The 13 Best Hand Creams to Keep Your Hands From Drying Out

CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream is jam-packed with restorative ingredients.

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After almost three years of living in COVID times, we are no strangers to frequent hand washing and sanitizing. Unfortunately, excessive hand washing can dry out your skin fast. Thankfully rich, emollient hand creams can help alleviate and soothe dry, irritated hands with minimal effort. 

Reviewed & Approved

We chose the CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream as our best overall winner because it has a great consistency, many barrier-repairing ingredients, and is fragrance-free and non-irritating. We also liked the Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream because of its affordability, its staying power after multiple hand washes, and its vitamin-packed formula.

Anyone and everyone can use a hand cream, but people who work in labor-intensive jobs, such as construction or as an ER nurse, may reach for hand creams more often than not. Additionally, cold temperatures or dry climates might irritate the skin on your hands, resulting in a greater need for moisturizing hand creams. 

When hunting for a great hand cream, there are multiple factors to consider. If you have super sensitive skin, you’ll want to avoid any formulas with added fragrance. For those with atopic dermatitis, you want to look for soothing ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and shea butter. If you’re looking for an anti-aging cream, antioxidants are your best bet. 

Choosing our winners involved researching and reviewing to determine the best hand creams on the market. We looked at each product for its texture, scent, moisturizing benefits, and overall feeling. We looked for formulas that help with specific skin concerns, including sensitive skin, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and anti-aging. 

According to our extensive testing and dermatologist recommendations, here are the best hand creams. 

Our Recommendations

Best Overall: CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream

CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream Skin Protectant


Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It’s not too thick and not too thin, fragrance-free, and features protective dimethicone.

It’s Worth Noting: If you have an aversion to dimethicone, you might not like this pick.

We love this hand cream from CeraVe for many reasons—the texture is delightful, the formula is jam-packed with restorative ingredients, and it’s easily available at most drugstores nationwide. Plus, CeraVe is recommended by most dermatologists and is safe to use on sensitive skin. The product boasts the Seal of Acceptance from the National Eczema Association. 

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.

Dimethicone has a distinct texture and feel on the skin, and some folks might not like the silky formula. If you’re not a huge fan of dimethicone, consider opting for another hand cream on this list.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Dimethicone 1%, ceramides, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide 
  • Scented: No
  • Size: 3 oz.

Price at time of publication: $10

Best Budget: Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream



Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It’s inexpensive and available in most drugstores nationwide.

It’s Worth Noting: It’s not as thick and creamy as other hand creams.

Frequent hand-washers love this pick for its staying power and low price tag. Dermatologists also recommend it, too. “I like Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream, which has vitamins E, C, and A along with moisturizers that help boost overall hydration in the skin,” explains Dr. Corey L. Hartman, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology in Birmingham, AL. 

Aloe is another key ingredient in this formula to help soothe stressed-out skin. The texture feels pretty lightweight and dries down very quickly. While it does leave your hands feeling moisturized, it’s not as satisfying as other creams on the list. Also, if you have super sensitive, easily-irritated hands, you might opt for a fragrance-free alternative as this one contains fragrance.  

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin B, aloe 
  • Scented: Yes
  • Size: 3 oz.

Price at time of publication: $4

Best Natural: Eczema Honey Oatmeal Hand Cream



Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It has the Seal of Acceptance by the National Eczema Association and contains natural, non-irritating ingredients.

It’s Worth Noting: It’s on the pricier side for a hand cream.

An award-winning hand cream with natural, good-for-your-skin ingredients, the Eczema Honey Oatmeal Hand Cream will keep flare-ups at bay and deeply moisturize your skin. The hydrating ingredients like vitamin E oil, avocado oil, sunflower seed oil, and shea butter work to soften hands, while the soothing ingredients like aloe vera juice, honey, and colloidal oatmeal work to calm, treat, and prevent eczema

Don’t be deceived by the relatively thin formula—this hand cream leaves your hands feeling like you just applied a thick, luxe cream, but without that heavy feeling. This is a great option for anyone who prefers a thinner, almost gel-like consistency to their daily hand cream. 

And while we love the formula, the price tag won’t be for everyone. Coming in at $25 per bottle, the Eczema Honey Oatmeal Hand Cream is a higher-end skincare product.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Vitamin E oil, avocado oil, shea butter, honey
  • Scented: No
  • Size: 4 oz.

Price at time of publication: $25

Best for Super Dry Skin: Curél Extreme Dry Hand Relief



Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It’s formulated specifically for very dry skin and lasts through multiple hand washes.

It’s Worth Noting: The consistency is not very thick, and the formula is scented.

If you suffer from super dry skin year-round, consider reaching for the Curél Extreme Dry Hand Relief cream. This pick boasts what’s called “cationic technology.” The positively charged cationic technology in the cream allows the moisture to hold to the negatively charged skin. This cream features other key ingredients, like monoi oil and vitamin E, to provide that extra relief for dry skin. 

The formula isn’t as thick as you’d think for a cream geared toward super dry hands. However, the cream does a great job of hydrating skin without leaving any greasy film. Additionally, this pick contains fragrance (a very subtle eucalyptus scent), so it might not be ideal for those with super sensitive skin or fragrance allergies.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Vitamin E, monoi oil
  • Scented: Yes
  • Size: 3 oz.

Price at time of publication: $4

Best Luxury: Fresh Milk Intensive Hand Cream 



Available at Ulta

Why We Like It: It feels silky on your hands and smells lovely.

It’s Worth Noting: It’s a small amount of product for the price.

Leave it to Fresh Beauty to create a truly sensorial moment—even when moisturizing your hands. This pick feels incredibly luxurious on the skin while doing a great job of adding moisture back into your hands. 

Ingredients like squalane, biotin, niacinamide, and vitamin E work overtime to hydrate hands, while Centella milk, linseed milk, and rice milk help ease and relieve any itching or irritation. Although we love that this pick is small enough to fit into your purse, it’s not a lot of product for the high price. 

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Squalane, vitamin E, Centella milk
  • Scented: Yes
  • Size: 1.6 oz.

Price at time of publication: $20

Best Fragrance-Free: Avene Cicalfate Restorative Hand Cream



Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It’s a thin yet rich, moisturizing cream that’s fragrance-free and won’t irritate your hands.

It’s Worth Noting: It doesn’t absorb into the skin quite as nicely as other creams on the market.

If you have easily irritated skin, one of the ingredients you want to avoid is fragrance. Unfortunately, fragrances can be found in many skincare products. Thankfully, that’s not the case with the Avene Cicalfate Restorative Hand Cream.

This hypoallergenic hand cream includes sucralfate and a copper-zinc sulfate complex to help build the moisture barrier on your hands while promoting a healthy skin environment. It also includes Avene’s acclaimed Thermal Spring Water, clinically shown to help soothe and calm irritated skin. 

One of the downsides of this pick is that it doesn’t absorb into the skin as well as some other creams on this list. The formula is thin but leaves hands damp if not rubbed in thoroughly.  

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Sucralfate, copper-zinc sulfate complex, thermal spring water
  • Scented: No
  • Size: 3.3 oz.

Price at time of publication: $23

Best Men’s: Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer



Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It has a nice scent and would benefit any man who works with his hands.

It’s Worth Noting: Because this pick has fragrance, it’s probably not ideal for anyone with sensitive skin. 

For the man (or anyone who prefers a masculine scent) who works outdoors or frequently uses his hands, the Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer will save his skin from cracks, dryness, and uncomfortable roughness. Featuring ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin E, macadamia nut oil, and glycerin, this pick helps treat rough calluses and dry cuticles. 

The added fragrance in this cream will be a pro for some and a negative for others. The eucalyptus scent smells strong and masculine but could potentially be irritating to those sensitive to fragrance.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Vitamin A, vitamin E, macadamia nut oil, glycerin
  • Scented: Yes
  • Size: 3 oz.

Price at time of publication: $15

Best for Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Hand Cream 



Available at Cvs

Why We Like It: It’s a gentle yet effective hand cream that won’t irritate sensitive skin.

It’s Worth Noting: The formula is very thick and feels almost like petroleum jelly.

La Roche-Posay is known for formulating its products for sensitive skin, and its hand cream is no different. This fragrance-free formula uses shea butter, niacinamide, and glycerin to help moisturize a dry dermis. With frequent use, this hand cream will help protect your sensitive skin against outside aggressors, including temperature changes, frequent hand washing, and excessive exposure to harmful chemicals. 

While this pick does a fantastic job of protecting your delicate hands, some might find the formula off-putting. It’s very thick, leaves hands a bit greasy, and is almost like petroleum jelly on your hands. We would consider this product more of a balm than a cream consistency.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Shea butter, niacinamide, glycerin
  • Scented: No
  • Size: 1.69 oz.

Price at time of publication: $10

Best for Atopic Dermatitis: Skinfix Eczema+ Hand Repair Cream

Skinfix Eczema Hand Repair Cream


Available at Sephora

Why We Like It: It’s specifically formulated for those with eczema.

It’s Worth Noting: It might not last through a hand wash.

This multi-award-winning hand cream works wonders for those with atopic dermatitis. When applying this formula to your skin, you don’t have to worry about any added fragrance or other irritating ingredients. The list of soothing and hydrating ingredients is impressive—think colloidal oatmeal, sweet almond oil, shea butter, jojoba seed oil, allantoin, and more. 

This formula absorbs into the skin incredibly fast and doesn’t leave any sort of greasy feeling. Because of this, you might find that this pick doesn’t feel as moisturizing as others on the list. You will probably have to reapply after every hand wash.

That being said, some dermatologists do recommend applying lotion throughout the day if you’re struggling with atopic dermatitis. “I recommend using a hand cream at least once a day if you deal with psoriasis or eczema and bump it up to twice a day in the cooler months if needed,” explains Dr. Hartman. “If your hands are not keeping the moisture or if you experience discomfort or pain, speak with your dermatologist.”    

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, sweet almond oil, shea butter, allantoin
  • Scented: No
  • Size: 3 oz.

Price at time of publication: $20

Best for Psoriasis: Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream



Available at Target

Why We Like It: It contains urea, which is a beneficial ingredient for those with psoriasis.

It’s Worth Noting: It has a weird smell.

A beloved cream by many, the Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream works wonderfully for all skin types, especially those with psoriasis. This formula has a host of great ingredients to reduce transepidermal water loss and keep hands soft. Still, the urea in this pick is the ingredient that could help alleviate symptoms of psoriasis. 

“Opting for hand creams or skincare products infused with treatment-specific ingredients can yield positive results for those with autoimmune conditions,” explains Dr. Michelle Henry, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Skin & Aesthetics Surgery of Manhattan. “For example, urea-infused hand creams can ease the dryness in people with psoriasis as they may have thick skin plaques. Urea, naturally found on a healthy epidermis, has keratolytic properties that help break down the excess skin cells found on psoriatic skin.” Urea-based products are also great emollients that reduce overall water loss and help the epidermis retain moisture.

While we love the soothing benefits of this cream, we’d be remiss not to mention the scent: it’s a bit strange. Although this product is fragrance-free, meaning there are no added fragrances to mask the smell, it does give off a plastic-y smell upon application.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Urea, ceramides, shea butter
  • Scented: No (but smells a bit like plastic)
  • Size: 2.7 oz.

Price at time of publication: $7

Best-Smelling: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm 

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm


Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It smells wonderful.

It’s Worth Noting: It feels more like a body lotion than a hand cream.

Some folks love a fragrance-free pick, and others can’t get enough of the sensorial experience that a scented hand cream can offer. If you’re in the latter group, consider trying the Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm. 

With notes of mandarin rind, rosemary leaf, and cedar atlas, this formula will soothe skin and calm the mind after every application. While we love the fragrance, it’s important to note that the formula isn’t nearly as thick as others on the list. Upon application, this product feels more like a lightweight body lotion than a thick hand balm. Plus, it’s rather expensive at $39 per tube. Because of this, we suggest only purchasing if you love a scented lotion.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Glycerin, sweet almond oil, coconut oil 
  • Scented: Yes
  • Size: 2.6 oz.

Price at time of publication: $39

Best for Anti-Aging: StriVectin-SD Volumizing Hand Cream

StriVectin Volumizing Hand Treatment


Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It features key anti-aging ingredients to reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sunspots.

It’s Worth Noting: Some folks may not be fans of the scent.

Because our hands are the most exposed body parts, they often show the first signs of aging. If you’re concerned about wrinkles and discoloration, consider trying the StriVectin-SD Volumizing Hand Cream. 

This pick uses arbutin, sea salt ferment, beet root extract (a powerful antioxidant), and hyaluronic acid to improve skin tone, diminish discoloration, promote collagen production to treat wrinkles, and deeply hydrate the skin. The formula is thick, non-greasy, and does contain fragrance. 

“Hand creams can help with dry, rough skin through hydration,” explains Dr. Nicole Hayre, MD, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Cosmetic Dermatology Center in McLean, VA. “Some creams with active ingredients such as retinol and antioxidants can help with rejuvenation, smoothening, and collagen regeneration.”

Although the scent is subtle, some users have complained that it smells similar to a hotel pool. If you are sensitive to fragrance, consider reaching for another hand cream.  

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Arbutin, sea salt ferment, beetroot extract
  • Scented: Yes
  • Size: 2 oz.

Price at time of publication: $29

Best Non-Greasy: Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Hand Cream



Available at Amazon

Why We Like It: It absorbs quickly while leaving your hands soft and moisturized.

It’s Worth Noting: You might have to reapply often.

A great formulation that’s effective on even the driest skin, the Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Hand Cream is a fantastic, non-greasy hand cream. The key ingredient is prebiotic oat, which helps build back your natural moisture barrier and deeply soothe skin. 

This pick is formulated without dyes, parabens, or fragrances and has a thick consistency. That being said, it absorbs into your skin very fast and won’t leave your hands feeling slippery. Because this pick absorbs fast, you might have to reapply more often than not.

Product Details:

  • Key ingredients: Prebiotic oat, dimethicone 1.3%
  • Scented: No
  • Size: 3.5 oz.

Price at time of publication: $8

How We Selected

We researched and reviewed dozens of options before narrowing down the best hand creams on the market. We looked for formulas that help with specific skin concerns, including sensitive skin, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and anti-aging.  

We consulted with dermatologists to get their professional opinions on what ingredients and formulas are most effective when shopping for a hand cream. Dermatologists we spoke to included:

What to Know About Hand Creams

How Often Should You Apply Hand Cream

According to Dr. Hayre, hands are difficult to treat because they are subject to many environmental factors throughout the day. In addition, washing your hands strips them of moisture and any cream you may have applied. “This is why re-applying creams throughout the day is important—I recommend using a cream or lotion with ceramides in it for daytime application,” she says. “These mimic the natural ceramides in your skin and help to hydrate.”  

If you invest in a hand cream with active ingredients such as retinol or antioxidants, Dr. Hayre suggests applying it at bedtime so that it has longer to work since you’re not washing your hands overnight. “I like thick creams for bedtime moisturizing,” she explains. “A thick cream can even be applied or layered over a lotion with more active ingredients to get the best of both worlds.”

Who Shouldn’t Use Hand Cream

Everyone can benefit from using hand cream. However, if the skin on your hands does not improve with moisturizing or is painful or itchy, this may be a sign of hand dermatitis, according to Dr. Hayre. If eczema or psoriasis does not improve with at-home hand cream use, consider getting examined by a board-certified dermatologist. 

What Ingredients to Look for When Shopping For Hand Cream

When searching for a hand cream, look for products that contain emollient and humectant ingredients. “These are hyaluronic acid, ceramides, glycerin, and urea,” suggests Dr. Henry. “These ingredients will help your skin retain its moisture while also soothing the external layer and providing nourishment.” Other ingredients that have shown positive results for treating dry skin are glycerin and vitamin E.

Because the skin on our hands tends to lose moisture quickly, especially in the winter between frequent hand washing and cooler, less humid weather, you want to look for a hand cream with a higher concentration of oil than a typical body lotion or moisturizing cream. “This is because the skin on your hands is thicker than other body parts,” explains Dr. Hartman. “A higher oil concentration is needed to get through the thicker skin to truly moisturize.”

What Ingredients to Avoid When Shopping For Hand Cream

According to Dr. Henry, avoiding fragrance-heavy hand creams is best, as fragrances and excess alcohol can exacerbate skin dryness.

Your Questions, Answered

What is the best hand cream brand? 

According to our research and testing, CeraVe is the best hand cream brand to help moisturize dry skin and avoid irritation. 

How much does a hand cream cost? 

Hand creams can cost anywhere from $4—$40. According to Dr. Hayre, a high price tag doesn’t always mean the formula is better. “Many [higher-priced hand creams] contain fragrance, which can irritate the skin."

Who We Are

Daley Quinn is a freelance journalist, specializing in beauty and health, who has contributed to numerous publications, such as Elle, Real Simple, Allure, The Cut, WWD, and more. She used her personal experience with dry, eczema-prone hands to report this story, and she consulted experts for the best ingredients and products to treat dry hands.

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