18 Best Hand Creams of 2022 for Dry, Cracked Skin – ELLE

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Say goodbye to dry, cracked hands.
There are very few things in life we could achieve without using our hands, so it’s about time to finally give them the TLC they deserve. Enter: the best hand creams. According to dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick, they’re great for people with naturally dry skin or conditions like eczema or psoriasis. But even if you don’t have any of these concerns, the best hand creams can also help reverse dryness due to frequent hand-washing or simple exposure to harsh winter weather. Not to mention, they’re basically your key to perfecting the glossiest #nailfie if you’re always rocking trendy press-ons or a fresh manicure.
“Many factors can contribute to dry, cracked skin on the hands, including genetics, environmental and occupational exposures, and daily wear and tear,” says Dr. Garshick. “Hand creams help to improve the look and feel of dry hands by boosting moisture and supporting the skin barrier to prevent moisture loss.”

When shopping for the best hand creams, Dr. Garshick suggests choosing options with “humectants like hyaluronic acid and glycerin that hydrate, emollients such as squalene to help soften and smooth, ceramides to strengthen the skin, and occlusives like petrolatum—which provide a barrier to protect the hands from external irritants.” And for those worried about fine lines and dark spots, she mentions there are a variety of formulas to address those, too. “Moisturizing the hands regularly can help improve the overall appearance of [the] skin; however, it’s important to remember that similar anti-aging ingredients can be used on the hands as are used on the face,” she says. “These ingredients may include retinol to boost collagen production, antioxidants to protect against free radical damage, peptides to help strengthen and firm the skin, and sunscreen to protect against UV rays that can cause discoloration.” She adds that certain exfoliating ingredients, like lactic acid, may also help keep hands looking more youthful by eliminating dead skin cells and combatting dullness.

Regardless of your age or skin type, Dr. Garshick mentions you should always apply SPF to your hands—whether in the form of a classic sunscreen or targeted moisturizer—to prevent future damage.

Ahead, find your guide to the 18 best hand creams for soft, supple skin. Included are a range of Dr. Garshick’s expert picks and top-rated options customers are raving about. Plus, we even included one of our personal favorite selects.
Made for all skin types, Dr. Garshick recommends this affordable hand cream for its hydrating yet fast-absorbing properties. “Using organic lavender, shea butter, and cocoa butter, this hand cream not only soothes the skin but also protects it without leaving the hands feeling oily,” she says. “It can be applied to the hands, nails, cuticles, and elbows several times daily.”
Amazon rating: 4.7/5 stars
This good ol’ medicine cabinet staple has long been a go-to for protecting cuts and burns, but dermatologists like Dr. Garshick mention it’s also a great way to revive dehydrated skin. “As an occlusive, this petrolatum-based ointment not only creates a barrier on [the] skin to protect against irritants but also locks moisture in, helping to reduce dryness,” she explains. Take note of TikTok’s slugging trend for ultra-softening benefits and slather on the thick formula overnight. Pro tip: Add on some moisturizing gloves to further lock in hydration.
Amazon rating: 4.7/5 stars
If you’re suffering from severely dry, cracked, and damaged skin on your hands, Dr. Garshick suggests this plant-based balm from celebrity esthetician and holistic skincare guru Tammy Fender. Its key ingredients include helichrysum, white lily, and lotus oil, which Dr. Garshick mentions all work to “regenerate and repair by sealing in moisture, leaving skin looking softer, smoother, and healthier.” Designed for use on the face and neck, too, the lightweight gel formula also contains anti-inflammatory lavender and milk thistle.
Amazon rating: 4.4/5 stars
“The hands experience skin aging in the same way that our face, neck, and décolleté do, and in fact, it is often said that you can tell someone’s age just by looking at their hands,” says Dr. Garshick. “This is not only because the skin on the top of the hands is very delicate and can more easily show signs of aging, but because the hands are often neglected when it comes to regular sun protection, and cumulative UV exposure over time can lead to skin changes.”
While Dr. Garshick suggests any form of sunscreen can be used on hands to protect them, she likes Supergoop’s Hand Screen for its multiple skincare benefits. In addition to including a solid SPF40 (the American Academy of Dermatology advises using sunscreen with at least SPF30), it contains a nourishing blend of fatty acids and vitamins as well as “antioxidants to brighten overall skin tone and help protect the skin against free radical damage.” Moreover, she notes the formula is fast-absorbing so you can avoid any greasy feeling.

Amazon rating: 4.6/5 stars
Looking to combat fine lines and wrinkles? Consider reaching for this formula from StriVectin. “Formulated with NIA-114 and hyaluronic acid, this nourishing hand cream helps to brighten and moisturize, improving overall dryness and crepiness of the skin,” says Dr. Garshick. “Additionally, it helps protect the skin barrier.”
Amazon rating: 4.2/5 stars
Dermatologist-developed and TikTok-viral brand Cerave is known for creating ultra-gentle products that work for even the most sensitive skin types—with its hand cream being no exception, says Dr. Garshick. “This non-greasy hand cream uses the brand’s special Multivesicular Emulsion technology to release moisturizing ingredients (like hyaluronic acid and niacinamide) for all-day hydration,” she mentions. “And formulated with ceramides, it not only hydrates but also supports the skin barrier and acts as a skin protectant.”
Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars
Courtesy of iconic French retailer L’Occitane, this rich hand cream is powered by a high percentage of nourishing shea butter, plus hydrating glycerin, almond, and coconut oil. Thousands of Amazon customers say it’s fast-absorbing, with a light scent ideal for anyone who prefers a more mild fragrance.
Amazon rating: 4.7/5 stars
An Amazon reviewer says: “This hand cream is my favorite. The tiniest dab works quickly to soften your winter-dry skin yet is non-greasy. And, the scent is delicate and pleasing.”

With over 80,000 reviews and a four-star rating, this classic hand cream is an all-time Amazon best-seller. It contains nourishing glycerin, plus stearic acid (an emollient) to lock in moisture, smooth the skin, and thicken its barrier to prevent cracking. Some reviewers even rave it works faster and better than alternatives from high-end competitors.
Amazon rating: 4.7/5 stars
An Amazon reviewer says: “I work as a bartender and suffer from what we in the industry call ‘bar rot.’ The constant use of hot water and dish sanitizer and contact with citrus juices just destroys the hands. This product has brought life back and fixed my cracked, dry hands and cuticles.”
Accepted by the National Eczema Association, this Gold Bond formula is one of the best hand creams for people with eczema. It features two percent colloidal oatmeal to relieve itchy, dry patches, as well as a range of vitamins and moisturizers like vitamin E, ceramides, and aloe to further hydrate, protect, and soothe.
Amazon rating: 4.7/5
An Amazon reviewer says: “This hand cream is a godsend. It is so moisturizing and actively healed my eczema, which was causing constant splitting in my knuckles that was horribly painful. Now, I can close my fists and not worry about the dryness affecting the elasticity of my skin. Totally repaired.”
For more than 40 years, Eucerin has specialized in creating moisturizers that target various skin concerns, including this cream, made specifically for dry, chapped hands. Ingredients like urea and lactic acid work to slough off dead skin cells, while the addition of ceramides and glycerin help nourish and protect. However, if you have sensitive skin, remember that this exfoliating formula could be irritating.
Amazon rating: 4.7/5 stars
An Amazon reviewer says: “Super hydrating, doesn’t have a strong smell, and my hands stay soft and moisturized for more than 12 hours—even after I wash them multiple times. There are even days I find I don’t have to use it at all because my hands still feel soft from the night before.”
Retinol is the star of this hand cream, making it another solid option for reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The ingredient boosts collagen production in thin, crepey skin, as glycerin hydrates and vitamins C helps minimize discoloration. What’s more, the product contains vitamin E to help soothe any inflammation caused by dryness.

Amazon rating: 4.4/5 stars

An Amazon reviewer says: “I’ve been using this hand lotion for over two weeks, and I am more than satisfied. My hands are smoother and look 10 to 15 years younger. I was so happy with this product that I purchased it for my mother, who also loved the results in a short amount of time.”
Aquaphor’s timeless formula is a personal favorite of mine. I use it to heal pimple scabs to revive chapped lips and fissures on my hands when the cold weather wreaks havoc on my already dry skin. True to its name, this thick ointment has therapeutic properties, featuring barrier-boosting petrolatum and a few hydrating ingredients like glycerin, lanolin alcohol, and provitamin B5. Considering it’s multipurpose and has an under-$12 price tag, I call it a stellar investment.
Amazon rating: 4.8/5 stars
Flaky, scaly skin should be no match for this top-rated cream, which includes lactic acid to exfoliate gently. Also included is petrolatum to protect the skin barrier and glycerin to nourish. Thanks to its exfoliating properties, countless customers also say the formula works miracles on bumps and rough patches due to keratosis pilaris.
Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars
An Amazon reviewer says: “I’m 65, and my arms were always developing red splotches. I use this cream morning and night, and the splotches have not returned. This cream also does an outstanding job of giving my hands a smooth appearance.”

Chanel’s $50 formula features hydrating glycerin, shea butter, and softening rose wax for a truly luxe option. And to help keep hands looking youthful, it contains iris pallida, which research has shown can stimulate cell growth and “limit the creation of wrinkles.”
Ulta rating: 5/5 stars
An Ulta reviewer says: “I’m a Chanel gal, and I love this hand cream. The scent is clean, fresh, and beautiful. Love how this makes my hands feel. I expect nothing less and will purchase this again and again.”
From nourishing honey and cupuacu butter to brightening grapeseed oil, this popular budget-friendly pick is packed with natural ingredients to leave hands looking and feeling their best.
Amazon rating: 4.7/5 stars
An Amazon reviewer says: “The backs of my hands become painfully dry and cracked during the colder months, but this lotion immediately moisturizes and provides relief. I also use it on my palms to soften callouses I get from gymming.”
Beloved for its apothecary-style packaging and fresh, fragrant formulas, Aesop also makes a hand cream worth popping in your everyday bag. Ingredients like glycerin, coconut oil, and stearic acid work to reverse dryness, while rosemary oil aims to fight signs of premature aging, and mandarin and cedar atlas offer a citrusy-meets-woodsy aroma. As an added perk, the included mandarin is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe any irritation.
Amazon rating: 4.5/5 stars
An Amazon reviewer says: “Fabulous scent and very healing to my hands and cuticles. The fragrance is multilayered and delicious, natural, and woodsy. I wish there was a perfume that smelled just that way.”
This formula from clean beauty brand Nécessaire is designed to be deeply nourishing, fast-absorbing, and work for even sensitive skin types. With a blend of vitamins and omega fatty acids, squalane, collagen-boosting peptides, and brightening niacinamide, it should leave hands feeling super supple and more even-toned over time.
Sephora rating: 4.2/5 stars
A Sephora reviewer says: “This hand cream saved me through the winter months from dry, cracked hands. I normally hate hand creams because of how heavy or greasy they can be, but this is very lightweight and has zero scent.”
From dermatologist and celebrity-loved skincare brand EltaMD comes this cream built to revive hands on multiple fronts. It has hydrating glycerin and ceramides to protect the skin barrier, plus antioxidant-rich vitamin E to minimize fine lines, and plant-based sclareolide to help lighten dark spots.
Dermstore rating: 4.75/5 stars
A Dermstore reviewer says: “I’m a former sun worshipper and did a lot of damage to my skin. I’m now in my early 40s working to repair it and will recommend this product to you with confidence. Absolutely no greasy feeling or residue, and it makes your skin look like never-seen-the-sun perfection!”
Dr. Marisa Garshick is a dermatologist practicing at MDCS Dermatology in New York and New Jersey.
Sam Peters is a seasoned commerce writer and editor with over five years of experience covering beauty, fashion, and lifestyle topics. For this roundup, she consulted dermatologist Dr. Garshick about what to look for in the best hand creams for different skin concerns and her favorite products. Additionally, the author analyzed dozens of top-rated hand creams on the market, pouring over customer reviews and referencing studies to verify brand claims about ingredients. Items across price points were also considered.


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