11 hand creams, balms and lotions to keep your skin hydrated this winter

Posted by for Beauty

The colder seasons can only mean one thing – dry hands and tight fingertips. Invest in one of these nourishing hand products pronto before the weather does any more damage.

We bet our bottom dollar there’s a hand and nail cream lurking in your bag. Or your bedside drawer. Or perhaps the glove compartment of your car. 

Just like lip balms, hand creams fall into that ‘not sexy but absolutely essential’ beauty category, especially if you don’t want said body parts to appear crusty, flaky and sore – which seems to be happening more often now that we’re constantly hand washing and sanitising, too.

Plus, hand creams have come a long way. Affordable options can still be picked up with your groceries, but if you want to show off what you’re slathering on, there are plenty of luxe versions available, too.

From cult classics to the latest incarnation of hand creams (read: hand balm/salve), if you’re looking for a new squeeze to get you through the next few months, direct your attention towards these beauties…

Best hand creams, balms and lotions to hydrate your skin

  • Neighbourhood Botanicals I was a Teenage Hand Model


    Vegan, cruelty-free and 100% natural, this ticks all those ethical beauty boxes- and it sinks in like a dream too. Especially good if you suffer from hang nails. And don’t be phased by the fact it’s a balm: it’s not rock solid or waxy and has great slip (meaning it slides across your skin in a non-sticky way). Extra points for the reusable tin.

    Shop Neighbourhood Botanicals I was a Teenage Hand Model at Feelunique, £16

  • Lanolips Coconutter Hand Cream Intense


    This cult hand cream has had an upgrade. The addition of coconut oil means that the thin, vulnerable skin on your hands is kept plump and hydrated – and it also smells a bit like sun cream. The small squeezy tube is brilliantly user-friendly and means you can eke out every last bit. It’s also just the right size for pockets.

    Shop Lanolips Coconutter Hand Cream Intense at Feelunique, £8.99

  • Heath Hand Salve


    Ignore the fact this is from a men’s grooming range. All that means is it comes with a non-greasy guarantee and works extra hard to meet the needs of ‘hands-on’ gents (note it’s called salve, not cream). It also looks dapper and smells fresh – lavender and mint. However, the thing that really lured us in was the presence of Pollustop on the ingredients list. A yeast ferment that creates a breathable film on the skin, it stops pigmentation-prompting pollutants attacking your hand and causing dark spots.

    Shop Heath Hand Salve at Health, £10

  • The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector


    One tube of this is sold every nine seconds and £1 of every sale is donated to the Bio-Bridges mission – an initiative that protects and regenerates habitats. Containing beauty’s latest crush, this hand cream with hemp will help to heal rough patches and reduce redness so you can go forth without gloves once the warmer weather arrives.

    Shop The Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector at The Body Shop, £12

  • Sebamed Intensive Hand Cream


    Central heating and cold weather strip the moisture in your skin like nothing else, altering its pH and leaving hands at risk of dehydration and splitting. This acts as a barrier cream for hands and has the same pH value as your skin (5.5) which means any misdemeanors repair faster. Avocado oil and shea butter also act like cement, filling in any cracks and furrows around fingertips. Plus it’s not sore or eye-wincing if you do get it in an open wound- which let’s face it, does happen.

    Shop Sebamed Intensive Hand Cream at Sebamed, £5.29

  • Green People Manuka & Lemon Tea Tree Hand Cream


    Tea tree is antimicrobial while the addition of sweet orange is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory so this is ideal if you have sensitive skin that can flare up at the mere flip of a lid. Light and non-greasy, it has 91% certified organic ingredients so perfect if you prefer your beauty to be accountable and you’re looking for an organic hand cream. Gentle enough to be used on delicate skin, it’s a good go-to if you have children as it won’t trigger any sensitivities on their vulnerable skin.

    Shop Green People Manuka & Lemon Tea Tree Hand Cream at Green People, £12.50

  • L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream


    When a brand has 38 different hand creams you know they’re onto something. A soothing blend of shea butter, honey, almond extract and coconut oil, this creamy formula sinks into hands but doesn’t leave them slippy so you can still unscrew lids without calling for back-up. Now available in a limited-edition print from the Rifle Paper Co, this has style and substance.

    Shop L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream, £20.56

  • Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Visibly Renew Hand Cream


    Hand cream with SPF is harder to find than you might think - which is annoying as your hands are as exposed to the elements as your face. This affordable option has been keeping hands protected for years but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Keep it in the car because remember, UV rays get through windows too and your hands still need protecting when they’re stuck to the steering wheel.

    Shop Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Visibly Renew Hand Cream at Boots, £5.75

  • Medik8 Hand & Nail Cream Anti-Pollution Hand Cream Velvet-Finish SPF25


    Shielding hands from pollution and UV rays and full of antioxidants that fight free radicals, this keeps skin looking fresh, springy and minus any mottles. Packed with heavyweight hydrator hyaluronic acid, even the iciest temperatures won’t be able to break down your skin barrier. Vegan-friendly and alcohol free, the flower oils contribute to the uplifting scent it leaves behind too. If you wanted an anti-ageing hand cream, this is it.

    Shop Medik8 Ultimate Recovery Intense at Cult Beauty, £37

  • Arket Hand Balm Neroli


    Proving hand creams can look achingly cool, Scandi brand ARKET tops the chart. Containing Swedish canola oil, oat lipids and birch sugar that help to moisturise the skin, the citrus scent is addictive too. A good all-rounder, it looks designer but rings in at a high street price. Ker-ching.

    Shop Arket Hand Balm Neroli at Arket, £7

  • Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Lotion


    The thing with some hand creams is that they smell so strong they overpower your perfume. Not this one. Developed to complement every fragrance in the Jo Malone portfolio, the peppery notes of basil are subtle while the lime gives it an unexpected twist. Infused with coconut oil to keep skin supple, this is a good beauty present for recipients of all ages - just make sure you keep a bottle for yourself.

    Shop Jo Malone London Lime Basil & Mandarin Body & Hand Lotion at lookfantastic, £21

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