Herbal DIY Nail Soak Recipe for Healthy, Strong Nails

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hands in herbal DIY nail soak with lemons around

If your nails are in need of a little TLC but a salon manicure is not in your future, this DIY nail soak will perk your nails up in no time! My herbal nail soak recipe uses lavender, rosemary, lemon and olive oil to strengthen nails and soften cuticles.




I have a confession – I love to do my nails. I am the worst at makeup and my hair is usually in a ponytail, but there is something about nicely painted fingers that feels like self-care to me.


The problem is, most nail products are loaded with toxic ingredients. Nail polish and polish remover are some of the worst offenders on the toxic beauty products list (and are a large topic for another post – coming soon!). All of those toxins can wreak havoc on your nails.


In addition, lots of salons are less than hygienic and slather toxin filled products all over. Nope, that’s not for me!  So I have become pretty good at giving myself a DIY manicure.


Anyone who paints their nails frequently knows what a toll all of the polish can take on your nails. Dry, brittle or broken finger nails are typically common for anyone who keeps their fingers polished.


TIP: Using a great base coat helps keep nails strong. I love this base coat from Zoya. Zoya is my favorite polish brand because it is one of the cleanest brands I’ve found that actually works.


A simple DIY nail soak can work wonders to strengthen and lengthen nails.


hand in glass dish with homemade nail soak



I’ve formulated my nail soak recipe with ingredients specifically for healthy, strong nails. I use ALL of these ingredients in my favorite cuticle oil recipe, and have heard nothing but rave reviews about it’s cuticle softening and nail strengthening powers.


Here’s a breakdown of why this herbal nail soak with lavender, lemon and rosemary is exactly what your nails are craving.




Olive Oil is a great oil to strengthen nails. It is moisturizing, absorbs easily and is probably already in your kitchen. Because it is so accessible, I’ve used olive oil in this nail soak recipe.


Jojoba oil is fabulous oil for all things skin and nails, and I almost used it in this recipe instead of olive oil. Jojoba oil is the closest to our skin’s own actual sebum, and nails soak it up – it is super nourishing.


I think jojoba oil is one of the best oils for nails, but it can be expensive and more difficult to find. If you have it on hand, try it in this nail soak instead of olive oil for a super luxurious nail treatment!


lavender rosemary and lemon in glass dish



My 3 favorite herbs and essential oils for healthy, strong nails are lavender, lemon and rosemary.  Lemon is antiseptic and can help whiten stained or discolored nails. Lavender is great for all kinds of skin conditions, including cuts, inflammation and dry skin. Rosemary is another great herb to help strengthen nails and is also antiseptic.


For the nail soak recipe, I’ve chosen to use herbs instead of essential oils. If you prefer to use essential oils you absolutely can with good results. I recommend using 2 drops each of lavender, lemon and rosemary in place of the herbs and fresh lemon.



1 cup hot water

1 tsp lavender buds

½ tsp dried (or fresh if you have it) rosemary

1 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp olive oil

4 drops vitamin E

Fresh lemon slices (optional)


You can find all ingredients to make this herbal nail soak on this Amazon page.


DIY herbal nail soak for longer stronger nails


  • Heat water to almost boiling
  • Measure lavender and rosemary and pour into a glass bowl or dish large enough for your hands
  • Pour water over herbs and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes or until cool enough to put your hands in (the water should still be warm)
  • Add lemon juice, olive oil, vitamin E and lemon slices and gently stir
  • Place your fingers in to the nail soak mixture and soak for 5-10 minutes
  • Remove hands from soak and massage oil into nails and hands before rinsing clean



If you prefer to use essential oils in place of the herbs and fresh lemon, use 2 drops each of lavender, lemon and rosemary.


I recently discovered this Vitamin E in a dropper bottle and I am ecstatic about it! I love, love, love adding vitamin E to my homemade skincare, and this is so much easier than ripping open capsules. If you’re into DIY beauty or skincare, you need this stat. (I’ve linked to a big bottle, I suggest pouring it into your own dropper bottle for easier use).


glass dish with herbs and lemon for DIY nail soak



Combine this herbal nail soak with my DIY cuticle oil and your nails will be CRAZY healthy and strong. The cuticle oil also uses lavender, lemon and rosemary and is super nourishing for cuticles and nails. My 2-step process to strengthen nails AND soften cuticles is:


  1. Do this nail soak
  2. Use cuticle oil often (every day for super damaged nails, 3 times a week for maintenance)


And that’s it! When you use natural ingredients, it is easy to bring life back into brittle, dry nails. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you!

DIY strengthening nail soak recipe

13 thoughts on “Herbal DIY Nail Soak Recipe for Healthy, Strong Nails”

  1. Hi I am collecting as many ingredients as I can to make large quantities of nearly all your lovely recipes. I have lots of nieces and great nieces at the age of using beauty items.
    My question is that the lavender in my garden is starting to die off now (I live in England so it’s the start of our autumn/winter)although they still smell gorgeous. Can I still use the drying buds for this nail soak?
    I can’t wait to start this process.
    Just a thought but do you have a list of how long everything keeps for?
    Oh and do you ever make your own bar soap?
    Sorry about all the questions. I’m sure I will have more x

    • Hi Janet! I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying the recipes! Yes I would absolutely still use your lavender buds! They may not be quite as fragrant as in their prime during the summer, but absolutely still have lots of benefits (especially if they are still fragrant…that’s a good sign there’s lots of good stuff left in those buds!). Yes, those would be lovely in the nail soak.
      I don’t have a list of how long every recipe keeps, but that’s a great idea. I do cover this in most of my recipe posts, so you can find it when making each recipe. I like to date my homemade items with a ‘use by’ date to make sure I know if it’s still fresh to use.
      I DO make my own soap! I actually sell it (at thesoapaddict.com but unfortunately do not currently ship to England) but don’t yet have any soap recipes on the site. I’m working on this though 🙂

  2. Hi! I never usually find any diy soak made with herbs until i found yours. Thank goodness! I badly need this since I bought a soak online and found out it made of herbs. I’m just wondering if the lavender itself will be okay? I don’t have rosemary and as much possible I don’t to buy one unless needed. Thank you!

  3. I am so jazzed to have found your blog and am making the herbal hand soak and cuticle/nail oil for myself and my friend, Amy, whose birthday is today. Because of the Corona Virus, we are both “sheltering in place” and i am taking extra precautions with handling the materials and packaging. We are planning to take the time to do our hand self-care virtually over the internet. I am amazed that i have all the needed ingredients and roller balls as well as for the soak. That rarely occurs. Feeling such great energy during this time is a relief and has lifted my spirits. I know that the soak and supply of cuticle oil will help brighten this birthday despite the circumstances. I can’t wait to dig deeper into your blog. Thank you!! 🧡💛🧡💛🧡💛🧡

  4. I love the sound of this recipe and I can’t wait to try it! But I’m curious to hear your thoughts about an idea I have to make a large batch of it, maybe in a crock pot on a low temp, for my salon. I wonder how it would keep or if over exposure to the heat would dilute some of the effects…your thoughts?

    • Hi Alex! What a great idea to use this in your salon! I think it would work in the crock pot, on the lowest setting, and careful not to get TOO hot. I would probably only leave the lemons in for about 30 minutes and then remove them. The rest of the ingredients should do fine staying heated for a while, just keep it as low as possible and try not to boil it.
      Would love to know how it turns out – keep me posted!

  5. Hey! Have you ever tried Color Street nail strips? I was looking at your cuticle oil recipe and saw that you like to paint your nails but hate all the chemicals. Color Street is clean and easy! I’ll happily send you a set to try, or checkout my website. To make it clear, I’m not looking for any endorsements, just passing along info on a great product!


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