Dermatological Analysis: Best Hand Creams

They say you can tell someone’s age just by their hands, but whoever came up with that phrase was unaware of the powers of hand cream.

It may seem unnecessary, and it’s almost never on our beauty priority list, but the hands also show signs of aging , sometimes even more so than the face.

Dark spots, dryness, and sagging hands are what really reveal the number of candles you blow out on your birthday cake.

So in a way, a good hand cream is one of the most powerful defenses you can use against aging .

How do Hand Creams work?

Thanks to its moisturizing ingredients, they help to trap water in our skin, keeping it smooth and soft.

As we age, our skin, especially that of our hands, begins to lose moisture and look unappealing. Therefore, the regular use of a good treatment will help keep the skin of your hands in optimal condition, maintaining its smoothness, hydration and uniformity in tone.

If you are looking for the best hand cream, you have come to the right place, as we have chosen for you the best options among so many available. As we have done? Very simple, analyzing the INCI (list of ingredients), which is what really reveals the effectiveness of a product.

With the INCI we can know what beneficial assets it has, and if it has any ingredient that we should avoid.

This analysis is made up of the most popular and best-selling on the market, among which we have chosen the two best. Here you will find the complete analysis of these two options, and the summary of the other creams, with a link to the full article, in case you want to read it in depth.

Each ingredient is explained individually, analyzing its function and possible side effects. But if the ingredient is already analyzed in another article, I attach the link so that you can access it easily, and that you do not miss anything.

And now yes, we begin!

Caudalie Delicious Hand & Nail Cream

Tired of constantly applying cream but still having dry hands? You need Caudalíe’s delicious formula.

It is antioxidant and anti-aging, protects, nourishes and leaves the skin silky smooth. It is very nutritious and miraculously does not leave your hands greasy or slippery.

Its secret is a concentration of hydrating active ingredients, antioxidant grape polyphenols and organic shea butter, a wonderful cocktail for anyone looking for a nourishing and anti-aging treatment for their hands and nails.

Its rich and delicately scented texture is instantly absorbed into the skin, which is why it is a great cream to always carry in your bag, and use after washing your hands or throughout the day to keep dryness away.

Apply it to your hands and nails as many times as necessary, with a gentle massage so that it is completely absorbed.

Caudalíe cream does not contain ingredients of animal origin or has been tested on them, making it suitable for vegans. And it’s formulated without sulfates, parabens, formaldehydes, silicones, or mineral oil.

But now let’s see what it does have:

Among the first ingredients are glycerin, grape seed oil, shea butter and avocado oil, which makes it clear that it is very nourishing, moisturizing and antioxidant.

Vitamins E and C are also present, although in a much lower proportion, and Phytosterols are a great anti-inflammatory active, and prevent the decline of collagen fibers, so that the skin does not lose its smoothness.

The formula is completed by lubricating, softening and moisturizing agents, which manage to give a smooth and smooth appearance and texture.

Unfortunately, not everything is to be praised in this product, as it includes perfume and various fragrances, which can be irritating for certain sensitive skin.

And it does not include SPF, a very interesting element in a hand cream, especially if we are going to use it for the day.

Even with this, it is the most complete and with the least problematic ingredients that we have found, and that is why it is the best option on the market now.

The brand takes care that it does not include any harmful ingredients, such as parabens, phenoxyethanol, phthalates, or mineral oils; and 98% of the ingredients are of natural origin.

Vichy Hand and Nail Cream SPF 15

How many times do you apply sunscreen to your hands? The most likely answer is rarely.

However, the back of our hands, like our face, is always exposed to sunlight, and as a result, brown spots appear as we age.

This is where the Vichy formula comes in. Not only is the cream rich and nourishing, it also has SPF 15 and helps reduce pigmentation over time.

Enriched with a careful blend of hyaluronic acid, LHA’s (Lipo Hydroxy Acids), ceramides, vitamin C and 10 luxury oils, this innovative formula will nourish and hydrate the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots, while improving the quality and the nail resistance.

The results are intensely hydrated skin, up to 28% more, with visibly reduced spots and lines. An improvement in the general appearance of the hands and nails is achieved.

It is a suitable formula even for sensitive skin, hypoallergenic and without parabens. This is your INCI:

The top of the list focuses on sunscreen ingredients, although there’s room for a silicone as well.

It is in the central part when the oils of Apricot, Passionflower, Corn, Rice Bran, Sunflower, Black Currant, Rosehip, Coriander, Macadamia and Jojoba begin to appear; a unique combination that offers softening, nourishing and antioxidant properties.

The exfoliant is put by salicylic acid, and there is also vitamin C, although the two are in a low proportion. The same goes for hyaluronic acid, which is too low to offer its full hydrating benefits.

Besides silicones, something I don’t like about Vichy cream is perfume, and a couple of harmful ingredients, which it would be better to avoid. Overall it is quite good, with many assets dealing with a wide variety of problems, but the latter fails.

Of all the ones we have analyzed, it is the only one that contains an adequate proportion of sunscreen, to protect the skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun, so that is why we have chosen it as one of the best.

Eucerin pH5 Hand Cream

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Eucerin is one of the most popular brands in hand care, and in this cream it focuses on regenerating the natural protective properties of the skin, leaving it with an elastic, soft and healthy appearance.

It is specially formulated with Provitamin B5 (Panthenol) that hydrates and strengthens the natural protective layer of the skin; in addition to other moisturizing and repairing ingredients, and the occasional antioxidant.

The downside is that some irritants are in a high proportion, allergenic fragrances don’t help, and the ubiquitous Phenoxyethanol (toxic and irritant preservative) is also included.

It is not bad, but there are better ones; and for my skin I always want the best.

You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: Eucerin pH5 Hand Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Cicalfate Barrier Effect Repair Cream Avène Hands

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Helps protect your hands by restoring the skin barrier, basically using emollient and occlusive ingredients. Sulfates also help absorb toxins and reduce bacteria.

But the cream falls short of assets. It does not have other beneficial ingredients, such as antioxidants, nourishing agents, exfoliants, or sunscreen.

And although it has almost no problem ingredients (just Phenoxyethanol), something that is always fine; since I am going to put a cream on my hands, I want it to be as complete and efficient as possible.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Cicalfate Hand Barrier Effect Repair Cream by Avène, Analysis and Alternative .

L’Occitane en Provence Shea Butter Hand Cream for Dry Skin

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L’Occitane has discovered the secret of beautiful hands and is sharing it with us. The smoothing formula enriched with 20% shea butter, honey and sweet almond extract helps heal and protect dry or dehydrated skin.

But while the first half of the list is highly desirable, the second half is less so, and is full of troublesome ingredients, such as toxic and irritating preservatives, alcohol, perfume, or irritating fragrances.

This last part spoils the whole composition, since although these ingredients are in a low concentration, there is still the danger of the combined effect.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Karité de L’Occitane en Provence hand cream for dry skin, Analysis and Alternative .

Neutrogena Concentrated Hand Cream

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Although it is probably one of the most recognized brands, its formula is not as complete as you would like.

They bet everything on glycerin and another emollient, and although they are active ingredients that hydrate and lubricate damaged and dry skin, they cannot deeply hydrate the skin.

In addition, it includes some ingredients that I do not like very much, as they can be toxic. It is not the one I would choose for my hands, so I cannot recommend it.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Neutrogena Concentrated Hand Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Eudermin protective hand cream

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This Eudermin hand cream is created for people who suffer from very dry skin, as its star ingredient is glycerin, and there is a small amount of shea butter.

It also includes lanolin and petroleum jelly, so it can be too greasy and difficult to absorb. On the other hand, it does not have antioxidant ingredients, and its assets are really scarce.

But what I like the least is finding ingredients that can be toxic, harmful or irritating, so I prefer not to try this formula.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Eudermin protective hand cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Nivea Olive Oil Hand Cream

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Although it is not the classic Nivea cream, it is enriched with olive oil to intensely hydrate the skin. This is thanks to the amount of emollients and moisturizers present in the formula (olive oil is one of them, although not the main one).

However, it does not have other nourishing, repairing or protective ingredients, so it can be a bit short for severely damaged hands.

And the worst of all is that it has some highly recommended ingredients, such as silicones, toxic preservatives, irritating fragrances, and other ingredients that are harmful to the skin and health, not even now, but in the future.

There are other options that are more comprehensive, and do not have these risks, so it would not be a hand cream for me.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Nivea Olive Oil Hand Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Arual Hand Cream

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This is a classic for caring for hands, however, when analyzing its ingredients you realize that its formulation is quite deficient, and it can be harmful for some skin types.

It’s packed with parabens, and preservatives that can be toxic, irritating, and sensitizing. These occupy more than half of the list, so the composition is very worrying.

On the other hand, it only has a couple of assets, glycerin and lanolin, which do not achieve the hydrating or nourishing benefits that the brand advertises.

You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: Arual Hand Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream

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It is quite good, with several hydrating, nourishing, soothing and repairing actives. All of them give dry and damaged skin what it needs to look healthy and smooth again.

However, I see a couple of flaws. The first is the large number of fragrances and perfume that it has, some of them irritating and sensitizing, when there is no need to include them.

And the second flaw is the alcohol, present in a large quantity, a solvent that can dry out the skin, an ingredient not expected in a hand moisturizer.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Weleda Pomegranate Regenerating Hand Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Why use a hand cream?

You wash your face, pat it dry, and immediately apply a moisturizer, so why not do the same with your hands?

Your hands do a lot for you. These tools allow us to carry out daily tasks at home, at work and in any other area of ​​life. But very often we forget and neglect them, leaving them defenseless against the environment, work and time.

Did you know that the hands are one of the first places on our body to show the signs of aging ? And even more if you do not take care or pamper them.

And for this, nothing better than a good hand cream. It is the best way to repair and restore damaged hands, so they not only look younger, but also feel softer.

But before seeing what they can do for our hands, let’s see what are the main causes of damage to the hands:

  • Hard water . One thing that we often overlook is the high concentration of minerals in the water. If the water in the area where you live is hard, its minerals absorb much of the natural moisture from the skin. This is why your skin can feel very dry after a long shower.
  • Wash hands . You may notice that your hands are considerably drier after washing your hands. This is because certain soaps contain chemicals and minerals that dehydrate the skin. Also, do you remember hard water? Combine that with drying soap and you have drier hands.
  • Nutrient-poor diet . This seems obvious, but a healthy diet is essential to ensure that your skin looks and feels its best. A poor diet lacking in essential oils (such as avocados, almonds, and salmon) can make your skin feel drier than normal. Don’t forget to hydrate yourself by drinking water.
  • Time . Winter is not good for the skin. The cold and dryness of the environment, together with the thermal contrast of the heating, strip the skin of its natural moisture. This is exacerbated if the weather is dry, with low humidity.

Due to all these factors (and many others), hands can become dry, cracked and even painful , and it is a problem that both men and women can suffer.

Fortunately there is a solution, the hand creams on the market are very advanced, and can treat a wide variety of skin conditions that require more than just hydration.

Whether you want to remove age spots, tighten sagging skin, or relieve extreme dryness, there is one especially for you.

By simply adding this product to your daily care routine, you can completely change the condition of your hands, so the sooner you start using a hand cream, the sooner you will see results.

Benefits that you will get using a hand cream

The first and most obvious benefit is softer, more hydrated hands . The oils replenish lost moisture and also form a protective layer that prevents further damage.

Many contain natural ingredients like extracts and essential oils that heal and repair damaged skin.

The subtle fragrance that these natural ingredients leave behind may be a reason to use the cream more often.

And the more specific formulas are specially developed to reduce wrinkles, diminish dark spots and slow down the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays.

A good hand cream can also hydrate the nail beds to prevent the nails from peeling and weakening. Massaging your hands with a daily cream will soften the cuticles, and the nails will be stronger, longer and healthier.

There are tons on the market ready to treat everything from weak nails to rough skin.

Is a body cream the same as a hand cream?

Normally, hand creams are not the same as those used on the body, since the hands require a different type of care.

Compared to the rest of the body, the skin on our hands is probably the one that suffers the most abuse. Since they are constantly exposed, they need not only to be hydrated, but also to be protected .

For this reason, those of the hands usually incorporate a sun protection factor (very necessary especially during the summer), and they tend to be absorbed faster than those of the body.

How is the skin of the hands?

The skin on your hands is very different from the skin on the rest of your body.

The skin on the back of the hands differs slightly from the palms. The skin on the top of your hands is much thinner and has fewer oil glands, which means it dries out faster.

In comparison, the skin on the palms of the hands is much thicker, so for moisture to penetrate this area, a hand cream must be rich and full of moisturizing ingredients.

How to choose a hand cream

Selecting the right one for your needs is like choosing a skin care product, since it all depends on the problems you are trying to combat or avoid.

Do you have very dry hands? Maybe you should look for a nourishing and hydrating one. Do you need to get rid of the scaly skin? So a cream with exfoliating benefits should work. Do you want to avoid sun damage? The sunscreen will be your best ally.

If you have mild dryness on your hands, you most likely don’t need to buy an intensive or concentrated one that offers express hydration. You may only need daily creams.

If you are struggling with flaky skin due to dryness, and you want it to be removed quickly, a cream that offers exfoliating benefits may be helpful. However, it is best to check with your dermatologist before using this type of hand lotion.

In addition, if you want one that protects not only the skin of the hands, but also the nail beds, you need one that helps hydrate this area and prevent flaking and weakness of the nails. Also, these treatments can make your manicure look better and last a little longer.

If you need great hydration, the lightest creams always provide the most moisture. You just have to treat yourself to applying them at night and let your skin heal. Remember, like our bodies, our skin heals most intensely at night.

And if you have dark spots on your hands, one with brightening and depigmenting and exfoliating properties will be your best friend. Not only does it hydrate the skin and make it smoother, it also removes dark and uneven skin tone.

If you’re experiencing two skin problems, and your hand cream only targets one concern, you can apply one more that targets the other problem, say, an hour later. Let the first do its work before applying the other.

In the end, the best hand creams have a short list of ingredients, with great actives in high concentrations, without perfume to avoid chemical sensitivities, and are formulated to protect from any other chemical products that you may be sensitive or allergic to.


These are the ingredients that any hand cream should include:

  • Water . As the main problem is dryness, one of the main ingredients should be water. Most of them contain an oil-in-water emulsion to prevent the liquid from separating from the oil. Water applied to the hands on its own is not absorbed, but when applied with oily oil, the water is quickly absorbed by the skin.
  • Fatty oils . Natural oils are known to solve the effects of extremely dry conditions on the skin. Some of the best oils are avocado oil, argan oil, and sweet almond oil. Its ability to retain moisture makes it an indispensable skincare ingredient when looking for the best hand cream for dry skin.
  • Moisturizers . Look for ingredients in the moisturizer family, such as glycerin, glycol, hyaluronic acid, or urea. These ingredients draw water to the skin like a sponge, giving it a plumping effect, and they are very receptive to moisture and humid environments.
  • Occlusives . They are oily substances found in these products, the most common being petrolatum, lecithin, mineral oils, lanolin and silicones. They prevent the loss of moisture by sealing the hydration of the humectants forming a protective barrier.
  • Emollients . Emollients like squalene, honey, panthenol, and shea butter make skin feel soft and smooth. They don’t necessarily hydrate your hands, but they make them look younger and healthier.
  • Calming agents . Aloe vera, soy extract, and oats have unique healing properties that effectively soothe sensitive or irritated skin.
  • Anti-aging ingredients . If you want it to have anti-aging properties, look for antioxidants and AHAs, as they help stimulate collagen, which helps plump up the skin. Vitamins are also used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as they stimulate the skin by promoting collagen production. Look for vitamins A, C, and E. Also, a good quality anti-aging hand cream should have keratin, collagen, and antioxidants, as they renew skin and minimize wrinkles and folds.
  • Repair agents . Those that are designed for extremely dry and chapped hands should contain lactic acid and vitamin E. Lactic acid helps the skin to become more supple, healing cracks and preventing them from occurring. Vitamin E accelerates healing, reduces scars, and is an excellent moisturizer.
  • SPF . Believe it or not, your hands are just as (if not more) vulnerable to sun damage than the skin on your face. To keep them protected from harmful UVA / UVB rays, look for lotions that contain SPF to wear during the day.
  • Depigmenting assets . A good anti-aging for hands should contain vitamins A, C and E, keratin and collagen, as they help reduce discoloration caused by brown spots, in addition to helping the skin to produce more collagen, that is, hands with more appearance young.

If in addition to having very rough, dry and chapped hands, you also have sensitive skin that has a tendency to become irritated, then it is best not to use them with perfume, irritating fragrances or chemical compounds.

In this way, you will protect the natural barrier of the skin to the maximum and you can hydrate it without running the risk of suffering an allergic reaction.

And if you want to take care of your skin and your health, avoid ingredients that are harmful, such as preservatives (the vast majority are irritating and toxic), and other ingredients that are known to have concerns about cancer or another condition.

These effects will probably not be noticed immediately, but if they can appear in the long term, it is what is known as the combined or cocktail effect .


If your hands are in relatively good condition and you don’t work with harsh chemicals, you can opt for a lighter formulated hand lotion.

These are still hydrating and can be applied throughout the day, but they don’t contain all of the nourishing ingredients that oilier ones have.

In case your hands are excessively dry and chapped, it is best to choose one with a concentrated formula and a creamy texture to repair your skin even in the most difficult conditions.

Women with oily skin should choose a hand cream with a light texture that repairs and hydrates without leaving a greasy film on the skin.

Discard lotions that contain lanolin and choose one that absorbs quickly to prevent your hands from becoming greasy or slippery.

How and when to use a hand cream

How often to apply it?

This will depend on the condition of your hands and how often you wash them during the day. It is advisable to apply a small amount of cream each time you wash your hands, or when they feel dry or dehydrated.

Apply one with sunscreen before going outside for the day. At night you can opt for a richer formula that uses more specific ingredients, such as anti-aging actives or skin lighteners.

During the dry winter months, it is necessary to apply it more than twice a day, since the environment tends to dry your hands faster than in other months.

How to apply the hand cream correctly?

Apply it at least twice a day following these instructions:

Step 1: Remove any rings and wash your hands with mild soap and towel dry.

Step 2: Apply a pea-sized portion to the back of one of your hands. Bring the backs of your hands together and rub them together.

Step 3: Rub your hands well, paying special attention to your knuckles or other drier areas. Repeat the same process with the other hand. Smear all the cream well until it has been completely absorbed into the skin.

Step 4: Don’t overlook the nails. There is no need to be stingy with your hand cream. Whenever you use a hand lotion or cream, apply it to your nails and cuticles to help hydrate and keep your nails looking their best.

For a more intensive treatment, after applying the product, put on a pair of gloves . It may seem strange, but they will help retain moisture in your hands and prevent the product from rubbing off, allowing it to be effectively absorbed.

Wait about 15 minutes, take off your gloves and you will immediately feel the difference on your skin.

One of the best ways to maximize the results of any hand cream is to exfoliate your hands regularly to remove dead, dry skin cells.

By exfoliating regularly, you will help the absorption and penetration to be better and faster, which means faster results. This will allow your skin to regenerate, removing unwanted wrinkles and healing dry, painful cracks.

You don’t like the feeling of having residue on your hands?

If this is the reason you’ve been avoiding its use, there are a few ways around it. First, look for hand creams that, despite the name, have a more lotion-like texture.

Or just pamper your hands overnight. Then, during the day, apply the moisturizer only on the back of the hands (which are usually the driest), leaving the fingertips and palms of the hands without product.

It is definitely worth the time and effort invested in incorporating a hand treatment into our daily care routine. The end result will be beautiful, hydrated and healthy hands.

Not only will our hands look younger, they will feel better. Dry, cracked skin can be very painful, and when it’s not cared for well, it can even bleed.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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