe, helps to protect your nails from damage and keep them soft. At just $6 on Amazon, it also happens to be one of the most affordable nail oils out there, too.
2. Dermatologist’s Pick: Runner Up
Dr. Chaudhry also recommends Pura D'Or’s nail and cuticle oil, which is full of nourishing ingredients like argan, sunflower, and jojoba oils, as well as vitamin E, that help counteract the loss of elasticity in your nails. Honey and almond milk provide additional moisture and nourishment, and finally, this oil contains biotin, which may help promote nail growth. It comes with a dropper dispenser and you only need a dab of product per each nail, so this affordable bottle will last you forever.
3. Nail Pro’s Pick: Best Nail Oil For Brittle Nails
Jennifer Bell, the senior marketing manager at Bellacures, a chain of nail salons favored by celebrities, says that the pros she works with use Dazzle Dry Mend Oil on clients with dry, damaged nails. “Like all Dazzle Dry products, Mend is made of natural ingredients and free from harsh chemicals,” she says. It’s made from a blend of squalane (sourced from olives), oat kernel oil, tea tree oil, lemongrass, and celery seed extract, and it’s a gentle and effective way to treat your nails, cuticles, and hands.
You may already be familiar with Dazzle Dry’s four-part nail system, but this repairing treatment was especially designed for people who have weak, thin nails and white spots caused by damage and dryness.
4. Best Scented Nail Oil (& The Best Nail Oil According To Amazon Reviewers)
With over 80,000 five-star ratings, this is one of the most popular nail and cuticle oils on Amazon. It contains all sorts of nourishing ingredients, like safflower oil, sunflower oil, and vitamin E, but what really makes it such a crowdpleaser is the delightful range of scents in which it’s offered. Choose from milk and honey, citrus and wild berry, lavender and chamomile, mango and bergamot, peach and vanilla, pomegranate and fig, sweet almond, or vanilla bean and sugar.
5. The Best Nail Oil Pen
Stick The Body Shop’s drip-free nail oil pen into your bag to use on the go. Made from sweet almond oil, almond milk, olive oil, and shea butter, this convenient little pen is easy to handle and apply without spilling, and has the added bonus of a rubber top that doubles as a gentle cuticle pusher. One Amazon reviewer reported, “This stuff is miraculous. I have weak, peeling nails and this oil transforms them into strong and healthy talons.”
6. Honorable Mention
You’ve certainly seen CND SolarOil around somewhere. The popular, award-winning oil has over 14,000 five-star ratings on Amazon, with fans reporting that the blend of jojoba oil, vitamin E, and sweet almond oil is a miracle worker for their brittle nails. It has a nice, lightweight feel and a yummy almond scent, and if you buff your nails and then apply this oil, you’ll look like you’ve got a coat of sheer polish on your fingers.
Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry, M.B.B.S., UK-Board-Certified Dermatologist, Scandinavian Biolabs
Jennifer Bell, Senior Marketing Manager, Bellacures
Clinical and Instrumental Objective Evidence of the Efficacy of a New Water-Based Nail-Strengthening Solution Containing Pistacia lentiscus and Hyaluronic Acid Applied for Up to 6 Months to Improve the Appearance of Weak, Brittle Nails. Dermatology and Therapy, 10(1), 119. Piraccini, B. M., Granger, C., Alessandrini, A., Brandi, N., Bruni, F., Mandel, V. D., Pellacani, G., & Starace, M. (2020). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337401201_Clinical_and_Instrumental_Objective_Evidence_of_the_Efficacy_of_a_New_Water-Based_Nail-Strengthening_Solution_Containing_Pistacia_lentiscus_and_Hyaluronic_Acid_Applied_for_Up_to_6_Months_to_Improve_th