Guest Writer 300

How does cuticle oil work?

By Guest Writer | 28 January 2021 | Expert Advice, Feature

Cuticle Oil

How does cuticle oil work? Three nail experts explain why oils are a must-have for aftercare & nail maintenance…

To examine how this nail care product works, first you must look at its target: the nail plate and surrounding skin. “Oil and moisture can travel through the nail plate in both directions,” explains leading nail expert, Marian Newman, in her textbook, The Complete Nail Technician Fourth Edition. “Secretions from the nail bed travel up from under the nail plate and help keep it flexible.

“Water and many other chemicals can travel down from the top of the nail plate as long as their chemical structure is small enough to work their way through the gaps created between the cells. Harsh chemicals, such as detergents and bleach, can strip away the oil and moisture from the upper layers and seep between the layers at the free edge where the bonds between the later have broken.

Marian Newman

“Nail oil on the other hand, when applied daily to the nail plate, can penetrate through the layers and fill up the space with a useful lubricant that will help keep the nail flexible and prevent unwanted chemicals from invading the nail plate.”

“’Moisturisers’ are misunderstood,” explains globally renowned scientist and nail expert, Doug Schoon in Face-To-Face with Doug Schoon Volume II. “Contrary to what some may believe, oils can’t add any moisture to nails, skin or hair, but they can prevent ‘dryness’, so this causes some confusion. When moisturiser is added, that increases ‘water’ concentration inside nails, skin and hair.

“Oils by themselves can also increase the moisture content of nail and skin, but they do this in a different way than many understand. Oils coat the nail and skin with thin film that forms a moisture resistant barrier. Some oils can penetrate and will create a barrier in the upper layers of the skin. Underneath this barrier, moisture can build up, thus raising the water content of nails or skin.”

Doug Schoon

The application of cuticle oil helps recover the lipids (or, natural skin fats under our epidermal layer) of the skin, as cosmetic chemist & president of CleanestiQ Labs, Vitaly Solomonov, explains. “The lipid content and the lipids’ structure are the essential factor of the skin barrier function. This content can be compromised after using the products as cuticle removers, antiseptics and dehydrators.

“The cuticle oils recover and sustain the lipids, and, even more important, the oils slow down the water evaporation, which is also professionally known as water loss. The latter ensures the normal level of moisturisation.

Vitaly Solomonoff

“Some components recover the lipid content and structures of the damaged membranes while another slows the most precious component of the skin and nails: water. The additions that inhibit irritation are also used.”