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Hand creams are such a simple pleasure. They provide a moment of pause midday or as you tuck yourself in at night. They feel decadent to the touch and sink into parched skin like a reservoir. Many have scents that rival any high-end fragrance you’ll find at a department store. Oh, and we’d be remiss not to mention that the ingredient lists are packed with so many of the same good-for-you treats we see in our other favorite beauty products.
Little luxuries indeed. But if you live in a dry climate, work with your hands, or regularly grab hand sanitizer, you'll find they're also very much a necessity: Cracked, dehydrated hands are deeply uncomfortable. Who wants to live like that when you could simply slide on a silky formula throughout the day? So here, we rounded up our favorites for you. Scan the list; you'll be sure to find one you’ll want to call your own.
A hand cream formulated to check all the boxes. First up, the texture is decadent and thick upon application, but then sinks into skin oh-so-fast leaving behind no sticky or filmy residue. And the formula delivers barrier support at all levels: A high-tech pre- and postbiotic combo nurtures the microbiome. Antioxidants protect the delicate epidermis from free radicals and other stressors. Finally, rich and hydrating butters and oils feed the lipid layer. It’s an experience not to be missed.
postbiotic hand cream, mindbodygreen ($25)
This luxury brand is known for their sensorial appeal—and effective approach to inflammaging. In case you need a refresher, inflammaging is signs of symptoms of premature aging and damage that is triggered by excessive inflammation. All of the ingredients in this cream are expert anti-inflammatories, such as prickly pear extract, mangosteen, vitamin E, and daisy flower extract. However, as the superlative might suggest, it comes at a very pretty price tag.
Super Anti-Aging Hand Cream, Dr. Barbara Sturm ($65)
Their hand creams are user favorites, from the calming Lavender and the warm Coconut Milk & Honey to this bright Lemon Cream. And of course the classic base of shea butter, coconut oil, and jojoba oil base doesn’t disappoint. Another call out: The tube strikes that perfect balance between vintage and current-day cool. Not that packaging really matters, but it's a fun bonus.
Hand Cream in Lemon Cream, J.R. Watkins ($8.99)
If you’re looking for a no-fuss, easy option, this fragrance free blend contains peptides and a multivitamin complex that’s sure to suit most users. There’s the buzzy niacinamide which is known for its moisturizing properties, peptides for the barrier, and marula oil to condition skin. Not to mention the texture is soft and effortless, making it a good middle ground texture-wise.
The Hand Cream, Nécessaire ($20)
If you’re experiencing more advanced signs of aging and damage, you may need a more target approach to your hand treatments. Augustine Bader brings his famous TFC8 complex to the delicate area in this extravagant option. The complex has been shown to support cellular renewal—and paired alongside white peony extract, honey, and vitamin E this cream can improve elasticity, hydration, and suppleness.
The Hand Cream, Augustinus Bader ($50)
Because hands are exposed to the sun more than other parts of the body (and often aren’t tended to with sunscreen at the same rate), they often experience more dark spots and sun damage. This classic hand cream gets a brightening upgrade with pomegranate seed oil, a botanical that can improve tone and texture while hydrating.
Pomegranate Replenishing Hand Cream, Weleda ($12.50)
Hands go through a lot of wear and tear—not to mention they are exposed to the elements, stressors, and potentially irritating ingredients. This means that even if the rest of the body isn’t sensitive to products, the hands may be. Always opt for soothing ingredients and simple formulas if you know your skin is easily inflamed: This creamy blue option uses calming indigo, silk, and squalane.
Indigo Soothing Hand Cream, Tatcha ($38)
Those with eczema know how chapped and inflamed the hands can get specifically (especially in cold weather or arid environments). The problem is those with the condition are often sensitive to many ingredients, only making matters worse. Always reach for eczema-safe creams: this one is certified by the National Eczema Association. This brand is dedicated to soothing the flare-ups, and this balm can be used all over, not just on the hands.
Original Skin Soothing Cream, Eczema Honey ($29.95)
Are you a fragrance fanatic? Look no further than Henry Rose’s body and hand number. Their scents are a blend of both natural extracts and responsible synthetic notes—and each one is delightfully unique and undeniably sophisticated. With several fragrances, you’re sure to find one to suit your desired aroma be it fresh and airy (like Jake’s House, pictured here) or sweet and slightly musky.
Hand & Body Lotion in Jake’s House, Henry Rose ($55)
The base is a concoction of shea butter, coconut oil, rosehip oil, and vitamin E that’s light enough for quick daytime use, but still hydrating enough for hard-working hands. We especially love the bright scent of lemongrass—it’s sure to uplift your mood anytime you need a moment of pause throughout a busy day.
Hand Cream No. 221 Spruce, L:A Bruket ($29)
Lavender is the scent of relaxation. Keep it by your bedside table to help ease you to sleep. With rosehip oil and green tea extract, this is also packed with antioxidants to help your skin recoup from free radical damage while you sleep. You’ll fall asleep dreaming of lavender fields and wake up with hydrated hands.
French Lavender Vegan Hand Cream, 100% PURE ($15)
Hey, we all have our own texture preferences—and while creams dominate the market, for those who prefer a thinner, more aqueous texture you may want to opt for a hand serum. This option is oh-so-light and contains andiroba oil, meadowfoam, and licorice root to help restore barrier integrity and texture.
Hand Relief Night Renewal Serum, Aveda ($38)
This gentle, soothing 100% organic balm can be used anywhere your skin needs extra care (lips included). The star ingredient, you might expect, is calendula—an ingredient praised for its calming qualities, especially for those with inflamed skin.
Want a total hand makeover? Well, it’s within reach with this hand peel treatment. It gently tends to skin with a host of smart botanicals that literally dissolve into skin when warmed with body heat. It contains anti-inflammatory Vitamin B, as well as nourishing shea butter and olive oils. Follow it with your favorite hand cream—perhaps one of the above?
Rejuvenating Hand Peel, Susanne Kaufmann ($85)
This spa-focused brand makes body and nail care: so you know their hand products are good. Formulated with marula oil, shea butter, and honeybush extract, it's nurturing for the skin, cuticle, and nail. This scent is like a fresh-squeezed orange juice, with a hint of spice.
Hand Salve in Citrus Cardamom, SpaRitual ($20)
Alexandra Engler is the Beauty Director at mindbodygreen. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She has worked at many top publications and brands including Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends and updates in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as travel, financial wellness, and parenting. She has reported on the intricacies of product formulations, the diversification of the beauty industry, and and in-depth look on how to treat acne from the inside, out (after a decade-long struggle with the skin condition herself). She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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