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What are the benefits of apricot oil for the nails?

Exposed daily to various aggressions such as cold, repeated typing on computer keys, household cleaning products, or even the application of nail polish, nails can become fragile without regular care. Among the recommended vegetable oils to strengthen them is apricot oil. What are its real benefits on nails? Learn more by continuing to read.

Summary
Published April 4, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

The essential knowledge about apricot oil.

The apricot oil, extracted from the seeds of the apricot fruit, is a gentle vegetable oil with a relatively dry touch and amber reflections. It is found in various cosmetic products where it is recognizable by its INCI name: Prunus Armeniaca Kernel Oil. The apricot vegetable oil contains several bioactive compounds that are the source of its numerous skin and hair properties. Hydrating and nourishing, it helps to soften and protect the skin and hair fibers, making them supple. This vegetable oil is also anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, properties that are again interesting for both skin health and scalp health.

Note : Slightly comedogenic, its skin application is not recommended for individuals with oily skin.

What is the effect of apricot oil on the nails?

An integral part of the fingers, the role of nails is not merely aesthetic. Indeed, this semi-transparent plate fulfills a genuine hygienic and protective function. The majority of the nail is composed of keratin, a fibrous structural protein also present in hair fibers and skin. An insoluble protein in the skin, keratin ensures the impermeability of nails. However, it can become damaged due to a deficiency in nutrients or minerals in the body or certain bad habits such as nail-biting or frequent exposure to chemical products. To strengthen keratin and protect the nails, the use of apricot oil can be beneficial.

  • Apricot oil for moisturizing and nourishing nails : This vegetable oil is rich in oleic and linoleic acids, fatty acids that can be beneficial for nail health. Indeed, these compounds possess moisturizing properties useful for strengthening the cuticle of the nails and preventing them from splitting. Moreover, by ensuring their hydration, apricot oil makes them shinier.

  • Apricot Oil for Preventing Fungal Infections : This botanical extract can also be used to combat fungal colonization of the nails due to the presence of cyanogenic glycosides in its composition. These are fungicidal molecules whose action against various fungi such as Fusarium oxysporum, Athelia rolfsii or Macrophomina phaseolina has been established by various scientific studies. The application of apricot oil can thus help protect nails and cuticles from infections and fungal diseases.

  • Apricot Oil for Protecting Nails from Oxidative Stress : Nails are not immune to the attacks of free radicals. Apricot oil can help prevent oxidative stress due to its richness in antioxidants, particularly phytosterols, carotenoids, and tocopherols. By protecting the nail cuticle in this way, apricot oil helps to prevent their breakage.

Note : Even though apricot oil appears to be a promising ingredient for moisturizing and protecting nails, it's important to keep in mind that there are currently no scientific studies proving its benefits for nails.

How to use apricot oil on nails?

Apricot oil should be applied regularly to the nails to provide real benefits. There are several ways to use it, detailed below.

  • During a massage.

    To strengthen your nails, you can apply a drop of apricot oil to each one daily and massage until fully absorbed. It can be applied directly with your finger, or with an applicator brush, like nail polish. After a few days, your nails will appear stronger.

  • Immersed in oil.

    It is also possible to allow apricot oil to work for a longer period by using it as an oil bath. To do this, immerse your nails in a small basin filled with vegetable oil and wait for about fifteen minutes. This technique is indeed time-consuming but proves to be very effective in giving the apricot oil time to work. This bath can be done once a week.

  • As a mask.

    Your nails can also benefit from the advantages of apricot oil during your sleep. In the evening, coat your nails with vegetable oil and then wrap them in cellophane wraps. You are then ready to go to sleep and wake up to hydrated and shiny nails.

Sources

  • BERKER D. Nail Anatomy. Clinics in Dermatology (2013).

  • TIAN F. & al. Composition and antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of white apricot almond (Amygdalus communis L.) oil. European Journal of Lipid Science and Technology (2011).

  • SHARMA H. & al. Evaluation of the Antifungal Activity of Essential Oil from Bitter Apricot (Prunus armeniaca) Kernels. Indian Phytopathology (2016).

  • QADIR R. & al. Cold pressed apricot (Prunus armeniaca L.) kernel oil. Cold Pressed Oils (2020).

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