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How to Fix Cracked Cuticles

Woman with bare, clean nails touching face

Norma Zuniga / Getty Images

It's safe to say no one wants to deal with cracked, dry cuticles. During the winter, you may find your cuticles crack so much because they suffer from the same lack of moisture that your skin does thanks to the cold, dry air and lack of humidity. In other months, you might suffer from cracked cuticles due to excessively dry skin or from washing hands, which also saps cuticles (and your hands) of moisture.

So, wondering how to fix dry cuticles? You have a few options to share.

1. Rub on Shea Butter or Vitamin E Oil

You can rub shea butter or vitamin E oil into your cuticles to soften them. This pick from SheaMoisture contains 100 percent organic certified shea butter that can be used on your skin and hair to encourage moisture and softness. If you're looking for an option you can pick up during your weekly trip to the grocery store, we like Trader Joe's Vitamin E Oil ($10).

SheaMoisture 100% Raw Shea Butter
SheaMoisture 100% Raw Shea Butter $16
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2. Sleep in Gloves

Apply a super-strength cream onto your hands and sleep in gloves for a few nights. By putting on gloves post-moisturizer, you'll be locking in the hydration, which your skin and dry cuticles will thank you for. We like Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($16). You can also use hand mask gloves for a bit more convenience, like this one from Iroha that's formulated with argan oil (more on this handy ingredient later).

Iroha Nourishing Hand Mask Gloves
Iroha Nourishing Hand Mask Gloves $9
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3. Try a Cuticle Oil

If you suffer from dry cuticles, keep cuticle oil in your bag or on your desk at all times. Cuticle oils tend to be more effective than creams, as they're specifically formulated to care for cuticles in need of extra TLC. Creative Nail Design's Solar Oil is a great cuticle moisturizer and was named the best cuticle moisturizer in InStyle Magazine's "Best Beauty Buys" issue. This product contains jojoba, vitamin E, and sweet almond oils—all of which act as great moisturizers for the nail bed.

CND Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner
Creative Nail Design Solar Oil Nail and Cuticle Conditioner $9
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4. Grab Your Argan Oil

So many women swear by argan oil as the best cuticle oil ever, so you may want to add one to your list of treatments to help cracked cuticles. Look for a product that contains 100 percent argan oil, like this one from The Ordinary, and put it on your cuticles at night or after you wash your hands. You can also keep a bottle with a dropper in your bag to use during the day. Bonus: It works great on dry heels and elbows as well. This particular argan oil can be used on your skin and hair to moisturize, soften, and strengthen.

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil
The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold Pressed Moroccan Argan Oil $7
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5. Take a Break From Polish

We love a perfect manicure as much as the next person, but if you want to give your dry, cracked cuticles a fighting dance, you may want to go on a break with nail polish for a week or two. This will give your cuticles time to heal. Not to mention, it'll let your nails reap all the moisturizing benefits we talked about earlier as well! If you want to make the best of your newly naked nails, try giving yourself a luxurious, hydrating treatment along with some nail shaping and buffing.

4-Way Nail Buffing Block
Ulta 4-Way Nail Buffing Block $4
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