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This hand cream quickly creates more moisture for the skin and puts up a barrier against further damage. Ideal for extremely dry and cracked skin. Cream available in a jar. Affordable and for sale in bulk.
Tends to feel greasy. Some problems with burning and irritation.
Uses ceramides to rebuild and strengthen the skin's natural protective barrier. Enhanced with hyaluronic acid for optimal moisture retention and niacinamide to soothe and calm. Fragrance free and non-irritating. Comes with the National Eczema Association's seal of approval.
Somewhat thin. Not everyone is a fan of the smell.
Designed for chapped or cracked skin. Can also be used for the face at nighttime.
The container isn't as easy to use as the tube design of most other skin creams.
Extremely effective on dry or cracked skin. Unlike other creams, it does not leave a sticky feeling after use.
It's not a watery cream, so it will take a few minutes for it to hydrate your skin.
Lotion includes baobab oil to hydrate skin. Environmentally friendly product that features green tea extract, watermelon seed, and pumpkin oil. It leaves dry skin feeling instantly better. No scent and is hypoallergenic. Made for sensitive skin.
Some users say there is a smell to this product that they don't like.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Whether it’s due to cold weather, frequent washing, or contact with chemical products, your hands can get dry and rough in a hurry. A good hand cream can moisturize your skin to keep it healthy and supple, as well as repair damage and exfoliate rough patches.
However, not all hand creams are created equal. Some do a better job at hydrating your hands and locking in moisture, so your skin stays soft and protected. With an overwhelming number of hand creams on the market, how do you find the best salve for your skin?
Cold, dry weather is the number one cause of dry, rough hands. The lack of humidity in the air strips your skin of moisture, leaving your hands dehydrated.
If you live in an area with hard water, your hands can become dry and rough. Repeated washing with water that has a high concentration of minerals can remove your skin’s natural moisture.
A diet that doesn’t contain enough omega-3 fatty acids can leave you with dry, rough hands as well. If you suffer from chronically dry hands, it’s important to eat plenty of omega-3-rich foods like almonds, avocados, and salmon.
Humectants: Humectants attract moisture to the skin and lock it in to keep your hands moisturized. Glycerin, aloe vera, honey, hyaluronic acid, glycol, urea, and silicones are high-quality humectants.
Ceramides: Ceramides are lipid molecules naturally found in the top layer of skin that help keep moisture in. A hand cream with ceramides can replace any natural ceramides lost to environmental factors, so skin stays moisturized and protected.
Essential fatty oils: Essential fatty oils are highly moisturizing and ideal for treating chronic dry skin. Look for oils such as argan oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, and olive oil.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants like vitamins C and E can reduce inflammation, sun damage, scars, and wrinkles. They can also firm the skin on your hands.
Alpha hydroxy acids: Alpha hydroxy acids are extremely effective exfoliants. They slough off dead skin cells to reduce wrinkles and dark spots, as well as smooth and soften skin.
Lotion: Lotions are the most lightweight hand cream formula. Lotions provide light hydration that can keep your hands in good shape if you’re not prone to especially dry skin. Lotions work well in warmer weather.
Cream: Creams have a heavier consistency and provide a great deal of moisturization. They work especially well if your hands get dry in colder weather.
If the skin on your hands tends to get flaky, an exfoliating hand cream is a good option. Look for formulas that contain alpha hydroxy acids, which help the skin shed dead cells for a softer, smoother feel.
Your hands are at as great a risk for sun damage as your face, which is why it’s a good idea to choose a daytime hand cream with UVA/UVB protection. Look for a hand cream that has an SPF of at least 30.
Some hand creams can address more than one skin concern. You’ll get the most for your buck if you choose a hand cream that offers multiple benefits. For example, many exfoliating hand creams also contain brightening ingredients. You can also find formulas that hydrate and provide sun protection.
Most hand creams come in squeeze tubes that make it easy to dispense the right amount of product without wasting any. Other hand creams come with pumps, which don’t offer as much control over how much product comes out. Thicker hand creams and ointments often come in tubs. While you can easily scoop as much or as little as you like out of a tub, germs can get inside the jar when you dip your fingers in.
Many hand creams are scented. However, if you have sensitive skin, artificial fragrance can easily irritate your hands, particularly if they’re already dry, itchy, or cracked. For sensitive skin, fragrance-free formulas are the best bet.
Hand creams vary in price based on the size of the container and the quality of the ingredients, but you can typically expect to spend between $5 and $30.
For a basic moisturizing hand cream, you’ll usually spend between $5 and $10.
For a mid-range hand cream with moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients, you’ll usually spend between $11 and $20.
For a luxury hand cream with high-end moisturizing and anti-aging ingredients, you’ll usually spend between $20 and $30.
For severely dry, chapped hands, apply a heavy hand cream at night. Then sleep in a pair of old gloves, so the cream is fully absorbed overnight.
Before applying hand cream, wash your hands with a moisturizing soap. It’s okay if your skin is slightly damp when you rub in hand cream because it will seal in the extra moisture.
To avoid getting hand cream on your jewelry, remove any rings before you apply hand cream.
To avoid leaving hand cream residue all around your home, blot your hands with a towel after applying hand cream to remove any excess.
When you’re using a hand cream with SPF, focus it on the top of your hands. That’s the area that sees the most sun exposure and is at risk for age spots.
Q. How often should I use hand cream?
A. It depends on how dry your skin is, what the weather is like, and what else your hands endure, but it’s usually best to apply hand cream at least once a day. If you wash your hands frequently, you may want to apply hand cream after each washing to replenish any lost moisture.
Q. What should I look for in a daytime hand cream?
A. If you’ll be out in the sun, any hand cream that you use during the day should have SPF. Look for a formula with an SPF of at least 30.
Q. What type of hand cream works best for sensitive skin?
A. Sensitive skin is often irritated by fragrance, so choose a hand cream that is unscented. Hand creams that contain natural ingredients are often better for sensitive skin, too. In particular, aloe vera can be extremely soothing for sensitive skin.
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