Hydrating your cuticles is extremely important if want to grow long, strong, healthy nails. A hydrated nail is more flexible and less likely to peel or break. But which cuticle oil is best?
First, a short lesson in nail anatomy.
Nails have about 50 layers!
The nail plate (what we call the fingernail) has approximately 50 layers, some people have less (thin nails) and some people have more (thicker nails). The cells that make up your nail plate are made of densely packed keratin. It’s very difficult for every day moisturizers to make it through all those layers and have an impact on the nails hydration level. Your body naturally moisturizes your nails from underneath, through your nail bed.
As we wash our hands, use cleaning products, acetone polish remover, etc., we strip away the natural oils and dry out our nails.
Water is easily absorbed into nails, however this is not the type of hydration we want because it is also quickly evaporated. Plus, water tends to weaken nails, think of how soft your nails are after a shower. So dry your hands immediately after washing to prevent them from becoming waterlogged, as this also prevents polish from lasting and causes gels and acrylics to lift.
Oils don’t evaporate as quickly, therefore if you hydrate your nails daily, this repeated dose of oil will continually build up within the layers and increase flexibility and resist breaking and peeling.
So which oil can we use to replenish lost moisture and to prevent further dehydration?
We prefer Olive Oil because it is high in vitamins, antioxidants, and has superior moisturizing properties. Most importantly, Olive Oil contains Squalane, a compound which is extremely hydrating and has a very small molecular size.
Remember we need an oil of a very small size so it can fit between those densely packed keratin cells!
That means the Squalane molecules are able to soak through the tightly packed keratin and work their way through the layers to hydrate efficiently. Squalane also mimics our own natural sebum so the body recognizes it and allows it to move easily through the nail.
Jojoba Oil is a great addition to blend with Olive Oil.
Jojoba is not actually an oil, it’s a wax in liquid form. What’s beneficial about this wax is that it creates a physical barrier on the nail to prevent the evaporation of moisture.
Jojoba Oil is also a great carrier, meaning it helps carry other ingredients to penetrate more efficiently. Simply adding a little Jojoba to your Olive Oil mixture will boost the absorption of all those healthy Squalane molecules.
Keeping your nails hydrated and your cuticles moisturized will not only make your nails more attractive, prevent hangnails and peeling, but will also make your nails healthier.
Tip: Apply cuticle oil at least once per day, twice is even better especially in colder or drier climates. And remember to massage it in to increase circulation and bring additional blood flow, nutrients and oxygen to your nails!
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