How to Strengthen Nails with Aloe
If you have dry or brittle nails, you may feel like you've tried everything to strengthen them. Instead of reaching for more nail products to spread on your weakened nails, try using aloe. Although specific research is needed to determine aloe's benefits, many people use aloe to strengthen and moisturize their nails. Once you've gathered aloe vera gel and juice, you can soak your nails, massage them with a moisturizing oil, and protect them with lotion and gloves.
Assembling Your Aloe
Gather fresh aloe vera gel.If you have a healthy aloe vera plant, you can harvest an outer stalk for the gel. Use a sharp knife and make a clean cut near the base of the plant. Take the stalk and carefully peel away the flat side so the gel is exposed. Scoop the gel into a small bowl and set it aside.
- You'll need to use your fresh aloe vera gel right after scooping it out. You may want to cut just a small stalk if you don't think you'll use very much gel.
Consider buying aloe vera gel.If you don't have access to a fresh aloe vera plant, you can buy the gel at most pharmacies or drug stores. Buy a gel that lists aloe vera as its first ingredient. A natural aloe vera gel should contain only a few ingredients.
- The aloe vera gel you buy will contain some preservatives. These just extend the storage life of the product.
Buy aloe vera juice.Aloe vera juice can also help your nails, but you need to choose a product that contains mainly aloe vera. Look for aloe vera juice that has the International Aloe Science Council Seal of Approval. This ensures that 95% of the item is made up of aloe vera.
- Avoid products that list water or a sweetener as the first ingredient. These have diluted the aloe vera to the point that they probably won't be as effective as pure aloe.
Using Aloe Vera to Care For Your Nails
Soak your nails in aloe vera juice.If your nails or cuticles are cracked or dry, soak them in pure aloe vera juice. Pour aloe vera juice into a small bowl. Dip your hands in the juice so that the fingernails are submerged. Let your nails soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Soaking your nails in the juice will moisturize your nails and prepare them for more aloe vera treatments.
Apply an aloe mixture to your cuticles.To keep your cuticles moisturized and healthy, make an aloe/oil mixture. You'll need to mix together equal parts of raw honey, aloe vera juice, and olive oil in a small bowl. Dip a cotton swab in the mixture and rub it over your cuticles. Gently rub the aloe/oil mixture onto your cuticles for a few minutes.
- You can use the mixture on nails that have psoriasis (whiteness or flaky buildup). Wipe the mixture off with witch hazel or rinse it off with water after you've let the aloe mixture soak into your nails for a few minutes.
Massage your nails with the aloe vera gel.Spread a little of the gel on each nail bed. Massage the gel into the nail for at least 30 seconds. This will help the nail absorb the aloe. You can rinse your nails off or leave the aloe on your fingers until it dries.
Apply an aloe lotion.You may already be in the habit of rubbing lotion on your hands when they get dry. You should also be rubbing the lotion onto your nails and around the cuticle to keep them moisturized. Choose a lotion that contains aloe, alpha-hydroxy acids or lanolin.
- Alpha-hydroxy acids and lanolin can help keep your nails from splitting when they get dry and brittle.
Wear gloves.If you'll be cleaning your house, washing dishes, or doing any activity where your hands will exposed to water or chemicals, wear gloves. You can wear any glove, but look for one that's powder-free and contains an aloe coating on the inside.
- The aloe on the inside of the glove will keep your hands from drying out.
Making an Aloe Lotion
Gather the lotion ingredients.You'll need 1 cup (80 g) of aloe vera gel, 1/2 cup (115 g) of grated beeswax, 1/2 cup (112 g) of oil (sweet almond, grapeseed or jojoba), 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil, and 15 drops of an essential oil of your choice. You'll also need a jar with a sealable lid to store the aloe lotion. It should hold about 2 cups (16 ounces) of lotion.
- You can find most of these natural ingredients at a health store or natural goods supplier.
Combine aloe, vitamin E and essential oil.Place the aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil and the essential oil in a mixing bowl. Stir until the gel and oils are completely combined and set the bowl aside. You'll want the ingredients to come to room temperature.
- If the ingredients are very cold, you could nest the bowl in a larger bowl that's filled with warm water. This will help it warm up faster.
Heat beeswax and oil in a separate container.Combine the beeswax and the oil of your choice into a glass measuring cup. Ensure that the measuring cup is heat-proof. Set this cup into a small saucepan of water so water comes about halfway up the side of the measuring cup. Bring the water to a slight boil and let the beeswax and oil heat for several minutes. Stir the beeswax and oil so that they completely melt together. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
- Use oven mitts or gloves to carefully lift the measuring cup out of the pot.
Blend the lotion mixtures.Once the aloe mixture is at room temperature and the beeswax mixture has cooled to room temperature, you can blend your lotion. Pour the beeswax mixture into a blender and cover it with the lid. Blend the mixture on low. Open the spout in your blender lid and slowly add the aloe mixture while the blender is still on low.
- If you don't have a spout that you can open on the lid, just take the lid off and add the aloe mixture. Place the lid back on and continue blending the mixture on low.
Continue blending the lotion.Keep blending the lotion mixture to get a lotion consistency. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes of blending. Stop the blender every few minutes to scrape down the sides with a spatula.
- If oil floats to the top of the mixture, use your spatula to stir it back into the mixture and continue blending.
Store the lotion.Once the lotion has reached lotion consistency, use a clean spatula to spoon it into your clean jar. Screw on the lid and refrigerate the lotion so it will last longer. The lotion will last for around a month if you keep it in the refrigerator. If you think you'll use up the mixture sooner than that, you can keep the lotion out at room temperature.
- To store the lotion at room temperature, keep it tightly sealed and try to use it within a few weeks.
QuestionCan I break a Vitamin E tablet and put it on my nails?
Registered NurseRegistered NurseExpert AnswerYes, you can! Vitamin E is moisturizing and may help soften your cuticles and help with brittle nails.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use vitamin E capsules?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can if they are available at your nearest drugstore.Thanks!
QuestionDo I have to make the lotion or can I just buy lotion rich in aloe vera?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can certainly just buy lotion that contains aloe vera, no need to make your own.Thanks!
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