Best hand lotion

Skin Treatments

When applying hand lotion, put a small drop on the top of your hand and massage in circles, then move to the palm — a little goes a long way.

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Which hand lotions are best?

Dry, cracked skin can be painful, especially if you reside in a dry climate. If you’re in a profession that requires you to wash your hands frequently or use harsh chemicals, your skin can become irritated. Hand lotion is available in a variety of scents and ingredients to help soothe skin. 

Ingredients like vitamin E, aloe and beeswax can help to lock in and restore moisture to your hands. If you’re looking for an intensely moisturizing, high-quality hand lotion, L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is a super choice.

What to know before you buy a hand lotion

Scented hand lotion

Hand lotion is available in a multitude of earthy, fruity and floral scents. Fruity scents like strawberry and other berry notes are becoming popular due to their sweet smell. Nutty and creamy notes like vanilla and honey provide nutrition and deep hydration. Aromatherapy and fresh notes like green tea and bergamot supply a clean and rejuvenated feeling. 

It’s worth noting that scents can sometimes be overwhelming. If you have sensitive skin, are allergic to scents or simply don’t prefer scents, hand lotions are also available unscented and don’t contain harsh chemicals.  

Hand lotion thickness

Texture often determines a hand lotion’s level of hydration. Thin hand lotions absorb into skin easily but don’t provide as much hydration. Thin hand lotions are perfect if you’re looking to keep your skin hydrated without applying daily and your skin isn’t dry or cracked. Thicker hand lotion takes longer to absorb because it delivers more hydration. These lotions may need to be applied more than once daily to help retain moisture and prevent skin from cracking. 

Hand lotion ingredients

Hand lotions can be made with many ingredients, and some are specifically used to target different conditions. Vitamin E is commonly used to help with repairing and moisturizing skin’s barrier. It also protects your skin from UV rays. If you’re looking for a hand lotion that provides moisture for a long period of time, find lotions with shea or cocoa butter. These contain vitamins A and E that also help strengthen the skin barrier. For dry and cracked skin, look for hand lotions with active ingredient hyaluronic acid.  

What to look for in a quality hand lotion

Pump vs. tube

Most hand lotions come in squeeze tubes or pump dispensers. Squeeze tubes eliminate the lotion’s exposure to air and light, both of which can disintegrate active ingredients. A large benefit of squeeze tubes is that it’s easier to get close to every last drop because you can roll it up. Pump dispensers typically contain thinner hand lotions. This packaging protects active ingredients more than squeeze tubes but it’s harder to get all of the lotion out.

Hand lotion volume

The most popular hand lotion sizes are 1-ounce tubes and 16-ounce bottles. If you’re on the go a lot or are looking for a hand lotion for work, 1-ounce tubes are perfect because of their small size. Larger containers provide a better value, however. 

How much you can expect to spend on hand lotion

Hand lotions typically vary in price by ounce. Inexpensive lotions are sold anywhere between $0.25-$2. Mid-range hand lotions are priced $3-$7, and high-end lotions are $7-$30. Mid-range lotions include more active ingredients, like SPF protection. High-end hand lotions offer the most active ingredients for moisturizing, SPF protection and anti-aging protection. 

Hand lotion FAQ

How often should I apply hand lotion? 

A. This simply depends on the dryness of your skin. If you have dry, cracked hands, you should apply hand lotion at least twice a day. You’ll also want to apply hand lotion more than once a day if you wash your hands a lot. Thinner lotions may require more application because they absorb into the skin quickly. 

Can you eat after using hand lotion?

A. Yes, you can eat after applying hand lotion, but your food may not taste good. It isn’t recommended to eat after application if your hand lotion is medicated, because it contains ingredients that can potentially cause more symptoms. 

Can bacteria live in hand lotion?

A. Yes, bacteria can live in hand lotion. However, some lotions are made with ingredients that protect against bacteria. If you’re purchasing hand lotion from a vendor, it’s always a good idea to ask if they have a preservative. 

What are the best hand lotions to buy?

Top hand lotion

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

What you need to know: This hand lotion is perfect if you have dry skin or are looking for a product that keeps skin soft.

What you’ll love: Containing 20% organic shea butter, this luscious hand lotion hydrates the driest skin for hours and doesn’t leave an oily residue. 

What you should consider: It’s on the higher end of the price scale. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Top hand lotion for the money

Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream

Gold Bond Ultimate Intensive Healing Hand Cream

What you need to know: Sold at an affordable price, Gold Bond hand lotion is a gentle choice for those with sensitive skin. 

What you’ll love: This hand lotion keeps hands moisturized after washing, and with hypoallergenic ingredients and non-greasy application, it effectively restores dry skin.

What you should consider: Packaging may be defective. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


Worth checking out

Burt's Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream

Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream

What you need to know: This is the ultimate unscented hand lotion for dry skin.

What you’ll love: Its highly effective formula with baobab oil hydrates every crack to naturally moisturize skin. 

What you should consider: Some packaging doesn’t contain a protective seal.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Tessa Schaal writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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