Craft Your Own Beauty – DIY Nail & Cuticle Oil

Our nails need pampering every once in a while. We all have busy lives and many of us (me included) don’t have time to regularly look after our nails and cuticles.

Even for those people who have regular manicures, you might not actually be doing your nails a favour. Nail polishes typically contain solvents, film formers, resins, plasticisers, pigments, pearls and thickening agents. Your nails are quite porous so it’s possible that some of these chemicals are absorbed further into your nail bed and beyond.

I can guarantee you that most if not all of the ingredients in nail polish will be synthetically manufactured. This doesn’t make them inherently bad, but it does raise lots of questions about potential toxicity levels. (Completely off-topic, but my mother-in-law once told me about a lady who made her nails look nice and fresh by dipping them in bleach regularly – yuck!)

Even if you’re not using nail polish, every day your nails and cuticles are being exposed to the elements and they can become brittle and dry. So it is worth taking the time to treat your nails and cuticles, they deserve it. Let’s have a look at a DIY nail and cuticle oil that you can make at home with natural ingredients.

You will need:

·       2 tablespoons olive oil

·       1 tablespoon coconut oil

·       1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil

·       2 drops of lavender essential oil

·       2 drops of lemon essential oil

Gently warm the olive oil and coconut oil together in a double boiler until they are warm to the touch. Don’t overheat and be sure to always check the temperature before you use the oil. Then add the Vitamin E oil and the essential oil drops and stir the mixture together.

Get a shallow bowl and pour in the warm oil mixture. Find yourself somewhere to sit where you know you won’t be disturbed for a while and immerse your nails in the warm oil. Relax and massage the mixture slowly into your nails, paying attention to your cuticles. The olive, coconut and vitamin E oils will nourish your nails and make them shiny while the essential oils will add antibacterial and antifungal properties to your DIY nail and cuticle treatment.


When you’re finished, wipe your nails dry with a clean cloth and admire their lovely shine! This nail and cuticle oil can be used on a daily basis and will keep in an airtight sterilised container. However, as it is nicest when used at a comfortably warm temperature, you might want to make it from scratch each time.

Lorraine Dallmeier is a biologist/ecologist with qualifications in cosmetic science. By day she works as an environmental scientist developing renewable energy projects, by night she manages Herb & Hedgerow (, an artisan herbal beauty business based in Dorset, UK. Here she runs the HerbBlurb blog where she regularly writes about herbs for beauty, cosmeceuticals, natural beauty throughout history, DIY beauty and the science behind natural skincare.

Herb & Hedgerow sells the popular BeautyCraft app for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad – a beautifully illustrated recipe book with dozens of DIY natural beauty recipes. In the next year, Herb & Hedgerow will be launching a small range of handcrafted herbal beauty products.

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