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  3. 10 Best Hand Creams for Dry Hands 2023 | UK Dermatologist Reviewed
  • 10 Best Hand Creams for Dry Hands 2023 | UK Dermatologist Reviewed 1
  • 10 Best Hand Creams for Dry Hands 2023 | UK Dermatologist Reviewed 2
  • 10 Best Hand Creams for Dry Hands 2023 | UK Dermatologist Reviewed 3
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10 Best Hand Creams for Dry Hands 2023 | UK Dermatologist Reviewed

The seasons, particularly winter, can be harsh on our hands and cuticles. If you already experience dryness, it's important to have a capable cream to hand before the chill starts to hit. This is why you need to know what you're looking for when shopping for a hand cream suitable for very dry or cracked hands. 


Your hands are just crying out for moisture combined with a protective barrier to keep all that soft and supple goodness locked in. This handy guide will help to give your mitts the treatment they deserve, as well as the top 10 best hand creams available on Amazon and John Lewis, from brands like Aveeno and Kiehl's. Moreover, we have partnered with Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu for reviewing the article so that we can deliver you the best information.

Last updated 07/06/2023
Felipe Partarrieu
Expert
Dermatologist
Felipe Partarrieu

Felipe Partarrieu is a dermatologist, who is GMC registered with a full licence to practise in the UK. Specialising in cosmeceuticals, facial skin care, and hair disorders, we worked with Felipe to bring you top quality information to help you make informed buying decisions and understand more about what goes onto your skin.

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Table of Contents

With Specialist Consultation From Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

With Specialist Consultation From Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Felipe Partarrieu is a final year dermatology resident, who is GMC registered with a full licence to practise in the UK. Specialising in cosmeceuticals, facial skin care, and hair disorders, we worked with Felipe to bring you top quality information to help you make informed buying decisions and understand more about what goes onto your skin.

How to Choose a Hand Cream for Dry Hands in the UK

Key Points to Consider
  1. For the Softest Skin, Choose a Cream That Includes Humectants
  2. If You Have Irritable Skin, Avoid Parfum, Parabens and Phthalates
  3. Avoid Beeswax or Urea If You Want a Product That's Vegan and Cruelty-Free
  4. For the Most Comfortable Cream, Opt for a Non-Greasy Formula
  5. Water-Resistant Creams Are Best for All-Round Protection
1

Select Ingredients That Improve Skin Softness as Well as Retains Moisture

Select Ingredients That Improve Skin Softness as Well as Retains Moisture

For Soft, Supple Hands, Seek Out Ceramides and Nourishing Butters Like Shea and Cocoa Seed

Commonly used in creams for dry skin, shea butter is a moisturising superstar. It has also been found in studies to be anti-inflammatory, effective on acne whilst delivering anti-ageing fatty acids into skin. Shea butter has a high concentration of vitamins and fatty acids and has been used for centuries.

However, it's not just the well-known shea butter that has exceptional moisturising qualities. Ceramides are also incredibly valuable ingredients, creating a protective barrier that locks in moisture and protects the skin. 

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

The use of shea butter, derived from the African tree Vitellaria paradoxa in skincare is attributed to its hydrating qualities and anti-aging effect. Shea butter contains fatty acids, allantoin, vitamins E, A, and D, that have been shown to improve the skin barrier, helping to hydrate, plump, and protect the skin. 


It also contains phenolic components that exert antioxidant effects. Research shows that shea butter extract reduces the levels of inflammatory molecules in the skin in a dose-dependent manner and to a significant degree.

To Promote Skin Elasticity, Look For Antioxidant-Rich Oils Such as Sunflower, Jojoba Seed and Sweet Almond

Jojoba seed oil has long been used as a natural remedy to all types of ailments and can be applied to the skin. It is rich in nutrients, has anti-aging qualities. Compounds in jojoba seed oil boost skin health, promote elasticity and helps with regeneration and dryness.


There are many other fatty and essential oils that are perfect for dry skin, and therefore widely used in hand creams. Cranberry, sunflower and hemp seed oils, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, fragonia oil and avocado oil are some of the most effective and all of them feature in our recommended list.

Humectants Like Glycerin and Urea and Emollients Like Potassium Lactate Are Perfect for Preventing Moisture Loss

Glycerin is a humectant, which means it can pull water into the outer layer of your skin from deeper levels, and can also pull water from the air in humid environments. It can also slow the evaporation of moisture from your skin, a lifesaver during a harsh winter and is even effective on stubborn spots such as callouses. 


Another humectant widely used in skincare is urea, which is used to treat dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. This is mainly due to its ability in helping skin maintain a healthy moisture balance and bringing much-needed relief to dry areas. Unfortunately, not all glycerin is vegan, so many products containing urea will not be vegan-friendly. However, potassium lactate is a vegan-friendly emollient that's great for psoriasis and eczema.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Humectants are substances, both natural and man-made, that attract moisture when applied to the skin. In most cases, humectants draw water from the dermis (the middle layer of the skin) into the epidermis. When relative air humidity is higher than 70% (such as after a rainy day, in tropical climates, or a steam-filled room), humectants can draw water vapour from the surrounding air. 


Glycerin, besides being one of the best humectants around, also helps the skin to shield itself from environmental sources of irritation and enhances the penetration of other active ingredients into the skin’s uppermost layers.

Vitamin E Can Reduce Dryness, While Niacinamide Strengthens the Skin’s Protective Barrier and Zinc Oxide Soothes Irritation

Alongside butters, essential oils and humectants there are other vitamins and beneficial ingredients worth looking for in a hand cream. Vitamin E can be found in soybean oil, which means it's a great vegan-friendly option for combating eczema and psoriasis.  


Niacinamide boosts the effectiveness of a cream, promoting keratin growth in your skin which will continue to protect your hands long after application. Another great protecting agent is zinc oxide, which helps your skin to heal while also providing vital UV protection to avoid further damage. 


If hydration is your priority, try our Best Moisturisers for Dry Skin!

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Skin-soothing ingredients are a special group that works to visibly calm signs of irritation or sensitivity when applied to the skin. Most of them are plant-derived and are suitable for all skin types


Some naturally-derived ingredients such as aloe vera and tea tree oil have proven anti-inflammatory properties on sensitive skin so that they might offer some relief. Other ingredients with scientifically-proven soothing capacity include allatoin, bisabolol, colloidal oat, and vitamins like panthenol and niacinamide.

2

If You Have Extremely Dry Skin, Avoid Potential Irritants Like Parfum, Parabens and Phthalates

If You Have Extremely Dry Skin, Avoid Potential Irritants Like Parfum, Parabens and Phthalates

One in three people experience symptoms due to sensitivity to artificial fragrances and parfum. Artificial perfumes are allergens which means they can irritate the skin. If you choose to avoid parfum, fragrance-free creams are an ideal choice for dry skin. If you don't want to go without, choose scents from minimally processed natural materials.


You may also want to avoid parabens, especially if you have sensitive skin or eczema, as they can cause irritation and weaken the health of your skin. Phthalates are another commonly used ingredient linked to negative health impacts. Excessive use of these ingredients can cause brittle, cracked and painful skin which can develop into more serious problems. Creams avoiding irritants will be the most effective at treating dry skin conditions


For all-natural ingredients, try our Best Natural Hand Creams!

3

Vegans Should Look For a Cruelty-Free Formula and Avoid Animal-Derived Ingredients Like Beeswax or Urea

Vegans Should Look For a Cruelty-Free Formula and Avoid Animal-Derived Ingredients Like Beeswax or Urea

If you're looking for a hand cream that offers a vegan and cruelty-free formula, there are a few key ingredients you'll want to avoid. The most obvious is beeswax. Depending on your feelings on beekeeping, you might not see beeswax as a problem. Some vegans don't mind it, since it's extraction from the hive doesn't necessarily harm the bees. However, some beekeeping practices are highly unethical, and if you're against the factory farming of bees, beeswax is best avoided.


There is also some debate around urea and how appropriate it is for vegan and cruelty-free shoppers. Some products which contain urea are advertised as cruelty-free, but depending on how the urea was sourced, this might not necessarily be the case. Keep an eye out for vegan and cruelty-free labels as an indicator, but if you're unsure, avoiding this ingredient can save you the moral dilemma!

4

Go For a Non-greasy Formula That Will Sink Into Your Skin and Won't Feel Uncomfortable

Go For a Non-greasy Formula That Will Sink Into Your Skin and Won't Feel Uncomfortable

It's important to know how the cream sits on the skin because a greasy or powdery texture can really affect comfort levels. Some people don't mind feeling a film on their hands whilst others are very sensitive to it. However a protective layer is certainly needed to take care of hands, so aim for one that sinks into the skin and isn't too noticeable.


Dry hands need a lot of moisturisation but it's still necessary to get the balance right. Manual workers or those that work outside need the highest level of care, as do people with eczema or psoriasis. On the other hand, those with moderately dry skin might not need quite as much and may find some options too heavy or greasy.

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

Some hand creams are loaded with greasy ingredients or chemicals, like glycerin and synthetic thickening agents such as triglycerides or palmitates. Therefore, depending on the formulation, greasy creams are not necessarily more hydrating than creams that don't leave a greasy residue.


If your hands are really dry, it's recommended to apply a base of non-greasy moisturiser under a layer of "thicker" moisturisers at night/before bed when your not using your hands actively, so the cream absorbs better.

5

For Ultimate Protection, Pick a Water-Resistant Cream That Doesn’t Wash Off Easily

For Ultimate Protection, Pick a Water-Resistant Cream That Doesn’t Wash Off Easily

Hand creams made for all skin types may be nicely scented and feel good, but for your hands to be really protected your cream needs to be water-resistant. This is particularly useful for those who work outside or in very 'hands-on' jobs. 


A glove-like barrier will allow the cream to withstand getting wet, dryness of the air, amongst other environmental factors such as pollution. These types are great economically, m as it means you're not running out too quickly from constant reapplication!


For the best all round hand care, check out our Best Hand Soaps for Dry Skin!

Felipe Partarrieu
Dermatologist Felipe Partarrieu

People that need to wash their hands frequently should use "barrier creams" as part of their routine. Protective barrier creams are products designed to provide a protective coating on the skin to protect against workplace irritants and contaminants. 


These hand creams usually contain silicone derivatives, such as dimethicone, which are resistant through four to six washings. They also contain petrolatum and other oily ingredients that make them "insoluble" in water.

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10 Best Hand Creams for Dry Skin in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
Popularity
Products
Image
Price
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Aesop

Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm

Aesop Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm 1枚目

£21.00

High

A Hardcore, Luxurious Hand Balm With Vetiver Root and Bitter Orange Oil

2

Beauty Kitchen

Organic Vegan Hand & Body Lotion

Beauty Kitchen Organic Vegan Hand & Body Lotion  1枚目

£8.72

Mid

A Sustainable Lotion That's Vegan and Cruelty-Free

3

Bulldog

Original Hand Cream

Bulldog Original Hand Cream 1枚目

£3.35

Low

A Naturally Powered Cream From a World Renowned Brand

4

Le Labo

HAND POMADE

Le Labo HAND POMADE 1枚目

£19.00

High Mid

Avoid Irritants With This Aromatic Pomade

5

Lavera

Intensive Care Hand Cream

Lavera Intensive Care Hand Cream  1枚目

£4.45

Low Mid

Intensive Skin Care With Natural Ingredients

6

Morris & Co

Hand Cream

Morris & Co Hand Cream 1枚目

£9.19

Mid

An Ornate Design That Makes a Great Gift

7

O'Keeffe's

Working Hands

O'Keeffe's Working Hands 1枚目

£9.00

Mid

A Reliable Skin Saver Especially for Manual Workers

8

La Roche-Posay

Cicaplast Hand Repair Cream

La Roche-Posay  Cicaplast Hand Repair Cream 1枚目

£5.60

Low Mid

Helps Repair the Skin's Protective Barrier

9

Avène

Cicalfate Restorative Hand Cream

Avène Cicalfate Restorative Hand Cream 1枚目

£9.95

Mid

Concentrated Hardworking Formula for Everyday Use

10

CeraVe

Reparative Hand Cream

CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream 1枚目

£6.00

Low Mid

Clinically Approved Dermatological Skincare

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

AesopReverence Aromatique Hand Balm

Reverence Aromatique Hand Balm Image 1
Source:aesop.com
Reference price
£21.00
High
Reference price
£21.00
High

A Hardcore, Luxurious Hand Balm With Vetiver Root and Bitter Orange Oil

This rich hand balm by Aesop forms a glove-like barrier to protect the hands while still allowing the skin to absorb moisture from the air. Reverence hand balm is packed with nourishing ingredients such as tocopherol (vitamin E) and shea butter to keep your hands fortified in urban environments.


Additionally, other ingredients like potassium lactate help to restore the skin's natural moisture whilst the balm's woody and earthy fragrance make it the perfect unisex option. This balm is available in 75 ml or 500 ml if you like to stay well-stocked at home.

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No.2

Beauty KitchenOrganic Vegan Hand & Body Lotion

Reference price
£8.72
Mid

A Sustainable Lotion That's Vegan and Cruelty-Free

A gorgeously nourishing hand lotion made with sustainable ingredients. The sustainability extends, too, to the brand's packaging, opting for metals and cardboards over plastic wherever possible.


If you've got sensitive skin, the unscented option would be great for you, but if you'd prefer a particular scent, you're spoilt for choice with mint, botanical, and citrus. Not only that, but all ingredients are vegan and cruelty-free!

No.3

BulldogOriginal Hand Cream

Original Hand Cream Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£3.35
Low
Reference price
£3.35
Low

A Naturally Powered Cream From a World Renowned Brand

This cream is ideal for sensitive and extremely dry hands. Bulldog's formula is free from artificial colours and synthetic fragrance, so there are no nasty irritants to harm your skin. 


It's also non-greasy and fast-absorbing, meaning it is gentle and comfortable on the skin. This cream may help the most sensitive and dry hands while still maintaining a formula that packs a punch.

No.4

Le LaboHAND POMADE

Reference price
£19.00
High Mid
Reference price
£19.00
High Mid

Avoid Irritants With This Aromatic Pomade

This pomade by Le Labo is a plant-powered moisturiser that will keep your skin free of irritants. Centred around natural ingredients, the formula is paraben-free, phthalate-free and artificial colorant-free.


Although allergen-free products tend to remain unscented, even the most sensitive skin can be indulged by the fragrance of this basil, citrus, and verbena pomade. 

No.5

LaveraIntensive Care Hand Cream

Intensive Care Hand Cream  Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£4.45
Low Mid
Reference price
£4.45
Low Mid

Intensive Skin Care With Natural Ingredients

This all-natural formula is designed for intensive sin care for dry skin. The texture is light and non-greasy, making it a perfect choice to combat eczema and psoriasis, as it will absorb fast and won't feel heavy and irritating on your skin. 


The German company also prides itself on using exclusively vegan and organic ingredients, so this product (as well as all the others in their range) if perfect if you're looking for a cruelty-free option.

No.6

Morris & CoHand Cream

Hand Cream Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£9.19
Mid
Reference price
£9.19
Mid

An Ornate Design That Makes a Great Gift

The chic choice, this cream is made with many beneficial ingredients including shea butter, jojoba oil, aloe vera and cocoa butter for intensely nourished skin. With the brand avoiding animal products and irritants, it's vegan and skin-friendly. 


Another major draw is its fresh, subtle and sophisticated scent which will make you want to use it again and again. The scent of sandalwood, patchouli and amber makes this a significantly elegant cream that also gets the job done.

No.7

O'Keeffe'sWorking Hands

Reference price
£9.00
Mid

A Reliable Skin Saver Especially for Manual Workers

This cream was developed especially for builders, gardeners, nurses, and those suffering from severely dry, cracked hands. Oil and fragrance-free with a high concentration of glycerin, this cream draws in and retains moisture to heal and hydrate.


Created by rancher Bill O' Keeffe and his daughter Tara, a pharmacist, Working Hands is made totally in the US. O'Keeffe's is still a family-owned business after twenty years and is now a household name.

No.8

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Hand Repair Cream

Cicaplast Hand Repair Cream Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£5.60
Low Mid

Helps Repair the Skin's Protective Barrier

Cicaplast creates a soft glove-like barrier, which is effective whilst being non-greasy. It contains niacinamide and a high concentration of glycerin which leaves the skin feeling smooth and regenerated.


Containing no parabens, using minimal fragrance and being non-comedogenic makes it a perfect choice for sensitive or drier skin.

No.9

AvèneCicalfate Restorative Hand Cream

Cicalfate Restorative Hand Cream Image 1
Source:boots.com
Reference price
£9.95
Mid
Reference price
£9.95
Mid

Concentrated Hardworking Formula for Everyday Use

Avène's Cicalfate restorative hand cream uses glycerin and emollients to help lock in moisture. Its concentrated formula helps chapped hands to heal and it's great value at a low price.


It's also great for sensitive skin, with a formula that's irritant-free. However, this product does contain beeswax, which is best avoided if you are looking for a hand cream that's 100% cruelty-free.

No.10

CeraVeReparative Hand Cream

Reparative Hand Cream Image 1
Source:boots.com
Reference price
£6.00
Low Mid
Reference price
£6.00
Low Mid

Clinically Approved Dermatological Skincare

Formulated for very dry or rough hands, it contains three types of ceramide and other natural moisturising factors. It boasts immediate and long-lasting relief which is useful for use at work or other activities.


The formula for this product, and most CeraVe products in the UK, is technically vegan. However, the brand has been criticised for testing on animals, so although the ingredients are vegan, the product may not necessarily be cruelty-free.

Top 5 Hand Creams for Dry Hands

No. 1: AesopReverence Aromatique Hand Balm

No. 2: Beauty KitchenOrganic Vegan Hand & Body Lotion

No. 3: BulldogOriginal Hand Cream

No. 4: Le LaboHAND POMADE

No. 5: LaveraIntensive Care Hand Cream

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The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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