While most people tend to associate dry hands with the winter weather, something as simple as washing your hands more than usual can throw off your skin's balance (though there's no doubt that cold weather is the main culprit). Whether you're in need of a super-charged hand cream to get you through the chillier months, help combat the effects of over-washing, or treat skin conditions like eczema, there's an affordable option in the drugstore aisle — so you can save the splurging for more important things like highlighter (or ya know, rent). This list of the best drugstore hand creams includes longtime favorites and dermatologist-recommended picks that are just as efficacious as any luxe hand cream.
If you're not sure what to look for in your drugstore hand cream, there are some safe bets when it comes to choosing the right formula. For starters, the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) notes that using a cream or ointment is more effective and less irritating than a lotion. In particular, the AAD recommends looking for ingredients with oils (think jojoba or coconut), shea butter, glycerin, lactic acid, urea, hyaluronic acid, dimethicone, lanolin, mineral oil, and petrolatum.
Ahead, check out the best drugstore hand creams that will keep your hands smooth and protected, and more importantly, your bank account happy.
1. Best For Rough, Cracked Hands
This tiny tube goes a long way when it comes to treating dry hands, thanks to the glycerin-rich cream inside. Formulated to treat dry, cracked hands, Neutrogena's Norwegian Formula Hand Cream is dermatologist-recommended and safe for sensitive skin types (like those who are prone to eczema) because of its hypoallergenic, noncomedogenic, and fragrance-free formula. Over 1,000 Amazon reviewers gave this hand cream five-star ratings, praising it for doing everything from softening your average rough hands to alleviating eczema and smoothing rough cuticles. As a bonus, you get two tubes for just $10.
2. Best Natural Hand Cream
Designed to soften your cuticles and your hands, this paraben-free formula from Yes To contains shea butter and glycerin to moisturize dry hands, as well as skin nourishing ingredients like avocado oil, jojoba seed oil, and sweet almond oil. But the star ingredient of the Coconut Hydrate & Restore Protecting Hand & Cuticle Cream, is of course, the coconut. Yes To uses virgin coconut oil, which not only gives the cream its tropical scent, but is also rich in vitamins A, C, and E, helping to moisturize skin and reduce inflammation. This pick is made of mostly all-natural ingredients (97 percent, to be specific), and it's Leaping Bunny-Certified cruelty-free, to boot.
3. Best Exfoliating Hand Cream
If you're looking to exfoliate your dry, flaky hands while recharging them with moisturizing ingredients, this Burt's Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream is your best bet. A natural fruit acid complex gently exfoliates without using any abrasive ingredients typically found in exfoliating scrubs that can make the problem worse. Glycerin, coconut oil, and shea butter work to moisturize rough skin, while ingredients like baobab oil, pumpkin seed oil, and green tea extract keep your hands protected from future damage and calm any current irritation. Dermatologist-tested, this hand cream is also hypoallergenic and fragrance-free, making it suitable for more the most sensitive, reaction-prone hands.
4. Best Non-Greasy Hand Cream
For a lighter hand cream throughout the day, this glycerin- and colloidal oatmeal-rich formula will keep your hands moisturized and protected without getting greasy. "It absorbs quickly, allowing me to use the computer, tools, etc., without fear of not being able to grasp stuff," writes one fan of the Aveeno Skin Relief Hand Cream on Amazon. Because of the soothing colloidal oatmeal in the formula, which is known to help alleviate itching and severe dryness, this fragrance-free hand cream is another great choice for keeping eczema-prone hands soft and moisturized.
5. Best Hand Cream With SPF
Sunscreen is important no matter what season it is, so if your hands aren't being covered by gloves when you're out and about, choosing a hand cream with an SPF is a smart move to reduce the risk of cancer and sunspots. Eucerin's Daily Hydration Hand Cream has an SPF of 30 to protect against UVA/UVB exposure, and it's also quite rich and moisturizing, thanks to hydrating ingredients like glycerin. Another fragrance-free formula, this tube is a must to keep in any glove compartment or beach bag.
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