The Best Hand Creams for Super Dry Skin

Moisture in the time of hand sanitizer

There’s so much uncertainty in the world right now as we navigate COVID-19. Staying informed is key, social distancing is crucial and doing what you can to relieve stress when so much is out of our hands is super important. One thing you can control? How dry your hands are. Your sandpaper paws have been through a lot thanks to to winter conditions, diligent hand washing (I’m partial to singing “Thong Song” to get my 20 seconds of lathering in, you?) and hand sanitizer baths, but these lotions, balms and salves are here to the rescue.

Behold, the best hand creams for soothing even the driest of hands.

The one that sells every two seconds

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, $35,

This luscious lotion is enriched with 20% organic shea butter—harvested by several thousand Burkinabé women who, according to L’Occitane, are committed to developing a sustainable, fair trade shea butter supply chain—and penetrates quickly to protect, nourish and moisturize even the most leathery hands. Honey, almond extract and coconut oil add to the balm’s hydrating power and lovely scent (bonus!).

The one that also helps with anti-aging

Nivea Q10 Anti-Age Hand Cream, $6,

I can’t be the only person that looks down at their reptilian hands and wonders when they started to look so haggard. Enter this little cutie from Nivea that helps to visibly reduce the appearances of fine lines and wrinkles via its coenzyme Q10 while moisturizing your hands.

The one that’s somewhere between a cream and a balm

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $21,

This stuff is the truth. It looks like a cream, acts like a heavy-duty salve and smells like a glorious old timey apothecary. Plus, despite being one of the most major moisturizers on this list that relieves the most weather-beaten hands, it’s non-greasy enough that you can do normal things, like type on a computer, after application.

The one that looks especially chic sitting on your desk

Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm, $43 CAD for 75ml,

This rich, emollient balm provides sustained hydration with ingredients like potassium lactate, while its woody, smoky scent is almost too cool for a hand cream. (Almost.)

The one in a pump

Beautycounter Hand Cream in Citrus Mimosa, $38,

This lightweight, fast-absorbing cream hydrates and softens skin with ingredients like shea butter, organic sunflower oil, vitamin E, aloe, calendula and chamomile. Plus, its refreshing citrus scent is a dream.

The one that’s like a spa moment

Burt’s Bees Hand Cream Lavender & Honey, $6.99,

Shea butter handles the hydration while aromatic lavender and honey calm your senses. We could all use a little calming right now, no?

The one that’s equally good for your nails

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream, $38,

This sulfate- and phthalate-free formula softens skin while strengthening nails so you can get those bad boys in peak condition for your next manicure. 

The one that’s a cult classic 

The Body Shop Hemp Hard-Working Hand Protector, $10,

The Body Shop was infusing products with hemp long before it was trendy. This best selling hand cream softens dry skin and protects hands from further damage with hemp seed oil, and has a slightly granola smell that’s somewhere between earthy and floral. Groovy.

The one that literally does it all

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Skin Protectant, $30,

This iconic little tube can do it all—it moisturizes, heals and protects dry, chapped skin, but it’s also a lovely (and effective) lip balm *and* has been a multi-use staple in makeup artists’ kits for decades (think: everything from grooming brows to creating a high-fashion glossy eye makeup look).

The one that’s luxe AF

Chanel La Crème Main Texture Riche, $70, Available at all Chanel beauty counters and

Bonjour, beautiful. This impossibly rich cream promises to deliver at least eight hours of hydration to parched hands while fighting signs of aging. Iris pallida protects the skin barrier and helps diminish the appearance of dark spots while rose wax leaves a protective barrier of moisture on the skin. Shea butter and glycerin are also here for added hydration.

The one that you can also slather all over your body

Cela The Very Best Cream, $37,

This decadent crème smells like an elevated Terry’s Chocolate Orange (yes, this is a GREAT thing) and delivers maximum moisture via the brand’s signature Céla Complex, a blend of Canadian botanicals, alongside hydrating Amazonian cupuaçu butter and Abyssinian oil. Bonus: The cruelty-free brand is also proudly Canadian.

The one that makes you stop and smell the roses

Lano Rose Cream Intense, $20,

This 98.59% natural formula contains rose oil and brand’s signature lanolin and leaves your hands hydrated—and smelling like a bed of roses. It also boasts Sephora’s Clean seal which means it’s free of ingredients like sulfates, parabens and formaldehydes.

The one that pampers your cuticles

Clinique Deep Comfort Hand and Cuticle Cream, $33,

They need love too! This rich, oil-free formula absorbs quickly and conditions brittle nails and ragged cuticles while smoothing scaly skin.

The one that soothes sensitive skin

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream, $44,

Shea butter hydrates, allantoin calms and soothes redness and colloidal oatmeal helps even the most reactive skin feel comfortable. Bonus: This rich cream is vegan, cruelty-free and gluten-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.