You use your hands for everything, so if they’re dry, cracked, or chafed, then you’re in for a world of hurt. It’s important to keep hands soft, but that task is also difficult. Consider how many times you wash them in a day: Chances are you’re washing them more than ever right now, and that means you’re dealing with dry skin and in need of some hand lotion.
A good lotion not only resuscitates dry, cracked hands quickly, but its continued use will also prevent further dehydration in the future. It will keep your hands soft but strong—when it comes to hand care, those two words are used in tandem. This ensures maximum mobility, strength, dexterity, as well as minimum risk to the elements, infection, calluses, and more.
Here are some of our favorite hand creams that will do the trick in softening hard, cracked, or dry mitts, and keep them strong well into the future.
L:A Bruket Hand Cream
The combination of patchouli and bergamot oils in L:A Bruket’s hand cream help neutralize and balance the skin, leaving it healthy, more clean (as in, they both act as natural antiseptics), and free of irritation. Together they also get rid of dead skin, soothe on contact, and promote faster healing. Lastly, the inclusion of meadowfoam in this formula helps deliver Omegas 6 and 9 to the skin, which keeps it plump, firm, and hydrated.
[$ 24; amazon.com]
Aesop Hand Balm
With a blend of oils and extracts including cedarwood, coconut, lavender, grapefruit, and carrot root, Aesop’s hand balm is a nourishing, protective, and addictive option. It’s probably true that, in a lineup of lotions, most people would grab this one due to their affinity for the brand and this, one of their fan-favorite products. Its healing and shielding powers are a strong-enough sell, but that soothing lavender-and-leaves aroma really seals the deal.
[$ 30; spacenk.com]
Burt’s Bees Hand Salve
If you work with your hands—in the garden, under the hood, etc.—then you need a good salve to soften and soothe your tired hands and skin. This can prevent the buildup of thick calluses, premature skin aging, uneven texture, and the likes. Burt’s Bees’ salve is packed with beeswax and olive oil, and is a prime candidate for the gig. It’s especially easy to tote along in your back pocket, work bag, or glove compartment.
[$ 7; amazon.com]
Marlowe Body Lotion
A full-body lotion that is equally excellent when targeted at the hands. Willow bark extract minimizes inflammation on the skin, while passion flower fruit and green tea extracts help revive, heal, and strengthen damaged cells. And there’s more: Aloe soothes and smoothes, a blend of amino acids preserves moisture levels, and a citrusy-musky-peppery scent lingers lightly on the skin, after the lotion has been quickly absorbed.
[$ 13; amazon.com]
Kiehl’s Hand Salve
This is a savior for overwashed, overstressed, overexposed, cracked, dry hands. It provides instant cooling relief thanks to the inclusion of eucalyptus oil, and day-long moisture from olive oil-derived wax. Use it for an overnight miracle, or as a defense against colder weather.
[$ 23; shop.nordstrom.com]
Moroccanoil Hand Cream
There’s a lot packed into each Moroccanoil hand cream tube: Shea and cocoa butter plump the skin and lock in moisture, while also neutralizing any inflammation in the skin. Argan oil, the brand’s signature ingredient, also hydrates while helping improve skin texture and tone. Avocado oil delivers antioxidants to help protect skin from pollutants, and lastly, mango butter soothes, brightens, and firms skin.
[$ 24; sephora.com]
Amlactin Exfoliating Lotion
With the added oomph of gentle alpha hydroxy acid (which is naturally occurring in your own body), this daily lotion dissolves dead rough patches of dead skin, like calluses and cracks. In turn, it heals the skin and keeps hands soft, since lactic acid is also a humectant and helps immensely to boost and preserve moisture levels in the skin barrier. Use this for shortcuts to smooth mitts, as well as to prevent future buildup from occurring.
[$ 12; amazon.com]