DIY Cuticle Oil

Homemade cuticle moisturiser time, hello.

Now, I’ve never had healthy cuticles. I used to bite my nails (a story sad and full of blood) and my cuticles had a rough tough life, especially in boarding school. For my whole life I never had painted nails or even filed them – apart from a rebel year of primary school, when I kept them painted black for 12 months. Off point.

So, trying to atone for my previous misdemeanours (jk), I make a delicious and sweet cocktail for my cuticles, and it works and it contains no unpronounceable ingredients.

DEFINITELY try my recipe for cuticle oil – it’s based on long (and OCD) research and you can customise it – do let me know how your hands like it!

I am always greatly annoyed at all the extra, unnecessary ingredients in products (I’m a chemistry buff). Half of it is just cheap fillers, while the other half is actually HARMFUL.
Homemade cuticle oil

This formula is based on extensive research. Here we go.
You will need 3 things, plus an aptional 1:

1. Jojoba oil. – its molecules are actually quite similar to human sebum, so it’s a great carrier for other goodies.
Jojoba oil sebum
It’s moisturizing, doesn’t have a strong scent and it’s pretty much available everywhere. Try and buy the least processed one. I even use mine (cold pressed, organic) to remove eye makeup.
UNLIKE sweet almond oil, used as a base for cuticle oils by for example CND or Body Shop, jojoba is very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in sensitive folks.
Oh, and chemically speaking it’s not an oil, it’s a wax ester.
And, it doesn’t leave your fingers greasy and sticky, it absorbs well, and doesn’t leave an oily film, which I detest in moisturisers.

2. Vitamin E (tocopherol) – preferably bought in liquid form, I order it online, it’s cheap, but you could theoretically pop open a pill – I don’t recommend it though, as they always have a ton of added stuff.

3. Essential oil. This one is the fun ingredient, because you WILL smell insanely good. I use pure lavender oil, and its clean, herbal scent is pleasant even to me (I’m very hard to appease when it comes to perfume). Lavender oil is also anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, which is perfect as preventive measure for nail and cuticle health.
I’ve also used with great effect: grapefruit peel oil, lemon peel oil and oregano oil (add tomato sauce and you’ll smell like pizza. Guaranteed to make any men hooked.***) I’ve even used bergamot oil, and that one is great for any tea lover like me, but I always come back to lavender. You could also use thyme, jasmine or tea tree oil (I’m giving you lots of alternatives so you don’t necessarily have to hunt down the one I’m using). Now, it’s worth noting that we’re not using the oil simply to add a nice scent, we’re counting on their properties and on jojoba to carry them inside our skin.
(TIP: Watch out for alcohol in some essential oils!)

4. Totally optional: if you have any glycerin laying around – add a bit of that (in a 1:5 proportion with jojoba if any).

That’s it! Mix it, use it, love it.

The reason you’re making your own cuticle oil is to avoid harsh, unnecessary ingredients, so you don’t need to add anything else.

Alright, QUANTITIES! It is not in fact quantum physics, so it’s not necessary to weigh them to the last proton, but: for one (full) tablespoon of jojoba oil you need 2 drops of vitamin E and 1 drop of the essential oil of your choice. Shaken, not stirred.
It is better to think in spoons on this one, rather than cups, because even though it’s a stable ester, it is obviously better to make a new batch every few weeks.

And voila – I apply that oil every time I’m done with cleanup after a manicure (I use pure acetone). It works like a charm. If I can be bovvered, I put it on my entire hands in the evening and then put a pair of cotton gloves for the night (heat + jojoba = moisturised phalanges in the morning).

Whenever I do my mom’s nails, I spend the last 10 minutes on a relaxing massage, which she loves, and I use that same oil for the massage.

Diy cuticle oil
If you have an empty, clean polish bottle, go ahead, fill it up with what you’ve concocted.
(I’m waiting to finish my CND cuticle oil and then I’ll use the cute, tiny bottle – I just need to find a cute, tiny funnel).
Cuticle oil recipe
I’m very OCD about chemical goodies oxidising, but you don’t have to worry about jojoba oil – it actually has a very high oxidative stability – that plastic container in my picture can stay open for the duration of a mani, no problem.

I hope you like my recipe and, more importantly, you’ll try it! : )

Let me know if you give it a shot, how it works for you and what essential oil you chose.


***and by men I mean humans. And other mammals. PIZZA.


22 thoughts on “DIY Cuticle Oil

  1. I’m loving this and I have all the ingredients already at hand <3.. except the jojoba one :( (I tried using it as a facial oil once and I didn't like it). Do you think I can replace it with something else?
    Diana |

    • Not really Alicia, but if it’s ‘cold-pressed’ it’s much better quality and more effective.
      I buy mine at a professional store for cosmetologists, but honestly, as long as you get raw/cold pressed, you’re golden.
      Let me know how you get on!

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  6. Hi Catherine, we are new to your blog by way of mutual blogging friend, Aussa Lorens. Great post & perfect timing. I like you, am a recovering nail biter (only 3 months now, still suffering those hot sweats & jittery But with this new and glorious nail-length has found new joy on Isle 7 of our Walmart & an endless online frenzy of nail polish, trimmers, & even nail accessories to have fun with. THIS however, is the first time I’ve found anything on cuticle repair, in the way of an oil. Like you, my cuticles have suffered the backlash of a nervous muncher and are in need of some kind self-protection & a little pampering. And the reason for my words “Perfect timing” at the beginning of the comment is that the Holiday’s offer more in the way of social outings. Newly clawed, I plan to be painted up properly & NOW, thanks 2 you, will have healthy looking cuticles to boot. Most definitely will enjoy stopping by your kick-ass blog, more often and comparing nail stories, girlfriend!! :) This scratch is on me!! :)

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