The 11 Best Cuticle Creams of 2022

Our best overall pick is Deborah Lippmann's The Cure

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Okay, so admittedly a cuticle cream probably isn’t at the top of your list of beauty needs. But it really does deserve a seat at the table. The humble product can go a long way in keeping your nails strong, healthy, and looking good. (Quick reminder: the cuticle is the piece of skin at the base of your nail bed that prevents bacteria and grime from getting in and causing infection.)

You can definitely use cuticle oil to keep your cuticles in tip-top shape, but think of those as more of a fast fix and a cuticle cream as a long-term solution. Packed with ultra-hydrating ingredients such as butters and oils, they’re usually even thicker and richer than hand cream, delivering a concentrated hit of hydration. Our favorite way to use one? Slather it on nightly before you hit the sack, just as you would a lip balm or hand cream, to keep your cuticles moisturized and your nails looking that much better.

Byrdie Researched & Approved

Our top choice in cuticle creams is Deborah Lippmann's The Cure Cuticle Repair Cream, which has an antioxidant-rich formula for soft, hydrated cuticles. We also love the more affordable Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream; it's packed with natural, hydrating ingredients like almond oil and beeswax.

To find the best cuticle creams on the market, we conducted hours of research—evaluating each on their active ingredients and ability to hydrate. After consulting recommendations from our product testers and considering dozens of formulas, we landed on these top-rated picks to give you the best in show.

Ahead, find the best cuticle creams for healthy, strong nails.

Best Overall

Deborah Lippmann The Cure Ultra Nourishing Cuticle Repair Cream

4.5
Deborah Lippmann The Cure

Courtesy of HSN

What We Like
  • Penetrates even painted nails

  • Packed with nourishing and reparative ingredients

  • Has plenty of antioxidants

What We Don't Like
  • Small amount

Who else recommends it? Allure and Good Housekeeping both picked Deborah Lippmann's The Cure.

This formula is packed with nourishing and reparative ingredients, making it well worth the price. We’re talking shea butter and sodium hyaluronate for hydration purposes, but also a ton of protective antioxidants—vitamins A, C, and E, raspberry stem cell extract, and red algae. Oh, and it can penetrate your nails even if you have polish on.

Reviewers loved that they saw noticeable results almost immediately, and that it hydrated their cuticles and nails without leaving a greasy or oily residue. They also liked that they only had to dab on a tiny amount for it to have an effect.

Active Ingredients: Raspberry stem cell extract, red algae, shea butter, sodium hyaluronate and vitamins A, C, and E | Benefits: Offers immediate relief from roughed-up cuticles and offers long-term protection from dryness with daily use | Dosage: Apply during the day as needed and in PM for overnight | Size: .034 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $24

If your cuticles are in really rough shape, apply a cuticle oil then layer Deborah Lippmann's The Cure on top for a super intense overnight treatment.

Best Budget

Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

4.9
Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Burt's Bees

What We Like
  • Nice lemon smell

  • Feels like fresh manicured nails

  • Cuts through oils and dirt

What We Don't Like
  • Lid can be hard to open

The addicting citrus scent is reason enough to make you want to keep slathering this on, improvements in your nails aside. But it does, in fact, help get your nails into tip-top shape, thanks to almond oil, cocoa seed butter, and beeswax (which promises to lock in all the hydration). As an added benefit, it also boasts vitamin E and sunflower oil which claim to help boost brittle and peeling nails. Plus, it’s 100% natural, with no parabens or petrolatum.

Active Ingredients: Lemon oil, vitamin E, almond oil | Benefits: 100% natural source to nourish brittle nails | Dosage: Apply after handwashing as needed | Size: 0.3 or 0.6 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $6

What Our Testers Say

"The Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream is the kind of product that you don’t realize how much you need it until you’ve allowed it into your life. It instantly enlivens your hands and is a small-but-significant form of self-care, both of which we could all use right now." — Nicole Kliest, Product Tester

Best Natural

Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Cuticle Cream

Beekman 1802 Pure Goat Milk Cuticle Cream

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Gently exfoliates

  • Fragrance-free

  • Made with natural ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Might be a bit greasy

You can definitely feel good about this squeaky clean, chemical-free ingredient list where the star of the show is, you guessed it, goat milk. Not only is it hydrating, but it’s also packed with different good-for-your-skin vitamins, including reparative vitamin A. Goat milk's lactic acid claims to provide a little bit of gentle exfoliation, which is never a bad thing for rough cuticles. Those who are sensitive to scents will appreciate that this has no fragrance.

Active Ingredients: Cocoa butter, essential oils | Benefits: Vitamin-rich softening | Dosage: Apply post-manicure | Size: .3 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $13

Best Luxury

Dior Crème Abricot Nail Creme

Dior Creme Abricot

Dior

What We Like
  • Absorbs quickly

  • Noticeable results

  • Softening formula

What We Don't Like
  • Can be heavy

This nail and cuticle cream from Dior is a great choice if you want to pamper yourself—and your cuticles. It has an emollient-rich formula (beeswax, lanolin, vitamin E and more) and a luxurious feel that will repair and soften your cuticles for nails that appear healthy and hydrated. Reviewers also love the pleasant, fruity smell.

Active Ingredients: Lanolin, mineral oil, beeswax, vitamin E | Benefits: Hydrates and improves the appearance of nails and cuticles | Dosage: Apply a pea-size amount and massage in | Size: 0.35 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $30

Best Ointment

Lanolips The Original 101 Ointment Superbalm

lanolips-the-original-101-ointment-multipurpose-superbalm

Lanolips

What We Like
  • Safe for babies

  • Lanolin locks in moisture

  • Just two ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Can be a little sticky

There are, wait for it, 101 different ways to use this all-purpose ointment. It contains just two ingredients, lanolin and lanolin oil, but works wonders pretty much all over your body. (Just FYI, since lanolin is derived from sheep, vegans may want to take a pass on this one.) Dry cuticles are no exception, and we also appreciate that because it’s an ointment, it also imparts a healthy-looking sheen onto nails.

Active Ingredients: Lanolin | Benefits: Mom-friendly with locked-in moisture | Dosage: Apply post-manicure | Size: .52 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $17

Best Balm

butter LONDON QuickFix Moisturizing Cuticle Balm

Butter London QuickFix Moisturizing Cuticle Balm

Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Mess-free

  • Maintains moisture levels

  • Non-greasy

What We Don't Like
  • Thinner consistency

Key Ingredients

Avocado oil is an edible oil pressed from the fruit of the avocado. For the skin, it contains vitamin E to help nourish and soothe, as well as oleic acid to promote collagen production.

First, this delivers moisture to dry cuticles, thanks to coconut and avocado oils. But then it promises to maintain those moisture levels, using phospholipids. Read: Cuticles stay looking and feeling hydrated, longer. Bonus points for the easy-to-use massaging tip, that makes application both easy and mess-free.

Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, avocado oil | Benefits: Prevents aging and retains moisture levels | Dosage: Apply post-manicure | Size: .4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $18

Best for Weak Nails

Dermelect Rejuvenail Fortifying Nail & Cuticle Treatment

Dermelect Rejuvenail Fortifying Nail & Cuticle Treatment

 Courtesy of Ulta

What We Like
  • Reinforces weak nails

  • Hydrating and strengthening

  • Quenches cuticles

What We Don't Like
  • Might not work strong enough for some

Dry cuticles and dry, breaking nails often go hand-in-hand (no pun intended). Enter the beauty of this option; with ingredients meant for both hydrating and strengthening such as keratin, it quenches cuticles and reinforces weak nails in one fell swoop. Reach for it if your nails need a little extra TLC post-gel manicure.

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, glycerin | Benefits: Enhances nail appearance with anti-aging technology | Dosage: Apply 3-4 times a day | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $18

Best for Hands & Nails

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream

 Courtesy of Nordstrom

What We Like
  • Dissolves quickly

  • Repairs and regenerates

  • Has plenty of antioxidants

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note that it has a strong smell

You’re likely already using a hand cream daily, so why not make it one that can also do good things for your nails? This vegan formula is hydrating but still absorbs quickly, so you can slather it on with reckless abandon day or night. It also boasts plenty of antioxidants, always a good thing.

Active Ingredients: Grapeseed oil, grapeseed polyphenols, shea butter | Benefits: Melts quickly into skin without stickiness | Dosage: Apply in AM and PM | Size: .4 oz. | Cruelty-Free: No | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $15

Best Exfoliating Formula

Mario Badescu Skin Care Cuticle Cream

Mario Badescu Cuticle Cream

 Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Exfoliating

  • Lightweight

  • Penetrates the skin to soothe cracks

What We Don't Like
  • Might be sticky to some

Going above its basic moisturization responsibilities, this formula has the unique distinction of boasting exfoliating salicylic acid. Why is that important? The ingredient is a great exfoliator, helping to gently slough of ragged, excess dead skin on your cuticles. The gel-cream formula is also slightly lighter than many others, which is ideal for those who don’t like ultra-thick creams on their hands.

Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid | Benefits: Provides thick moisturization and dissolves dead skin buildup | Dosage: Apply in the PM before bed | Size: .5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $10

Best Multi-Tasker

Indigo Wild Almond Zum Rub

Indigo Wild Almond Zum Rub

 Courtesy of Indigo Wild 

What We Like
  • Hydrates chapped lips and cracked heels as well

  • Made with natural oils

  • Nice smell

What We Don't Like
  • Scent can be longer-lasting

Key Ingredients

Shea butter is a plant lipid that comes from African shea tree nuts and is rich in fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. It's used to help moisturize, nourish, and soothe the skin.

If you don’t want to shell out money solely for cuticle cream, consider picking up a multipurpose balm, such as this one. Shea butter plus goat milk plus a blend of natural oils make for a hydrating formula that can truly do it all. Dab it on beat-up cuticles and/or use it to tamp down frizz, hydrate chapped lips, soften cracked heels—you name it.

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, beeswax, goat milk, sunflower oil | Benefits: Provides ultra moisture in a multi-purpose way | Dosage: Apply during the day | Size: 2.5 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: No

Price at time of publish: $10

Best for Damaged Cuticles

Onyx Professional Hard as Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream

Onyx Professional Hard as Hoof Nail Strengthening Cream

Courtesy: Amazon

What We Like
  • Prevents peeling and cracking

  • Strengthens nails

  • Made with natural ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Reviewers note that it has a strong smell

If you deal with cuticles that frequently split or peel, this top-rated formula will be your saving grace. Formulated with fortifying ingredients such as beeswax and vitamins A, C, D, and E, this cream heals and prevents cuticle damage for nails that are healthy and strong. Another added benefit: It can also help nails grow longer.

Active Ingredients: Coconut oil, jojoba oil, beeswax, vitamin E | Benefits: Conditions cuticles and strengthens nails | Dosage: Massage into the nail bed and cuticles as often as needed | Size: 1 oz. | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Byrdie Clean: Yes

Price at time of publish: $8

Final Verdict

We're giving top honors to Deborah Lippmann's The Cure Cuticle Repair Cream as the best cuticle cream on the market. It's full of nourishing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E to moisturize dry, rough cuticles. For a more wallet-friendly option, we recommend the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream, which has a 100% natural formula that locks in hydration.

What To Look For in a Cuticle Cream

Hydrating Ingredients

If repairing dry, cracked cuticles is at the top of your to-do list, look for a formula filled with hydrating ingredients—like shea butter, coconut, and avocado oil—to add some much-needed moisture. Slather it on all year round, or when you feel your cuticles need some extra TLC.

Consistency

Cuticle creams arrive in a variety of consistencies, ranging from thin to thick. Opt for the one that you'll use the most. All in all, make sure you select a formula that fits with your lifestyle (i.e., if you hate thick hand creams, you likely won't love a thick cuticle cream, and so on). They all work the same, it's just a matter of personal preference.

Fast Absorbing

Select a formula that absorbs quickly to avoid spreading the cream everywhere. You don't want your cuticles to feel oily or for the cream to rub off, so a fast-absorbing formula is ideal. Can't find one? Not a problem; wear the cream at night with gloves on to keep all the goodness where it belongs—on your cuticles.

FAQ
  • What does cuticle cream do for nails?

    Cuticle cream adds hydration to the cuticles, which may help repair and strengthen dry or broken nails. Some cuticle creams also claim to protect nails against damage.

  • How often should you apply cuticle cream?

    Most cuticle creams will recommend you apply at least once a day, but you may apply it more frequently if you feel your nails need more TLC.

  • How long do you leave cuticle cream on?

    Cuticle cream should be left on for at least 30 seconds, but many can be left on all day. Be sure to read the instructions, though; some will suggest you wash your hands before applying nail polish.

Updated by Shannon Stubbs
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
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