Healthy Nails

5 Amazing Cuticle Oils

cuticle oil intro

I recently published a post on how to care for your cuticles properly, at the end I said I would do a post addressing the best oils to use and why they are so good.

The purpose of a cuticle oil is to maintain soft and healthy cuticles, stopping any tearing that can cause pain, and damage to the nail or cuticle. The oil is usually made with avocado, jojoba, grape or almond oil; these act as a base to deliver the other ingredients deeper into the nail as well as to keep nails soft, supple and moisturised. (These are smaller molecules that sink deeper into the nail bed) Vitamins and antioxidants are also usually added, these help reduce the signs of aging, healing damage (especially Vitamin E), and removing free radicals that create premature aging. Almond oil can be added to condition and soften the nails. (These are smaller molecules that sit closer to the upper layers of the nail). There is a wide range of oils with beneficial ingredients, it will be up to your nails which one works best for their needs.

Repeated application of the product will drive the oils deeper into the natural nail and nail extensions, maximising their benefits and keeping them tough and flexible – avoiding breaks. Using an oil whilst wearing nail polish can make it last longer; nail polish is not actually solid, the oil is absorbed and keeps the polish from becoming brittle and chipping or cracking.

Below are 5 on the market that I use regularly, would highly recommend and have always helped me maintain amazing nails and cuticles:

Lush – Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter.

lush lemony flutter

What it says on the tin: Perfect for softening our hardest bits; knees, heels, elbows, brittle nails and cuticles finally get the attention they deserve. Lemony flutter revives a traditional method of cream making that even the Romans would recognise. A little goes a long way, and within a few applications, those neglected areas will be rejuvenated and smelling delicious, just like lemon curd.

Whats in the tin: Shea butter, beeswax, soya oil, avocado oil, linseed oil, Sicilian lemon oil, mango butter, castor oil, lavender oil, and chamomile blue oil.

What results can you expect from this oil: This cuticle butter is amazing! Its not a typical oil, it is a cream to oil formula. Once the thick cream touches your nail, the cream will dissolve into oil due to your own body heat. Its super hydrating to the nails and cuticles, it smells amazing and does absolute wonders for peeling or flaky nails. This does take longer to absorb, it is best used at night time before bed. I use this and pop some moisture gloves on before bed, then rinse in the morning.

Skintruth – Cuticle Oil.

skintruth oil

What it says on the tin: A professional nail care treatment formulated to nourish and repair damaged cuticles. A light, non-greasy, conditioning oil, blended with a combination of essential oils, designed to fully nourish and restore dry, brittle nails. This vitamin rich oil encourages growth of strong healthy nails.

Whats in the tin: Grape seed oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, and jojoba seed oil.

What results can you expect from this oil: This is your basic cuticle oil, nourishes, restores moisture and prevents dryness and brittleness. Its light as absorbs fairly quickly but you do need to apply this more than others to benefit from the oils.

Orly – Argan Oil Cuticle Drops.

orly oil

What it says on the tin: A premium conditioning nail and cuticle oil. Nourish and hydrate cuticles and nails with this rich blend of Argan oil and Jojoba seed oil for healthy nail growth.

Whats in the tin: Argan oil, jojoba seed oil, avocado oil, shea butter, and lemon peel oil.

What results you can expect from this oil: When I began getting hangnails even using oil everyday, I thought perhaps I was lacking something, I was recommended this and with nothing to lose I picked one up, my problem was solved. My nails was nourished and stronger at the sides. However, it did little for my actual cuticle area. I used another oil on just the cuticle and the argan oil drops on the nail bed. If you suffer from bad hangnails this is the product you need in your life, otherwise I advise using another oil.

OPI – Avoplex Cuticle Oil.

opi avoplex

What it says on the tin: All Avoplex products are formulated with advanced avocado lipid complex – A combination of deep penetrating, skin loving antioxidants; phospholipids (the biological building blocks of skin); vitamins A, B1, B2, D and E, essential fatty acids and avocado oil, which closely resembles the skins own natural oil. Rich in therapeutic, skin loving avocado oil in combination with super antioxidant Tocotrienol – 1000 times more powerful than regular vitamin e – plus feather light grape seed, sunflower, sesame, and kakui nut oils and lecithin to restore essential moisture and lipids and nourishes dry cuticles.

What is in the tin: I could not find an actual ingredients list, (this could be my oversight) but from the description given you can see that it includes the essentials you need in a hard working cuticle oil plus more. The more is what sets it apart, such as the Tocotrienol and the phospholipids.

What can you expect from this oil: Avoplex is a must have for anyone wanting beautiful, healthy, strong nails. Avoplex does it all, nourishes, conditions, solves the problem of flaking and peeling. Hangnails are prevented and cuticle are soft and supple. I could rave about this product for hours but I will let you find out just how good it actually is.

CND – Solar Oil, Nail & Cuticle Conditioner.

solar oil


What it says on the tin: This cuticle oil is infused with jojoba oil and vitamin E. Repeated use of this synergistic blend drives nutrients in deeper, creating stronger healthier nails and hydrated cuticle area. Keeps nails flexible yet tough.

Whats in the tin: Sweet almond oil, jojoba seed oil, vitamin E, rice bran oil.

What results you can expect from using this oil: I have a deep love for this product, it works so well. I use this throughout the day as it is quickly absorbed and light. It gives a nice quick burst of much needed moisture to your nails and cuticles that keeps them healthy, supple and my nail polish lasted much longer using this product. Always a thumbs up.

Conclusion: All of the above oils vary in ingredients and prices, but all are amazing for nails and cuticles; I highly recommend trying oil and how much it can benefit the health of your nails. I like to use any of these depending on whats closest to hand at the time of applying it, but I tend to use the Lush cream just prior to bed as it is a more intense nourishment; rather than a light, easily absorbed oil.



How To Grow Strong Nails

strong nails

Without correct care and the right products, I have very thin and fragile nails. Whilst growing my problems include, peeling, cracks at the sides of the nails and breaks.

Over the years I have been doing nails I have tried a lot of products, vitamins, treatments and any home remedy that I happened across. Some of these worked incredibly well and still do today; others made my nails worse, made very little difference, or was a waste of time and money by doing nothing at all.

I’m sharing my knowledge of what causes the problem of weak nails and what actually works to strengthen the nails, so you do not make the same mistakes I have made or waste your hard earned money.

What causes weak, peeling, splitting or breaking nails?

There are a huge amount of causes that can make your nails weak, in my experience of doing nails the most common are water, harsh chemicals, detergents, acetone in nail polish remover, peeling chipped nail polish off the nail bed, nail biting and glue on/ stick on false nails. Some nail problems can be due to a medical condition, so it is always worth asking your doctor on your next visit.

What can I do to improve the health of my nails?

There are many things you can do to improve the condition of your nails and to help strengthen them. To make it easy to follow I have broken it up into steps that are simple, address each issue and give recommendations on products that work to help that problem.

  1. Treat from inside out. Try a biotin supplement and vitamins to aid the overall health, strength and thickness of the nails. Drink plenty of water daily, this helps hydrate the nails – removing the issue of dryness and brittleness. perfectil originalI personally use ‘Perfectil Original’ from Vitabiotics. The ingredients include a range of vitamins as well as biotin. Over three months I noticed a difference in the thickness of my nails, the longer I used them the thicker and stronger my nails became.
  2. Patience. If your nails are very thin and fragile, perhaps due to the removal of extensions or gel polish. It will take time to grow out the damaged nail. Healthy nails do not grow over night. Don’t give up, be patient. You will see the results of the steps you have done to improve the condition of your nails.
  3. Protection is the best defense. When dealing with water, harsh chemicals, detergents etc – wear rubber gloves. If you are decorating or gardening, make sure to wear a pair of thick gardening gloves. Avoid press on false nails or glue on false nails. Try to minimise the use of nail polish remover if possible.
  4. Nails are not tools. Scrapping, peeling labels, opening and unfastening items are all things that can easily damage or break a nail. You may not realise you do this, but for strong nails you must stop using your nails as tools. Have something like a key ring tool. When you have the correct tools at hand, you tend to reach for them first; rather than your nails being the first option. ictorinox managerI use a ‘Victorinox manager’, which I have on my key ring, it does everything! It has a pair of tweezers, a pair of scissors, a pen, a knife, a file, a bottle/ can opener, screwdrivers and much more.
  5. Begin with a strong base. Filing the nail in a sawing motion with a rough emery board will lead to small tears being made along the edge of the nails, this causes splitting, tearing and eventually breaks. Try using a glass – ideally a crystal nail file and going slowly and gently in one direction across the nail, leaving you with a smooth, sealed edge. A basic round shape is easier to grow out as there is no corners to snag on anything. ldenny fileopi fileI use a couple of files; I use a ‘OPI’ crystal file and ‘Leighton Denny’ crystal file. I pop them everywhere, so if I get a snag I can deal with it immediately – that way I am not tempted to pick at it and make it worse.
  6. Care for all parts of the nail. This includes cuticles, push back cuticles with a hoof stick or orange stick while they are soft – do not cut them. Apply a cuticle cream, oil or lotion everyday and massage into the nail and cuticle for a few minutes; this helps the circulation which helps growth, cares for dry, brittle, flaky nails and give an overall healthy looking appearance to the nails. opi avoplexlush lemony flutterI personally use ‘OPI Avoplex’ several times a day, at night before bed I like to give the nails and cuticles a good massage with ‘Lush Lemony Flutter Cuticle Butter’.
  7. Hydrated nails = Healthy nails. Dehydrated nails cause dryness and brittleness, not the best for healthy strong nails. Moisture needs to be put back into the nail to hydrate and bond nail layers together. Hydrating as much as possible throughout the day combats this issue, apply rich hand lotions – the best are usually thick and often greasy. opi avojuicela sourceWhat I use personally depends on what is closest to me at the time but they will usually be one of two favourites. I love ‘OPI Avojuice’ and ‘Crabtree and Evelyn La Source Hand Therapy’.
  8. Help Strengthen. Several treatments are on the market today. A lot of these products are the work of snake oil salesman, claiming to do miracles for the nails but delivering nothing. Healthy nails are all down to a lot of the steps above, helping the nail from the inside out and care. What is a fantastic way to help you nails is applying a top coat. This will give the surface an armour that will protect the nail from chips, water etc. Most are inexpensive and readily available. opi top coatI use ‘OPI Top Coat’, it dries fast, it’s strong, it’s self leveling and a bottle lasts for a long time so value for money.

Conclusion: Everyone wants beautiful, strong, healthy nails. To achieve this we do have to do a little work and upkeep to maintain them. With the steps given hopefully you will now know how to do this easily without even thinking about it, it will become a nail routine as it did for me.

  • Biotin/ Vitamin supplements help strengthen and thicken the nails.
  • Be patient. Nails need time to grow healthy.
  • Wear rubber/ gardening gloves when doing manual or heavy jobs and when dealing with water or chemicals.
  • Do not use your nails as tools. Use the correct tool for that job and save your nails.
  • File gently in one direction, using a crystal file.
  • Use cuticle oil or butter daily to nourish.
  • Hydrate the nails several time a day using a good, thick hand lotion.
  • Apply a clear top coat to protect and strengthen the natural nail.

I hope that these will help you and your nails be the best they can be.


Natural Nail Treatments

bowl of water nails

At home natural nail treatments have become very popular. There are lots of remedies that can be found in books, online, by work of mouth, via Youtube, your friends and family. But, how do you know which ones actually work?

I have seen some that make no sense and would do nothing for your nails health. For example, Gelatin – Who thought to use this as a nail ingredient? I have compiled a list of natural nail remedies, how to use them and why you would use them for your nail health. All are basic ingredients, but have very powerful effects.

Tea Tree Oil

This oil removes discolouration and yellowing from nails. Its anti-septic helps prevent and treat fungal infections.

Pop a few drops of oil in a small bowl of warm water. Soak your nails for 3-5 minutes, remove hands but do not rinse and pat dry. Use this 2-3 times a week.

Olive Oil

This softens and helps moisturise nails and cuticles – leading to strong and healthy nails.

Warm a little oil and massage into nails and cuticles for a few minutes. Leave on for 15 minutes, rinse with just water and pat dry. Use this 2-3 times a week.

Vitamin E Oil

Vitamin E provides a moisturising property that gives nails a boost of hydration, resulting in healthy nails.

Break open a Vitamin E cap and extract the oil. Pop the oil onto the nail and cuticle and massage in for a few minutes. Do this daily before bed for a few weeks and you will notice a huge difference.


Beer contains Selenium, Potassium and Biotin that creates strong, thick and healthy nails. It is also rich in Silicon, which treats weak nails.

Warm 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 1 tablespoon of beer in a small bowl. Soak the nails in this for 15 minutes, rinse and pat dry. Use 2-3 times a week.

Green Tea

Tea gets rid of any yellow discolouration on the nail and the anti-oxidants helps prevent brittle nails. It will also strengthen weak nails.

Allow a cup of green tea to cool. Soak the nails for 10-15 minutes, remove and pat dry. Use this twice a week.


Micro-nutrients such as B Vitamins, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Lecithin and Protein in flaxseed are needed for healthy nails. The Omega 3 nourishes and hydrates dry, brittle nails through it’s fatty acids.

Rub flaxseed oil onto the nail and cuticle, massage in for a few minutes before bed. Wear cotton gloves over this oil to keep the moisture in. Rinse off in the morning. Use daily.

Apple Cider Vinegar

This vinegar contains the nutrients Magnesium, Potassium, Iron and Calcium these strengthen the nails. The acidic nature can prevent and treat fungal infections.

Mix equal parts water and raw, unfiltered vinegar in a small bowl. Soak nails for 5-10 minutes, rinse and pat dry. Use this daily for a few weeks.

Other Options

Another way to naturally treat nail problems and to keep them healthy is to combat them from inside-out. I will also list these:

Protein Based Foods

Nails are made of keratin – a certain type of protein. You need protein foods as building blocks for healthy, strong nails. Protein rich foods include, chicken, seafood, nuts, eggs, low fat dairy, beans, lean meats, tofu, soybeans and quinoa.


This is a B vitamin that helps build nail hardness and thickness, it reduces the chance of the nails splitting. Foods rich in Biotin include carrots, salmon, sweet potato, corn, lentils, egg yolks, peanuts, soybeans, almonds and fortified cereals. Biotin can also be found as an oral supplement from most health food shops.


Some of these may work better than others for your nails. It is worth trying them all out and seeing which works the best for you. On a personal level, the ones that worked best for my nails were olive oil, biotin and flaxseed. I have had huge changes since using them, I tend to rotate what I use each week.

I hope that you find one that works for your nails and that these natural treatments aid you on your way to beautiful, strong, healthy nails.



Cuticle Care

Cuticle Care heartprettynailsblog

When I first started doing nails I did all the rookie mistakes and wondered why my nails and cuticles looked terrible. I tried everything I heard about but they still looked awful.

I wondered what I was doing wrong, over the years I have learned so much. I thought it would be a good idea to condense everything from those years of experience to create a quick guide about the often looked over area of cuticles. Our cuticles are a massive part of the nail care routine and should have as much attention as the nail itself. Hopefully you gleam some useful information about the subject from this post.

What is the cuticle?

The cuticle is the skin at the base of the finger or the toe nail, it sits on top of the part of the nail that grows.

Why do we have cuticles?

The cuticles purpose is to act like a barrier to protect the nail.

Do I cut my cuticles?

No! The cuticle has a reason for being there, removing this area of your skin can cause you health risks. Cutting them leaves you with open cuts on your hand, which can lead to infection and irritation.When the cuticle regrows it will look uneven and flaky, cutting them can also cause problems such as ridges, white spots or white lines on the nails.

What can cause damage to the cuticle?

The cuticles can become chapped, dry and/or damaged from many factors; salty or soapy water, chlorination, excessive environmental conditions, exposure to hot sun or cold, as well as drying agents such as fast drying top coats, acetone from nail polish remover, and detergents. Cutting and biting the cuticle can also damage the cuticle.

How do I make my cuticles look neater?

Use a cuticle remover or a cuticle softener. Apply with a nail brush, a cotton bud, or if it came with its own applicator apply via this method. Leave on for 1-2 minutes or as instructed to on the product itself, with an orange stick gently and carefully push back the cuticle. Wash hands and apply a cuticle oil.

Why use a cuticle oil?

Cuticle oil can help repair damage, nourishes the nail and cuticle. It also aids circulation in the nail bed creating growth and maximises the overall health and appearance of the nail and cuticle.

What is cuticle oil?

Cuticle oil is applied to the cuticle and the nail area. When applied it softens and moisturises the area. Look for the ingredient Vitamin E, this will help repair damage that has been done to the nail.


For some when looked at all these seem pretty simple and common knowledge, for others who are first starting out on their nail journey they may not know these and that was my aim. To create a simple post on what they are, how to care for them, and how to maintain the health of them via products. I will also post a blog to follow this about the cuticle care products that I personally recommend and why I think they are the bees knees!