The best cuticle oils to nourish dry nails

18 May 2020
Any products in this article have been selected editorially however if you buy something we mention, we may earn commission

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The best cuticle oils

In order to look like you've just had a salon manicure 24/7, healthy cuticles are an essential . If your nail beds are looking anything but soft and supple, fret not - we've rolled up our sleeves and given our cuticles some serious TLC in the name of research to find the best oils and treatments in the beauty biz so you don't have to.

Here are our honest reviews of the nail oils and treatments and whether they really work...

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Dadi Oil, £16

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Ask any professional nail tech their thoughts on Dadi Oil and we're certain they'll give you a glowing review. Made up of 20 natural ingredients and essential oils, nails drink this in at the end of a manicure - especially if they've been dehydrated with acetone beforehand. It's a stalwart in nail bars thanks to the intensely nourishing formula. It has an unobtrusive scent and leaves the nails looking salon-fresh even if you did your mani in the living room.

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Cienna Rose The Elixir Nourishing Cuticle Oil, £9.50

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This product is so much more than a pretty bottle - the 12 free formula ( read up on what that means here ) is vegan and cruelty free  and absorbs into nails extremely quickly. The zingy lemongrass scents makes for a refreshing change from sweeter cuticle oils, too.

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Jessica Phenomen Oil Intensive Moisturiser, £14.10

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If you've ever had a manicure at the spa, chances are your nails have been doused in this post-polish. It's a favourite among spa therapists and for good reason - jojoba, almond, vitamin E and rice oils combine for rehydrating formula that easily absorbs to help maintain strong and healthy nails. We always loved Jessica for the on-trend nail polish colours and this has given us another reason to appreciate the brand.

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CND SolarOil™, £6.95

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If you’re a marzipan fan, you’ll probably want to eat this. We don’t recommend ingesting, but dry cuticles and ragged nails will drink it up in no time. It’s an award-winner and manicurist’s staple and it’s not hard to see why - it absorbs quickly and makes a noticeable difference to both the condition and appearance of nails in a flash. Jojoba, vitamin E and sweet almond oil provide almost instant nourishment and used everyday this product would keep hands looking healthier and younger, especially throughout the winter months.

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Cowshed Apricot Nourishing Cuticle Oil, £10

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This delicious apricot-based oil smells sweet and luxurious without being overpowering (and causes no issues with for sensitive skin in our experience). After using we instantly noticed a difference in how our nails looked - before use our cuticles were dry and flaky but this soothed them back into better condition and made our nail bed look neat and tidy as if we'd just had a professional mani, with no grease in sight.

MORE GLOSS: How to repair damaged nails according to the experts

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Mavala Daily Cuticle Oil, £12.15

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This product is effective, easy to use and has no post-application greasiness. As recommended, we brushed it onto the contours of our nails and massaged it in with a firm rotating motion towards the heart. The skin around our nails was left feeling well nourished, soft and supple which was a nice contrast to the embarrassingly peeling and flakiness that we started off with. We massaged it into our actual nails too which certainly helped them look healthier and generally more well-groomed as a result - a great way to soften up and prepare cuticles before you embark upon the process of removing them.

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Leighton Denny Slick Tips, £12

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With key ingredients of jojoba oil and vitamins A and E Leighton Denny’s cuticle oil has a dual purpose - it acts to provide instant moisture to dried out nails making them look and feel softer whilst also helping wet polish dry faster. As advised, we applied a drop to each nail and gently massaged into the nails and cuticles and then proceeded to apply a slick over fresh polish. After a drying period of around five minutes it left cuticles instantly smoother and healthier looking with a natural lustre to them. What’s more, our nails were completely dry within about six minutes (smudge and fingerprint free). One thing to note, it has a strong artificial lemon scent, so if you're sensitive to fragrance this might not be the best cuticle oil for you.

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Dr LeWinn’s Renunail Nourishing Oil, £2.99

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Dr LeWinn’s nail products are some of the best in our opinion - their nail strengthener is the only thing that keeps our nails from flaking so we had high hopes for the oil. Packed with nourishing olive oil, vitamin E, sweet almond oil and jojoba seed oil, this works quickly and effectively to soothe any soreness and immediately helped to soften hard skin around our nails which had reared its head in the chilly weather. It left our fingertips slightly greasy afterwards but our skin felt soft and the scent was pleasant; a slightly zingy tea tree aroma which is unsurprising given it’s one of the ingredients.

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Essie Apricot Cuticle Oil, £8.99

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This is highly nourishing and hydrating and quickly absorbs so as not to leave a greasy residue after massaging the oil into the cuticles.  It definitely left our nails looking a lot smoother and feeling softer and healthier and is super easy to apply - being in a nail varnish bottle with a brush to sweep across the nail. As suggested by its name, it has a fruity smell to it, which is pleasant enough, but again, if you don't like scented products, we'd opt for one of the others in this round up.

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KIKO Intensive Nail Care Oil Pen, £6.99

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This oil doesn’t feel like is it the most premium on the market but that doesn’t really matter as it certainly does the job and not only is it so appealingly easy to use (even in the car) the oil doesn’t run or leave any mess around the finger tips.

"f you are lazy with your cuticle care and don’t want a make a fuss, then this is a neat little gem to keep at your desk and apply during those moments of ‘strategic’ reflection.

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The Body Shop Almond Nail and Cuticle Oil, £8

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This cuticle oil is incredibly easy to use as it's designed to be a pen so a simple click and sweep across the cuticles and you are done. It also includes a rubber tip on the lid to gently push your cuticles back too. The texture is quite thick, but distributes well and takes minutes to dry - so perfect for a speedy nourish. Containing sweet almond oil as well as organic olive oil and vitamin E, it’s very soothing and helps to moisturise and smooth out those rough and dry areas.

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Orly Cuticle Drops, £8.55

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A blob of this on a grey day and you’re transported to the Amalfi coast; close your eyes and this stuff could be limoncello. The fragrance is a nice change from the usual marzipan aroma associated with cuticle oils, and it’s a great mid-afternoon refresher at your desk. The drops themselves are dispensed via a neat, petite pipette, so for an oil there’s not too much mess on application. The texture of the drops is thinner than you might expect for a cuticle oil and didn’t feel quite as nourishing as some, but on the plus side it absorbs very quickly and doesn’t leave a trail over your keyboard/ phone/ lover. If you like something lighter than the average oil that allows you to get on with your day, this will likely be right up your street, but if you crave something thick and luxe, it might be a bit tad lightweight.

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L’Occitane Shea Nail and Cuticle Nourishing Oil, £14

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Containing 30 per cent shea oil, this lovely product comes in a little tube with a swishy brush on the end, allowing you to paint the oil onto your cuticles in an easy and satisfying way. A few minutes after just one application, the skin around our nails went from looking dull and craggy to soft and smooth with no greasy residue; the way it sinks straight in makes us think our nails are happy at long last have some nourishment in their life.

MORE GLOSS: How to repair damaged nails according to the experts