As the weather starts to take a turn for the chilly and the wind begins to pick up, it becomes especially important to take extra care of our poor, long-suffering skin. But even while we apply barrier creams, don our woolly socks and pull our bobble hats down to our eyebrows, it’s easy to forget about the needs of hard-working hands. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best hand creams, and more importantly, imparted some wisdom on how to find the best hand cream for your particular needs — so go on, read on and treat your tips to the hydration they deserve.
But a hand cream isn’t just for Christmas (though they do make excellent stocking fillers) — some skin types need a helping hand to stay soft all year ‘round, and eczema and psoriasis-prone or chronically dry skin especially will benefit from a soothing cream that keeps hands hydrated all day long. Look for a thick, luscious cream that’ll sink in properly and last through the day or night, even after hand-washing.
Meanwhile, as the skincare world’s only proven defence against ageing, SPF is a very important factor to look for in hand-cream for mature skin. If you’re after something that will minimise sun damage, age spots and fine lines while also leaving hands soft and supple, look no further than a hand cream with SPF.
Remember, too, that the skin on the back of our hands is among the thinnest and most delicate on our bodies, gets a lot of exposure to the elements, and works incredibly hard, so approach your hand cream the way you would anything else in your skincare kit, and be sure to check the listed skin type or types for which each product is suitable.
A great-performing all-rounder from a trusted brand, the Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream works to comfort dry hands and, as an added bonus, strengthen nails and condition cuticles. It protects hands from the elements, minimising signs of ageing and keeping delicate skin fortified against damage, with a thin but long-lasting layer of moisturisation that feels light on the hands.
For eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and other conditions that can leave skin feeling itchy and sore, this Aromacure cream soothes superbly with a formulation packed full of naturally-sourced ingredients. The active ingredient is cardiospermum, a natural alternative to prescription cortisone creams, and it’s full of skin-kind organic argan and hemp oils for gentle but effective hydration. For a gentle alternative to prescription creams, give this a go.
A thick, luxurious cream for dry hands, this sweet Burt’s Bees offering gives instant soothing relief to winter skin. The delicious scent is reminiscent of banana foam sweets — a nostalgic hit sure to put a smile on the face of any Pick ‘n’ Mix connoisseur — and once the luscious formulation penetrates the skin, it stays there. This cream is ideal for providing long-lasting hydration throughout the day or night.
The plumping, firming, and smoothing actions of this premium hand cream make it a real treat for mature skin. The hydrating ‘glove’ it forms on the skin locks in moisture for hours, even through several washes, and minimises the need to re-apply — especially good news at this price point. The professional-sounding procollagen complex also improves the look and feel of hands, evening out skin tone and blurring fine lines for a youthful finish.
This luxuriously thick cream feels especially nourishing on dry skin and is a real treat to apply, but despite its super-moisturising capabilities, it sinks in impressively well and never leaves a greasy residue, great for on the go. A little goes a long way, too. For an extra touch of decadence, apply before bed and don some moisturising mitts to let it really sink in, lovely for cuticles in need of some TLC.
This Eve Lom number is a great anti-ageing hand cream, by virtue of its included SPF, which guards against environmental damage and sun exposure on some of our most delicate skin. Salicylic acid, a common active ingredient in acne-fighting skincare, gently exfoliates and resurfaces for hands that look healthy, youthful, and brightened.
This antioxidant-rich cream boasts an abundance of nourishing avocado, shea butter, and the grape polyphenols for which vineyard owners and Caudalie founders Mathilde and Bertrand Thomas are famous. It absorbs easily, leaving no greasy residue, and reviewers have praised its lovely fresh scent and light texture. An excellent hand cream for people who think they don't like hand cream, but not the most deeply hydrating: dry-skinned lovelies might want to try Clinique or Burt's Bees instead.