Throughout the pandemic, we were diligently washing our hands and using hand sanitizer to keep ourselves safe from Covid. Even now, as we move into different phases, I’m still regularly hand washing and sanitizing – I’m not sure when that will end. The downside, is that the increased washing and sanitizing dries out your skin. The dryness is kicked up a notch during the colder, dryer months leaving our hands in need of little more attention than normal. By attention, I mean moisture and hydration.
We sometimes forget our hands in our skincare regimes, but they are exposed to harsh elements and can show the same signs of ageing. Luckily, there are so many great hand creams on the market to leave your hands soft, hydrated, and nourished. You just have to find the perfect one for your skin and we hope this list of 20 of the best hand creams to fight winter dryness, helps you do just that. Any of these hand creams could also make it on your bedside essentials list too.
(Please note: List is in alphabetical order and not in order of ranking).
20 of the Best Hand Creams to Help Fight Winter Dryness
As this is a balm, some may find this a little on the greasy side but it absorbs quickly and leaves hands feeling well-nourished and sweet smelling. It’s a little more expensive than some of the others on this list but you use very little so it lasts longer.
All Aesop products are vegan, and they do not test their formulations or ingredients on animals. They are Leaping Bunny approved and a Certified B Corporation.
This hand cream is thick and smooth and quickly moisturises your hands leaving them feeling hydrated and soft. Lghtly scented and does not leave your hands feeling greasy.
All AHAVA products are free on animal testing, Paraben Free, SLS/SLES FREE, allergy tested, produced without petroleum, harsh synthetic ingredients, or GMOs , and approved for sensitive skin.
This is a great cream for dry, and chapped hands. It smells lovely, absorbs well and quickly goes to work on soothing and moisturizing dry hands. Even though it costs a little more than others, you use very little so it lasts. If you have severe dry or flaking/chapped skin on your hands, I highly recommend Aveda Hand Relief Cream.
Hand Cream is vegan and cruelty free. It is also free from Parabens, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Formaldehyde, Animal Ingredients, Paraffin, Lanolin & Synthetic Fragrance.
This hand cream is perfect for the colder months as it does a great job restoring moisture into your hands without leaving any tackiness. It has a beautiful, light scent and leaves your hands feeling supple and rejuvenated.
As with all Caudalie products, no parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, mineral oils, or animal-derived ingredients are used.
This super creamy hand cream is richly moisturizing without being greasy. Definitely an essential for over-washed, dry hands. I love this no-nonsense, high-performing cream.
Consonant products are made using certified Organic ingredients and are 100% Natural.
This hand cream comes in a cute, smallish container but it packs a punch. This light formula manages to be hugely moisturizing. You don’t think it’s going to do as good a job as it does. Do not judge this cream by its cute cover – it takes it’s job of hydrating your skin very serious. Plus it smells so so good.
Dermatologist tested, suitable for all skin types, formulated without GMOs, gluten, soy, dairy, or nuts.
Gloves in a Bottle made our favourites list back in July 2021. This lotion is made for really dry hands. In just a few applications, your hands will be feeling soft, supple, and void of any cracks or dry skin. What really makes this product special, is that when applied after washing your hands, it will protect them for up to four hours. It’s as if you were wearing gloves (hence the name).
Gloves in a Bottle is cruelty free and is 100% FREE from all pthalates, triclosan, SLS, SLES, formaldehyde, toluene, propylene glycol, salicylates, gluten, latex, dairy, wheat, soy, peas, corn, fragrances, colourants, peanuts, or other nuts.
This is one of those hand creams that you can become obsessed with just because it ticks all the boxes. It smells great and has a hydrating, soothing quality to it. My hands had gotten pretty dry and irritated with all the washing and sanitzing and this cream came into my life wearing a superhero cape. It quickly calmed the irritation and moisturized the dry bits. Love it. I wish it came in a larger container.
Grown Alchemist only uses natural and organic ingredients within their formulas and they are vegan and gluten-free.
This rich formula helps heal and soothe dry, chapped, cracked hands and repairs tough, calloused skin and cuticles. This hand cream contains vitamins A and E and is effective for those of us who are still washing their hands frequently and provides lasting relief. Great for colder winter temps too.
Jack Black has a strict cruelty-free philosophy, no animals are harmed in the development, testing or manufacturing of Jack Black products. Jack Black has not and will never engage in animal testing, for either raw materials or finished goods, nor do they ask outside parties to do animal testing on their behalf.
Some may find the smell of this hand cream a little strong, but I love it. Plus, it works and totally soothes extremely dry hands. It’s great and it’s reasonably priced. Highly recommend.
J.R. Watkins avoids using harmful ingredients in their formulas, like parabens, dyes, phthalates, and formaldehyde. To check the ingredients of a certain product, go the product page and scroll down to see the full ingredient list. J.R. Watkins is also proudly certified and recognized by Leaping Bunny, as a brand that does not test on animals.
This is one of my favourites in the lighter formula category. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t still work, because it does. It’s just a lighter formula that goes on like silk and leaves you hands feeling so nourished with a great lemon ginger scent. I’m not sure I would use it if I had extremely dry hands, but it definitely would work to fight cold weather dryness.
All of John Masters products are formulated with at least 70% or more organic content (excluding water and salt). Organic content includes nature-based ingredients grown or harvested without the use of conventional or synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. Each organic ingredient utilized in their formulas are certified by an accredited organization.
This is another fave of mine. This hand cream is so luxurious but it is not heavy and does not leave your hands feeling tacky at all. It goes on smooth and quickly absorbs into your skin and leaves your hands feeling like they have been pampered. It also has this great scent that lingers in the best way.
Made with Certified Organic Ingredients to protect humans, animals and the planet. Vegan and Cruelty free too.
I was hesitant to try this hand cream because I assumed it would be like a heavy ointment, but it’s not. This cream is exactly what very dry hands need. It is thick but it’s not greasy and it doesn’t leave your hands feeling oily. It leaves your hands feeling super moisturized with a slight lingering scent of eucalyptus which is divine. If your hands are only slightly dry, this is probably not the option for you. If your hands are in immediate need of hydration, try Kiehl’s.
Kiehl’s formulations are made with the finest naturally-derived ingredients to assure the high quality of skin and hair care. Minimal preservatives are used in formulations. Their intent is to utilize only the gentlest and most efficacious ingredients and that is why a great number of natural ingredients are used. Products are always formulated with sensitive skin in mind.
La Mer The Hand Treatment is expensive, like very expensive, so this is not for most budgets. I normally wouldn’t include an item this expensive, but I was given it as a gift and it won me over. It’s a really great hand cream. It made my hands feel hydrated, supple, and they even looked younger. A little goes a long way; so it lasted a long time. It earned it’s place on this best of list, but it’s pretty expensive. The price is the only con I found with this product. Everything else, is all positive.
Formulated Without Parabens, and Phthalates.
This creamy, rich hand cream is just a delight. It is hydrating, smells sweet and very economically priced. It is also readily available online and at many stores across North America. It is a great hand lotion to carry around with you and apply after washing your hands. Keep a tube in your purse so it’s always with you – it works and won’t break the bank.
This hand cream is cruelty free, vegan, paraben-free, and dye-free. Hand cream tubes are made from 65% recycled plastic. Not to mention, the Murumuru Butter and Rose Petals are sourced ethically from the Rose Valley of Bulgaria.
I love LUSH products. They have popped up in many of our best of lists and they have 2 entries on this list. They just work. LUSH doesn’t over promise and under deliver. If you read the description of the product and it says it’s their “thickest, richest hand cream packed with shea butter and a rich blend of cashew, almond and pumpkin seed butters for intense hydration“, that’s exactly what it is and does. As is the case with Handy Gurugu. It’s rich and thick and it leaves your hands feeling completely hydrated and pampered.
LUSH believes in making effective products from fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils, and safe synthetics. They invent their own products and fragrances and make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging. They buy ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals. All LUSH products are 100 percent vegetarian and 95 percent of them are completely vegan.
Helping Hands has been a favourite of mine for years. It is beautifully scented and is so smooth on your skin. It is absorbed very quickly and doesn’t leave any tackiness. LUSH describes helping hands as “Our miracle-working, calming chamomile and cocoa butter cream has been saving hands for years” and that’s exactly what it has been doing for me. It’s a lighter formula compared to Handy Gurugu but it works.
LUSH believes in making effective products from fresh, organic fruit and vegetables, the finest essential oils, and safe synthetics. They invent their own products and fragrances and make them fresh by hand using little or no preservative or packaging.They buy ingredients only from companies that do not commission tests on animals. All LUSH products are 100 percent vegetarian and 95 percent of them are completely vegan.
This thick formula is good for rough/chapped, dry hands. You just need a little and it will absorb into your dry skin and get to work on soothing and hydrating it.
L’Occitane leave-in products – like hand cream – contain ≥ 95% natural origin ingredients (based on ISO 16128 standard). They work directly with over 130 French farmers and 10,000 pickers – from the immortelle fields of Corsica to the lavender fields of Provence – to ensure that the ingredients used are of the highest quality and sourced as sustainably as possible.
There are many scents in the Hands of Hope line and they all are very effective at moisturizing dry hands. It is a lighter formula that goes on smooth and absorbs well into your skin. It does not leave any stickiness and leaves your hands hydrated and sweet smelling.
Philosophy is fully committed to using alternatives to animal testing to ensure the safety of their products. They do not perform, nor do they ever commission any third parties on their behalf to perform, animal testing on products or ingredients except when required by law.
We often forget the importance of sunscreen when it comes to our hands. Most hand creams don’t contain SPF. It would have been irresponsible not to include a hand cream with SPF on this list. Did you know that the 90% of the signs of ageing come from the sun? It’s important to use sunscreen before leaving the house everyday and that includes on your hands. Thanks to Supergoop! Hand Screen that is oh so easy .This hand cream has a smooth texture and absorbs into your skin quickly. It does not leave any tackiness. It is not super-moisturizing, but it does leave your skin feeling hydrated. If you have very dry skin, I would recommend using it with a more moisturizing hand cream. Be sure to do a patch test first. Just like you apply face sunscreen separately, you need to do the same with your hands.
Since 2007, Supergoop! has been the leader in developing feel-good clean sunscreen, and were the first to create an SPF without oxybenzone. Today, they are committed to ensuring that every product is reef-safe, cruelty-free, and in the most environmentally-friendly packaging possible.
This list includes hand creams at various price points so there is something to fit every budget. We encourage you to read purchaser reviews online to learn more about how these creams wear and perform before jumping in. Or go to the store/counter in-person and see if they have samples for you to try before you buy. That is always best.
Do you use hand cream every day? If so, what brand do you use? Are you familiar with all the hand creams on our list? Are there others that should have been included? Please let us know in the comments. Your feedback is invaluable.
Don’t forget your hands in your daily skincare routine so they glow with the rest of you. 😊