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 cleaning your teeth before bedtime.
The delicate skin on your hands is where you usually see the first signs of ageing and 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 to do is 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.
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
Norwegian Formula is specifically designed to soothe hands, knuckles and fingers in conditions that make 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.
Also available on Amazon (£3 for 75ml)
Nursem Ultra-Caring Hand Cream
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.
The hard working cream helps to revive the skin on overwashed hands, helping to keep them healthy and crack-free. It’s the skincare hero we’ve all needed these past months.
Clarins Hand and Nail Treatment Cream 100ml
Loved by beauty editors everywhere, Clarins has nailed hand care in this cream. 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.
Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm 75ml
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.
Eucerin Urea Repair Plus 5 per cent Hand Cream 75ml
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.
£6.75 | Boots *on sale from £9
Also available on Amazon (£6.75)
O’Keeffe's Working Hands Jar 96g
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.
Shop all hand creams at Boots – many are on special offer
L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream 150ml
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.
Aveeno Daily Moisturising Hand Cream 75ml
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.
Antipodes Joyful Hand and Body Cream
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.
Lanolips Rose Hand Cream Intense
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.
Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Moisturizing Hand Treatment 8-Hour
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.
£17.16 | Amazon *On sale from £27
Bjork & Berries Herbalist Hand Cream 50ml
Even if you had no idea this brand was Scandinavian you would be able to tell at a glance - that clean packaging just screams Nordic chic. It's not all just show though, the formula inside is deeply nourishing. While that's great for your parched skin, it does means you need to give it a little longer to sink in. Your patience will pay off in the form of healthy and moisturised hands with a faintly herbal floral scent.
TONYMOLY Panda's Dream Hand Cream
K-Beauty hero TonyMoly is here with another irresistibly packaged wonder product. This time the panda is star of the show, hiding a mildly scented cream packed with Manuka honey and bamboo sap.
The thick-looking cream glides easily onto skin and disappears straight away – provided you use sparingly, of course. Anoint knuckles and drier areas with a more generous slather to hydrate properly.
Why the panda? We can only guess the brand wanted to illustrate the strong yet gentle properties of its dream hand cream. Either way, it makes a cheerful desk companion, that’s for sure.
Laura Mercier Ambre Vanille Hand Cream
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.
Just be prepared for a few funny looks on account of your newfound obsession with smelling your hands.
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.