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The best hand creams with recommendations from an expert dermatologist

Skincare shouldn’t stop with your face. Show your hands some love with our expert-informed list of the best hand creams to suit every need.

the best hand creams

While plenty of us use skincare to take care of our face with moisturisers and eye creams, the hands are one of the first areas of the body to show signs of ageing, and they’re also an area many of us forget to protect. With all the hand-washing, dish scrubbing, and day-to-day life-ing we get up to, our hands do a lot for us, and we think they deserve some love.

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Hand cream should be an essential step in our skincare routine, as it can help to combat the dryness and UV damage our hands are susceptible to. However, when it comes to hand creams, not all are created equal.

The Recommended spoke to expert dermatologist and aesthetic doctor, Dr Sophie Shotter, who gave us the inside track on what to look for and what to avoid when buying hand cream. We took her advice and scoured the internet to bring together the best hand creams for every need. You can thank us later.

Jump to the best hand creams

Our skincare expert

Dr Sophie Shotter

Dr Sophie Shotter is an award-winning dermatologist and aesthetic doctor with over a decade of experience in the industry. Dr Sophie practices a holistic approach to wellness and anti-ageing and, working from her award-winning clinic in Kent and 10 Harley Street, has empowered countless clients to reclaim their health and well-being. Dr Sophie has previously shared her wisdom with us on other skincare topics, including the best eye creams and the best moisturisers for every skin type.

What should you look for when buying hand cream?

When asked what to look for when buying hand cream, Dr Sophie had plenty of wisdom to share. She told us, “the hands are very vulnerable to the environment, and we often neglect them. We wash them repeatedly throughout the day, making them more prone to dryness. We also often forget to apply sunscreen to our hands, and they are the body part aside from our face which accumulates the most UV damage”.

Dr Sophie advised us to “look for a different formula for day and night. In the daytime, a hydrating formula that absorbs quickly and isn’t too greasy, that also contains sunscreen. Make a habit of using it after every hand wash. At night time, think about giving your hands some TLC and using a more hydrating product to replenish the day’s damage, and possibly also think about including some actives like retinol which will help to keep the skin on your hands in good condition”.

What should you avoid when looking for hand cream?

We asked Dr Sophie what to stay away from when looking for a hand cream, and she told us, “Avoid perfumed products – perfume is irritant and could add to the dryness caused by washing hands”. Dr Sophie also advised us to avoid “silicones” as they are “often included to make a formulation more elegant and silky to feel, but are actually disrupting cell turnover and making the skin less able to renew itself”.

Which is the best hand cream?

We asked Dr Sophie if she had any particular recommendations for hand creams that have met her standards. She told us, “My personal favourites are the OTO CBD Hand Balm – CBD is calming and soothing, perfect for irritated hands. The balm is rich and nourishing but absorbs easily.”

Dr Sophie also recommended the Eucerin UreaRepair Plus, “which will help to exfoliate and condition even the driest hands”, as well as The GoldFaden MD Hands To Heart hand cream, which “is an excellent product with retinol – I like this at night for targeted anti-ageing”.

The best hand creams

Best hand cream for very dry hands: O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream

Heavy-duty healing 

Best hand cream for very dry hands

This hand cream works to hydrate, and soothe extremely dry, cracked hands and provide long-lasting relief.

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream is made with a lightweight, non-greasy formula that absorbs quickly into the skin. This hand cream is made without perfume, as recommended by Dr Sophie, and works not only to hydrate the sin but offer protection, allowing cracked hands to heal in the long term.

Best affordable hand cream: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Concentrated Unscented

Affordable quality 

Best affordable hand cream

This hugely popular hand cream works to hydrate and protect the hands without breaking the bank.

It’s made with a gentle, unscented formula that is enriched with 40% glycerine for optimal hydration. This hand cream also works to soothe and protect chapped hands, repairing the skin’s natural barrier for long-term skin health.

Best cruelty-free hand cream: Burt’s Bees Moisturising Hand Cream With Shea Butter, Orange Blossom, and Pistachio

Natural ingredients 

best cruelty-free hand cream

This hand cream uses only natural scents and 99% natural ingredients to hydrate and protect dry hands.

It nourishes the hands with all-day moisture and is delicately scented with energising orange blossom and pistachio. This product is formulated with shea butter, baobab oil, and pumpkin seed oil to deeply hydrate and protect skin and comes in a convenient travel-sized tube.

Best hand cream for sensitive skin: Nursem Caring Hand Cream

Soothes inflammation 

best hand cream for sensitive skin

This hand cream is made with a dermatologically tested, silicone-free formula that absorbs instantly to soothe sensitive skin.

It’s formulated with medical-grade manuka honey, white willow extract, and a potent blend of allantoin and provitamin B5 that work to hydrate and nourish the skin. This lightweight, cruelty-free hand cream is made with a non-greasy formula that works to protect and soothe sore, irritated skin.

Best soothing hand cream: Eucerin UreaRepair Plus

Up to 48 hours of relief 

best soothing hand cream

Our skincare expert Dr Sophie recommended this hand, telling us it can “help to exfoliate and condition even the driest hands”.

This hand cream is infused with 5% urea which works to bind moisture to the skin’s outermost layers and improve natural exfoliation, while ceramides strengthen the skin’s natural barrier and prevent moisture loss.

Best hand cream for kids: Child’s Farm Moisturising Hand Cream

For little hands

best hand cream for kids

This hand cream is both paediatrician and dermatologist approved and is suitable for use on sensitive and eczema-prone skin.

It’s made with a lightweight, vegan formula and is infused with cocoa butter which nourishes the skin while supplying antioxidants that protect against pollutants. This hand cream is cruelty-free and suitable for both newborn and older children.

Best SPF hand cream: Green People Scent Free Edelweiss & Green Tea Hand Guard SPF30

For added protection

Best hand cream with SPF

This SPF-enriched hand cream meets the guidance given by our expert dermatologist Dr Sophie, blending SPF protection with a natural, vegan and cruelty-free formula.

It’s made with a reef-safe, non-toxic formula, suitable for even sensitive skin types. This hand cream is naturally scented and provides SPF 30, protecting and nourishing the hands for optimal skin health.

Best vegan hand cream: OTO CBD Hand Balm

To nourish and protect

Best vegan hand cream

Our skincare expert Dr Sophie recommended this product, calling it “calming and soothing” and “perfect for irritated hands”.

This vegan hand balm is enriched with CBD extract, olive oil, aloe vera, and shea butter, working to hydrate and soften the hands. This expert-recommended product also helps to protect the skin from the effects of UV light.

Best anti-ageing hand cream: GoldFaden MD Hands To Heart Hand Cream

To revive tired hands

best anti-aging hand cream

Our skincare expert Dr Sophie recommended this hand cream for “targeted anti-ageing” at nighttime, praising its retinol-enriched formula.

This hand cream works to hydrate and soothe dry, cracked hands while brightening and replenishing the skin. This hand cream is infused with retinol, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and glucosamine and helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation for younger-looking skin.

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Want to read more expert-recommended beauty product round-ups? Check out our Cosmetics page for a full list of recommendations, including our list of the best moisturisers, the best mascaras, the best foundations and the best fake tans