hand creams best

What are the best hand creams? I know ya all want to talk about anti-aging serums and lightweight sunscreens but guess what? It doesn’t matter what you do to your face – if you don’t take care of your hands, they’re gonna betray your real age. Fast.

Why? The skin of your hand is thin and constantly exposed to the elements, including sunlight and harsh winds. This makes them more prone to damage, including deep wrinkles and cracked skin in the colder winter months. A good hand cream that keeps your hands soft and younger-looking is a must in your stash all year long.

Problem is, most hand creams out there are very basic. Sure, they’ll keep your hands soft and smooth, but what about sun protection or fading away dark spots? Then, the search becomes harder. A LOT harder. Fret not, I’ve done all the hard work for you. Here are the best hand creams for your every need:

What To Look For In A Hand Cream?

Here are the main types of ingredients to look for in a good hand cream:

  • Natural oils and butters: Very moisturising, they’re loaded with fatty acids that create a protective barrier on the skin. This barrier keeps moisture in to deeply hydrate skin and make it softer and smoother and germs out to prevent irritations.
  • Humectants: Ingredients like glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, and urea attract and bind water to the skin, increasing its hydration levels.
  • Soothing ingredients: A lot of hand creams are designed to heal dryness, itching, and cracked skin. They can do that when they can contain soothing agents, like colloidal oatmeal, allantoin, and aloe vera, that have powerful anti-inflammatory properties to calm down redness and irritations.
  • Antioxidants: They fight free radicals, the nasty molecules that cause wrinkles, to slow down premature aging. Very few hand creams have them. If they do, that’s always a plus.
  • SPF: UV rays are responsible for 90% of premature aging. They’re also one of the main causes of dark spots. If you’re serious about preventing wrinkles and hyperpigmentation, pick a hand cream with SPF and apply it regularly. Sadly, very few creams have SPF these days (why?!).


What can hand creams do?

Hand creams are moisturisers. Moisturisers work in two different ways: they attract moisture from the air into your skin to keep it hydrated and create a protective barrier on the skin that keeps moisture in. The result is softer and smoother skin. Some hand creams also contain anti-aging and soothing ingredients to prevent premature aging and calm down irritations.

What can’t hand creams do?

Marketers tend to overpromise and underdeliver. Hand creams, like all skincare products, can’t firm skin or reduce deep wrinkles you already have. As always, if it’s good to be true, it probably is.

Who should use a hand cream?

Everyone can use a hand cream, but it’s most suitable for women with dry skin.

Who should NOT use a hand cream?

Again, everyone can use it. But if your skin are naturally in top shape, you may not need one. Not every day, anyway.

Can I use a hand cream if I have sensitive skin?

Yes, especially if you have itchy or irritated hands, a hand cream can help you heal it. Just make sure you use a fragrance-free formula with petrolatum, ceramides, or natural oils and soothing ingredients.

How often should I use a hand cream?

As often as needed. I like to apply one after I wash my hands, but you could use it more or less often, depending on how dry your skin is.

How do you use a hand cream?

You pour a small amount onto your hand and then massage it in. If it takes a few minutes to sink in, you’ve used too much.

What Are The Best Hand Creams?

Best Drugstore Hand Cream For Dry Skin: CeraVe Soothing & Repairing Hand Cream ($11.99)

Dry skin has a broken protective barrier that lets moisture evaporates out of your skin, leaving it all dry and irritated. This hand cream contains everything you need to fix it. Hyaluronic Acid attracts and binds moisture to your skin for that extra burst of hydration while ceramides strengthen and fix your skin’s barrier so that all that extra moisture can now stay into your skin and deeply hydrate it. Plus, this protective barrier also protects sensitive and dry skin from environmental aggressors that would otherwise slow down the healing process. Fragrance-free and not-greasy, you can easily apply it all day long as needed.

Available at: Boots, Sephora, and Ulta

  • Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid and ceramides.
  • Benefits: Heals dry skin.
  • Cons: Doesn’t contain anti-aging ingredients (but then, most hand creams don’t).
  • Skin type: All skin types, especially dry and sensitive.
  • Cruelty-free: No.

Best Hand Cream For Very Dry, Cracked Hands: Eucerin Dry Skin Intensive Hand Cream 5% Urea with Lactate (£9.00)

If you’ve tried every hand cream under the sun and your skin is still super dry and cracked, you need to get yourself some urea. The key ingredient in this cream, urea is a powerful humectant that attracts and binds moisture to your skin. Not only urea readily absorbs water, it also has a very high water content itself, so it packs a super hydrating punch. Plus, it’s a natural exfoliant that makes your skin smoother and brighter and strengthens the skin’s protective barrier, too, so that moisture stays in and germs and other skin’s enemies stay out. Studies show it can treat a plethora of skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and itchy skin. The texture takes a while to sink in, but it’s worth the wait.

Available at: Boots and Sephora

  • Active Ingredients: Urea.
  • Benefits: Heals dry and cracked skin.
  • Cons: Doesn’t contain anti-aging ingredients (but then, most hand creams don’t).
  • Skin type: All skin types, especially dry and sensitive.
  • Cruelty-free: No.

Best Hand Cream For Sensitive Skin: Aveeno Skin Relief Moisturising Hand Cream (£5.03)

Did you know one of the most soothing ingredients is lurking in your breakfast bowl? Oats have soothing properties that can calm down redness and itchiness. This cream contains three different forms of oats (flour, oil, and extract) to heal even the driest, most sensitive of skin types. Plus, petrolatum creates a protective barrier on the skin that protects it from the environmental aggressors that irritate it. Whether you’re dealing with eczema, psoriasis, or just itchy skin, this is one of the best hand creams to heal your skin quickly.

Available at: Boots and Sephora

  • Active Ingredients: Oats and petrolatum.
  • Benefits: Heals dry and cracked skin and soothes irritations.
  • Cons: Doesn’t contain anti-aging ingredients (but then, most hand creams don’t).
  • Skin type: All skin types, especially dry and sensitive.
  • Cruelty-free: No.

Best Brightening Hand Cream: PCA Skin CE Hand Renewal Anti-Aging Corrective ($82.00)

I know, I know, this is super expensive. But, it goes the extra mile (or two) compared to most hand creams out there. It contains 10% L-Ascorbic Acid, the pure form of Vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant fights free radicals before they give you wrinkles, brightens skin, and fades away dark spots. Plus, it has bakuchiol, a natural retinol alternative that reduces both the look of wrinkles or dark spots. Lots of hand creams promise you to fade away dark patches of skin, but this can actually deliver. The only con is the scent, but if that doesn’t bother you, there’s no reason not to use it.

Available at: Dermstore

  • Active Ingredients: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) and bakuchiol.
  • Benefits: Prevents wrinkles, brightens skin, and fades away dark spots.
  • Cons: It has fragrance.
  • Skin type: All skin types with dark spots.
  • Cruelty-free: No.

Struggling to put together a skincare routine that banishes dryness and makes your skin supple and dewy? Download your FREE “Best Skincare Routine For Dry Skin” to get started (it features product recommendations + right application order):

Best Luxury Hand Cream For Dry Skin: L’Occitane Shea Intensive Hand Balm (£25.00)

This cream contains a whooping 25% shea butter, a godsend for dry skin. It’s loaded with moisturising fatty acids that create a protective barrier on the skin that keep moisture in, so your hands stay soft and hydrated for longer. This barrier also protects your delicate skin from harsh winds, germs, and other irritants that may cause havoc on it. Plus, it has allantoin, a powerful actives that soothes itching and redness. It smells divine, but the fragrance can be irritating to some skin types.

Available at: Sephora

  • Active Ingredients: Shea butter and allantoin.
  • Benefits: Moisturises and soothes skin.
  • Cons: It has fragrance.
  • Skin type: All skin types, especially dry.
  • Cruelty-free: No.

Best Multi-Tasking Hand Cream: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Soothing Hand Cream (£8.50)

This moisturising hand cream is loaded with hydrating ingredients, like glycerin and shea butter, that make skin softer and smoother. But, the star of the show is niacinamide, a form of Vitamin B3 that deeply hydrates skin, reduces the look of fine lines and wrinkles, soothes irritations, and even helps fade away dark spots. If you’re not sure what hand cream to get, this is a safe pick. It can help with any concern you have. Plus, it sinks in quickly into your skin without feeling oily or greasy.

Available at: Boots, La Roche Posay, and Sephora

  • Active Ingredients: Shea butter, glycerin, and niacinamide.
  • Benefits: Moisturises, soothes, brightens, and reduces the look of wrinkles.
  • Cons: It’s not cruelty-free.
  • Skin type: All skin types.
  • Cruelty-free: No.

Best Natural Hand Cream: Burt’s Bees® Ultimate Care Aloe and Rice Milk Hand Cream

Super moisturising, this hand cream is loaded with natural oils and butters (including shea, coconut, and jojoba) that nourish even the driest of skin types back to softness and health. Some of these oils and butters also contain antioxidants, the good molecules that fight free radicals before they give you wrinkles. Don’t you just love multi-tasking ingredients? The rich texture is creamy and smooth, and sinks in quickly. It keeps your hands protected even when you’re on-the-go all the time and need a hand cream that gets the job done without leaving stains everywhere.

Available at: Boots and Sephora

  • Active Ingredients: Natural oils and butters, including shea, jojoba and coconut.
  • Benefits: Moisturises skin and fights premature aging.
  • Cons: May be too rich for normal skin.
  • Skin type: All skin types.
  • Cruelty-free: Yes.

Best Anti-Aging Hand Cream: JASON Soothing 84% Aloe Vera Pure Natural Hand & Body Lotion

A body lotion and hand cream all in one. Truth be told, a moisturiser is a moisturiser, so you could use any body lotion on your hands, as long as it’s not so greasy, it leaves stains everywhere. This moisturising lotion has a lightweight texture that sinks quickly into the skin, is lightly fragranced, and contains more antioxidants than most hand creams so it’ll help you prevent those pesky wrinkles that give away your real age.

Available at: iHerb and Sephora

  • Active Ingredients: Aloe vera, green tea, ginseng, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
  • Benefits: Moisturises skin and prevents premature wrinkles.
  • Cons: Contains fragrance, which can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Skin type: Anyone who wants to prevent premature aging.
  • Cruelty-free: Yes.

Best Hand Cream For Eczema: Gold Bond Eczema Relief Hand Cream ($4.99)

If you’re suffering from eczema or just have very dry, sensitive skin that’s easily irritated, Gold Bond Eczema Relief Hand Cream is just what the doctor ordered for you. This baby has 2% colloidal oatmeal (yep, that’s oats!), a powerful anti-inflammatory that can reduce the symptoms of eczema (and any other inflammatory skin condition). Plus shea butter, ceramides and plant extracts to deeply moisturise skin and strengthen its protective barrier. The stronger this barrier is, the less likely germs, harsh weather and other enemies can irritate your skin. Did I mention it’s fragrance-free?

Available at: Walmart

  • Active Ingredients: 2% colloidal oatmeal and petrolatum.
  • Benefits: Moisturises skin and heals eczema.
  • Cons: Not easily available outside the US.
  • Skin type: Sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
  • Cruelty-free: Yes.

Related: All You Ever Wanted To Know About Colloidal Oatmeal In Skincare

Best Hand Cream With SPF: Supergoop! Handscreen SPF 40 ($14.00)

Your hands are one of the first part of your skin to develop wrinkles. Why? They’re ALWAYS exposed to the elements and they get very little sun protection. UV rays are responsible for 90% of premature aging, so if you want your hands to stay young and don’t betray your real age, using a hand cream with sun protection is key. This hand creams provides broad spectrum protection in a moisturising base that blends easily into your skin without leaving a white, greasy mess everywhere. Non-sticky, it’s great to use on-the-go or for travelling.

Available at: Dermstore, Nordstrom, Revolve and Supergoop!

  • Active Ingredients:  3%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 10%.
  • Benefits: Provides broad-spectrum sun protection and moisturises skin.
  • Cons: Has fragrance.
  • Skin type: Any skin type.
  • Cruelty-free: Yes.

Final Verdict

The best hand creams contain a mix of natural oils and humectants to deeply moisturise even the driest of skin. If your skin is sensitive, look for a formula with skin-soothers that can reduce redness and irritation. If you’re concerned about preventing premature aging, pick a hand cream with antioxidants. Bonus points if the hand cream contains sunscreen too.