Best Hand Lotions for Dry Skin

best hand lotions

Our hands are the most exposed parts of our bodies, right after our faces.

Somehow we pay less attention to this part of our bodies and care less for this delicate skin.

Having the best hand lotion is no longer a luxury, but an actual need for both women and men.

We’ve looked at 46 hand lotions and completed more than 109 hours of research and testing to create this review, in which we can advise that Pre de Provence 20% Natural Shea Butter Hand Cream stands out as the best hand lotion to buy for most people.

Top Pick:

1. Pre de Provence 20% Natural Shea Butter Hand Cream

$33
Pre de Provence Natural Shea Butter Hand Cream

Just when you hear the name Provance you already know that it’s all about natural and organic cosmetics. This is a thick and creamy hand lotion enriched with shea butter and vitamin E. Its main goal is to nourish your hand skin, keep it hydrated and not oily. It absorbs fast and the excellent thing is that there is no oily feeling (which most of us hate). The shea butter is excellent for skin repair, tone and elasticity.

Also, this ingredient is amazing for all the damage that the sun has already done to your skin. The rosemary extracts will soothe cracked skin and eczema (you don’t even have to suffer from these skin diseases to feel the benefits of the rosemary extracts). The sunflower oil is rich with antioxidant properties and will slow down and aging process that may have already started on your skin. This is not a greasy hand lotion, but it does not absorb instantly (if that is not your thing, then this one may not be the best choice for you). It comes in three scents – Original, Lavender and Verbena.

Why our reviews are trustworthy

I have covered beauty and skincare here for a few years now,including hand lotions, moisturizing lotions and face moisturizers, in which time we have spend hundreds of hours immersed in research and testing products. I started reviewing beauty products with the simple aim of sharing my knowledge gained through years of buying for a large international beauty chain store with friends and family.

Did your know that the discovery of epidermal growth factor won Dr. Stanley Cohen and Rita Levi-Montalcini a Nobel Prize?

We’ve looked at the best hand cream reviews, and I have consulted with experts I know to keep up to date with new developments, so that I can bring you the most useful and insightful information. We regularly check out new reviews from companies that test or review hand creams, such as, Sephora, Allure and Total Beauty. Then we do our own testing of the best hand lotions with selected consumers who test the products at home and provide their feedback through our product testing programs and with ourselves.

*This review covers the best hand lotions to buy before and since we created this review.

How we selected

There are several types of good hand moisturizers such as lotions (that are thinner than any other moisturizer), ointments (that are semi-solid and are made for severe hand skin conditions) and creams (thick and protective with less oil).

Picking a good hand cream or lotion depends on your hand skin type and whether or not you have problems with your skin. For super dry skin your dermatologist will suggest a special ointment that will help your skin reduce water loss. Ointments are quite oily and create a protective layer over your sensitive hand skin, keeping it safe from germs and bad air influences.

Regular or normal hand skin can be treated with a hand lotion. Finding a suitable hand lotion for normal skin is not such a big deal you can find amazing products in your local drug store.

Creams that contain less oil but are thick enough to need some time to absorb in your skin are recommendable for people who often get in touch with water, but still, have normal to combination skin.

Important ingredients

You may have found the best drugstore hand lotion so far and you are super content with it, but do you know the ingredients? Most people don’t pay attention to this part because most people don’t understand all the complicated names in the ingredient section tag.

Here is what you need to know about good hand lotions:

Sun protection – this is a must! It does not matter whether it is summer or fall, your hands need sun protection. As mentioned above, the hands are the most exposed part of our bodies (just like the face). Just remember those freckles that old people have. It’s not just something the skin gets as it ages. The sun is to blame for this condition. That’s why a hand lotion must have UVA and UVB protection. Just the way you want to protect your face from the harsh sun rays, you must do the same with your hands. Make sure to pick a hand lotion that has sun protection combined with vitamins A, C, and E because without these your hand lotion will only provide you sun protection and nothing else.

No Dry Ingredients – Any hand lotion that contains phthalates, sulfates, and parabens will most certainly cause you dry skin, no matter what the cosmetic company says. Just like most chapsticks that contain parabens and causes you to have your lip skin constantly dry. Hand lotion with these ingredients will dry up your skin and will put you in the magic circle of constant applying. There won’t be any good results. Your skin will still be dry.

Emollients – These ingredients go deep into your skin and create a protective barrier against the elements. Pick hand lotions with shea butter, grape seed oils, vitamin E or avocado oil.

Collagen – Needless to say that this is a super important ingredient not only for your skin but also for your nails. As we age our body no longer produces the same amount of collagen as when we were young. Many people take collagen in the form of capsules or syrups, so having it in your hand lotion is even better.

How we tested them

The primary reason would buy a hand lotion is so that we can reduce dry skin and keep our hands moisturized, right?

So to test the creams, we selected participants from our consumer product testers. We started by selecting participants according to their lifestyle, age and skin type, plus whether they used any hand moisturizing products already (it made sense that we should have a mixture of participants for comparison). We then sent the hand lotions, instructions and scoresheets out to for them to test the products at home, and then got the products and scoresheets ready for our tests.  When everybody had their creams to hand, the instructions were to note down some of the basic information on the products, like the pack type, size, texture and the ingredients and how much of each one was contained in each cream both in percentage and volume.

As with any beauty testing program we run, before anyone used the creams, each of us was required to test a small patch of skin to look for any reaction to each of the products (if anyone’s skin reacted at this point, then they would be excluded from the testing process). When that was out of the way, the instructions were to use the creams on our hands at least daily. So, armed with our creams, we incorporated them into our daily routines and monitored how they felt and how our hands reacted within the first few days and gave a score, then the same after the first week and then after weeks 2 and 3 after we had started, with a final score at the end of the 4th week.

Once the testing was over, all of us handed in our scoresheets and the results were analyzed, so we would know which really are the best hand creams to buyfor most people.  After looking at the prices of them, we found that the top picks from the results were not always the priciest ones.

Other Top Picks:

The following hand lotions and creams have all the important ingredients and made it to the top 5 list. Let’s see what each of them has to offer:

2. Burts’ Bees 100% Natural Almond Milk Hand Cream

$9
Burt’s Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream

This creme is an excellent choice for dry skin thanks to the million dollar combination of almond oil and vitamin E. The manufacturer added natural clay which makes this creme thick; thick cremes create a protective barrier on the extra dry skin. Many people prefer lighter creams, but thick cremes with beeswax such as this one will protect the skin surface from harsh cold air, heat and drying factors, keeping it moist for a longer time. Completely natural and created to protect and heal even the most damaged skin, this creme will soothe even the most damaged or irritated hand skin. The pro here is that you will need small amounts to rub onto your hands. It takes a little longer to absorb, but if your skin is already damaged the amount of absorbing time should not be a problem for you.

3. The Body Shop Hand Protector

$25
The Body Shop Hand Protector

This is an actual example of an ointment. It will create a protective barrier that stays on your skin for hours. This ointment was not meant to absorb into your skin immediately and completely and that is just fine. It contains beeswax that creates the protective layer trapping natural moisture. At the same time, your hands will be provided with the needed hydration thanks to the hemp oil. Hemp oil will soothe all that unbearable pain that is caused by severe dryness and cracking. The Body Shop Hand Protector will provide your hand skin with minerals such as potassium, copper, magnesium, and calcium and also vitamins E and B-6.

This is a perfect cocktail that will restore all the damaged skin cells and will rejuvenate your skin tone. Besides that the Retinyl Palmitate will exfoliate gently all the unnecessary and dead skin, leaving your hand skin ready to accept newly formed cells; therefore you can expect to see visibly repaired skin. Another important ingredient in this is the best hand cream for dry skin that contain allantoin that will give your hands extra hydration protection. Every skin irritant will be blocked away in order for your new skin cells to grow healthy. It takes about 12-15 minutes for full absorption.

4. Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream

$14
Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream

Usually severely dry skin comes with damaged nails. If your hand skin lacks all the important vitamins and minerals, chances are your nails lack them too. This hand and nail cream is rich in antioxidant formula and will provide you with ingredients such as sweet orange, grape seed extract, and organic avocado. This is a mortal combination for the free radicals that are responsible for the fast skin damage. The avocado and grape seed are boosted with shea butter and give long-lasting moisture. Your hands will be repaired, and your nails will be nourished and regenerated. This is a thick and creamy cream that absorbs fast and will not leave any greasy residue.

5. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

$28
L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

L’Occitane is a well-known cosmetic company with a long tradition that always provides their clients with organic, healthy and regenerative products. Тhis hand cream contains 20% shea butter formula, ideal for hand repair and hydration. It is enriched with SPF factor, vitamins that along the shea butter are amazing for sun damage repairing. Besides these ingredients, there is also coconut oil and honey, combined with marshmallow extracts. For all of you that love fast absorbing hand creams this one is ideal for you. The ladies will especially adore it because of the extract blend that repairs the cuticles.

Keep Your Hands Moisturized

Not only is unattractive to have dry hands, but it is also very bad for your hand skin. You risk causing serious skin conditions such as premature aging or even bad rashes and eczema. Cracked skin on your hands can say a lot about your health and eating habits. That is why you ought to develop a habit of applying hand lotion for dry skin after every handwash.

Good Hand Lotion vs Body Moisturiser

OK, so this dilemma should be solved right this instant. Do you apply foot cream on your face? No. Then why would you substitute your hand lotion with your regular body moisturizer? Yes, it smells nice, it keeps your body skin moisturized and soft, but it was not made to substitute your hand lotion. Even though many people use body moisturizers as hand lotions, it does not mean that they do the right thing.

Your hands are more exposed to the sun, water, soaps, germs and other people’s skin than your body ever will be. This means that the hand skin is not same as the skin you have on your chest or on your thighs for instance. The thin skin on your hands that meets water and soap at least five times a day, needs a good and nurturing hand lotion that will not only keep it soft till the next hand wash but will also re-supply it with the needed minerals, oils and vitamins.

Good hand lotions are usually thicker than body lotions. Also, most good hand lotions tend to absorb faster. I’m sure you find it annoying when a lotion is hard to absorb (it gives you the feeling of greasy or unclean hands). On the other hand some hand creams or ointments are made thicker on purpose and need some time to absorbe; usually these kinds of creams and lotions are made for super dry or damaged skin.

Final thoughts

It’s not a philosophy that the skin on our hands is very easy to damage because it is the most exposed one along with the  skin on your face. Everyday hygiene, contact with other people, the sun and cold air and poor eating habits, can seriously damage the hand skin.

Picking a good hand lotion sometimes can be tricky especially if you are looking for something that will keep your skin moisturized, healthy, soft, and protected. Make sure to pick a good hand lotion (you can find good drugstore hand lotions for dry skin for a good price) but don’t limit yourself to the smell or fast absorbance abilities only.

Good hand lotions or creams contains vitamins, minerals, coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Make sure that the time of absorption is not keeping you away from using these creams, oils or ointments because sometimes a good organic hand cream needs more time to enter even the deepest and most damaged skin cells on your hands. For basic sun protection pick lighter creams with sun protection and vitamins, while for severely damaged skin (eczema or other skin diseases) pick beeswax ointments rich with oils and vitamins.

For prices around 10-15$, you can find some of the best hand creams and lotions. With everyday use, your skin can repair in less than one month.

Love your skin, take care of it even though it is on your hands and not solely because of aesthetic reasons but because every inch skin on your body is important. Remember – for the best results make sure to drink plenty of water and eat healthy food. Only then your hand lotion will give you the best results!

Additional Sources:

  1. McDonald, Michel. The Difference Between An Ointment, A Cream And A Lotion
  2. Washington State Department Hand Dermatitis in Health Care Workers
  3. World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene
  4. Mayo Clinic: Moisturizers: Options for softer skin
  5. Christina Marino  Skin Irritants, Dry Skin and Moisturizers