Last updated: September 26, 2020

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We know that the skin around our eyes and on our face is very delicate. Because of this, we try take care of these areas and maintain them with various creams and serums. However, when we consider the delicate areas of our body, we tend to forget the hands. You may believe that our hands are very durable, but in reality, the skin on our hands also needs to be maintained with care.

We use our hands for everything, which means they are constantly exposed to the outside environment. Everything from dirt, pollution, oil, and more, our hands go through it all. Sun exposure is also affects the skin of our hands. You can help your hands and easily treat the symptoms of dehydration with a specialized hand cream. In the following guide, we give you all the information you need to choose the right cream for your hands!

Key Facts

  • We often do not take care of our hands the way we take care of other parts of our body, even though our hands are mostly exposed to the outside environment
  • With the daily use of a hand cream, your hands will be hydrated and feeling healthy
  • Not all hand creams leave a residue on the skin. Today there are light creams that are quickly absorbed, leaving the skin soft and well-hydrated.

Ranking: The best hand creams on the U.S market

We know that when it comes to beauty products, there are several products on the market. With a range of functions and prices, it can be difficult to know what you need. this is why we have created this ranking, to help you choose among the highest rated and best products out there. With our helpful shopping guide, you will be able to pick the best hand cream for you.

No. 1: Adamia Therapeutic Repair Lotion with Macadamia Nut Oil

What sets this hand cream apart from the others is the ingredients. Adamia hand cream features an exclusive blend of pure macadamia oil, rich in omega-7, making it a soothing and affective moisturizer. The formula is also non-greasy, so there will not be a sticky residue left over. Macadamia oil naturally mimics skin’s own oils allowing it to be absorbed faster and without that undesirable greasy feeling.

This is a great option if you have sensitive skin, as the formula is fragrance free, non-allergenic, paraben free, cruelty free, petroleum free, vegan friendly, soy free, and gluten free.

No. 2: Neutrogena Norwegian Moisturizing Hand Cream

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream is a great option for dry skin. Featuring a highly concentrated Norwegian formula, this moisturizing hand cream provides immediate and lasting relief for dry, rough hands. The formula is made with glycerin, making it long-lasting and helps to improve the look and feel of dry skin, leaving it noticeably softer and smoother.

This hand moisturizing cream is fragrance-free and is very thick, so only a small amount is needed, with over 200 applications contained in the 2-ounce tube. This is also a great size to keep in your bag so you can moisturize on the go!

No. 3: O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream is a concentrated hand cream that heals, relieves, and repairs extremely dry, cracked hands. This product comes highly rated, making it Amazon’s choice in this category. O’Keef’s hand cream helps to boost moisture levels, prevent further moisture loss, create a protective barrier on the skin’s surface, and make a difference you will feel within days.

Many users have rated this product highly, saying it helps to create soft feeling hands and prevent drying. As this company has been around for a few years, people have been using this cream consistently and say the results are worth the investment. And it is only $7!

No. 4: Yes To Coconut Hydrate & Restore Protecting Hand & Cuticle Cream

Yes To hand cream is formulated with virgin coconut oil, which is rich in Vitamins A, C and E and provides nutrients that keep hands and cuticles protected.The passion fruit and shea butter also help soften your hands, while leaving your hands feeling clean and non-greasy.

This is also a great product to keep in your bag when you are out, or to keep at your work desk to use throughout the day. This is also the only item in our ranking that is both a hand cream and a cuticle cream, all in one!

No. 5: AHAVA Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream

If you’re looking for a product with powerful moisturizing ingredients, then this is the perfect hand cream for you. The unique formula is with nutrient-rich dead sea water and smoothing witch hazel. This product is also packed with 21 essential minerals, including magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

Customers love this product, saying it has a wonderful smell and leaves their skin feeling soft throughout the day. This is a great product for someone looking for a hand cream with unique ingredients that work. As the ingredients are more luxurious, this product comes with a higher price tag at $23.

Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about hand creams

We wouldn’t skip moisturizer in our facial care routine, so why not do the same for your hands? Hands are our tools and they allow us to carry out daily tasks in the home, at work and anywhere else . But we all too often neglect them, leaving them defenseless to the environment and often dehydrated.

Choose products that protect your skin and suit your skin characteristics.
(Source: Sergejs Rahunoks: 25931259/

Why is it important to use hand cream?

We use our hands for several different tasks in our daily lives. This constant use means that our hands are one of the first areas on our body to show signs of aging. The skin on your hands is much thinner and has less sebaceous glands, meaning it can become dry very quickly. Dry skin and aging go hand in hand (pun intended). So when we keep our hands moisturized, we affectively slow the aging process.

Rehydrating the skin of your hands at the first signs of drying is the best option for keeping the skin on your hands healthy. If you don’t act in time, it is possible that the skin will become cracked and wounds will eventually appear. The good news is that using hand cream is fast, simple and inexpensive.

How do hand creams work?

Generally, hand creams differ from those used on the body, as the hands require a different type of care. We recommend using a hand cream that also acts as a sunscreen, especially during the summer months. As they are constantly exposed, they need be protected. Being consistent and using a hand cream on a daily basis is also a must, as your hands tend to dry out very frequently. Also, keep in mind your hands will need to be moisturized after each time you wash them.

Making an informed decision when buying a hand cream is far easier when you know how these products work. Hand creams are primarily formulated to create a film on the skin that in turn keeps your skin moisturized and well-hydrated.

Did you know that a man’s skin is 20% thicker than a woman’s?

What ingredients should a hand cream contain?

The formulation of any cream is one of the most important aspects to consider when making a purchase. Not all creams have the same quality, and each will have its own set of ingredients. If your hands are in relatively good condition and you don’t work with any harsh chemicals, you can go for a lighter formula hand lotion. Otherwise, you may need thicker creams with better moisturizing properties.

A good hand cream should contain active ingredients that truly nourish and protect the skin. Make sure you look out for ingredients like Vitamin E, Shea Butter, essential oils and Glycerin which will add much needed moisture to your skin.  If you want anti-aging properties, look out for antioxidants and AHAs, as these will help boost collagen, which plumps the skin.

Here is a table of the ingredients that a good hand cream should have:

Ingredients Effect
Water Water is usually the main component of hand creams. In a hand cream formula, oils and water are mixed, and the water evaporates when applied to the skin.
Occlusive agents Occlusive substances are among the most controversial, as they are often derived from petroleum. The function of these substances is to create the film or layer over the skin to avoid skin dehydration.
Moisturizing substances Helps retain air moisture in the skin. The most common is glycerin, but urea or honey is also frequently used in hand creams.
Emollient substances They make the skin feel soft after the application of the cream and also provide an extra hydration that is ideal for older or very dry skin.
Vitamins The most common vitamins in hand creams are A, C and E. In addition to their moisturising qualities, they soften scars and stimulate collagen production.
Acids Hyaluronic acid or lactic acid is usually used in hand cream. Its function is to prevent the loss of hydration of the skin and maintain skin elasticity.

How and when should hand cream be applied?

There is really no strict rule as to how you should apply hand cream. You want to gently massage your hand cream into your hands at several points in the day. As mentioned, it is a good idea to re apply your cream after washing your hands. Consistency is key, so we recommend keeping a small tube of hand cream in your bag when you are on the go.

Cream should be applied to both the palms of the hands and the back of the hands. The palms are thicker and more resistant, while the skin on the back of the hand is more delicate. It is important to focus on the top of the hand especially when applying a hand cream with SPF.

The packaging of hand creams varies, the important thing is that the content has what you need.
(Source: Maria Kovalets: 29268290/

As for frequency for applying hand cream, again there is no exact rule. You should aim to at least apply your hand cream at least once a day, and every time your hands feel dry or dehydrated. Many women use their hand cream several times a day, but it is really up to you. The absolute best time to apply hand cream is just before going to bed, so that the cream can sink into the skin and the hands can rehydrate overnight.

What causes dry or peeling skin on the hands?

Simply adding one product to your daily routine can completely change the condition of your hands, so the sooner you start using a hand cream, the sooner you will see results. If you have skin problems or a condition that you may suffer from, you need to be extra protective with your hands. There are also the external or natural factors to consider that we briefly mentioned in the previous section.

In the following table we will cover some of the external factors to consider when it comes to dry skin:

External elements Effect
Type of water The type of water that you use to take a shower or wash the dishes is a key factor when it comes to loss of hydration. Hard waters, those that are very rich in minerals such as lime, tend to dry out your skin. This is because these minerals absorb moisture from hands and other parts of the body.
Hand washing  The more you wash your hands, the more they will dry out. Washing you hands actually removes the natural sebum film from the epidermis, which serves to protect the hands. At the same time, the minerals in the water, especially if it is hard water, and the chemicals in the soap dehydrate the skin further.
Diet A healthy diet, rich in foods that contain healthy oils, such as salmon, nuts or avocados helps the skin to be elastic and hydrated. In addition, it is important to drink plenty of water every day.
Climate We have mentioned the climate factors earlier in the guide. The cold, wind or sun extract the natural moisture from the skin, so it is essential that you repair the damage caused to your hands with a suitable moisturiser. This is even more critical if you live in a places with a naturally harsh climate, such as New York, Florida, or the midwest.

How can we prevent our hands from cracking or drying out?

There are plenty of factors that are out of our control. For example, if your job requires you to use your hands often, then it is not feasible to change careers just because of your hands. Also, if you live in places with extreme weather conditions (such as New York) then the best you can do is mitigate those affects. Keeping our hands moisturized with hand cream is one of the best ways to prevent our hands from cracking and drying out.

It is recommended to drink about eight glasses of water per day to stay sufficiently hydrated. This is different for each person, but this is the daily average amount. In addition, you should try to wear gloves every time you perform an activity that may damage your hands, such as washing the dishes or gardening. If you have any natural dietary deficiencies, you can also take vitamin supplements to improve the skin quality of your hands.

How do I choose a cream for mature hands?

Our skin changes as we age. This means that our skin has different needs when we are older versus when we are younger. As we age, moisturizing becomes more essential, as our skin tends to become dryer. Exposure to the sun also causing aging affects, so wearing a hand cream with sun protection is the best way to combat the signs of aging.

Of course, it is not yet possible to reverse the effects of age, but merely manage them. Mature skin often requires hand creams containing vitamins A, C and E, which fix dry spots and promote collagen production. Older people should use creams that contain acids, such as hyaluronic or lactic acid. These prevent dehydration of the hands and promote elasticity in the skin.

Many creams already include sun protection.
(Source: Ninamalyna: 56915010/

What can I do if I don’t like the greasy feeling from hand cream?

Many people do not use hand creams because of the greasy residue that some brands can have. This is understandable, as nobody wants oily hands that may leave stains on their clothes and other objects. If you are one of these people, you should know that residue can be avoided by opting for lighter creams, less greasy creams or even creams with a matte finish.

It also depends on when you apply your hand cream. If you are using your hands more at specific times throughout the day, then it makes sense to not apply a cream that is going to make using your hands any more difficult. If this is the case, it is best to apply hand cream just before bed, so your hands will still benefit from the cream, but it will not inhibit your daily tasks.

Shopping Criteria

It can seem difficult to choose from all of the different products out there. When it comes to a product like hand cream, you want to make sure that you get something that works for your specific needs. You should take into account a few factors when choosing a hand cream. So to make it easier for you, we have developed this shopping guide to help you make the best decision. When you buy a hand cream, we recommend that you take into account the following shopping criteria:

  • Format
  • Skin type
  • Ingredients
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
  • Texture


When it comes to packaging, you will find many different options available. Most hand creams come in a tube, making this the most common format. However, you might opt for a more environmentally friendly packaging such as a glass bottle or jar.

The tube format is definitely the most convenient. If you would like to use your hand cream often, choose something that can easily fit inside your bag when you are out and about. On the other hand, if you’re one of those people who only applies cream when you hop into bed, you probably don’t mind if it’s in a glass jar or plastic tube.

It’s never too late to take care of your skin.

Skin type

Do you know what type of cream you should use depending on the needs of your hands? Different people have different skin types, and it is important to take this into account when choosing a hand cream. If you choose a cream for your skin type, you will get the best results. The below table breaks down each skin type:

Skin type Cream recommended
Dry or rough skin Hands that simply have dry or dehydrated skin require a cream that is less dense. The goal is to repair any dry parts and maintain healthy skin.
Cracked and lined skin Cracked hands require a cream that moisturizes and repairs cracked areas. Creams that include natural oils, such as shea butter, in their formulas are perfect for this skin type.
Damaged skin This is the worst state in which the skin of our hands can be found, although it is not irreversible. Damaged skin needs a cream with regenerating and healing properties. It is also important to maintain a consistent routine when it comes to hand cream application in the case of damaged skin.
Mature skin Mature skin also requires special care when it comes to the hands. Sun Protection (SPF) is essential, as are the vitamins and nourishing ingredients that restore elasticity to aging skin.


While lots of products boast “extreme” or “ultimate” moisturizing powers, certain ingredients in hand creams are more effective than others when it comes to healing cracks and other symptoms of chapped skin. According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), some of the best moisturizing ingredients to heal and protect the dry skin on hands are shea butter, lanolin, hyaluronic acid, and mineral oil.

A thick cream with a higher amounts of oil will offer better moisturizing properties when compared to a lotion, which has a thinner consistency. There are also certain ingredients to be aware of. Lotions and other products we put on our bodies can be just as harmful as anything we put in them.  It is recommended to steer clear of fragrances and color on the ingredient list if you have sensitive skin, as these can be irritating.

Sun Protection Factor (SPF)

Our hands, more especially the back of the hands, are continuously exposed to radiation from the sun. UV rays are the principle cause of skin aging, which leads to loss of elasticity in the skin, lines and dark spots.

To prevent the signs of aging from appearing on your hands, opt for a hand cream with Sun Protection Factor among the ingredients. Some products designed for night time may not include SPF. However it is not difficult to find a hand cream that contains SPF, as more and more brands are becoming aware of the value of sun protection.

Keeping your skin hydrated is fundamental to your health.
(Source: Antonio Guillem: 81992366/


There are products available in all different types of textures,, such as thick paste, mousse, liquid or even oil. As we mentioned earlier, if you do not want a residue after you apply your hand cream, choose a hand cream that contains less oil.

Don’t forget that thicker or heavy creams usually have better moisturizing qualities. If you have particularly dry hands, you may want to opt for a cream with a richer, thicker texture that has higher absorption properties and will not leave your hands feeling greasy. By choosing a cream such as this, your skin will feel soft and moisturized.


Although not everyone may be concerned about their skin, our hands are one of the first places to endure the brunt of the outside environment. Since the skin of our hands is particularly thin, it gets affected by exposure to the wind and air very quickly, and with that, we experience problems such as dryness, irritation, peeling and cracking. This is why you should never miss the chance to treat your hands to some much-needed moisture.

We hope that our guide has helped you learn more about hand creams and that now you have a clear idea of what to value when buying a cream. There are so many options when it comes to hand cream, each each of them serving a different purpose that you don’t have to be satisfied with the first one you find.

Have you already found the perfect hand cream for you? Why don’t you tell us about it in the comments? We want to know! Also, if our guide has been helpful to you, we encourage you to share it on your social networks.

(Source of featured image: Serezniy : 16620111/

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