Revitalizing your nails: The Surprising Benefits of Nail Exfoliation

Most of us understand the importance of exfoliation: it clears away dead skin cells, opens up pores and makes way for healthy new skin cells to grow.

But what if we told you that exfoliating your nails is a good idea too?

Sounds a bit strange, right?

However, just like skin, our nails occasionally need a little help in ridding themselves of build up, so they can look healthier and grow stronger.

What does nail exfoliation do?

Ok, so exfoliating your nails is similar but not exactly the same as exfoliating your skin.

Where skin exfoliation involves removing the very top, outermost layer to make way for healthy new skin cells to grow, nail exfoliation involves buffing away blemishes and malformations on the nail surface, exposing the healthy pink nail bed beneath.

Why exfoliate your nails?

Beyond it feeling great – like a mini manicure at home! – exfoliating your nails is necessary to smooth out damaged cells that cause:

  • Roughness, lifting and detaching
  • Brittleness, splitting and peeling
  • Ridging and discoloration

Instant benefits of nail exfoliation

Hand with healthy nails holding flowers

Like we mentioned above, exfoliating your nails is like a "mini-mani"

It helps to:

  • Revive nail color, revealing your healthy natural nail bed below
  • Restore nail texture, smoothing out the surface of the nail
  • Replenish nail structure, creating space for healthy new nail formation

How to exfoliate your nails

Now that you know a little more about nail exfoliation, we'll cover a couple of How Tos!

Typically, you can exfoliate your nails in one of two ways: chemically or physically (AKA mechanically).

There are a number of chemical nail exfoliation techniques you can find online, but, in the spirit of simplicity, we're going to share with you a couple of our favorite mechanical exfoliation methods.

Gentle Oatmeal Nail Scrub

This method is the perfect technique to add to a nice, relaxing bath time. Not only will it help to gently exfoliate your nails, but because oatmeal carries natural anti-inflammatory properties, it will help soothe your nail bed - not to mention your entire hands.


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup milk


  • Heat milk on stove until gently boiling, then stir in rolled oats and reduce heat to low
  • Simmer the mixture uncovered for about 25 minutes, then remove from heat
  • Allow to cool, then, during your bath, massage the oatmeal into your hands, nails and cuticles
  • Leave the mixture on for 5 minutes, then rinse off with warm water

Classic Emery Board Buffing

If you are needing an extra bit of exfoliation, an emery board is your best bet. Not only does this method offer a quick and easy way to exfoliate, but it can also be paired with other relaxing activities, such as listening to an audiobook.


  • Coarse-grit emery board
  • Medium-grit emery board
  • Fine-grit emery board


  • Beginning with the coarse-grit emery board, gently buff out your nail surface, which will help to remove damaged and dead skin cells
  • Switching to a medium-grit emery board, work out and smooth away any ridging on your nail surface
  • Finally, using your fine-grit emery board, smooth and polish those healthy nails to a bright shine

Don’t forget to hydrate your cuticles

hands with healthy nails opening a bottle of Hair Love 100% organic Argan Oil

Now that your nails are freshly exfoliated, it’s essential to hydrate and lock in moisture.

Apply a few drops of our HAIRLOVE Nourish + Repair Serum (made from 100% organic Argan oil) to each cuticle and gently massage it in. This ultra-hydrating oil will replenish and nourish your nails and skin, and give them a gorgeous shine.