Dry hands are especially annoying, and sometimes your hands feel flaky and itchy no matter what hand cream or lip balm you try.
To find out the best treatment, we went to an expert and talked to a dermatologist about the best hand creams to soothe and moisturize hands. Whether you’re already a hand cream addict or your entire routine of moisturizing is new territory, our experts have you covered.
Best Hand Creams for Dry Skin
Hand moisturizers, like other area moisturizers, ideally contain three ingredients: a moisturizer, an emollient, and a occlusive agent. Hadley King is a dermatologist in New York City.
“Ceramides and filaggrins are essential proteins that lock in moisture and keep out the external environment,” Dr. Dr. said. Caren Campbell is a dermatologist in San Francisco.
EltaMD Smoothing Hand Cream
The lotion is a favorite of King’s, and he says, “The formula combines ceramides, emollients and vitamin E to nourish dry skin, as well as perillolide, a botanical ingredient that helps lighten dark spots.”
Eau Thermale Avene Cold Cream Concentrated Hand Cream
King says she’s a big fan of the product because it’s “rapidly absorbed and paraben-free.” “Their research shows that it lasts five washes,” she added, “that’s the power hand cream we need right now.”
One of our favorites, this cream from Weleda has been a savior for dry skin in winter, and it has a light, refreshing scent that feels expensive, but doesn’t actually cost arms and legs.
Natura Castanha Nourishing Hand Cream
Emollient chestnut (Brazil nut) oil adds richness to this vegan hand cream. We love its mild yet delicious fragrance and how it soaks into the skin.
Best Hand Creams for Aging Hands
Another tip: you’re usually better off with a cream than a lotion. “Creams are always best for those with particularly dry skin because they contain more moisturizing ingredients and less water,” says Campbell. “Lotions contain more water than creams.” Remember, she says, “white cotton gloves can also be worn at night to help keep lotion and cream on your hands and prevent them from rubbing off.”
Excellent! Hand Sieve SPF 40
This anti-aging cream is one of King’s favorites. “It combines sea buckthorn fruit to lighten dark spots, and argan and meadowsweet oil to hydrate and moisturize without being greasy,” she says. “And SPF 40 protects exposed skin from UV rays.”
Sunday Extra Hydrating Hand Cream
In this new hand cream, Sundays uses the power of aloe vera leaf juice, coconut oil, jojoba seeds and other ultra-hydrating ingredients to create one of the most nourishing hand creams we’ve tried. Our favorite part, though, is that it’s non-greasy and has a bergamot flavor.
Soap and Glory Hand Food
This best-selling Target fave uses shea and macadamia butter to soothe dry hands. (Although it came in a tube, it felt like it was being scooped out of a bucket of butter.)
Moroccan Oil Hand Cream
Made with moisturizing hyaluronic acid (an essential ingredient for aging skin), silky argan oil, and nourishing shea and cocoa butter, this new hand cream comes in six spa-like scents. You can’t go wrong with Fragrance Originale, which shares the brand’s signature notes of amber and magnolia to grace its most popular hair care products.
L’Occitane Shea Butter Intensive Hand Cream
This luxurious lip balm melts into hands and nails when massaged and is enriched with Shea Butter to nourish and protect dry, damaged skin.
“A lot of people with dry skin don’t realize they also have a problem with shedding dead skin,” says Dr. Clarissa Yang, chief dermatologist at Tufts Medical Center. “So one secret ingredient I’ve been looking for is an exfoliant, like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, or lactic acid.”
AmLactin Daily Hydrating Body Lotion
This classic still packs a punch and is a dermatologist favorite. “I recommend this product to my patients who need gentle exfoliation and hydration,” says Campbell.
This daily cream “contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid and is great for those with very dry skin,” says Campbell.
best eczema hand cream
If you have eczema, you will want to look for a cream that is sensitive enough to your skin but still provides you with top-notch moisturizing qualities.
“It’s a great lotion for many patients, especially those with normal to dry skin,” says Campbell.
Vaseline Advanced Repair Fragrance-Free Hand and Body Lotion
This lotion repairs dry skin with microdrops of Vaseline jelly that lock in moisture. It was awarded the National Eczema Association Seal of Approval “to help individuals identify products suitable for the care of eczema or sensitive skin”.
The Best Hand Creams for Working Hands
Whether at home or in the workplace, hands doing chores or cooking — or just getting dirty — need something extra, like “barrier ingredients like paraffin to keep moisture in,” says Campbell. Young also likes to see special sealers or moisturizers in the ingredient list.
“Occluders are more oil-based. They help by trapping the water that the moisturizer absorbs and preventing it from evaporating,” says Young. “Lanolin, petroleum jelly and beeswax are common.”
Gold Bond Ultimate Restorative Hand Cream
This healing cream is a great value and uses Vaseline to help restore smooth, soft, healthy skin.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream, 2-Pack
This is one of our staff favorites and has been a moisture barrier for our staff for years. Campbell recommends it because “it contains barrier ingredients like paraffin to keep moisture locked in.”
Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Cream
Sweet almond oil and vitamin E in this cream help restore moisture to dry hands, while beeswax locks in moisture.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Cream
Designed for hardworking hands, this balm has wax-based properties that create a protective barrier on the skin and leave hands feeling soft.