The Best Hand Creams to Keep Dry Skin at Bay

You’ve been slathering on Purell for a year now—it’s time for a decadent dose of moisture.

Animation by Tilden Bissell for W magazine.

There are few things more satisfying than using a really fancy hand cream, especially with the constant washing and sanitizing that has become routine during the pandemic. If you’re looking to add a little luxury to your post-soap routine, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites, including an ayurvedic cream that smells like roses, a super moisturizing soufflé that’s sold out almost everywhere, and a highly-coveted designer hand cream. There’s something here for everyone.

The Editors’ Favorite

You’ve probably heard about Augustinus Bader's The Cream ad nauseum, but there’s a reason this brand gets so much attention. Launched in 2020, their hand treatment contains their signature amino acid and vitamin packed TCF8 formula, which protects against aging, pollution, and more.

An Ayurvedic Dream

Steeped in ayurvedic traditions, Ranavat’s hand cream smells better than a bouquet of red roses, and is packed with sesame and sweet almond oils to hydrate your hands.

Vacation in a Bottle

You know about Oribe’s high end hair products. Turns out they make a pretty decent hand cream as well. Made with sweet almond, glycerin and shea butter and infused with their chic Côte d’Azur scent, it provides a heavy dose of moisture to even the roughest of winter hands.

For the Fragrance Snob

With a delicate, herbal citrus scent that will win over the most discerning of palettes—i.e. my fragrance snob best friend—54 Thrones has developed a cult following for their uber-hydrating Ghanian Baobab and Egyptian Jojoba-packed beauty butters. The luxe gold tube it comes in? 10 out of 10.

The Iconic Standby

Chanel’s iconic hand cream is on plenty of “Best Of” lists for good reason. Why not take its extra rich version for a spin?

The Sensitive Skin Healer

For those who want zero fragrance at all but don’t want to sacrifice aesthetics, Necessaire’s fragrance-free, peptide-packed offering is safe for sensitive skin, and has chic packaging to boot.

For Your Bedside Table

This cult favorite (read: constantly sold out) soufflé is technically for your whole body, but it’s thick enough to stand in as an overnight hand mask.

A Chic French Créme

The pinnacle of French apothecary chic, Buly’s extra rich hand cream has antibacterial properties from tea tree, manuka and niaouli oil and seriously soothes hands thanks to lemongrass, geranium and sweet orange extracts.

An Ultra-Thick Balm

Packed with botanicals popular in Chinese Medicine like astragalus, honeysuckle, and licorice and infused with a woodsy scent thanks to hinoki, fir, holy basil, and spruce, this balm-like treatment is deeply reparative and has antimicrobial properties.

The Best Scent

This baby pink tube from Grown Alchemist is one of the hand creams I reach for most frequently—with cactus flower, cedarwood, and tri-hyaluronan complex, it heals and calms hands and has a wonderfully unique scent.

A Light Option for Summer

Not looking for a super rich moisturizer? This light serum with SpaRitual’s signature Citrus Cardamom scent has won countless awards and is currently sold out—hop on the waitlist now.

To Keep in Your Purse

Pair this with one of Byredo’s uber-chic hand sanitizers and keep both in your purse at all times—it’ll make the post-grocery-shopping wipe-down feel like an elegant ritual.