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The Sneaky Cause Of Brittle Nails + A Quick & Easy Fix

Hannah Frye
Author:
March 18, 2023
Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
By Hannah Frye
Assistant Beauty & Health Editor
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.
black womans hands in the sky
Image by Lucas Ottone / Stocksy
March 18, 2023
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Just like glowing skin doesn't happen overnight, strong nails take dedicated work. If you’re particularly prone to breakage (read: you have soft and bendy nails) then keeping up with nail care might feel like a full-time job. 

No matter how much buffing you do or strengthening polishes you apply, your nail health won’t be at its best without this essential, oft-overlooked step. 

Why you need to moisturize your cuticles for growth. 

The secret: Start with your cuticles. Cuticle care isn't just about looks (although, frayed, rough skin does take away from an elevated mani). Your cuticle has an essential function, too, as it provides a barrier around your nail bed and protects it from bacteria. This means when your cuticles are in less than ideal condition (dry, peeling, etc.), that function will be affected as well. 

"If the cuticle compromise persists, the nail will eventually grow in irregularly," board-certified dermatologist and nail expert Dana Stern, M.D., once told mbg. "This is because the cuticle overlies the nail matrix, which is the nail-producing center of the nail." To sum it up: Cuticle care is essential for thriving, long nails.

So while cuticle oil might seem like a frivolous addition to your routine, let us be very clear—it's not. But that doesn't mean you must buy a super expensive yet tiny product; you can actually use clean and organic body oils for that dual function. 

My personal favorite: the mbg dry body oil. Not only does this oil make my skin silky smooth, but it gives my cuticles deep hydration without making my fingers feel greasy or sticky, like some cuticle oils have in the past. 

Plus, the nearly 100-milliliter bottle will last you a while, especially if you’re exclusively using it as cuticle oil. You can also run some of this multi-purpose liquid gold through your dead ends, give yourself a hand massage, or opt for any other way you like to use body oil. The formula is also fragrance-free, ideal for sensitive and peel-prone areas like the cuticles. 

No matter what product you use, though, do your best to make cuticle care a part of your daily routine. Dedication to this simple step might deliver more growth and nail strength than you can imagine.

The takeaway. 

If you want to grow long and strong nails, you’ll have to check cuticle care off the list. One quick and easy way to do so is by applying a fragrance-free body or cuticle oil to the nails every morning and evening. Want more cuticle care tips? Here are a few to browse

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