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Dry, brittle nails? This dermatologist-approved $10 cuticle oil is the secret to a lasting manicure

In addition to pulling out those flowy warm-weather dresses and booking your next vacation, hitting up the nail salon is an easy way to find instant joy — except when your manicure starts to chip and crack sooner than expected. According to dermatologists, the main culprits of short-lived manicures are dry and brittle nails. For strong, healthy nails, the secret is to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize — including the cuticles.

"Moisturizing your nails is vital," explains Miami-based board-certified dermatologist Anna Chacon, MD "Just like your skin, your nails need hydration to maintain their health." This means consistently using hand cream and investing in high-quality cuticle oil.

Dr. Chacon's favorite? CND's SolarOil Cuticle Oil, which you can scoop up for all of $10 at Amazon and Ulta.

Dr. Chacon recommends using the oil after every manicure, especially more intense ones like gel, dip powder and acrylic sets. You pay a lot for these treatments, so you deserve healthy, shiny nails that last!

$10 at Amazon
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$10 at Ulta

CND's SolarOil is designed to protect and nourish nails and cuticles so they won't become brittle and dry. The formula features four skin-loving ingredients: rice bran, sweet almond and jojoba oils to deeply moisturize and condition, plus vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant to reduce signs of aging. The mix promises to leave your nails stronger and tougher.

Unlike an entire at-home manicure situation, the cuticle oil is fairly low-maintenance and can be seamlessly incorporated into your routine. Just dab a small amount on cuticles, then massage it all over your nails and fingers. The result? A gorgeous soft sheen that deeply hydrates cuticles and nails — whether you're wearing polish or rocking the naked look.

In addition to using the oil after every manicure, apply it with your hand cream right before you cozy up in bed or after washing the dishes when your hands and nails are raw. Why not bring it on an airplane to keep things nice and moisturized? You can even keep it at your desk for a moment of self-care during the work day.

Model rubbing CND cuticle oil into their fingers.
A little finger massage in the middle of the day never hurt anyone! (Amazon)

Amazon shoppers are major fans of the easy-to-use oil, calling out its light scent and moisturizing properties. Many reviewers started using SolarOil after their nail technician recommended it; the formula has racked up an impressive 23,000+ five-star reviews.

For all of the nail-biters and pickers out there: "My cuticles used to get dry and I picked at them all the time without realizing I was doing it," shared one satisfied shopper. "Just a few weeks of using this with regular maintenance, my hands look brand new and soft too. My nails were drying out from polish and remover, now they look and feel like new. And the scent is wonderful, I'm in love with this scent!"

It's not just dermatologists like Dr. Chacon who like the cuticle oil — chefs and nurses also use it. "I'm a nurse so I wash my hands a lot and it takes a toll on my nails and cuticles," shared one amazed five-star Amazon reviewer. "After just one use I noticed a huge difference. After several days of continuous use I'm amazed at how healthy my nails look and feel."

This shopper uses the oil on their tootsies: "This oil has done wonders for my toenails. When I removed the nail polish after a pedicure at a highly-reviewed salon my toenails were discolored and brittle. It’s taken months to grow out the damage but this oil has ensured the new growth is healthy."

If you're stressed about product transfer, this fourth SolarOil fan says that it "absorbs quickly so there is never an appreciable delay in being able to do other things."

Some shoppers wish the packaging was better, saying the bottle makes it hard to access the formula when it's running low; others report the brush applicator isn't as effective as it could be. "I wish they had it in a different package, like a pen," suggested one user.

Psst, the cuticle oil comes in two other sizes. Grab the 0.5-ounce bottle for $13 and the 2.3-ounce bottle for $36.

$10 at Amazon
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$10 at Ulta

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

If you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)