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16 Hand Creams You Probably Need Right Now

Photo: Heather Hazzan

Hands do a lot. Way more than faces. Everyone claims to be super into skin care, yet overworked, exhausted hand skin often gets the short end of the moisturizing stick. There’s no time like the present — that unfortunate period spring is a hundred years away — to infuse your hands with as much moisture as humanly possible. Wash them (with tepid, not hot, water), and treat them to one of these healing hand creams, preferably while they’re still kind of wet.

The One to Keep Next to Your Sink

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Hand Balm

The ideal moisturizing window for hands is five minutes after you wash them, and this addition to the Mrs. Meyer’s family makes that goal easy to meet. The formula of sweet almond oil and shea butter absorbs surprisingly quickly for its richness, plus it comes in the same lavender and basil scents you already know and love to use in your kitchen and bathroom (and laundry room and bedroom).

The Popular Kid in Class

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

This shea butter formula is on every hand cream roundup for a reason. The formula feels as luxurious as the pretty silver packaging looks and is so rich that a single tube goes a long way, all of which make it hard not to vote for this for Homecoming Court year after year.

The One That Isn’t Messing Around

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

This thick salve gets down to business with a heavy-duty formula that’s packed with oils (avocado, sesame, and olive, to name a few) that extremely rough, worn, and dry hands need. This treatment is less a light, pre-manicure treatment and more a protective “glove” of moisture that helps keep hydration locked into hands with a subtle eucalyptus scent.

The One That Makes You Smell Fancy

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

Aesop’s unisex products have a reputation for making one feel upscale, and this creamy hand balm is no exception. It smells like a complex candle and softens skin and chapped, flaky cuticles with a concentrated blend of oils (sweet almond and coconut) and butters (shea and cocoa.) Like most creams that come in the crinkly metal tubes, it’s a treat.

The Really Refreshing One

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hand Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

If the inherent thickness of hand creams sends a shiver down your spine, never fear — a lighter gel formula exists. Neutrogena’s Hydro Boost for hands is packed with the same hyaluronic acid you’ve been putting on your face. Applying the cooling formula makes hands quickly feel hydrated, like they just drank the recommended amount of water through a cold metal straw.

The One That Makes Your Hands Look Younger

Tula Moisture Locking Shea Butter Hand & Nail Therapy

This shea butter treatment is a hand-specific anti-aging cream that will make your face jealous. It’s packed with Tula’s signature probiotics that lock in moisture, along with retinol to smooth, licorice to target dark spots, and vitamin C to clean up any lingering free radicals.

The One That Won’t Make Your Skin or Head Ache

Vaseline Clinical Care Eczema Calming Hand And Body Lotion

This hypoallergenic and fragrance-free treatment has a quick-absorbing lotionlike consistency that delivers speedy relief for itchy, eczema-prone skin. The gentle formula contains colloidal oatmeal to calm irritation and absolutely zero scent, making it a great option for anyone with skin as sensitive as Drake or a pounding headache from reading about all these perfumed hand creams.

The One That Comes in a Pump

Beautycounter Hand Cream

If you consistently fall victim to gunky flip-caps, dropping screw-on caps, or an inability to open slippery caps across the board, Beautycounter’s hand cream may be the way to go. The clean beauty brand’s cream comes in a convenient pump-and-go pump that cuts down on frustration and mess. Bonus points for the crisp citrus scent, which helps transport your mind to somewhere warm and beachy.

The One That Won’t Leave You Greasy

J.R. Watkins Aloe and Green Tea Hand Cream, 3.3 oz.

If you have to do a lot of typing, hand-shaking, or carrying various objects, this hand cream will be your new best friend. The 96 percent natural formula doesn’t leave any trace of greasy residue; your hands won’t feel awkwardly sticky, just suddenly soft. The only evidence that you’ve been slathering rich cocoa and shea butters and jojoba oils all over them will be the energizing green-tea scent.

The One With SPF That Doesn’t Smell Like SPF

Ahava Time To Smooth Age Perfecting Hand Cream SPF15

If you apply face or body SPF daily, chances are some part of your hands will get coated in residual SPF in the process. But to make sure you’re completely and literally covered, try Ahava’s anti-aging hand cream. It relies on a blend of algae and dead sea minerals to brighten and smooth over time, and tops things off with a dose of SPF 15 to protect hands from the aging rays of the sun, without smelling like straight up sunscreen.

The Portable One

Chanel La Creme Main Hand Cream

This adorable Parisian egg is home to an incredibly soft and melty hand cream that was designed to be used while traveling light. Sadly, though, it still won’t fit in this purse.

The More Affordable Portable One

eos Hand Lotion

This basically egg-shaped contraption comes in fun colors, bright scents, and is home to a lightweight, non-grease formula that’s great to rely on year-round. (It won’t fit in the aforementioned purse either, but it will probably fit in these.)

The Reliable One

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream

Neutrogena’s tried-and-true formula is on the heavier side and has successfully healed many a dry hand, making it worth stocking up on whether you prefer the lavender or unscented formula. Leave one at your desk, leave one in your medicine cabinet, leave one on your nightstand, leave one in your car, and leave two more in two other undisclosed location for safe-keeping.

The Nutty One

Naturabrasil Castanha Hand Cream

If flower-y scents aren’t your jam but you still want something that smells like natur, Naturabrasil’s nourishing hand cream may be up your alley. The softening formula strengthens your skin’s natural moisture barrier with the help of Murumuru butter and Castanha oil, a.k.a. Brazil Nuts, a.k.a. the same extremely moisturizing ingredient that’s found in the delicious-smelling butt cream everyone loves to sniff.

The One That Prolongs Your Manicure

Burt's Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream, 3.2 oz.

If you can barely focus on how dry your hands feel because of how terrible your cuticles look, this multitasking cream will help. It locks in the moisture it delivers with natural baobab, pumpkin seed, and watermelon-seed oils, and gently exfoliates with a natural fruit acid complex.

The One That Will Make You Ditch Your Perfume

Byredo Blanche Hand Cream

This stylish hand cream was based on Byredo founder Ben Gorham’s perception of the color white. The end result is a clean blend of pink pepper, peony, and a touch of sandalwood that makes hands smell heavenly — and gives them smooth, lightweight moisture, too.

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16 Hand Creams You Probably Need Right Now