An effective, hydrating hand cream is a must for soft, smooth, pain-free skin, especially when you’re frequently washing your hands. To help you sort through the endless formulas on the market, the scientists in the Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab put them through rigorous testing, narrowing down to the very best hand creams you can buy to soothe and moisturize your skin this season. Here are 7 best hand creams for dry, cracked hands.
- 1. Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream
- 2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hand Gel Cream
- 3. Mary Kay Satin Hands Nourishing Shea Cream
- 4. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
- 5. Dove Dry Skin Relief Replenishing Hand Cream
- 6. Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Hand Cream
- 7. Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream
1. Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream
The best hand cream for dry skin in GH Beauty Lab testing, Lab testers gave Eucerin high marks for its ability to keep hands moisturized for up to six hours, and its combo of ingredients — glycerin, urea, and sunflower seed oil — helped increase skin moisturization by an impressive 51%. Not only was it the most hydrating formula, but it’s also cost effective. Another standout feature of the star Eucerin formula is that it contains alpha hydroxy acids, which increases cell turnover for younger-looking hands. Lab testers loved that the Seal holder is purse-size and spreads easily. “I liked that it absorbed into skin almost immediately,” one noted. And the compliments didn’t stop there, with others saying it “felt silky,” “made my hands smooth,” and even helped moisturize cuticles. The brand also has a hand cream with a high level of broad-spectrum sunscreen, Eucerin Daily Hydration Hand Cream with SPF 30.
2. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hand Gel Cream
Of all the hand creams in the GH Beauty Lab’s test, this bargain-priced Neutrogena hand healer is the only one with a gel-like formula. It improved hydration by a whopping 40% and consumers compared the smell to a fresh load of laundry. Hyaluronic acid helps add and lock in moisture, contributing to its impressive hydration scores in our Lab test. Though different than most hand creams on the market, our testers were impressed by its powerful results. Because it’s not heavy, it might not be the best fit for those with severely dry, chapped hands.
3. Mary Kay Satin Hands Nourishing Shea Cream
Many testers said this rich Mary Kay formula helped make chapped hands appear smooth. The thickness many of our testers experienced is probably from the high percentage of shea butter in the formula, says GH Beauty Lab chemist Danusia Wnek. Texture aside, online users continue to gush about how much it’s helped the feeling and hydration of their hands. “I used it before bedtime and in the morning [my hands were] still soft and silky,” shared one consumer. Note that this is a heavy-duty formula — some testers said the consistency left their hands feeling tacky post-application.
4. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
A Good Housekeeping Seal star, this thick, glycerin-rich Neutrogena cream has achieved cult hand-healing status for a reason: In past GH Beauty Lab testing, it was a top-scoring formulation, increasing skin’s hydration levels by 19.5%. “The best hand cream I’ve ever used,” one consumer tester raved.” More positive user feedback: “You don’t have to use a lot to make your hands feel conditioned,” and “Even after washing my hands, they were still moisturized.”
5. Dove Dry Skin Relief Replenishing Hand Cream
Testers in GH Beauty Lab evaluations couldn’t get enough of how soft the Dove cream made their skin feel. Testers rated the formula with glycerin and fatty acids best for improving the look of chapped or cracked hands. With a 32% moisturization improvement after six hours, it’s no surprise. As one of our Lab testers said, it makes your hands feel “baby soft and non-greasy after application.” One even had her husband try it, and she said it seriously improved the look of his dry, “rough” hands.
6. Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Hand Cream
If you’re looking for a gentle solution for heavy duty damage, reviewers note that this formula can do the trick. “I bought this product looking for relief for my dried out winter hands. They had gotten so bad they were cracked and bleeding and nothing was saving them,” shared one of this product’s nearly 2,000 five-star reviewers. “I can’t go through winter without it now — not only did it restore moisture to my hands, it helped all the cracks heal.” This dermatologist-recommended formula from Aveeno was designed to soothe and soften hands for a full 24-hours — even through all of the hand-washing and cold air dryness — utilizing the natural healing of oatmeal to help restore skin’s normal pH, and protection of the skin’s moisture barrier.
7. Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream
For those constantly exposed to dry air — be it through constant plane travel or just a stuffy work from home office with poor air circulation — this Healing Hand Cream from Gold Bond could be the right option. It’s formulated with an ultra-hydrating blend of glycerin, amino acids, and vitamins B, C, and E, and according to reviewers, the added moisture absorbs immediately into the skin. “It penetrates deep enough that it leaves your hands really soft,” shared one review. “I recommend using this if you are looking for a hand lotion to relieve dry hands that provides good hydration and moisture.”