Here’s why you should start using cuticle oil

It’s time to start paying more attention to your cuticles. But first, it’s important to be clear about what cuticles actually are. As celebrity nail stylist Elle Gerstein explained to Prevention, “The cuticle is the white, flaky skin that gets attached to the nail bed.” She continued, “The eponychium is where your skin ends, and the cuticle comes underneath that,” she continued. When talking about cuticle health, we’re focusing on that white, flaky skin Gerstein described.

Turns out, cuticle health is more important than you may think. “Regular use of a cuticle treatment is essential for nail health,” celebrity nail artist Tom Bachik told Oprah Magazine. “Not only does it prevent dryness, which can lead to hangnails and even infections, but it also helps build resilient, flexible nails, so they’re less likely to chip, crack, and peel.” In other words, healthy nails start with health cuticles. And that’s why you may want to start using a cuticle treatment in the form of cuticle oil immediately.

Cuticle oils are loaded with ingredients to protect nails

Most cuticle oils contain horsetail oil (don’t worry, it’s from a plant not a pony), per Jenny Patinkin, beauty expert and author of Lazy Perfection. It works to “heal rough cuticles and help with nail growth because it’s hydrating but also high in silica and folate, which promote collagen production to thicken and strengthen the nails,” explained Patinkin (via Well+Good). Better yet, the reason cuticle oils do their jobs so well is because they are also loaded with “other minerals that are anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial to prevent the development of fungus that can impede nail growth,” she added.

But what are the most effective cuticle oils on the market? “Jojoba, argan, and rose are some of the best oils for your cuticles,” Bachik revealed to Oprah. “Thanks to their small molecule size, these oils are able to penetrate deeper into the skin and nails, increasing the efficacy of other beneficial ingredients, like avocado and grape seed oil, and antioxidant vitamin E.”

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