Best hand creams for extra dry hands

We may dedicate untold spools of time and money on skincare for our faces, but when it comes to our hands, most of us are red-handed guilty of overlooking our hands – yet they need just as much TLC.

Our hands are the body part we use most; they’re in constant play from hitting snooze on your morning alarm to brushing your teeth before bedtime.

The delicate skin on the back of your hands is where you usually see the first signs of ageing. They really go through the wringer, especially in-between seasons when the weather is particularly unsettled.

Frequent daily washing, while essential in the name of hygiene, also strips natural oils from hands leaving them drier than ever.

What you need is to put the hydration back into your paws in the form of a nourishing hand cream which not only feels great but really packs in the moisture too.

Best hand creams at a glance

From pocket-sized heroes to Insta-worthy beauties, give yourself a helping hand with the best hand creams and lotions to buy now.

See our favourites below

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Fast Absorbing 75ml

Best for: everyone, everywhere, anytime

Norwegian Formula is specifically designed to soothe hands, knuckles and fingers in conditions that make the British weather feel positively tropical.

A rich yet light cream, this sinks in instantly locking moisture with no greasy residue afterwards. Just goes to show you don’t need to travel to the ends of the Earth to find a hand moisturiser that just works.

Buy now £2.79, Boots

Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream 100ml

Best for: deep hand and nail conditioning

Prized by beauty editors everywhere, Clarins has nailed hand care in this formula. It’s rich but spreads easily, pulling its £20+ price tag weight – a little of this goes a long, long way.

The formula feels dense when first squeezed out of the tube, but a quick rub between the hands breaks it down into an almost watery like solution. Packed with active ingredients like Shea butter and sesame oil, it offers fast relief to dry hands while the Condurango Bark extract ensures there’s no greasy residue left behind.

If you need this in a hurry it’s available for Same Day Delivery for Amazon Prime members.

Buy now £18.92, Amazon

Nursem Ultra-Caring Hand Cream

Best for: helping heroes

Never before have we appreciated the NHS’s wonderful nurses and midwives who kept working through the pandemic quite so much as this past year or so. Now, it’s time to put our hands in our pockets and support them by buying Nursem hand cream, which gives back through The Nursem Promise.

Buy now £9.99, Nursem

C.O Bigelow Lemon Hand Treatment

Best for: deep hydration and a great lemony scent

Offering a zippy yet light scent of lemon, C.O Bigelow's Hand Treatment solution is the micro spa day your hands have been screaming out for. The NYC label uses nourishing ingredients - think Vit C-rich lemon oil, grape seed oil and surprisingly, licorice extract - to bring paws back from the brink. The light-coloured cream sinks in with a few rubs and leaves behind nothing but hydration and a gentle lemon scent.

Buy now £19.50, Liberty of London

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream 150ml

Best for: speedy sinking in, zero residue

Formulated more than 15 years ago, this is one of L’Occitane en Provence’s most popular products – and it has a clutch of awards to prove it. The non-oily formula is made up of 20 per cent Shea butter, alongside ultra-hydrating almond, honey and coconut oils.

No one wants to spend ages rubbing lotion into their hands – looking like an evil mastermind in the process – so one of our favourite things about L’Occitane’s hand cream is how quickly it sinks in.

Gone in way less than 60 seconds, all that’s left behind is supple, healthy skin gently fragranced with notes of jasmine and ylang-ylang. This is quite a large size ideal for keeping on your bathroom shelf or on your desk at work but if you’re looking for something to care for your hands on the go, check out the 30ml travel size.

Buy now £22.00, L’Occitane

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm 75ml

Best for: giving tired mitts a helping hand

Frequent hand washing and anti-bac gel use can all take their toll on your hands. Give them the protection they deserve with Aesop’s aptly named Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm.

It contains a blend of natural oils to keep your hands looking tip top without feeling slippery and greasy. Simply squeeze a pea-sized amount into palms and gently massage across your hands to keep them looking as good as new.

Buy now £23.00, Cult Beauty

Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Hand Cream

Best for: indulgent luxury

If you fancy giving your paws a real treat, try this luxurious cream from Laura Mercier. The soufflé-like texture counts Shea butter and Macadamia Oil as part of its ingredients, ensuring your skin stays well-watered and comfortable long after application.

There’s also fig, almond coconut and crème brulee scented versions if you’re not wild about vanilla.

Just be prepared for a few funny looks on account of your newfound obsession with smelling your hands.

Buy now £19.00, Selfridges

Byredo Rose of No Man's Land Hand Cream 30ml

Best for: a little splurge

Inspired by the nurses of WWI, this luxurious scent is a bouquet of fruity notes, from Turkish Rise to raspberry and white amber in the drydown. As well as the fragrance, there's the formula to enjoy. The lightweight balm envelopes skin, leaving hands and knuckles feeling healed and well-cared for.

Buy now £31.00, Liberty of London

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Jar 96g

Best for: repairing worn-out mitts

Fragrance-free and with an almost medical-like concentrated formula, you’ll be in good hands with this ointment from O’Keeffe’s. It’s designed for the hardest worked hands making it particularly helpful for anyone who works outdoors, exposed to the elements all day.

Buy now £8.69, Boots

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Moisturizing Hand Treatment 8-Hour

Best for: dependable classic

Made almost 90 years ago, Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour cream is cherished by fans far and wide. Initially formulated as a balm the young Miss Arden would use on her horses, it’s now a staple for thousands. It’s a deep moisturising treatment, so best to use before bed to allow everything to really sink in.

Buy now £16.80, Amazon

Eucerin Urea Repair Plus 5 per cent Hand Cream 75ml

Best for: reviving extra dry hands

Let dry hands luxuriate in the moisturising milk of Eucerin’s hand cream, which offers up to 48 hours relief from chapped skin. Packed with Urea, Ceramide and other Natural Moisturising Factors (NMFs), it’s clinically proven to offer superb hydration, even after repeated hand-washing.

Buy now £9.00, Boots

Aveeno Daily Moisturising Hand Cream 75ml

Best for: smooth healthy skin

Acting as a hydrating, protective barrier, the formula in this 75ml will keep your hands moisture levels stable for up to 24 hours. It’s made with hand-milled oats and absorbs quickly, leaving behind nothing but smooth and supple skin.

Buy now £5.35, Amazon

Antipodes Joyful Hand and Body Cream

Best for: moisturising cloak

A creamy formula, this doesn’t sink in quite as quickly as some of the others on our list but we’ve included it because it cloaks skin in moisture for hours after application. If you wash your hands often or have dry, chapped skin, this could work wonders for you.

There are three hand and body creams in Antipodes range, and this one is made with avocado oil, wild blackcurrant berry and Hibiscus flowers.

It comes in one size – a pleasingly generous 120ml – and can double up as a body cream too. Use sparingly on hands for long-lasting moisture or apply a generous layer onto excessively dry areas to see healing results fast. Vegetarian society approved.

Buy now £28.99, Lookfantastic

Lanolips Rose Hand Cream Intense

Best for: sensationally nourishing

With chic packaging and a lanolin-rich solution, this tube of rose scented hand cream is a must-have to stash in your makeup kit. The texture is light, yet it penetrates skin deeply, leaving hands and fingers feeling fully nourished.

If you’d like a different scent, try Lemon or the Coconutter Intense.

Buy now £8.99, Cult Beauty

Jo Malone Jasmine & Neroli Luxury Hand & Body Cream

Best for: everyday luxury

The esteemed fragrance house has teamed up with skincare authority Rodin olio lusso on a special collection that will delight beauty fans. The line up includes a gel cleanser, face oil, body oil, face cream and a hand and body cream, all carrying the heavenly scent of jasmine and neroli. Use them together to layer and strengthen the fragrance, or keep a tube of the hand and body cream on your dressing table for those occasions you fancy treating your paws to a real treat.

Buy now £56.00, Selfridges


As an all-round performer we were impressed by Norwegian Formula’s cream; applying it to dry hands is as instantly relieving as downing a bottle of water on a hot summer’s day.

For those who don’t mind spending a bit more, Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream will add a little luxury to your everyday routine.