Can Garlic Oil Help or Stop Peeling Fingernails?

Add garlic to your nail polish for peel protection.

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Not only do peeling fingernails make your hands look messy, they make the nails weak. Garlic may help peeling fingernails, so find a garlic-oil product or make your own. Regular treatments might strengthen nails and prevent peeling. Since this is a bit of a pungent beauty treatment, it's not recommended for everyday use.


Fingernails peel for a variety of reasons. When nails are dry, such as in wintertime, peeling occurs as the nails' keratin layers separate. Soaking your nails in water for a long time, whether you're doing the dishes or swimming laps, can lead to peeling. A diet low linolenic acid -- a natural acid found in vegetable oils -- might be the cause. Chipping, peeling and brittle nails can indicate low iron or an underactive thyroid. Take a few minutes to troubleshoot the underlying cause -- and see a doctor, if you suspect a health problem -- to stop peeling for good.

Garlic Oil Polish

A nail polish or nail hardener containing garlic oil glues peeling nails back together, offering relief. Garlic oil hardens and fortifies the nail bed. Use it as a low-sheen base coat, then apply a colorful polish on top. Garlic oil that contains linolenic acid can correct peeling. Find a nail hardener with garlic oil at your local beauty-supply store.

Homemade Garlic Remedy

Frugalistas can salvage peeling nails with two homemade garlic remedies. Crush a clove of garlic with a knife. Now you've got a choice: either rub the garlic paste directly onto your nails, or add the crushed garlic to your preferred nail color. If you coat nails with garlic, they'll smell of it. Combining the garlic oil with the polish masks the pungent scent.


Lay off the garlic treatment for date night. Alternatives to garlic oil include cuticle oil, a specially-formulated nail-bed moisturizer. Coat the nail bed with cuticle oil, massaging the oil in with your fingers. When water hits the cuticle oil, it won't penetrate. Strengthening polishes that contain vitamins -- such as A, C, D or E -- reinforce string nail growth so you stop peeling.

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