Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written about some essential skin-care products for colder months, the best products for easing eczema flare-ups in winter, plus the best facial moisturizers for dry skin, here, we perused the pages of Amazon’s beauty section to find the most trustworthy hand creams for soothing cracked, itchy winter skin. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
The Best Hand Cream for Cracked Skin
4.6 stars, 7,873 reviews
“Every winter, my fingers and knuckles crack and bleed. I wash my hands a lot, and they become rough and in painful shape in winter. I have tried everything on the market to heal my hands. I noticed that over a hundred people gave five-star reviews on this product. Well, over a hundred people can’t be wrong. I received this hand cream yesterday, and when I put it on my hands, I could tell right then and there, this was something well beyond all of everything on the market that I have tried. Believe me or not. This stuff started working immediately. It is not greasy whatsoever. It seems that it absorbed into my hands quickly and was smooth as silk. I filled all the cuts and cracks on my hands with this cream, today they are almost healed. I don’t understand how this cream worked so fast, but it did. I do believe that this product is the best hand cream that could be made on earth.”
The Best Hand Cream for Sensitive Skin
4.6 stars, 706 reviews
“I have sensitive skin and allergies. Very good, soothing, healing, and softening cream. Highly recommended. Best I have used. Recommended by my allergist and dermatologist.”
The Best Anti-Aging Hand Cream
4.2 stars, 766 reviews
“I’d recommend. I’ve been using this product for almost three weeks now. I purchased because I’m 39 and I’m trying to keep my hands looking as young as my face. I look really good to be 39, but I’m trying not to have ‘old lady hands,’ as my boyfriend says. So I use it at least twice a day, and my hands are looking more vibrant. I also put a little vitamin-E oil around the cuticles to help as well. My hands are looking great.”
The Best Scented Hand Cream
4.7 stars, 1,348 reviews
“This has to be the best hand cream in the world — leaves skin soft, but not one bit greasy. Love the rich consistency. Comes in many wonderful fragrances. I took a chance on this one, mostly because I love honey, and Tuscany is such a lovely place. Don’t know how to describe the fragrance, but I LOVE it — smells heavenly and instantly relaxes me. Mmmm! Tastes in fragrance are very personal. If you are lucky enough to find a store selling this, you will be treated to a smorgasbord of samples and can find the fragrance that most appeals to you as an individual.
If I ever get filthy rich, I will buy enough of this to use as often as I like, instead of rationing myself. In the meantime, there will be people wondering why this weird woman is sometimes seen sniffing her hands with a blissful, silly smile on her face.”Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy Cream
The Best Shea-Butter Hand Cream
4.4 stars, 1,180 reviews
“This is without a doubt the best hand lotion on the market. I’ve been using it for years, and during the long winters — with the dry air outdoors, the dry heat indoors, and the constant handwashing to fend off germs — L’Occitane hand cream is a lifesaver. Even during the heat and humidity of the summer, the hand cream is practically absorbed in as little as 30 seconds. That is not an exaggeration. This stuff works so incredibly well at moisturizing your hands.
Within minutes of applying, I begin to notice a major difference in my hands. They’re smoother and softer, and they even smell nice. I do a lot of gardening, which of course causes numerous cuts and scrapes on my hands. What I’ve discovered is that L’Occitane hand cream is better than Neosporin or Aquaphor at accelerating the healing process. It actually lasts for a long time — usually about six months of once-a-day use. Because it’s so high-quality, you don’t need to use very much to get the job done.”L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
The Best Coconut-Oil-Enriched Hand Cream
4.4 stars, 238 reviews
“Love, love, love. This lotion smells SO amazing. The coconut smell is just strong enough to be pleasant but not overpowering. It’s not a noxious or strange-smelling coconut. My skin is super sensitive and prone to eczema, and I’ve used this many times without any issues. The perfect lotion, in my opinion.”
The Best Dead Sea–Mineral Hand Cream
4.4 stars, 451 reviews
“The best hand cream I’ve ever used. My mom bought me this hand cream first when she came back from her trip to Israel. I loved it so much and worried that I would not be able to get this again. Well thanks to the World Wide Web, it is available easily! The scent is very light, not my favorite, since I prefer the citrus types of scents, but this one is okay. What I LOVE about it is that it is not greasy and it absorbs into the skin quickly. My skin is very sensitive, and I feel this is the best for me. I have eczema on my legs and arms, and although this is a hand cream, I use it for my legs and arms and it helps control the eczema. It is a little expensive, but I feel it’s the only lotion that helps my skin.”
The Best Lanolin (Wax Wool) Hand Cream
4.8 stars, 377 reviews
“Love, love, love this cream and have recommended to my friends. I have had very sore, cracked hands, especially fingers, for many years now, and I have had instant relief with this cream! Right from the very first application, I could feel my hands soaking it in, and it leaves no greasy residue and has a slight, pleasant smell. As I use it, my skin has continued to feel supple and my hands have healed. My fingernails are growing stronger week by week, and I am not afraid now to show my hands. I have tried EVERYTHING over the years and no other cream has come close to solving the problem. No need for Band-Aids around my fingers to ease the excruciating pain of deep cracks any more. Thank you, thank you, thank you … UDDERLY SMOOTH. I will definitely be buying more of this wonderful product!”
The Best Hand Cream for Men
4.7 stars, 414 reviews
“Hands down (no pun intended) the best hand lotion for a guy with very dry skin in the winter (or gal I would imagine). I’m used to getting the dreaded itches when the weather turns blisteringly cold and the air is drier than the Gobi. Humidifiers help, but my hands would still turn into nasty, red, itchy flake monsters. The best thing about this stuff is that I don’t have to keep reapplying. I don’t want to have to carry lotion with me all the time and keep squirting it all over my hands, and then getting my phone and tablet all gunked up. I put it on after I shower in the evening and right before bed. Keeps my skin nice and soft and tames the wild, red itch beast. The scent is also very nice. Think eucalyptus sauna, or a pleasant non-medicinal Vicks VapoRub–type scent.”
The Best Korean-Beauty Hand Cream
4.3 stars, 180 reviews
“After reading a previous review about how tiny the size of this product is, I was a little hesitant to order. I am SO glad I did! I think it is the perfect size to keep in my purse, and it is not like you need a ton of product on your hands each time you use it. A tiny dab will do the trick! It smells so nice and it is not greasy at all. The packaging is super adorable, and I could see myself just filling it up with lotion whenever it runs out! Well worth the dollars for this supercute packaging. Definitely recommended!”
The Best Organic Hand Cream
4.4 stars, 1,770 reviews
“I’m a dude who doesn’t ever really use lotion, but the dryness of this winter has made the knuckles on my hands crack pretty bad. It was painful. I use this lotion daily now, and I have no problems. It’s only moderately greasy. A few minutes after application, I don’t have any problem opening door knobs or anything else. I use a keyboard and mouse all day at work (and at home), and I have no problem using this lotion, waiting two to three minutes, and then using my keyboard and mouse. It’s kind of a nice smell, in my opinion, but maybe that’s because I associate the smell with my hands feeling good now! However, the smell is strong. People around you will be forced to have an opinion of it, one way or another.”
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