Hello everyone! My name is Jessica and I’m passionate about natural nail and skin care. In this post, I wanted to share my favorite argan oil nail care routine that has truly revitalized my nails.
When I first started paying attention to nail care a couple years ago, my nails were pretty dry and brittle. No matter how much nail polish I wore, my nails just never seemed to look very healthy. I tried a few different nail strengthening polishes and treatments but nothing really seemed to make a lasting difference. That all changed when I discovered the power of argan oil for nourishing nails.
Argan oil has become one of the most popular celebrity-endorsed beauty oils in recent years and for good reason – it’s packed with nourishing fatty acids and antioxidants that deeply condition skin and hair. But did you know argan oil is also amazing for nails? I’ve tested many different nail treatments over the years, and argan oil is hands-down the best thing I’ve used to revitalize brittle, peeling nails. Stick with me and I’ll share everything I’ve learned about incorporating argan oil into a nail care routine.
What is Argan Oil?
Let’s start with a quick overview of what exactly argan oil is. Argan oil comes from the kernels of the argan tree, which is native to Morocco. Argan trees have been sustainably harvested by Berber women in Morocco for centuries to produce this prized oil.
Chemically, argan oil is composed of several beneficial fatty acids that give it exceptional moisturizing properties. Some key fatty acids and benefits include:
- Oleic acid (40-60%): Helps hydrate and soften skin/nails. Oleic acid is also a key component of healthy sebum production in skin.
- Linoleic acid (15-30%): An essential fatty acid that supports skin barrier function. Linoleic acid keeps skin supple.
- Palmitic acid (10-20%): Another moisturizing fatty acid that soaks into nails and skin.
In addition, argan oil contains antioxidants like vitamin E, phenols, and carotenes that protect skin from environmental damage. These nutrients help diminish the appearance of fine lines/wrinkles over time when used topically on skin.
The unique fatty acid profile of argan oil allows it to deeply soften and nourish skin/nails without feeling greasy. It absorbs quickly but continues hydrating for hours. Simply put, argan oil is one of nature’s most restorative moisturizers for skin and nails alike!
The Benefits of Argan Oil for Nails
Now that we know a bit about argan oil’s composition, let me share how it specifically benefits nails when used regularly in a nail care routine:
- Moisturizes dry, brittle nails: The high oleic and linoleic acid content leaves nails soft, supple and less prone to cracking or peeling.
- Strengthens weak nails: Over time, argan oil helps reinforce keratin bonds in nails, making them less likely to break or split at the edges.
- Promotes nail growth: By supporting healthy nail matrix function through moisturization, argan oil encourages nails to grow out longer and stronger.
- Soothes hangnails & cuticles: Its antioxidant properties assist in calming hangnails and preventing dry, inflamed cuticles that can lead to infection.
- Prevents ridge lines: With regular use, argan oil’s hydration prevents horizontal lines or bumps from forming on nails.
- Acts as a base coat: Used under nail polish, argan oil conditions nails while allowing color to smoothly glide on for an even application.
- Quickly absorbing: Unlike some thicker oils, argan oil is lightweight and non-greasy, absorbing into nails within minutes so hands feel dry.
- Safe for regular use: There are no known risks or allergies associated with topical application of pure argan oil on skin or nails.
The benefits of argan oil really become apparent over 2-4 weeks of consistent use. So be patient – it works slowly but surely to transform brittle nails into a state of supreme softness and strength! Now that you understand argan oil’s impressive hydrating properties, let me outline my full nail care routine.
My Complete Argan Oil Nail Care Routine
I use 100% pure, unrefined argan oil in my routine for the most potent nourishing benefits. While refined oils work too, unrefined oil retains the maximum vitamin/mineral content. Here are the steps I follow 2-3 times per week:
Morning Prep (5 minutes)
- Wash hands with a gentle cleanser and dry thoroughly.
- Massage 2-3 drops of argan oil into each hand, focusing on cuticles and nails. Gently push cuticles back with an orangewood stick if needed.
- Let oil absorb fully before getting dressed (about 5 minutes).
Evening Nourish (5 minutes)
- Remove any existing nail polish with non-acetone polish remover. Wipe nails with polish remover to remove any residue.
- Apply a thick layer of argan oil onto nails and cuticles, massaging it in with fingertips.
- Slip on cotton gloves or socks and leave on overnight while you sleep.
Weekly Treatments (15-20 minutes)
- Once a week, apply a thick layer of argan oil onto nails and wrap each finger individually with plastic food wrap, taping it securely.
- Allow to penetrate nails for 15-20 minutes before removing wraps. This boosts hydration.
- Every 2 weeks, do an intensive treatment by rubbing a piece of cut lemon zest in circles over nails before applying oil. Lemon brightens nails.
That’s it – the whole routine! In the mornings, it takes just a couple minutes to massage in argan oil. At night, all you need to do is slip on gloves/socks. The weekly treatments take a little longer but really deliver. Be sure to always apply with clean, dry hands for optimal penetration.
Not only does this routine hydrate cracked nails, it leaves my hands feeling so soft too! I’ll share more details on how to see results shortly. But first, some tips for incorporating argan oil into your regular polish wear.
Tips for Using Argan Oil with Nail Polish
While argan oil works wonders on its own to nourish nails, I also wear nail polish often. Here are a few pointers I’ve discovered for combining argan oil with polish application and wear:
- Apply a thin layer of argan oil as a base coat and let dry 5 minutes before polishing: This conditions nails under color.
- Re-apply argan oil as a top coat after polishing: This seals in moisture and adds a dewy, non-toxic gloss to polish without affecting wear-time.
- Use argan oil to remove polish, not harsh acetone: Break down layers with oil on a cotton pad, then gently scrape nails with orangewood stick.
- Always remove prior polish entirely before re-applying: Otherwise polish may peel more quickly. Use a swipe of oil when wiping excess polish remover.
- For longer polish wear, use sealer between color layers: But argan oil still improves flex without compromising shine.
- Focus argan massage on cuticles when wearing polish regularly: Polish acts as a protective barrier for nails themselves.
Following these tips, I find argan oil enhances my nail polish routines rather than conflicting with them. Color application glides on neatly and polish easily comes off when it’s time for a refresh. Keep reading to learn more about results you can expect!
How Long Until You See Results?
Most readers will be wondering – how long does it take to see improvements in nails using argan oil? While benefits accumulate over 4-6 weeks, you should notice some changes within the first 1-2 weeks:
- Week 1: Nails feel noticeably softer and more pliable. Cuticles start to appear less dry/flaky.
- Week 2: Surface of nails may look brighter or polished as oil helps push back cuticle edges. Nails resist breaking as well.
- Week 3-4: Nail folds strengthen and deep splits/tears diminish. Horizontal ridges become less noticeable on nails’ surface.
- Weeks 4-6: Nail growth has strengthened overall keratin matrix. New nail growth comes in thicker and less prone to peeling/cracking. Old damage fully grows out.
- Beyond 6 weeks: With consistent use, nails maintain newfound softness/strength between polish changes. You’ll feel proud showing off your nourished tips!
Results can vary slightly depending on individual nail type and how extensive previous damage was. Be patient – argan oil works gradually but powerfully to transform nails from the inside out. Stick with the routine and you’ll see steady improvements each week. A few before/after photos below demonstrate the kind of transformation possible.