Heal Dry, Cracked Winter Skin With These Heavy-Duty Hand Creams

Our hands can become dry and chapped any time of the year, but winter brings unique challenges due to the cold temperatures, blowing wind, and low humidity indoors and out. According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Susan Van Dyke, with whom The Zoe Report spoke for this article, the best hand creams for winter combat dryness by working to reduce the amount of water that's been lost from your skin. Equally important in a good hand cream is that absorbs quickly: "A greasy coating on your hands in not aesthetically acceptable. You don’t want slippery or oily hands," the expert adds. Finally, Dr. Van Dyke says that heavily fragranced creams are "lovely, but not great for dry, winter hands," because too much perfume can cause irritation and stinging for people with sensitive and/or very dry hands. If that's you, stick to fragrance-free lotions instead.

To prevent dry, cracked hands or rashes, apply your hand cream frequently throughout the day, ideally after every time you wash your hands. When using hand sanitizer, you should also apply moisturizer afterwards. Just wait for it to fully dry first, advises the American Academy of Dermatology.

With those tips in mind, scroll on to shop five of the best hand creams for dry, winter skin — all conveniently available on Amazon.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

The Overall Best Hand Cream For Winter

La Roche-Posay's Cicaplast Hand Cream has everything our dry, cracked hands could desire in a lotion: it's hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, rich but not greasy, and is full of moisturizing ingredients, including Dr. Van Dyke's favorite, shea butter, which she calls "one of the best moisturizers for hands." She explains that shea butter "is absorbed rapidly, inhibits water loss, and as a bonus, has some anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties." This paraben-free lotion also contains niacinamide to further soothe dry, irritated skin, as well as hydrating glycerin.

The Doctor’s Pick

"My hands-down favorite [hand cream] is Crepe Erase Anti-Aging Hand Repair Treatment," says Dr. Van Dyke. "I wash my hands dozens of times and day and Crepe Erase gives my hands the care they need, especially in the winter." It contains two of the dermatologist's favorite ingredients: shea butter and squalane. Squalane, Dr. Van Dyke explains, is an excellent emollient for smoothing your skin, combatting roughness, and fighting water loss. While this particular version is unscented, note that it does come in a few scents, like Original Citrus, Lavender Honey, Linden Blossom, and Vanilla Rose, if your skin can handle added fragrance.

The Fan Favorite

Over 16,000 Amazon reviewers have awarded O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Cream a five-star rating (and over 2,500 went out of their way to leave a glowing review). You only need a small dab of this heavy-duty cream to heal and nourish even the most severely cracked, dried-out hands. Made with the humectants glycerin and urea, the rich formula is fragrance-free and safe for diabetics. As a bonus, it's sold in a two-pack for less than $15, so you'll be set for ages (but it also comes in a jar if you prefer).

The Best Cream For Your Hands & Body

For a rich, winter-friendly lotion you can use from your neck to your toes, try this Pre de Provence Body Butter. It's a whipped, unscented body cream made with nourishing ingredients like shea butter, grapeseed oil, and sunflower seed oil, but it'll work beautifully on dry hands, too. Plus, this huge, 16.9-ounce tub will probably get you through the entire winter.

The Best Scented Hand Cream For Winter

If you have sensitive, easily irritated skin, Dr. Van Dyke says it's best to avoid scented products. But if you don't have an issue with added fragrance, check out this lovely scented hand cream from EDEN BodyWorks, a Black-owned, woman-owned business. Their nourishing Coconut Shea Body Cares Hand Cream is another shea butter-based hand cream (notice a theme here?), and it also contains vitamin E, coconut, mango seed butter, jojoba, honey, and sweet almond oil (aka all of the most delicious, nourishing ingredients you could want in a hand cream). It doesn't leave your hands feeling greasy or oily, either.


Dr. Susan Van Dyke, a board-certified dermatologist.