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7 Healing Hand Creams That Will Save Your Skin

In this era of meticulous hand cleaning, these nourishing creams are a must.


Photo: Shutterstock

Though there finally seems to be a small light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel, one thing that I’m sure is going to remain is a collective concentration on clean hands. From meticulous hand washing to extensive hand sanitizer use, the realization that clean hands equal a reduced risk of germs is one that has permeated our society. As a long-time germaphobe and scrupulous hand washer and sanitizer, I’m thrilled about this movement. I’m less thrilled about the dry, chapped, painful hands that are the results of this hyper-focus on hand cleanliness. I’ve long struggled with dry skin on my hands, thanks to the aforementioned obsession. Courtesy of an assortment of creatively formulated and effective hand creams that tackle the issue of irritated skin, I’ve discovered it is possible to have the best of both worlds—clean hands and healthy, supple skin. Here are seven healing hand creams that I absolutely adore.

Alchimie Forever Dry Skin Balm
What We Love
  • Texture and staying power
  • Ideal for use on all dry areas (think elbows and knees), not just hands
  • Anti-inflammatory willow bark also makes it great for sore joints and muscles
  • Paraben-free, cruelty-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly
Ingredients of Note
  • Willow bark
  • Watercress
  • Shea butter
  • Jojoba

I suppose the hallmark of a great hand cream is when it disappears from my desk and I find it being used by multiple family members. Because my hand-washing obsession and resulting dry hands is one that both my husband and children share, they often snuck into my office and sampled products for this review. The Dry Skin Balm quickly went missing only to be found in my husband’s office—it was quickly proclaimed his favorite. I also love the texture of this balm, its staying power, the subtle scent, and the lack of sticky residue. Alchimie calls it “the ultimate cure-all,” and I agree wholeheartedly.

Body Bliss Hand Cream
What We Love
  • Enticing essential oil blend with a purpose
  • Organic ingredients
  • Silky texture
Ingredients of Note
  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Citrus, vanilla, chamomile, and ylang-ylang essential oils

This is another lotion with a texture I love—thick enough to stay put but not so heavy that it’s sticky, courtesy of the shea and cocoa butter at its core. But, as with all Body Bliss aromatherapy products, I appreciate the thoughtful essential oil blend that is concocted specifically to help boost the mood. For example, lime cleanses and improves mental outlook; sweet orange is emotionally calming and eases tension; and chamomile soothes the skin and eases anxiety. I am charmed by the idea of a hand cream that also makes you happy.

Farmhouse Fresh Coconut Cream Shea Butter hand Cream
What We Love
  • Delicious scent
  • Cute packaging
  • No parabens, sulfates, phthalates, or fragrance
  • FHF farmer-grown, non-GMO ingredients
  • Sales support the rescue animals at the brand’s FHF Sanctuary
Ingredients of Note
  • Shea butter
  • Cocoa butter
  • Jojoba seed oil
  • Soybean oil
  • Aloe
  • Organic cucumber extract
  • Vitamins A and E

My mom is a retired nurse (and also a frequent hand washer), and I once gave her a sample of this cream, which she took to work. Every nurse on staff tried it, loved it, and placed orders to use it to battle their chapped skin. So, this cream already has the endorsement of an entire health department. Unsurprisingly, I’m also a fan. I adore that it smells like a scrumptious dessert. But what I love more is the texture, the formulation, and the fact that the sale of his hand cream supports the amazing efforts done by the brand to rescue animals.

John Masters Organics Hand Cream With Lemon and Ginger
What We Love
  • Enticing fragrance
  • Non-greasy texture
  • Quick absorption
Ingredients of Note
  • Lemon oil
  • Ginger
  • Aloe
  • Sunflower seed oil

Two of my favorite scents are lemon and ginger, so I was immediately drawn to the refreshing smell of this hydrating hand cream. Interestingly, along with smelling great, these two ingredients also improve the appearance of skin. Lemon oil brightens and nourishes while ginger tones and tightens. I also appreciated that the cream’s texture was not greasy but thick enough to make a difference in my skin.

Pevonia Multi-Active Hand Cream
What We Love
  • Light, non-greasy texture
  • Exfoliating properties that also lighten and brighten skin
  • Subtle scent ideal for those who may not enjoy a strong fragrance
Ingredients of Note
  • Vitamins A and E
  • Glycolic acid
  • Beta carotene
  • Sunflower seed oil
  • Chamomile
  • Sorbitol
  • Bitter almond seed extract

Pevonia is renowned for its skincare products, so it’s no surprise that its non-greasy, quickly absorbing hand cream also has properties to improve the look of the skin while also providing deep hydration. Vitamins A and E, powerful antioxidants, work together to renew and strengthen the skin. Glycolic acid mildly exfoliates, and bitter almond seed extract lightens and brightens. Meanwhile, beta carotene protects against UV damage; chamomile and sunflower soothe irritation and deliver antibacterial benefits; and sorbitol and sunflower provide rich moisture and hydration. This multi-active, replenishing cream offers a powerful, multi-ingredient punch that makes for hydrated, healthy, younger-looking hands.

Pure Fiji Nourishing Hand Crème (Travel Size)
What We Love
  • Enticing scent
  • Unique ingredients from Fiji
  • Antioxidant-rich ingredients that nourish and repair skin damage
  • Cruelty free and free of parabens, gluten, phthalates, and sulfates
Ingredients of Note
  • Coconut milk and oil
  • Ngi grass
  • Vitamins A, B, C, and E
  • Omega 3, 6, 7, and 9

My favorite thing about Pure Fiji products is that I always feel like I’m being transported to a tropical retreat when I smell them. The coconut-scented hand cream once again delivered. Coconut is one of the main ingredients in the products for good reason—it’s really effective at nourishing and healing the skin. The blend of coconut milk and coconut oil proved to be an ideal mix for making my skin look and feel fabulous. I also love the creative use of Fijian ingredients, such as Ngi grass, which is said to offer 24-hour hydration. It’s also available in several other scrumptious scents, including guava, mango, noni, and starfruit.

SpaRitual Citrus Cardamom Hand Salve
What We Love
  • Long-lasting, thick texture
  • Nourishing and healing ingredients
  • Rejuvenating scent
  • Vegan, cruelty-free, organic ingredients
Ingredients of Note
  • Marula oil
  • Shea butter
  • Honeybush extract
  • Orange and cardamom seed oils

This is probably the thickest of the hand creams I tried and was honestly the most effective for when my hands were the driest this winter and throughout the pandemic as my hand-washing mania reached new heights. I love the texture and always see an immediate difference in the look and feel of my skin when I use it. I think the combo of marula oil and shea butter, which nourish, and honeybush extract, which reduces inflammation, removes free radicals, and penetrates deeply, is to thank for that. It also has a lot of staying power and doesn’t require a re-application after every hand wash, which I appreciate. For added healing and to create a mini-facial experience for my hands, I like to use Hand Serum prior to application.

The Handmade Soap Co. Lemongrass & Cedarwood Hand Lotion
What We Love
  • Beautiful packaging
  • Light, milky texture
  • Beautiful fragrance
  • Sustainable packaging
Ingredients of Note
  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Cedarwood, geranium, patchouli, and citrus oils

The packaging for this hand lotion is so beautiful, you immediately want to showcase it, which I did in our guest bathroom. But what’s inside is as lovely as its exterior. This light, milky lotion has the most subtle texture of any of the hand creams I tested. But it is still totally effective at treating dry skin, and sometimes the lighter, easily absorbed texture is more appealing than a thick balm. The scent is also quite appealing, aptly described by the brand as like an exotic sunrise over the Thai jungle. Also, I love the sustainable aspects of this product. The bottle is made from 100 percent recycled materials, and the gorgeous box is made from FSC Certified sustainable card from managed forests. Your hands will feel good while you support a brand that does good for the environment.

About The Author

Julie is the co-founder of Well Defined and a longtime influencer and advocate in the wellness world. Along with her work at Well Defined, she is an executive recruiter and marketing specialist for Hutchinson Consulting. She is also a consultant and content strategist for numerous wellness brands. She is the former editor-in-chief and publisher of American Spa and was named a 2019 Folio Top Woman in Media in the Industry Trailblazers category and a 2018 winner of ISPA’s Innovate Award. She is also a seasoned journalist, specializing in spa, travel, health, fitness, wellness, sustainability, and beauty. She has been published in Departures,, E! Online,, Insider’s Guide to Spas, Luxury Travel Advisor, Marin Magazine, Ocean Home, Smart Meetings, Spa Asia, and Travel Agent.