Just when we thought vitamin E’s beauty résumé couldn’t get any longer, it surprises us once again. After all, it’s already a dermatologist favorite in skincare products thanks to its nourishing and hydrating properties. But did you know that the ultra-popular antioxidant may also be the secret to healthy nails? Whether you use pure vitamin E oil or a rich cuticle cream, products containing vitamin E may be just what you need to save cracked, brittle nails—especially in the winter months, when our hands and, therefore, our nails are more prone to dryness thanks to the one-two punch of the weather and an increase in hand-washing.
A little bit of background on the popular antioxidant: Officially, there are eight types of vitamin E, with tocopherol and tocopheryl acetate being the most common topical forms (meanwhile, alpha-tocopherol is the most active form in the human body). Because it’s fat-soluble, it’s often found in oil form, and works well with go-tos such as coconut oil, jojoba oil, and apricot oil to deliver its many benefits when it comes to skin—and yes, nails.
Interested in what vitamin E can do for your mani? Continue reading below to find out the benefits of using vitamin E for your nails, how to use it, and a few IPSY-recommended products to try.
About the Expert:
Like the skin on the rest of our body, “Vitamin E oil benefits the cuticles and nails by moisturizing and nourishing,” explains LeChat Nails educator Syreeta Aaron. Both areas have a tendency to get dry and cracked, so having a cuticle oil or hand cream (or both!) available to hydrate on command will be a skincare savior.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant, so it helps prevent free-radical damage from the environment. In addition to providing much-needed moisture to dry nail beds, “Vitamin E oil also prevents cuticles from the cracking” in the first place, says the nail expert.
Manicures and pedicures are great, but they can leave our natural nails stripped, yellow, or even thin and weak—especially if they’re removed incorrectly. Vitamin E “can repair damaged nails due to polish or acrylics by nourishing and replenishing the nail to a healthier state,” according to the nail educator. Plus, applying vitamin E regularly may even promote nail growth. (So long, rogue chipping and hangnails!)
If your nails are crying out for help, start applying vitamin E like you apply moisturizer. “Vitamin E oil should be used throughout the day, now more so than ever,” Aaron says, referring to the marked uptick in hand-washing and sanitizing since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Another good time to use it: right after using nail polish remover, which is also harsh on nails and skin.) Luckily, it’s easy to incorporate vitamin E into your hand and nail care routine, with everything from cuticle balms to hand lotions to nail polish formulas themselves containing the ingredient. You can also massage a small amount of pure vitamin E oil into your nails in place of a cuticle oil.
Protect, moisturize, and strengthen your nails at every step of your routine with these five IPSY-approved products.
This versatile salve has a castor seed oil and sunflower wax base to seal in hydration, but it’s the—you guessed it—vitamin E that takes its moisturizing powers over the top. It’s a must-have in your bag for dry cuticles as well as chapped lips, elbows, and anywhere else you might need it.
This vitamin E-infused formula helps strengthen nails, and the cool blue hue is especially pretty on toenails.
Paint a coat of this treatment on anytime your nails feel a little weak or brittle. The vitamin E and keratin act as strengtheners, plus it helps nails look brighter and healthier while it makes your mani last longer.
Hands feeling dry? Apply hand cream. Just washed your hands? Apply hand cream. Thinking about hand cream? Apply hand cream. As a general rule, you’re probably not moisturizing your hands (and, therefore, your nails) enough. But the triple threat of organic shea butter, argan oil, and vitamin E in this French-made formula moisturizes like a dream. And did we mention it smells incredible?
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