Hands applying hand cream

(Photo by Moose Photos on Pexels)

Our hands can give away a lot, including information about our well-being. Soft, smooth skin on our hands communicates desirable attributes like youth, health, and wealth (no manual labor). But harsh winter weather and frequent washing – remember 2020? – can damage our hands and leave our skin rough, sometimes with nasty cracks. Hand lotions aren’t hard to come by, but few are ideal for dry, damaged skin. To help you heal your hands, StudyFinds created a list of the best hand creams for dry hands to remedy your skin issues. 

The pandemic brought handwashing into the public focus. Proper handwashing is the best way to stay healthy and stop the spread of diseases. A study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that if travelers from and to Wuhan, China in December 2019 had been thorough about washing their hands, it may have slowed the spread of the coronavirus by 37 percent. However, all that handwashing and sanitizing has a downside. Hot water, harsh soaps, and alcohol-based sanitizers dry out the skin. In a poll, Americans revealed that due to the pandemic, their hands are drier than ever, with three in ten respondents reporting flaking and over one in five even bleeding skin. 

A Swiss study found that two in three people may even have developed dermatitis from all the handwashing. Healthcare professionals are affected the most, with a staggering 92.6 percent! “This research shows there is now a skin-disease epidemic within the COVID-19 pandemic. It is promising to see this problem being recognized, and I am excited to see how the dermatology community goes about finding potential solutions to this issue,” said researcher Professor Marie-Aleth Richard, board member of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.

An immediate solution for dry and damaged is pampering your hands with some soothing cream. StudyFinds did the research and went through reviews on ten expert websites to create a list of the best hand creams for dry skin. Have a product to add to our list? Let us know which one in the comments below!

Hands applying hand cream
(Photo by Ana Essentiels on Unsplash)

The List: Best Hand Creams For Dry Hands, According to Experts


1. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Beauty experts recommend you treat yourself to some French hand cream. At least once in a while, as this product is on the pricier side – but worth it! According to Women’s Health, the non-greasy cult favorite from luxury retailer L’Occitane is “made with 20 percent organic shea butter, organic spring honey, and skin-plumping omegas.”

“For hands in need of a major dose of moisture, this rich cream provides 20% pure shea butter, along with honey, almond and coconut oil to hydrate even the most frayed winter cuticles,” writes Town & Country.

At Good Housekeeping, L’Occitane’s “iconic, decadent” cream “is a GH beauty team go-to and GH Sustainable Innovation Award winner” due to how deeply it moisturizes and the fact that the aluminum tube is fully recyclable.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

2. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

Neutrogena’s hand cream is maybe less luxurious, but equally iconic and definitely more affordable than L’Occitane. “Neutrogena’s highly concentrated Norwegian Formula has been a staple for decades. This no-nonsense, wallet-friendly hand cream contains a heaping dose of the humectant glycerin to hydrate and smooth dry skin,” says Byrdie.

That’s because the cream is formulated to be effective, yet gentle. “Designed for rough and dry skin, this hand cream from Neutrogena contains a large amount of super-moisturizing glycerin […] that draws water into the skin and helps keep it there. It’s dermatologist-tested and free of fragrances, dyes, parabens, phthalates, and oils,” writes Real Simple.

According to Good Housekeeping’s Beauty Lab testing, the Norwegian Formula is “top-scoring,” “increasing skin’s hydration levels by 40.3%.” Users say that their hands stay moisturized even after washing.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

3. Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

Beauty experts love Aesop’s Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm for its design and smell. With the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm, hydrating botanical oils such as sweet almond and coconut, as well as notes of lavender, cedar, and rosemary, make for a blend for hybridized minimalist luxury. Plus, it’s a bottle you want by the sink,” writes Town & Country.

When someone pulls this Aesop hand balm out of their purse, you just know they have good taste. The brand is all about clean elegance in their packaging and formulas, and this is probably one of their most popular products,” writes Women’s Health. The formula is also paraben and cruelty-free.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

4. CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream

People with sensitive skin or skin conditions like eczema are probably familiar with CeraVe. The retailer’s products are developed with dermatologists and it’s the #1 dermatologist-recommended skincare brand, according to the company’s marketing. Health sings its praises, saying “the CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream uses moisturizing and calming ingredients, like ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide, to relieve dry, cracked, irritated hands. The active ingredient, dimethicone 1%, protects your skin from environmental and everyday aggressors, like freezing weather, dry climates, and excessive hand-washing.”

According to Real Simple, this “lightweight, non-irritating” product is the best hand cream for eczema: “The product has a seal of approval from the National Eczema Association, meaning it’s free from common irritants and suitable to use on eczema or sensitive skin.”

CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream
CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream

5. Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream

Other products had an equal amount of expert recommendations, but Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream made our list because “this no-frills option checks off all of the necessary boxes — budget-friendly, fragrance-free, and designed with nourishing, hydration-boosting ingredients like shea butter and ceramides, which work to build up the skin’s moisture barrier,” according to Forbes.

According to Good Housekeeping, Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream — its “Best Overall” pick — “helped increase skin moisturization by an impressive 51%. […] Another standout feature of the affordable Eucerin formula is that it contains alpha hydroxy acids, which increase cell turnover for younger-looking hands.”

Declared “Most Calming Hand Cream” by Women’s Health, the formula is “free of both fragrances and dyes, it calms irritated, sensitive skin with ingredients like ceramides and shea butter. Reviewers swear by it for healing cracked, callous hands.”

Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream 
Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations. This article may contain affiliate links.

About Clio Rourke

I'm a freelance writer with experience in advertising and public relations.

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1 Comment

  1. Paula Boyce says:

    Good Article, thanks!