Best cuticle creams and oils 2022: Banish dryness and soreness for good

Martha Alexander
17 Aug 2022

Repair and nourish the delicate skin around your nails with our pick of the best cuticle creams and oils

A dedicated cuticle moisturiser might appear to fall into the “do I really need this?” category of personal care. However, investing in such a cream may well be beneficial, particularly for those who do manual labour, have dry skin (in the winter months, especially) or enjoy gel or acrylic nail treatments.

Cuticles – the thin, delicate layer of skin that protects your nails from damage – are a much overlooked part of the body. Yet left neglected, they can look and feel really sore. If they’re too dry and damaged, they can become infected, too.

Luckily, it isn’t difficult to take care of your cuticles; but you need to be gentle with them. Steer clear of any aggressive cutting or – heaven forbid – biting, and you must keep them well moisturised. The most effective cuticle treatments are intensely nourishing, while also being gentle on the skin. And the benefits of looking after your cuticles? Hydrated and well-cared-for cuticles are far less likely to split, and much more likely to nurture strong, healthy nails.

Best cuticle creams and oils: At a glance

How to choose the best cuticle cream or oil for you

Which is best – oil or cream?

This comes down to personal choice. With an oil, you’ll get the satisfactory sensation of it sinking in, but it’s lighter. On the other hand, creams feel more rich, packing in ultra-hydrating ingredients that deliver moisture over a longer period.

How often should cuticles be moisturised?

As often as you like – there’s no limit! But it really should be done at least once a day to see long-term results. Try keeping cuticle oil on your desk or by your bedside as a reminder.

Do I need to do anything else to keep my nails healthy?

Be gentle when you trim or push back your cuticles. While pushing back and cutting away more skin will make a nail look neater and longer, being too aggressive with the cuticle can be extremely painful and lead to a bruised and torn cuticle. So go easy!

How much should I spend?

Like most products, there are cuticle creams and oils available at a variety of price points, but many on the market cost around £10-£20. The most expensive product in our roundup is upwards of £50 but serves as a wonder product for the face and lips, too, which makes it worth spending the extra.

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The best cuticle creams and oils you can buy in 2022

1. Badger Cuticle Care: Best budget cuticle balm

Price: £7 | Buy now from Beauty Naturals

Badger’s cuticle balm is packaged in a super-cute little tin (think lip balm proportions, which makes it perfect for handbags and carry-on luggage), with a lovely illustration on the lid.

However, what’s even more impressive is what’s on the inside. This certified organic shea butter balm soothes and smooths cuticles, while also including a whole host of other nourishing natural ingredients – including rosemary for improved circulation at the nail bed – to promote nail growth.

It isn’t a one-off treatment; the balm can be used at any time and even on the go, and for best results you should use daily. Do so, and you’ll soon notice that split, fraying cuticles will start to heal.

The balm smells great, too, with a fresh and natural scent that isn’t overpowering.

Key features – Quantity: 21g

Buy now from Beauty Naturals

2. Renovate Cuticle Oil: Best cuticle oil for absorption

Price: £14 | Buy now from Leighton Denny

Packaged exactly as you’d find nail polish, there will be little doubt over what the contents of this little bottle are for. Perfect for keeping on your desk, this cuticle oil’s formulation is made up of 88% plant-based, vegan ingredients, including almond oil. Application is via a small brush – 20 seconds is all it took to paint and have it rubbed into the cuticles of both hands – and thankfully, it leaves no residue. The fragrance is sweet almond, a scent that’s light and fresh. Cuticles are instantly soothed, and in our case, following around a week of using Renovate twice a day, they looked almost completely healed and healthy.

Key features – Quantity: 12ml

Buy now from Leighton Denny

3. Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Serum Pen: Best cuticle serum for easy application

Price: £12 | Buy now from Margaret Dabbs

As the name implies, the Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Serum arrives as a pen of sorts, allowing you to easily “draw” just the right amount of serum onto your cuticles. Once on, simply rub it in; it absorbs quickly and feels instantly hydrating.

After a week of twice-daily use, cuticles will look smoother and less red, and any flaky skin or cuts will have healed. All of which provides the perfect setting for strong, healthy nails to flourish. No wonder this product is the recipient of a beauty award.

Key features – Quantity: 15ml

Buy now from Margaret Dabbs

4. Fierce Skin Alert Unguent by Pietro Simone: Best all-in-one cuticle cream

Price: £65 | Buy now from Oxygen Boutique

At first glance that price might make you wince, but Fierce Skin Alert Unguent is a bit of a hero product that can be used to soothe and nourish dry skin all over the body. You can use it on your face overnight and wake to a gorgeous, glowing complexion, and it’s brilliant for your cuticles too, thanks to a super-rich formula comprising anti-inflammatory natural oils and balms.

The pot is the size of a slightly oversized pot of lip balm, and it comes with a mini spatula for application; however, the tip of your finger will do just fine. And while you might baulk at the outlay, a little goes a long way, so this little pot will last you some time.

Following three days of application on very dry, angry cuticles, we noticed a change for the better. Skin was less red and swollen and the soreness had reduced.

The fragrance is faintly floral, which makes this a great choice for anyone who can’t bear strong smells.

Key features – Quantity: 50g

Buy now from Oxygen Boutique

5. Decleor Ongles Nail Strengthening Serum: Best cuticle oil for super-dry cuticles

Price: £24 | Buy now from Pure Beauty

This thick, sumptuous oil is such a treat for out-of-shape cuticles and neglected nails. Smelling of almonds, you apply the product with a small brush before rubbing it in with your fingers. And the effects are almost instant – skin will begin to feel smoother the moment the oil soaks into the skin. Of course, cracked cuticles will take longer to heal, but used a couple of times a day for a few days, any soreness will calm and skin will feel softer.

In tests this oil proved most healing for really dry, sore cuticles. Used daily, you’ll ensure your cuticles are nourished and less prone to splitting.

Key features – Quantity: 15ml

Buy now from Pure Beauty

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