Dry Hands? A Guide to the Most Nourishing, Moisturizing Products

May 2014
Photo by Richard Burbridge

Eyes may be windows into the soul, but hands often give far more insight into somebody’s personality and their way of life. Those who talk with their hands are said to be warmer, more passionate, and overall, more emotional people. The condition of someone’s hands and their grooming habits can also give some—albeit superficial—insight into one’s organizational habits and their cleanliness.

These days, we’re washing and sanitizing our hands like our lives depend on it—because they do. Naturally, our skin and nails have developed dry exteriors that continually require hydration. Below, we have assembled a collection of products to effectively heal, clean, and renew your tired hands for these next several winter months.

Sanitizing Without Over-Drying

Jake’s House Hand Sanitizer by Henry Rose

There’s no way around it, hand sanitizer is the inevitable must-have product for us all. Henry Rose, the new clean beauty line from Michelle Pfeiffer, has created an effective, non-drying solution to keep hands bacteria-free. The ethically formulated, aloe-based hand sanitizer even meets the ethical approval of the EWG and is infused with the signature Jake’s House scent of Neroli and Peony.

Absorbent, All-Day Hand Creams

OSEA Anti-Aging Hand Cream

This luxurious hand cream is worth singling out because it sinks remarkably quickly into the skin. It’s non-greasy, but still feels protective and velvety smooth. The packaging is vegan, and accessing the cruelty-free formulation is super convenient—it comes in a pump dispenser, so there’s no need to cap and uncap. Keep it in your desk to reapply mid-Zoom conversation without a second thought.

Dr. Barbara Sturm Super Anti-Aging Hand Cream

This emulsifying hand cream will, with regular use, not only effectively hydrate, but also boost elasticity and hydration—especially in colder climates. Several smart and fast-acting ingredients make this a must-have product: daisy flower extract (the anti-aging component in the cream, specifically targeting dark spots to even out the skin tone), quince, mangosteen, and hyaluronic acid (all of which give a plumping effect), as well as aloe vera and prickly pear (providing fundamental hydration). Sturm developed an antioxidant complex in this formulation that supports skin’s natural process of lipid retention that results in the smoother and firmer feeling of hands in the long run.

Black Blossom Hand Serum by Serumkind

Black tulip powder, a compound that helps to strengthen the ceramides of each layer of the skin, is the key ingredient in this formulation; it promotes a stronger skin barrier to protect against harsher climates. This hand serum uses beta glucan to restore and heal damaged skin, which also calms inflammation and irritation. Plus, Serumkind’s product boasts a paraben-free, vegan, cruelty-free, EWG Green 90 percent rating so you’re getting soft hands and making a smaller carbon footprint.

Le Paradis Tahiti Body Balm

We felt this luxurious multi-functioning balm deserved recognition for healing tired, raw hands. Aside from smelling like the tropical vacation we could all use right now, the balm feels super lush and decadent. Infused with healing chamomile, calendula, and monoi oil, it is ideal to apply on hands right after washing, and before bed—to soften and regenerate the palms and cuticles.

Hand Masking

Aveeno Repairing CICA Hand Mask

A time-efficient and potent treatment ideal for sensitive hands that have been abused by colder temperatures and constant hand washing, this mask works in under 10 minutes. The moisturizing gloves contain blends of prebiotic oat and shea butter which soften the drying effects of alcohol-based hand sanitization.

Cuticle Care

NCLA So Rose Petal Rich Cuticle Oil

Here’s an essential step for beautiful hands that helps with over-worked cuticles. Using a cuticle oil daily will soften and alleviate the nail and fingertip area—no doubt affected by frigid temperatures this time of year. NCLA’s is an inexpensive ($18) vegan, cruelty-free cuticle oil that uses nourishing combinations of vitamin E and safflower seed oil.

Nail Strengthening

StimuNail Home Nail Health Device

Clinical research has shown that LED light therapy recharges cells and blood flow while promoting cell regeneration. This three-minute, at-home device supports stronger nails using gentle heat with a massaging vibration and, of course, LED light therapy, similar to a daily workout machine for your nails. It supports nail growth and strength, is proven to increase circulation, and brings nutrients and oxygen to the nail beds. Results usually show at 12 weeks promising stronger and healthier nails.

Related: How to Save Your Skin From All That Washing and Sanitizing