Alternatives To Cuticle Oil That Promote Healthy Nail Growth

You've noticed that your cuticles are dry and brittle, and the overall appearance of your nails has gone downhill since you removed your last manicure. While acrylics themselves aren't necessarily damaging to your nails, the process of removing and refreshing them with harsh chemical soaks can leave your nails feeling cracked and thin. Environmental and health factors can also contribute to brittle, broken, and yellow nails. 

Adding cuticle oil to your nail care routine can be helpful to ensure they stay looking and feeling healthy. However, cuticle oil isn't always readily available when your nails need a little refresher. For example, your supplier might be out of stock, or you don't have the time to run to the store or wait for a package to arrive by mail. Thankfully, several cuticle oil substitutes can be found in your pantry or in products you already have on hand. 

For instance, you can easily get your nails growing and healthy again by using cuticle oil alternatives like vitamin E or hyaluronic acid. Not only will they hydrate and strengthen your nails, but they're fantastic for the skin's health around your nails too. And to make sure you have all the information you need to care for your nails properly, here's when and how to apply these products to get them looking radiant again.

Hydrate your nails with vitamin E

You're working on getting that long, luscious natural nail look, but you're completely out of your daily dose of cuticle oil. You could grab your messenger bag and run to the store, but there's a laundry list of to-dos you already don't have time for on your fridge. Rather than ordering online and waiting for days, run to your kitchen for a few vitamin E capsules. Just like vitamin E can improve dry skin, it also increases the moisture in your nail bed and restores dry cuticles to promote strengthening and length. 

Likewise, vitamin E reinforces the nails by preventing cracked cuticles, fighting bacteria, and repairing damage caused by nail polish removers and manicures. Nail educator Anastasia Totty noted in an interview with The Zoe Report that "Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects the nail plates from free radical damage and deeply hydrates and heals both nails and surrounding skin." Using vitamin E to rejuvenate your nails is as simple as breaking open a capsule twice daily and rubbing it in. 

A hand cream infused with it will also do the trick. Make sure to work it into the nails, cuticle, and surrounding skin thoroughly to allow every part to reap the benefits. Even consider using it more often for nails that are severely damaged, dry, or brittle. But, while vitamin E is a powerful cuticle oil alternative, try adding a bit of hyaluronic acid to your nail care regime for added benefits.

Hyaluronic acid gives nails strength

You've probably heard the wonders and miracles that hyaluronic acid can do for your skin. In fact, you probably have a hyaluronic acid primer in your makeup bag that you can't imagine living without. Take that level of moisturization to your nails to make them grow by adding it to your nail care routine too. Hyaluronic acid has the amazing ability to bind to water, which makes it great for plumping up your face and improving the look and feel of dry and brittle nails. 

In addition to combining with elastin fibers to strengthen the nail structure itself, hyaluronic acid hydrates the cuticle and reduces the roughness of the nail plate. Moreover, a 2020 study published in the National Library of Medicine showed that when hyaluronic acid and Pistacia lentiscus were added to nails for six months there was a noticeable improvement in the appearance of both nails and cuticles.

To get the most benefit out of hyaluronic acid, try applying it to your nails several times a day, as board-certified dermatologist Onyeka Obioha, MD, advised Bustle. Or, pick up a hand cream with hyaluronic acid that you can use every time you wash your hands. While cuticle oils are easy to find, when you need a nail fix now, hit up your bathroom for some vitamin E or hyaluronic acid. They easily give your nails a bit of extra TLC without having to bother running to the store.