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- Best overall: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
- Best value: Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream with Baobab Oil
- Best with shea butter: L’Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream
- Best for mature-looking skin: AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream
- Best hydrating formula: -417 Serenity Legend Anti-Oxidant Hand Moisturizer
- Best for eczema: Aveeno Eczema Therapy
- Best for on the go: Glossier Hand Cream
- Best luxury on a budget: Philosophy Hands of Hope Nurturing Hand & Nail Cream
- Best natural formula: Natura Ucuuba Restorative Hand Cream
- Best unscented formula: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
Dry hands are something many people can painstakingly relate to, especially during colder months. This is because moisture is zapped from the air and, in turn, skin.
Plus, by working their hands hard or exposing them to outdoor elements, water, and chemicals (like those found in hand sanitizer), people put a lot of wear and tear on their hands every day.
All of these things result in chapped, dry, and cracked skin, which is never fun. To combat this at any time of year, you simply need to use hand cream.
But with so many hand creams out there to choose from, it can be pretty overwhelming. We’re here to help with this list of the top 10 hand creams.
To help with your hand cream shopping journey, we chose these products based on various factors, like:
- customer reviews
- eco-friendly packaging and sustainability
- $ = under $15
- $$ = $15–$30
- $$$ = over $30
- Price: $$$
- Key ingredients: all natural mandarin, rosemary, cedar atlas, coconut oil, cacao butter
If your hands are simply worn and dried out from the elements, daily demands, and tasks of life, check out the aptly named Resurrection Hand Balm from Australian brand Aesop.
This formula uses emollients, which are softeners that fill and smooth out cracked skin with fatty substances called lipids. Plus, the lavender, wood, and citrus botanicals make this pleasing to your nose and your hands.
This greaseless, medium weight cream transforms dry, chapped hands into supple skin. Plus, when applied to the cuticles, it can even restore the broken and cracked skin around them.
Bonus: The tube’s compact size is great for travel or on-the-go use, whether you’re working out, flying, or heading to the office.
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: green tea extract, baobab oil, pumpkin oil, watermelon seed oil
For an all-around great hand cream that soothes and revitalizes rough, dry skin at an amazing price, this pick from Burt’s Bees won’t let you down.
The nongreasy, rich cream also exfoliates to remove dead skin with its fruit acid complex.
The hand cream is dermatologist tested, made with 98.9 percent natural ingredients, and doesn’t contain parabens. It’s also hypoallergenic and unscented, so it’s great for sensitive skin.
Best with shea butter
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: organic honey, organic shea butter, almond extracts, coconut oil
This classic hand cream from Parisian brand L’Occitane gets deep into the skin to combat dryness with its rich, smooth, and creamy mix of 20 percent shea butter combined with almond extracts, organic honey, and coconut oil.
In fact, coconut oil in its own right does a great job of sealing water into the skin to keep it moist.
You can use this highly effective cream as often as you feel the need, and you’ll end up with soft, smooth skin with zero residue left behind. Plus, the high concentration of soothing shea butter, rich in fatty acids, helps to reduce inflammation.
On top of this all, you can feel good about the product’s environmental impact thanks to its 100 percent recyclable tube.
Best for mature-looking skin
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: a mineral blend from the Dead Sea, witch hazel, allantoin
Known for products made with Dead Sea minerals, AHAVA delivers with its highly popular mineral hand cream. Its patented blend of minerals, called Osmotor, acts as a moisture magnet to hydrate and replenish the skin.
Meanwhile, minerals, like magnesium, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and sodium, have positive effects on our skin. Zinc and selenium in particular are able to enhance wound healing, and absorb and filter harmful UVA and UVB rays, generally protecting the skin.
As we age and are more exposed to the elements, our skin’s mineral levels deplete. Since the Dead Sea’s water contains 10 times more solid minerals than any other body of water worldwide, it’s been a long sought-after source of ingredients in skin care.
This supple cream is enriched with the brand’s signature mineral blend that attracts moisture to soften, hydrate, and soothe the driest of hands while protecting them from day-to-day elements.
The witch hazel creates a smoother texture, reduces inflammation, tightens pores, and regulates oil, while the allantoin compound — which has anti-inflammatory, soothing properties — is gentle and non-irritating.
Best hydrating formula
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: all natural ingredients, including Dead Sea minerals, shea butter, primrose oil, and beeswax
Ideal for cracked and dry skin, this non-greasy hand cream hydrates and protects your hands against the elements with its hydrating formula.
Ingredients include shea butter and beeswax, which repair and help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. Together, vitamins A, B, E, and F and sesame, olive and borage, and evening primrose oils nourish, repair, moisturize and hydrate the skin.
Best for eczema
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: therapeutic active naturals, triple oat formula, dimethicone
It can be difficult to deal with eczema, which can cause dry and scaly skin, itching, and inflammation, including on your hands. Thankfully, there’s a hand cream for that!
Aveeno’s Eczema Therapy has been found to relieve eczema symptoms of red, itchy, and irritated skin.
Your hands will look and feel healthier thanks to the product’s colloidal oatmeal, which is known to relieve dry skin. Allergy tested, steroid-free, and fragrance-free, this hand cream is also great for sensitive skin beyond your hands.
Best for on the go
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: coconut extract, meadowfoam seed oil
If you’re regularly missing your hand cream while out and about, consider Glossier Hand Cream as your new friend. It’s conveniently compact enough to toss in your purse, gym bag, or backpack. Plus, the cap is specially designed as a click-to-close, which means no leaks.
More importantly, this nutrient-rich hand cream really delivers on hydration. It’s nourishing and soothing, and it quickly absorbs into the skin without leaving a greasy residue behind.
It’s also dermatologist tested and great for any skin type.
Best luxury on a budget
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: shea butter, aloe vera, blend of natural oils (like olive and macadamia nut)
This fast-absorbing hand and nail cream from Philosophy provides long-lasting, silky moisture. It even protects healthy cuticles when applied to the nails. The best part: You get all of this without any sticky feeling or greasy residue.
The hand cream comes in eight scents, including sparkling grapefruit and green tea and avocado.
Plus, the handy travel size is great to toss in your bag when you’re on the go. And, despite its luxurious formula, a 1-ounce bottle retails for just $11.
Best natural formula
- Price: $$
- Key ingredients: ucuuba butter, Brazil nut, murumuru butter, andiroba
If natural, sustainable, and responsibly sourced products are a must in your beauty regimen, look no further than this rich, non-greasy hand cream.
The cream is more of a butter thanks to its key ingredients of ucuuba and murumuru butters, both of which are ultra-moisturizing.
This cream deeply softens your skin almost instantly on contact and protects your skin from the elements. Plus, the eco-friendly packaging is recyclable.
The cream should last you a while, since a little goes a long way.
Best unscented formula
- Price: $
- Key ingredients: water, glycerin
If you’re not so into scents, or if you have sensitive skin, one of the best tried-and-true options for you is Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula Hand Cream.
Enriched with glycerin, the cream keeps your hands smooth and soft for 24 hours. It protects your hands from environmental elements by strengthening your skin’s natural barrier to them.
The cream is especially great at relieving chapped, red, and dry skin that’s common during the winter months.
There’s no magic number for how often you should use hand cream, since everyone’s skin is different. At a minimum, you’ll want to apply it after washing your hands, since water dries out your skin. This probably means slathering up several times throughout your day.
The benefits of using hand creams include:
- Smoothing and softening your skin, cuticles and nails. Hand creams are, by nature, intended to moisturize dry skin and smooth out cracks that occur over time.
- Restoring and replenishing mature-looking skin. Some hand creams contain ingredients for mature-looking skin and are designed to temporarily repair and moisturize your skin.
- Keeping your hands clean. Yes, hand creams are typically hygienic and contain antibacterial chemicals that keep germs out.
- Smelling nice. Many hand creams come with fragrances, and it’s nice to choose something signature that’s all about you.
Regardless of how our hands feel any time of year, we all need hand cream for different reasons. Whether you want to repair your cuticles, find an amazing new scent, or grab a convenient travel size and head out, there’s a hand cream (or two!) for you.
Just know what’s important to you when shopping and be sure to try out different products before you buy, so you know you’re getting the best hand cream.
Emma Caplan is a writer and editor with over 10 years of experience in various content types and topics, like health and lifestyle, home and design, local events and news, travel, the outdoors, real estate, business, and tech. Emma edits marketing content, as well as fiction and non-fiction books. Her work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune and on Nexstar Media, Narcity Media, and BobVila.com.