How to Use Nail Cuticle Oil

Updated May 10, 2017

Cuticles are the thin, hard bands of skin at the base and sides of fingernails. These bands create seals that prevent debris and bacteria from entering beneath the skin. Because cuticles are fragile and sensitive to dryness, they can crack, causing pain and even bleeding at the base of the fingernail, if not moisturised properly. Using cuticle oil regularly can help moisturise cuticles and prevent cracking and discomfort. Several brands of cuticle oil are available in stick, cream and liquid form.

Remove nail polish with nail polish remover. Wash hands in warm, soapy water, rinse well and dry. Make sure nails and cuticles are completely dry.

Place a small towel on a table or flat surface, and open the cuticle oil.

Put one hand on the towel, and apply one to two drops of the oil to the cuticle of your thumb with your free hand. Rub the oil gently into the cuticle with your finger until the oil has been absorbed into the cuticle and nail. Repeat with your remaining fingers, working the oil into each finger before switching hands.

Refrain from washing your hands for one hour or longer after applying the cuticle oil, or apply it at night before going to bed.


Read the application and use directions for the type of cuticle oil you are using. Some manufacturers recommend applying cuticle oil twice a day or twice a week. Once you've applied cuticle oil and have allowed it to absorb, wash your hands with mild soap and warm water to remove any oil residue before applying nail polish.

Things You'll Need

  • Nail polish remover
  • Towel
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About the Author

Elizabeth Otto has been writing professionally since 2003. She is a licensed emergency medical technician-intermediate with over 10 years of experience in the field. She has worked as a clinical assistant in family health and emergency medicine since 1995. Otto is a freelance writer for various websites and holds an Associate of Science in medical assisting from Commonwealth College.