5 Best Hand Creams For Dry Skin

Today I’m going to talk about my top 5 best hand creams for dry skin.

The reason I wanted to do this article is because I think that hand creams are a really important thing to consider introducing into your everyday skincare, particularly in the winter time.

Importance of Hand Creams

Hand creams should be free of added fragrance and they should be free of added irritating ingredients.

The reason it’s important to use a hand cream is that as we wash our hands throughout the day, we dissolve some of the natural lipid barrier on the skin surface and then begin to lose water from the hands. It can result in dryness any irritation.

dry hand skin

Using a moisturizing hand cream consistently can help to combat that dryness and protect the skin and keep the skin barrier stronger and healthier.

It’s also important because you can get little small fissures in the hands from just excessive dryness. It can be painful, uncomfortable and it opens your skin up to little bacteria getting in there, causing a skin infection. Or more commonly skin fungus on the hands, tinea manuum. It’s not uncommon and that also can affect the nails. Dry, cracked, fissured skin is a predisposing factor for having a skin fungal infection.

The main function of hand creams is to be a skin protectant. You want to avoid excessive ingredients or
irritating ingredients. Another reason why that’s important is that the stuff that we put on our hands, we may not realize it, but that easily gets transferred to our face, particularly the thin skin around the eyelids.

If you’re using something on your hands that has irritating ingredients in it, while the skin on the palms is super thick and it may not be bothersome to the skin of your hands, you can transfer it to the skin of your face and the thin skin around your eyelids can be easily irritated by it.

Those that I have included here are free of added fragrance and irritating, annoying ingredients.

One way to use them is putting them on after you have washed your hands a couple of times throughout the day. Another way that I really like to use hand creams is at night time, before I go to bed to put them on to my hands and then cover the hands with a white cotton glove. This helps you drive the moisturizer into the skin and really amps up their performance.

That’s something we frequently tell patients with a hand dermatitis to do – to use a really thick ointment or a balm on the hands and cover it with gloves at nighttime.

One last point is that you do need to protect the skin of your hands from the Sun. Photoaging on the backs of the hands is a major cosmetic concern in your adult years. But not only that, you can get skin cancer on the backs of your hands.

So putting your sunscreen on your hands is a really good idea and that actually serves as a moisturizer and will help your skin barrier as well.

The products that I’m mentioning in today’s article do not include sunscreen and the reason is that these are skin protectant, they are formulated with ingredients like dimethicone or petrolatum. Those ingredients at the concentrations that they are in these products are really high and they’re intended to make a nice seal. Sunscreen ingredients don’ do that particularly well.

These creams don’t have sunscreen but you certainly want to reapply your sunscreen over the moisturizer periodically throughout the day as well.

These are really just aiming to help your skin barrier particularly with hand-washing and in the wintertime. They give you extra hydration from dry winter air.

5 Best Hand Creams For Dry Skin

best hand creams for dry skin

Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream


The first hand cream I really adore is not actually a true hand cream. It’s just a cream. It is the Eucerin Roughness Relief Cream.

The reason I love this and why it’s a fantastic hand cream is that it contains the ingredient urea. It is an
ingredient that is a phenomenal humectant. It also can help soften dry, thick, scaly areas on the hands.

If you’ve got fissures, this is a really good ingredient for helping to hydrate those up and helping the skin to heal over those cracks.

It’s a really good ingredient for thick, rough and bumpy skin, including on the hands and on the bottoms of the feet.

It also has lactic acid, alpha hydroxy acid, that functions as a humectant and can help the maintenance of your skin barrier. It’s got an emollient in it, sunflower seed oil.

It’s very hydrating, wonderful, thick hand cream. It works really well also if you’ve got keratosis pilaris on your legs.

Theraplex Barrier Balm


The second hand cream that is fantastic and I strongly recommended it, but it’s more expensive. It’s so amazing that I use this not only on my hands but I’ve used it on my lips as well.

It is the Theraplex Barrier Balm for dry, sensitive skin. This product has petrolatum, which is a skin protectant. It’s not a dangerous ingredient. This is a special fractionated petrolatum. Very nice ingredient.

And then it’s also formulated with cyclomethicone, another skin protectant, and microcrystalline wax.

The reason I like this is that it’s not super sticky or greasy. When you put it on your hands, this is really great throughout the day because it’s not super sticky. You wash your hands, you put it on and then you go back to typing on the computer. It’s not gonna leave a greasy residue. I really like that.

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream


Another one that has a similar benefits of not being super greasy is the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. Make sure you get the fragrance free one.

This I have used for years and I love it. This is actually what I mostly used the majority of my adult life as a hand moisturizer throughout the day.

Ombia Hand Cream


For those of you in Europe, I’m not sure which countries in Europe, a fantastic product is the Ombia Hand Cream with 5% urea.

Again, urea is a phenomenal ingredient for thicker areas of the body, in particular your hands or your feet. This also has glycerin, another wonderful humectant.

There is another version of the same cream that has niacinamide and vitamn B3 in it. Niacinamide is a fantastic ingredient for helping the skin barrier. It’s anti inflammatory, it’s calming and soothing. Some people find that it irritates them. If that’s you then, use the one without it. They’re both equally good and I like them both.

Aveeno Cracked Skin Relief


The last but not least is Aveeno Cracked Skin Relief. This is newer from Aveeno and it is a dimethicone based ointment that is a wonderful skin protectant.

It’s really thick and it is a little bit more on the greasy side. I really like using this at night time on my hands and feet. All over my body actually. It’s a great moisturizer for the body. It’s really helpful for winter or dry skin.

Those are my favorite hand creams.

I touched a little bit on the beginning of this that you want to avoid irritating ingredients. Here is a list of some of commonly offensive ingredients that you should avoid in hand creams:

  • Fragrance
  • Menthol
  • Eucalyptus
  • Essential oils
  • Camphor
  • Alcohol
  • Peppermint
  • Witch Hazel

Fragrance goes by a lot of different names, so it’s not always super obvious. Fragrance and essential oils can be very irritating and they can transfer to your face. And when the skin on the hands has cracks, you really just don’t want to expose yourself to that stuff.

Another ingredient to avoid is Methylisothiazolinone. It is a preservative in which people are really developing allergies to an alarming rate. It has replaced parabens in the advent of paraben phobia.

I’m really cracking down on that ingredient and trying to encourage you to attempt to avoid Methylisothiazolinone.

Most of these products that I recommended in this article are ointments and balms. They have a very low to zero water content and so they’re not a hospitable environment for bacterial or fungal growth whatsoever, which is good. They don’t necessarily require the level of preservatives that more water-based products do.

Best Hand Cream For Anti Aging

Hand MD Daily Dual Repair


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The anti-aging serum rejuvenates with Retinol and powerful Peptides, while the antioxidant-rich moisturizer deeply hydrates and protects the upper layer of the skin against damage.

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5 Best Hand Creams For Dry Skin

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