Best Hand Creams

Restore your dry, cracked hands with the best hand cream. Here are our picks for the best hand creams you'll find online.

Whether you are washing your hands a dozen times a day, using lots of hand sanitizer or working outside in extreme weather, chances are the skin on your hands is dry and maybe even cracking in spots. You use your hands to perform so many tasks every day, they deserve to be taken care of. A quality hand cream ensures the skin remains supple, moisturized and healthy.

From light to rich, deep moisturizing properties, hand creams come in a variety of formulas to meet different needs. Sometimes what you’re looking for is a subtle, greaseless cream to put on every other day. Then there are times you need some heavy-duty moisturizing and healing power from a hand cream that is rich in essential oils. Throw scented or unscented into the mix and there are a lot of decisions to make when choosing the right hand cream for your needs.

Luckily, we’re here to help. We feature six hand creams that you can purchase online. Read on to find the one that suits you best.

Best Overall: Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

This hand cream from Cetaphil is an overall, non-greasy solution for your dry hands that is suitable for all kinds of skin types. It absorbs into the skin quickly and the great thing is, you can use it on your entire body.

The Cetaphil formula is enriched with six moisturizers plus Vitamin E and B5, so your skin remains hydrated, soft and smooth. The unscented hand cream is clinically proven to be gentle for even the most sensitive skin, so there’s no worry about getting a reaction or a rash. Once you apply the cream, it will work deeply to restore cracked, dry skin and provide 24 hours of continued hydration.

And the best part? The hand cream is free of lanolin and parabens, is hypoallergenic, and provides superior results on your hands, feet, elbows and knees.

Pros:

  • Unscented
  • Lanolin and paraben-free
  • Non-greasy formula absorbs quickly
  • Can also be used on other parts of the body like knees, elbows and feet
  • Recommended by dermatologists

Cons:

  • Unscented when some people may prefer scented

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Top Pick Best for Severe Dryness: O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream

These two hand creams from O’Keeffe are a powerful duo to fix dry, cracked hands. The first hand cream is ideal to use during the day. It only takes a small amount of the heavily concentrated cream every day to see a noticeable difference.

The unscented cream has been clinically proven to instantly boost the moisture levels in your skin and helps to prevent further moisture loss. It actually creates a protective barrier to keep your hands soft and smooth.

If you have extremely dry hands that need extra loving care, the night treatment is a calming, yet intense restorative cream that will offer your dry and cracked hands the relief they need while you sleep. You will see visible results after just one night.

By using this dynamic duo during the day and at night, you can be sure the skin on your dry hands will become soft and smooth in no time.

Pros:

  • Clinically proven to help dry skin
  • Suitable for dry and cracked skin
  • Night treatment for exceptionally dry hands

Cons:

  • Will feel greasy if too much is applied at one time

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Best Healing: Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream 3 oz.

This hand cream from Gold Bond is packed with ingredients specifically blended to bring soothing comfort and softness to your dry hands. Its non-greasy formula not only nourishes your skin, but it also repairs rough, dry and cracked hands.

Containing seven intense moisturizers, the hand cream is also reinforced with healing vitamins: vitamin A to help improve the appearance of your skin; vitamin C to help protect against environmental stressors; and vitamin E to minimize moisture loss. Finally, you also benefit from the rich healing properties of added aloe vera.

Hypoallergenic with a light scent, this hand cream absorbs quickly and can even withstand hand washing, giving you up to 24 hours of moisture for those dry hands. Dermatologist tested, this cream is gentle on sensitive skin, too.

 Pros:

  • Non-greasy formula
  • Lightly scented
  • Stays on even after hand washing

Cons:

  • Some people prefer no scent

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Best Anti-Aging: Retinol Anti-Aging Hand Cream

Retinol has been used for decades in the beauty and dermatological industries to treat all manner of skin conditions, including combating dry and aging skin. When used in a hand cream, it can leave dry hands soft and feeling smooth, and condition your fingernails and cuticles at the same time.

This anti-aging hand cream has a vitamin-enriched formula and includes ingredients such as green tea and vitamins A, C and E. The non-greasy formula goes on smoothly to minimize fine lines and exfoliate skin to improve its tone and texture. It also repairs your dry hands and gives your fingernails and cuticles a deep conditioning treatment.

With this hand cream, more is not better, and it’s recommended to start slowly by applying a modest amount and rubbing it in using a circular motion. Do this every other evening and in around 45 days you will see a noticeable improvement in the softness of your hands.

Pros:

  • Retinol is proven to help improve skin
  • Enriched with green tea and vitamins
  • Minimizes fine lines and exfoliates to improve uneven skin tone and texture
  • Lightly scented

Cons:

  • Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

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Best Set: La Chatelaine Hand Cream Trio Tin Gift Set

Whether it’s for yourself or for that someone special, this trio of luxury hand creams makes a thoughtful and useful gift for anyone who wishes to keep their hands soft and supple and protected from the harsh side effects of dry skin.

La Chatelaine hand cream, which was featured on Oprah’s favorite things list in 2018, is an ultra-rich formula that is blended with 20 percent organic Shea butter, vitamin E and Argan oil to truly moisturize, nourish and protect the skin on your hands. The soft, creamy texture of the cream absorbs quickly, so there is no greasy residue, offering up intense repair to leave your hands soft and rejuvenated.

In this plant-based cream that is not tested on animals, you will not find phthalates, SLS, parabens, GMOs or BHT, but what you will find are only ethically sourced natural and organic ingredients. The three scents in this collection, created by perfumers in Grasse, France, are: Gardenia, orange blossom and rose acacia. The three, one-ounce tubes come nestled in an attractive tin, making this an ideal gift for Mother’s Day, a birthday, or any occasion.

Pros:

  • Plant-based formula made from organic and natural ingredients
  • Free from phthalates, SLS, parabens, GMOs and BHT
  • Contains Shea butter and Argan oil to deeply moisturized hands

Cons:

  • More expensive than other hand creams

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Best for Travel: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream

If you are one of those people who is always on the go, then you know there’s nothing more convenient than having a tube of hand cream wherever you are. Whether stashed in the glove compartment of your car, in your purse, in the cup holder of the stroller, in your gym bag or travel case, you’ll want to be able to quickly grab some treatment for your dry hands when you are away from home.

This pack contains six, two-ounce tubes of fragrance-free Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream, a rich, hydrating cream that will moisturize your hands and deliver effective relief to your dry, rough skin, no matter where you are.

Dermatologist recommended, the formula of this hand cream contains concentrated levels of glycerin, a clinically proven ingredient known to relieve dry skin. You only need a small amount to get immediate and long-lasting benefits. In fact, each tube offers over 200 applications, so you can use it daily to prevent and soothe dry skin.

This hand cream is hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic and fragrance free.

Pros:

  • Six pack of portable two-ounce tubes
  • Dermatologist recommended
  • Formulated with 40 percent glycerin

Cons:

  • More expensive than one tube

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What to look for:

We use our hands every day to do so many things, it’s not surprising that they are often worse for wear. From excessive hand washing and the use of sanitizer to working in the garden, on a construction site or in cold weather, our hands take a beating and can end up dry, cracked, sore and sometimes, even bleeding. Using a good hand cream can give the skin on your hands the much needed care and treatment it deserves. Using a hand cream daily, or as needed, will keep the skin healthy, soft and supple. However, with so many different hand creams on the market, and with everyone’s unique skin, different living situations and needs, it can be confusing trying to figure out which hand cream would be the best one for you. Below are some factors to consider when choosing a hand cream:

Ingredients: Even if you just have a mild case of dry hands, it’s important to check the ingredients of a hand cream before deciding if it’s worth purchasing. Since hand cream is absorbed into your skin, it’s best to look for natural or organic ingredients, rich emollients like Shea butter, glycerin and Argon oil, and enriching vitamins like Vitamin A, E and C. Like most products we put into our body, it’s also best to look for a paraben and phthalates-free formula. If you have sensitive skin, then you should pick a product specifically made for sensitive skin. As well, if you choose a hand cream with retinol, be aware that you should start out slowly to make sure your skin will not react to it. And if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best not to use a product that contains retinol.

Scented versus unscented: This is a personal choice, as some people are very sensitive to scents while others like the added fragrance. Whether a hand cream is scented or not will not typically affect its effectiveness, which means a scented one is not necessarily better than an unscented one, and visa versa.

Absorbability: You really want to choose a hand cream that absorbs quickly and deeply into your skin. Otherwise it will feel greasy and uncomfortable and you won’t be able to get on with your immediate tasks if it involves gripping or grasping. As well, if you wash your hands a lot – and these days, who doesn’t right? – you might want to look for a waterproof hand cream that won’t wash off right away. Instead, it will form a protective layer over your skin, locking in moisture and keeping the surface supple and soft.

Price: When it comes to matching a quality product with a low price point, it’s not too difficult to find something to meet your needs. You should calculate the per-ounce price of the product if you are doing comparison shopping. However, it’s important to take note that a hand cream that has superior quality ingredients that are organic or natural will most likely cost more. That being said, it may also do a better job in helping your dry hands, especially if they are severely dry, and then it’s worth spending a bit more money. If you have to use a less expensive hand cream frequently throughout the day, then you will run out of it quickly and have to buy more. Choosing a thick, dense hand cream with quality ingredients may cost more, but with fewer applications and excellent results, it may be the better choice. That being said, you should never spend more than you can afford.

Photo credit: FotoDuets/Shutterstock

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