Best of Beauty: CND SolarOil

CND SolarOil

I’ve always had fairly healthy nails, and I’ve taken pretty good care of them all my life. I never did acrylics or any other type of fake nails, and I try to follow all the rules of proper filing and all that. I would sometimes get them manicured at the cheap salons, but more often I did them myself or left them plain. When they would get weak or brittle in the winter, a few coats of Nailtiques usually did the trick.

It wasn’t until I started getting regular gel manicures that I started having a big problem with my nails splitting and breaking. I did gel manicures off and on for a few years, but my nails finally got so bad that I had to give up on the gel and go back to regular nail polish. I even wrote a post on why gel manicures are bad (which still gets a lot of Google traffic and comments, actually!)

It took a few months of regular nail polish (or no nail polish), but eventually my nails started to regained their natural strength.

Then last fall I started going to Eden Day Spa and Salon for facials, and one day I decided to get a manicure while I was there. I haven’t gone anywhere else since. This isn’t your little walk-in joint in the nearest strip mall. This is grown-up spa where they do massages and hair and everything else. I feel like an adult now that I have to make an appointment to get my nails done. Ha! 

My nail technician there informed me that gel manicures aren’t necessarily all bad; but some products are superior (they only use the CND brand Shellac), and sometimes it’s actually the removal process that wrecks the most havoc on your nails. She told me that my nails were splitting and breaking because they were so dry, and they needed moisture. (Yes, partially due to the rough handling of my former nail technicians, subpar products, and also just because of wintertime and hand-washing and dry air. And no, the gel nail polish didn’t help; it can be drying too.)

Enter CND SolarOil.


She told me that if I put it on faithfully twice a day, I could probably go back to shellac manicures without any ill effects. That was several months ago, and I have been using the solar oil religiously ever since.

Sure enough, after a few weeks of using the oil, I tried my first shellac in years, and it didn’t ruin my nails. Now I go back every two weeks and have her remove it, and if she approves of my nail health, she puts on another shellac manicure. She definitely takes more care in removing my old polish, and I’ve been diligent about applying the oil, so I’ve been able to wear several shellac manicures in a row with no problem.

In fact, right now my nails are stronger and longer than they’ve been in years, in spite of the shellac. I credit the SolarOil as well as the gentle removal technique of my new nail technician.

I keep a bottle of SolarOil by my bed and one on my desk so I don’t forget to apply it a couple times a day. It’s nothing magical, really. It’s just Vitamin E and other lightweight oils that are good for nail health, but I’m sold hook, line and sinker. If you’ve got weak, brittle nails that like to chip and break, you’ve GOT to try it.

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7 thoughts on “Best of Beauty: CND SolarOil

  1. I’ve been using that stuff for years. LOVE it!

    BTW, my salon encourages patrons to take a week off between every few cycles of shellac to give the nails time to breathe. I’ve found it makes a big difference with mine.

  2. So are you applying the solar oil around your nails since you have polish on, or are you applying it twice a day to the nail between polishes?

  3. I started doing my own a year ago. Gel manicures. I even bought my own UV box! I researched and settled on CND, so I’m glad to hear this is the best! I have the same problems with my nails. I’ll get this Solar Oil pronto!! Thank you!

  4. Once again, a timely post from you! I am sitting here having just returned from the salon with my first gel manicure in almost 2 years. After 2 back to back gel manicures in the winter of 2013 that left my nails weak and brittle, I swore off the gel. It took them months to grow out and regain strength. I have brittle, weak nails to begin with, so I wasn’t happy. I’ve heard the technology/formulas have improved in the last few years, so today I gave it a try again. The scraping off of the gel is what freaks me out. When you say that they remove it gently, what exactly do they do? I don’t get manicures often, so I don’t think I’ll do back to back, but I love how manicures take care of the cuticles. Time will tell. Keeping my fingers crossed that my nails remain healthy. Of course, I am not crazy about my color (too light so it kind of blends in with my skin), but that is a topic for another post. ha!

    1. Oh, I hate it when that happens (with the nail color.) For removal, she’s just gentle about not prying it off or filing into my nail to get it off. I also think CND shellac removes easier than the OPI brand – the other salons I’ve gone to in the past have both, and I would choose from either, not knowing there was a difference. I do love getting regular shellac manicures, for keeping the cuticles clean, and just having nice looking nails all the time. I hope I can keep up with it now that I know the tricks for keeping my nails healthy.

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