Cuticle Moisturizers

Sunday, 16 November 2008

For healthy nails, it's important to moisturize your cuticles in order to create a barrier that prevents infection and allows the nails to grow. We examine some cuticle moisturizers to see if any are superior.

The Basics

  • While using regular olive or vegetable oil on your cuticles will definitely keep them supple, most people prefer to use specialized treatments with lovely scents.

  • Cuticle moisturizers come in two main formats:

    • Creams provide a thicker application and can be used on the whole hand. Active ingredients may include lanolin, leaf extracts, vitamins, shea butter and cocoa butter.

    • Oils may feel greasy to some, but are good if you don’t apply too much. Ingredients include oils such as: grape seed oil, avocado oil, apricot oil, canola oil, coconut oil, olive oil, almond oil and jojoba oil. Oils often come in a nail polish-like bottle with brush applicator, or as a dropper or pen.

  • If you opt for a cream, test before you buy to make sure it dries well. Some creams can leave your fingers and hands sticky.


We recruited some testers with severely dry hands and cuticles to test these moisturizers with us for two weeks (one product on each finger of each hand).

Our test products: .  
  • Sally Hansen cuticle oil: $6.99
. . Well.ca Drugstore.com
  • Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter: $7.99
. . Well.ca Drugstore.com
  • OPI Avoplex: $11.50
. . Local nail salon Drugstore.com
  • Kiehl’s Imperiale Moisturizing Cuticle Treatment (with lanolin): $23
. . Amazon.com
  • Dr. Hauschka’s Neem Nail Oil (pen dispenser): $25.95
. . Amazon.com

(Note: prices listed above are approximate and in Canadian dollars)

Moisture Test

  • The Avoplex avocado oil felt like it really nourished the cuticle, and also smelled wonderful.

  • The Sally Hansen felt too oily and didn’t absorb very well.

  • The Burt’s Bees had a nice smell and was easy to apply. It also absorbed quickly.


We’re big fans of the OPI’s Avoplex avocado oil because it felt like it really nourished the cuticle and it smelled wonderful too. The Burt’s Bees was a runner up for cost, convenience and smell.



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