Even if you're not prone to dry skin on the rest of your body, it's easy for your hands to become dry, red, cracked, and even irritated. That's due to a variety of reasons, like how frequently we wash our hands and their constant exposure to the elements. In short, hands get dry fast! But the good news is, it's easy to reverse that dryness by using the right hand cream. The best hand creams for dry skin have gentle, deeply moisturizing formulas and are fast-absorbing, so you can go back to whatever it is you were doing without leaving a greasy residue in your wake. And since hand cream should be applied frequently — ideally every time you wash your hands — it should be affordable, since you're likely going to need to restock regularly.
Before you get to picking out your new hand cream, here are a few tips for preventing dry hands in the first place. As already mentioned, try and apply hand cream every time you wash your hands, and before bed, too. If you often use hand sanitizers, find one that contains moisturizing ingredients to balance out the harshness of the alcohol. Also, wear rubber gloves when washing dishes and using cleaning products, and regular gloves or mittens when you go out in the cold to prevent moisture loss and chapping. You can also buy nifty moisturizing gloves to wear overnight, and another good tip, if your hands are really dry, is to put on gloves after applying hand lotion to lock all the moisture in (the same goes for foot cream and socks).
With those key tips in mind, scroll on to shop six of the best hand creams for dry skin, all for less than $15 on Amazon.
1. The Overall Best
Derm-favorite drugstore brand, CeraVe, makes an excellent moisturizer that will help repair even the driest of hands. The gentle hand cream contains three different ceramides to strengthen your skin's natural protective barrier, hyaluronic acid to help skin retain moisture, and niacinamide, which has soothing and calming properties. It even has the seal of acceptance from the National Eczema Association, so people with sensitive skin should be able to use it safely. It's also water resistant, non-greasy, and fragrance-free.
2. The "Natural" One
The go-to drugstore brand for people who prefer to use "natural" skin care products whenever possible, Burt's Bees does't include any synthetic fragrance, phthalates, parabens or petrolatum in their hand cream formula. What this hand cream does contain is a whole host of naturally derived moisturizing ingredients, like shea butter, jojoba butter, and several plant-based oils, including coconut and baobab. Some mild exfoliators are in here, too, to keep hands nice and soft.
3. The One With SPF
A great two-in-one product, Eucerin's hand cream is not only extremely moisturizing, but also has an SPF of 30 to keep the delicate skin on your hands protected from the sun. Infused with soothing and hydrating ingredients, the gentle formula is fragrance-free and sensitive skin-friendly.
4. The Cheap One
Looking for a solid hand cream for less than $5? Then go with this Gold Bond Healing Hand Cream. In this formula, aloe, jojoba esters, and vitamins C and E work to keep the skin on your hands moisturized, protected, and strong. The brand says it even lasts through hand-washing, though you may still want to reapply post-wash, just to be safe. This has a nice, light scent, so if you prefer a fragrance-free products, go with one of the other hand creams on this list.
5. The Overnight Treatment
Aquaphor will definitely be too thick and heavy if you're looking to jump back onto your computer, but it's great as an overnight hand treatment. If you're dealing with really dry, cracked skin, slather it on and throw a pair of cotton gloves on top, and wake up with impossibly soft hands. Obviously, you can use Aquaphor just about anywhere else on your body, so it's a great multitasking product to have on hand.
6. The Best Set For Dry Hands & Feet
In this affordable gift set, you'll get a hand cream, a foot cream, and a lip balm from cult-favorite brand O'Keefe's. O'Keefe's was created by a pharmacist looking to help her father, a diabetic, with his super dry, cracked, splitting hands — so you can trust this is pretty heavy-duty stuff. The hand cream forms a protective barrier over your hands to prevent dryness and damage from things like the elements, while also working to restore moisture and prevent moisture loss. Thousands of people across the internet (and IRL) swear by this stuff for repairing their severely dried-out hands and feet.
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Another great way to restore moisture to your hands, aside from applying hand cream regularly, is to use a hand mask about once a week. Aveeno's Repairing CICA Hand Masks come in an affordable pack of five pairs, and are enriched with barrier-repairing ingredients like shea butter and oat extract to strengthen, moisturize, and heal dry skin. They're fragrance-free, too, so if you have a known sensitivity to perfumed products, these should be safe for you to use.