Dry hands can be especially annoying, and sometimes, regardless of the hand cream or balm you experience, your hands still feel scaly and itchy.
To find out the best treatments, we went to the experts and talked to dermatologists about the best hand creams to soothe and moisturize hands. Whether you’re a hand cream addict or all this regular hydration is new territory, our experts have you covered.
Moisturizers for hands, like moisturizers for other areas, ideally contain three components: moisturizers, emollients and occlusives, he explains. Dr. Hadley King, a dermatologist based in New York City.
“Ceramides and filaggrin are the basic proteins to block moisture and keep out of the outside environment,” he says Dra. Caren Campbell, a dermatologist based in San Francisco.
Elta® So Silky Hand Cream ($ 21; amazon.com)
Elta® So Silky Hand Cream
This lotion is a favorite of King’s, which says, “The formula combines ceramides, emollients and vitamin E to nourish dry skin and scarolida, a plant ingredient that helps brighten dark spots.”
Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream Concentrated Hand Cream ($ 15; amazon.com)
Concentrated hand cream Eau Thermale Avène Cold Cream
King says he’s a big fan of this product because the cream “absorbs quickly and doesn’t contain parabens”. He adds, “His studies showed that it lasts five hand washes,” which is the energy we need for a hand cream right now.
Original ultra-rich cream from Weleda Skin Food ($ 14.89, originally $ 18.50; amazon.com)
Weleda Skin Food Ultra rich original cream
How one of our favorites, this Weleda cream has been a lifesaver for dry winter skin, it also has a light and refreshing aroma and feels expensive without costing an arm or a leg.
Another tip: You are usually better off with a cream than with a lotion. “Creams are always better for those with extra dry skin on lotions because they contain more moisturizing ingredients and less water,” says Campbell. “Lotions contain more water than creams.” And she remembers, she says, “you can also wear white cotton gloves at night to help keep lotions and creams on your hands and prevent them from rubbing.”
Supergoop! SPF 40 manual display ($ 14; amazon.com)
Supergoop! SPF 40 manual display
This anti-aging cream is one of King’s favorites. “It combines sea buckthorn fruit to lighten dark spots and oils of argan seeds and prairie foam to hydrate and hydrate without feeling greasy,” he says. “And SPF 40 protects exposed skin from damage caused by UV rays.”
Handmade Soap and Glory ($ 6.99; target.com)
Hand food with soap and glory
This best-selling Target product soothes dry hands with shea butter and macadamia oil. (And even though it’s packaged in a tube, it looks like it was extracted from a tub of butter).
Intensive hand balm with shea butter L’Occitane ($ 36; loccitane.com)
Intensive hand balm with shea butter L’Occitane
This luxurious balm melts hands and nails when massaged and includes a shea butter formula that promises to nourish and protect dry, damaged skin.
“A lot of people with dry skin don’t realize that they also have trouble throwing off the dead layer of skin,” he says. Dra. Clarissa Yang, chief dermatologist at Tufts Medical Center. “So one secret ingredient I’ve always been looking for is an exfoliating agent like salicylic, glycolic or lactic acid.”
AmLactin Daily Body Moisturizing Lotion ($ 9.49, originally $ 15.99; amazon.com)
AmLactin Daily Body Moisturizing Lotion
This classic still has a punch and is a favorite of the dermatologist. “I recommend it to my patients who need a gentle exfoliation and hydration,” Campbell says.
CeraVe Daily Moisturizer for Face and Body Moisturizer ($ 15.13, originally $ 18.99; amazon.com)
CeraVe Moisturizer Daily moisturizer for face and body
This daily cream “contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid and is perfect for patients with very dry skin,” Campbell says.
If you have eczema, you will want to look for a cream that is sensitive enough to your skin, but that provides you with first-class moisturizing qualities.
Soothing Moisturizer for Eczema Cetaphil Pro ($ 13.87, originally $ 15.99; amazon.com)
Soothing moisturizer for eczema Cetaphil Pro
“This is a great lotion for many patients, especially for those with normal to dry skin,” says Campbell.
Fragrance-free body lotion for Vaseline repair ($ 1.89; target.com)
Fragrance-free body lotion for Vaseline repair
This lotion repairs dry skin with moisture-containing Vaseline microdroplets. He was awarded the Seal of acceptance of the National Eczema Association, which “helps people recognize products suitable for the care of eczema or sensitive skin.”
Whether at home or in the workplace, hands that do chores or cook, or just get dirty, will need something else, such as “barrier ingredients like paraffin to keep moisture blocked,” Campbell says. Yang also likes to see certain occlusions or moisturizing agents on the ingredient list.
“Occlusions are much more oil-based. They help by trapping the water that the humectants extract and preventing it from evaporating, ”says Yang. “Lanolin, oil and beeswax are common.”
O’Keeffe Hand Cream, Pack of 2 ($ 13.99; amazon.com)
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream Size Cream
Another one of our staff favorites, for years has been a builder of moisture barriers for working hands. Campbell recommends it because it “contains barrier ingredients like paraffin to keep moisture blocked.”
Burt’s Bees Almond and Milk Hand Cream ($ 10.99; target.com)
Burt’s Bees almond and milk hand cream
Sweet almond oil and vitamin E from this cream work to restore moisture to dry hands, while beeswax is blocked.
Gold Bond Definitive Intensive Care Hand Cream ($ 3.76, originally $ 7.25; amazon.com)
Gold Bond Intensive Care Intensive Hand Cream
This healing cream offers a great blast for your buck, with Vaseline to help restore soft, smooth, healthy skin.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($ 24; sephora.com)
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
This cream is designed for working hands and has wax-based properties that form a protective barrier on the skin, leaving your hands soft.