Best hand cream: the top 5 hand creams on the market right now

The best hand cream can help heal your skin even after extensive hand washing and sanitising. This is our roundup of wonderfully potent products

best hand cream
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Everyone deserves to have the best hand cream for them, especially in recent times where we've been hand sanitising and washing our hands likely more than ever before. That combined with the fact that we're going into winter means that our hands may need a little heavy duty help in a bid to kiss sore, chapped skin goodbye. 

We’ve rounded up our favourite five hand creams that are wonderfully potent and fine for frequent use, on most skin types. Full of nourishing oils (and many more skin health boosters for that matter) to help with healing and reducing the appearance of scars too – whether you’re after something for slightly dry hands, a hand cream to combat wrinkles or even to ease eczema – you’ll be able to invest in one of these star products. 

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Best hand creams on the market

Kiehls Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

1. Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Best hand cream for sore hands: a classic and potent hand salve that works

Consistency: balm
Volume: 75ml/150ml
Star ingredient: Olive oils
Reasons to buy
+Heavy duty+All-day relief and protection+A little goes a long way 
Reasons to avoid
-Leaves a little residue to form the 'glove-like' protection

Kiehl's is renowned for superstar skincare and this Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is the perfect example of this brand's expertise, hence why it's our number one hand cream. The formula is packed with botanical oils and natural wax from olives which is – it's in the name – the ultimate conditioning treatment for sore hands that have been subjected to harsh elements, cleaning products, industrial work and so on. This is a heavy-duty treatment which will sooth and protect sore hands by drawing moisture into the skin, helping it form a glove-like barrier to minimise moisture loss.

Liz Earle Superskin™ Hand Serum

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

2. Liz Earle Superskin™ Hand Serum

Best hand cream for ageing hands: nourishing and remarkably effective on sun and age spots

Consistency: serum
Volume: 75ml
Star ingredient: Organic rosehip oil
Reasons to buy
+Delicate fragrance+Full of natural ingredients+Formulated for mature skin
Reasons to avoid
-More pricey

Supercharge your hands with this Liz Earle hand serum. It's rich in antioxidants, Omega-3 and GLA (Gamma Linolenic Acid) which is used to treat atopic skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis. So what makes this gem of a product perfect to reduce signs of ageing on your hands, means that it's also hugely potent and restorative for very dry hands. 

The formula is both very natural and powerful – from organic rosehip oil (hugely nourishing) to borage seed oil (high GLA) and other miracle active ingredients – there is a lot to love about this hand cream.

O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream

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3. O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream

Best hand cream for cracked skin: formulated for natural healing

Consistency: balm
Volume: 90ml
Star ingredient: Glycerine
Reasons to buy
+Offers quick relief for cracked skin+Helps prevent further moisture loss+Economical – a little goes a long way
Reasons to avoid
-May be too greasy for some

Cracked skin comes with over washing or working with particularly harsh ingredients that you'll usually find in generic cleaning products. With many of us using hand sanitiser a go go where alcohol is the main ingredient, you may have found yourself with cracked skin.

O'Keeffe's Working Hands Cream is a concentrated balm that's designed for extremely dry, painful cracked skin on hands. It offers immediate relief by instantly hydrating the skin with its water and glycerine formula. This cream will also leave a protective barrier over the skin after use which helps to trap the moisture on a cell level and stop repeat occurrences aka giving you sweet relief from sore chapped skin on your hands. 

Dr Hauschka Hand Cream, 50ml

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

4. Dr Hauschka Hand Cream

Best hand cream for dry hands: luxurious and effective

Consistency: lotion
Volume: 50ml
Start ingredient: Bryophyllum extracts
Reasons to buy
+Non-greasy formula+Great on ageing skin too+Smells amazing+Quick absorbing
Reasons to avoid
-More expensive price point

This luxurious hand cream by Dr Hauschka acts fast on hydrating and regenerating the skin to relive dry hands. Its non-greasy formula is packed with medicinal plant extracts – Bryophyllum extracts –, nourishing oils and waxes (all ethically sourced from certified organic cultivation methods) so this unique blend is sure to bring harmony to your hands and lift your spirits in the process. 

L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hands Hand & Nail Care Cream

(Image credit: John Lewis & Partners)

5. L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hands Hand & Nail Care Cream

Best hand cream for nails: care for both your hands and your cuticles!

Consistency: cream
Volume: 75ml
Star ingredient: Almond oil
Reasons to buy
+Silky smooth formula+Fresh scent+Easily absorbed 
Reasons to avoid
-May not be strong enough for very dry hands

We can't forget about our nails in all of this can we? With frequent washing and the like, nails can dry out and cuticles can become sore too so this is our favourite pick to nourish nails in the process of moisturising your hands.

L'Occitane Almond Delicious Hands, Hand & Nail Care Cream is a beautiful silky hand cream that is packed with almond milk for the ultimate nourishing experience. The non-greasy formula means it will be a dream to apply throughout the day, whenever you need a moisture hit. L'Occitane is a lovely and trusted brand that celebrates natural ingredients, so you can feel safe in knowledge when purchasing any of their products that this is a company which puts people and the environment first.

Choosing the best hand cream for you

When picking from the best hand creams on the market you need to consider both your and your skin's needs:

Strength and consistency 

The strength of a hand cream can usually be linked to its consistency. So if you are suffering from dry and chapped hands you will need a heavy duty balmy number like our number one hand cream: Khiel's, which will envelop your hands and leave a little residue, rather than a light cream that will rapidly absorb into the skin.


Fragrance is important and comes down to personal preference, however, it's worth noting that if you have sore and sensitive skin on your hands then something with a strong fragrance may be too harsh. 


Formula is paramount when looking for a suitable hand cream. Natural oils work wonders on dry hands and are important in healing skin also. Most of the products listed above stay fairly close to nature, but do look out for any ingredients that you are sensitive to such as alcohol which can be an irritant to some.

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Camille Dubuis-Welch
Camille Dubuis-Welch

Camille is Digital Editor at and joined the team in January 2020. As an interior design aficionado, when she’s not developing evergreen content and furiously researching keywords, she is most definitely finding new ways to spruce up her rented space, usually involving a houseplant or two. She loves the challenge that comes with making a room look stylish and feel homely, and her ultimate goal is to renovate the house of dreams, somewhere marvellously sunny with a wild and lavish garden, of course.