Beyond its effect on dry skin, avocado oil is among the recommended solutions for strengthening brittle and fragile nails. But is it truly beneficial for reinforcing them?
The various issues concerning nails.
Nails are a crucial component of the fingers and serve multiple functions. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, nails contribute to the hygiene and protection of the hands and feet. This semi-transparent plate is primarily composed of keratin, a fibrous protein. Numerous mineral salts are also present within the nails, such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, and iron. Nails are a relatively delicate part of the body and subject to many concerns.
The white spots on the nails: they are generally due to a shock or a slight trauma to the nail. Too frequent manicures or pedicures or the regular use of acetone can also be the cause.
Dark streaks on the nails: they are often related to a hematoma, which occurs after a shock, when the blood vessels under the nail are damaged and burst.
A yellow tint to the nails: nail polish tends to cause a slight yellowing of the nails. Similarly, certain fungal conditions or smoking can promote this phenomenon.
Horizontal stripes on the nails: they appear when the growth of the nail has decreased or has been stopped for some time. An injury or minor ailment may be responsible.
Small holes on the nails: they are generally associated with psoriasis, a skin disease that leads to the formation of red, dry, and scaly patches on the elbows, knees, and other parts of the body.
The detachment of keratin plates : Nails are highly porous and sensitive to water, which can cause the keratin plates to swell and separate from each other. As a result, the nails become soft and start to split.
Brittle nails : this is a common issue that can be attributed to the natural aging of the nail, but also to prolonged exposure to detergents or nail polishes. These compounds are likely to attack and deteriorate the top layer of the nail, making it brittle. Nails can also be weakened by a deficiency in iron, zinc, or vitamin B, elements that stimulate the synthesis of keratin. Lastly, hormonal drops experienced by women after childbirth or during menopause can also make the nails more brittle.
How does avocado oil strengthen nails?
In hand and foot care, avocado vegetable oil has a nourishing effect on the skin. It also strengthens the keratin plates of the nails and has properties that protect the cuticle. This refers to the thin layer of skin around the nail that covers the nail matrix, or its base.
The cuticle serves as the initial natural barrier between the nail and external aggressions. It notably protects against germs, bacteria, and thus infections. A damaged or detached cuticle can lead to the appearance of redness and skin swelling. This is also accompanied by pain and sometimes inflammation. That's why it's important to take care of your cuticles, with avocado oil for example.
How to apply avocado oil on the nails?
To strengthen your nails, you can apply a drop of avocado oil to each one daily and massage until fully absorbed. After a few days, your nails will appear stronger.
As an oil bath or as a mask.
It is also possible to let avocado oil work for a longer period by using it as an oil bath or a hydrating mask. As for the bath, you can soak your nails in avocado oil for about twenty minutes. This method may be somewhat inconvenient, but it proves to be effective nonetheless. There is also another technique, more practical: wrapping your nails coated with avocado oil in cellophane wraps overnight.
It should be noted that, to date, there are no scientific studies on the benefits of avocado oil on nails, nor, more broadly, on the effects of vegetable oils on nails.
BERKER D. Nail anatomy. Clinics in Dermatology (2013).
ORTIZ-VIEDMA J. & al. Avocado oil: characteristics, properties, and applications. Molecules (2019).