11 Best Hand Lotions for People With Dry, Cracked Skin for 2023, Tested and Reviewed

L'Occitane's Hand Cream is infused with shea butter to revive dry hands

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Regardless of the season, dry hands are a very common condition that you can experience whether it’s due to constant hand washing for hygiene, or exposure to dry environments. You can have dry hands for various reasons, some of which include aging, working with harsh chemicals having the oils stripped from your skin (typically due to long showers or baths, frequent hand washing, or drying hot water), or from health conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, or eczema. All of this can lead to sensitive and dehydrated skin, and in some cases, broken and peeling skin and hands. Not to mention harsher and more extreme temperatures can impact the prevalence of dry, cracked hands as well. That's why it's important to stay moisturized and have lotion on hand.

Since dry hands can be extremely uncomfortable, irritating, and at times painful, we’re testing hand creams and lotions in a continuous search for the absolute best hand creams and lotions for dry, cracked hands.  Before searching for the best lotion for dry, cracked hands, David N. Lortscher, MD, a dermatologist from San Diego, California, recommended “You should generally choose unscented lotion that is free of alcohol and other common irritants.” Essentially, the best lotions for dry, cracked hands should have moisturizing ingredients, such as shea butter, cocoa butter, and oils, which retain water at the skin’s barrier which means the skin stays moisturized, and they typically range between $4 to $30.

To find the best lotions for dry, cracked hands on the market we’re researching dozens of lotions for a two week time period. We are continuously researching dozens of lotions and evaluating them from reviews, personal  active ingredients, compatibility with sensitive skin, consistency, and price. We rated them on a scale of 1 (would not recommend) to 5 (highly recommend) for consistency, absorbency, moisturizing properties, and fragrance.

Best Overall

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream


  • Rich texture

  • Fast absorbing with no oily traces

  • Rich in omega 6 and 9

  • Expensive

  • Scented; not ideal for sensitive skin

  • Contains tree nuts (almond oil)

Prior to using L’Occtaine’s Shea Butter Hand Cream, we were experiencing dry hands, especially between the fingers. We found ourselves re-moisturizing constantly with multiple hand creams and ointments throughout the day, which shifted once we started using this hand cream from L’Occtaine.  The consistency is perfect for us because it’s not too thick and/or sticky, but is still super rich and creamy. It absorbed super well and still felt incredibly light without being watery. 

Infused with shea butter, honey, almond extracts, and coconut oil, this non-greasy, long-lasting hand cream moisturizes dry hands and restores moisture to the skin, wwhich is why we chose it as our top pick. It has a subtle, powdery fragrance and is quickly absorbed into the skin, which makes it pleasant to use in addition to being effective at moisturizing dry, cracked hands. While it’s not a cheap option, only a little of the lotion is needed for long-lasting relief and that little bit goes a long way We found that consistent use made our hands feel more moisturized and softer even when we weren’t using the cream. Our skin’s appearance also improved. Dry flakey textures reduced, softened up, and became smoother.

It’s not fragrance free, but it’s also not heavily scented and we were enamored with the subtle natural cherry blossom scent. It made the experience feel more natural and good for the skin. We highly recommend this product and

Price at time of publication: $30

Active Ingredients: 20% shea butter | Size: 1 ounce, 5.2 ounces | Scented: Yes

Best Cruelty Free

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Touch Hand Cream

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Touch Hand Cream


  • Doubles as a cuticle cream

  • Bottle is 100% recyclable

  • Scent doesn’t last long

Vegan, made without mineral oils, phthalates, or parabens, Sol De Janiero’s Brazilian Touch Hand Cream won us over for Best Cruelty Free Hand Cream. 

With a soft and subtle warm and spicy vanilla scent, Sol De Janiero’s Brazilian Touch Hand Cream left our hands feeling supple, moisturized, hydrated, and amazingly soft. Breaking down the ingredient list, this hand lotion is created with cupuaçu butter which is rich in fatty acids, polyphenols, and antioxidants that benefit your skin’s natural oil barrier and aids in plumping up the skin, giving a younger, more youthful appearance, brazil nut selenium which helps the skin protect itself against dryness and squalene which replenishes the skin’s moisture when your hands have gotten dry. 

We found that this concealer was extremely lightweight and absorbs almost instantly without feeling greasy and immediately left hands feeling hydrated and moisturized. A pea sized amount went a very long way and we didn’t feel the need to reapply for hours, which is rare for a hand lotion. Our favorite part was that there was no film after either.

Bonus tip: You can use this lotion as a cuticle cream as well, and the bottle is completely recyclable.

Price at time of publication: $21

Active Ingredients: Cupuaçu Butter, Brazil Nut Selenium, Squalan | Size: 1.7 ounces | Scented: Yes

Best for Eczema

CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream

CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream Skin Protectant


  • National Eczema Association Seal of Acceptance

  • Made with ceramides

  • Product may be too thin for extremely cracked hands

This non-greasy, fast-absorbing hand cream is ideal for chafed, dry and cracked skin. We like how this hand cream is gentle and non-irritating to skin, while also being water-resistant and fragrance-free. The hyaluronic acid and niacinamide formula, together with three essential ceramides provides long-lasting moisture for our hands. Additionally, CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream has received the National Eczema Association seal of acceptance, which sets it apart as being specially approved for use on sensitive skin or for eczema.

Price at time of publication: $11

Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic Acid, Niacinamide, and Ceramides | Size: 3 ounces | Scented: No

What are ceramides?

Ceramides are fats found in the top layers of our skin that form half of the natural skin barrier. They help seal in moisture by preventing evaporation. People with eczema have fewer ceramides in the top layer of their skin, so using moisturizers that mimic the role of ceramides in the skin is a way to improve hydration and the skin's barrier.

Best Natural

Grown Alchemist Hand Cream Vanilla Orange Peel

Grown Alchemist Hand Cream

Grown Alchemist

  • Certified and verified toxic free

  • Completely cruelty free

  • Pricier

Grown Alchemist Hand Cream Vanilla and Orange Peel is 100% vegan, 100% cruelty free, certified and verified toxic free, and won us over for best natural lotion for dry, cracked hands. After testing it out for two weeks, this plush, lightweight, and moisturizing lotion left our hands feeling hydrated and healthy, especially in the harsh arid winter months. Using only a dime sized amount, as instructed, we saw that the cream didn’t absorb immediately as others did. Instead, it felt more like a lotion on our hands for about 30 seconds before it truly absorbed, but it the scent was so dreamy and the texture felt incredible, so it didn’t bother us.

The first thing we noticed was the pleasing fresh (versus artificial) orange citrus scent. The sophisticated aroma gave us a little pick-me-up as aroma therapy whenever we caught wind of it throughout the day. Rosehip oil makes this hand cream super hydrating while camellia (yes the flower) helps the hydration last long and penetrate the skin. Seabuckhorn berry and wheat germ work towards rejuvenating and regenerating the hands’ natural moisture using free radical antioxidants that protects the skin and fights the effects of aging. 

One thing to be aware of is that this is a thicker texture, so if you’re averse to thicker hand creams this may not be the best option for you. However, we feel that due to how moisturizing and lightweight it is it’s more than worth it.

Price at time of publication: $34

Active Ingredients: Rosehip oil, camellia, sea buckthorn, wheat germ | Size: 2.19 ounces | Scented: Yes

Best for Working Hands

Benton Shea Butter and Olive Hand Cream

Benton Shea Butter and Olive Hand Cream


  • Great travel size tube

  • No discernable scent

  • Can take a while to dry down

When we tested this body butter, our hands were rough due to excessive work outs. Post using Benton Shea Butter, our hands felt nourished, hydrated, and healthy even though we kept working out, powerlifting, and putting our working hands to use. It’s because of that we give this shea butter the best for working hands superlatives, and it came in close second for the best lotion for dry, cracked hands for fitness and athletes as well.

Benton Shea Butter is dermatologically tested and full of hyaluronic acid which is great at hydrating acid to hydrate the skin. It also has 10% shea butter and 2% olive oil which moisturizes, prevents dryness, and locks in moisture which was evident since our hands felt less “crusty” even though we continued our lifting and working out. We felt that the lotion was lightweight. It did take a while to dry down (1-2 minutes) but it still wasn’t too overwhelming, even with the immediate post greasy feeling that immediately went away.  A little goes a long way. We coated our entire hands with only a dime size amount. 

The consistency was perfect without it being too thin or too thick and at no point did our hands feel sticky. We also didn’t notice any discernible scent, and it was very gentle.

Price at time of publication: $11

Active Ingredients: Shea Butter, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil | Size: 1.76 ounces | Scented: No

Best SPF Protection

Supergoop! Handscreen SPF 40

Supergoop Handscreen SPF 40


  • Reef-friendly SPF

  • Fragrance-free

  • Super silky texture

  • Expensive

We tested Supergoop!’s handscreen and it lived up to the very innovative name, which is why we selected it for best SPF protection hand lotion for dry, cracked hands. Sunscreen has a known tendency to leave a strange unsavory film on hands, which we put up with in the past because we wanted to protect our skin from the harsh rays of the sun that can damage our skin. This hand lotion has SPF 40, is derm-tested, and is clean and reef friendly which made using this product guilt free in every possible way. We noticed that it does smell slightly like sunscreen, but it faded fairly quickly and didn’t bother us. 

Sun damage is known to worsen and intensify dry skin, so ensuring that you use a high protection sunscreen lotion is important particularly when you spend quite a bit of time outdoors and exposed to direct sunlight which is why we love this one that we tested. Using sea-bucktorn fruit extract which is rich in omega-7 fatty acids, so it’s hydrating, nourishing, and fights off harsh environments and factors such as (of course) sunlight, but also cold weather as well. This reef-friendly formula packs broad-spectrum SPF40, as we mentioned, and that protects against UVA and UVB rays without octinoxate.

Since it is a sunscreen, we do suggest that you use as directed for maximum sun protection – apply generously and evenly 15 minutes before sun exposure and be sure to reapply every two hours (unlike other hand lotions where you apply largely after washing hands or when needed). Oh! It also comes in multiple sizes so you can carry one to go and have one at home so you’re always prepared and protected.

Price at time of publication: $14

Active Ingredients: Sea buckthorn extract, argan oil | Size: 6.7 ounces | Scented: No

Best for Diabetes

Fenty Skin Hydra’Reset Intensive Recovery Glycerin Hand Mask

Fenty Skin Hydra’Reset Intensive Recovery Glycerin Hand Mask


  • Overnight mask

  • Great for winter months

  • Packaging can make product hard to dispense

We loved testing this hand mask for dry, cracked hands because not only was it a super hydrating luxurious feeling product, but it also aids in specific skin care needs that people with diabetes may prioritize.. That’s why we give Fenty Skin Hydra'Reset Intensive Recovery Glycerin Hand Mask the best lotion for dry, cracked hands for people with diabetes. 

Diabetes can cause different skin conditions and ailments such as blisters and rashes, but also often it can result in dry, cracked skin. When testing this lotion, the lightweight gel-like cream spread around our hands like butter, and after about two minutes the gel was completely absorbed into the hand. We didn’t feel any residue and our hands weren’t oily after either. Our hands felt extremely moisturized post application, which we’re attributing to the glycerin which is a humectant (something that binds and locks in moisture found in the external environment), panthenol which is what penetrated the skin, conditioning and soothing it, and the murumuru & mango Butters which hydrated, nourished, and soften it.

Also, it’s important to note this is more of a mask best used overnight than a traditional hand cream you apply during the day. That way it can soak in the skin without the constant need to reapply throughout the day or the fear that it’ll get wiped off. This is great for people with diabetes because it gives the hands time to rest and absorb as much moisture as possible. Also due to the nature of humectants and how it draws moisture from the air, it means your hands will be absorbing moisture even after application. There’s a very faint tropical fruit and floral scent, but it wasn’t super noticeable for us. It also comes in two sizes as well, a standard size and a smaller one best suited for travel or small spaces.

Price at time of publication: $29

Active Ingredients: Glycerin, panthenol, murumuru & mango butters | Size: 1 ounce, 2.5 ounces | Scented: Yes

Best for Babies

Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream

Eucerin Baby Eczema Relief


  • Gentle on baby eczema

  • Provides 24-hour protection

  • Babies must be 3 months or older to use

It’s common for babies to have skin conditions, such as eczema, due to having such sensitive skin. The discomfort that comes with dry, chapped, and cracked skin is enough to make an adult emotional, so it’s that much more important to have a lotion that can soothe and address a baby's irritated skin. We love Eucerin’s Baby Eczema Relief Body Cream because it addresses those skin conditions while also protecting and moisturizing the baby’s skin.

Colloidal Oatmeal is a well known skin protectant and is commonly used in lotions and creams formulated for sensitive skin and eczema. Combined with Ceramide-3 and licorice root extract, this tried and trusted, clinically proven body cream provides 24-hour moisturizing for dry and eczema-prone skin. This product is ideal for babies 3 months and older.

Price at time of publication: $9

Active Ingredients: Colloidal oatmeal, ceramide 3 |  Size: 5 ounces | Scented: No

What is colloidal oatmeal?

A skin protectant often used to treat dry, sensitive skin conditions, colloidal oatmeal is finely ground oats. The oats become emollient in this finer texture, which make them easier for the skin to absorb. Studies have found colloidal oatmeal to be effective repairing the skin barrier among those with atopic dermatitis. The ingredient is clinically-proven to improve skin dryness.

Best for Frequent Hand Washing

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Hand Therapy

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Hand Therapy


  • Thin and matte formula

  • Works quickly

  • No safety seal on product

We tested Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ and felt that it was the best lotion for frequent hand washing induced dry, cracked hands. Prior to testing this lotion, our hands were extremely dry, especially in the winter. Prior to this we mainly moisturized our hands at night and throughout the day when our hands felt dry, but noticed that we were still incredibly ashy, in pain, and uncomfortable. The first thing we noticed when using Perricone MD Cold Plasma + Hand Therapy was that it's a very matte, lightweight, thin formula and it absorbed super quickly into the skin. The hand cream glides easily over the skin, making our skin feel noticeably softer immediately.

On top of making our dry, cracked hands feel immediately more moisturized, the formula also targets dark spots, veins, and discoloration as well with the best results being after you application liberally morning, night, and whenever you feel is needed throughout the day.

Price at time of publication: $4


Active Ingredients: None listed | Size: 4 ounces | Scented: Not listed

Best Dermatologist Recommended

Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream



  • Neutral scent

  • Not too sticky

  • Dried down texture can feel slippery

Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Creme won over our hearts and best pick for best dermatologist recommended lotion. This hand creme is extremely beneficial for dry, cracked hands due to the fact that it’s enriched with ceramide-3 and natural moisturizing factors including amino acids, much like the ones that are already naturally found in your skin. That means that it softens skin and seals in moisture, delivering long lasting hydrating results.

Price at time of publication: $5


Active Ingredients: Amino acids and ceramide-3 | Size: 2.7 ounces | Scented: No

Best for Sensitive Skin

Soap & Glory Original Pink Hand Food

Soap & Glory Original Pink Hand Food Hydrating Hand Cream
  • Easy to use dispenser

  • Quick relief

  • Very strong scent; not suitable for all sensitivities

We tested Soap & Glory’s Original Pink Hand Food and it’s our pick for best lotion for dry, cracked sensitive skin. We found that this lotion was thick, creamy, rich, and moisturizing without being greasy. 

Using shea butter and natural oils, Soap & Glory’s Original Pink Hand Food is easy to spread and aids dry, cracked hands with a formula that locks in moisture, which is pivotal. There aren’t many listed ingredients, and it’s designed and derm-tested for all skin types, including people like us with very sensitive and even temperamental skin. We found ourselves using this product three to five times a day because we were obsessed with how moisturized and nourished our hands felt after. Also after two weeks of use, we still had a substantial amount in the tube which shows a little goes a long way.

Price at time of publication: $8


Active Ingredients: Shea butter | Size: 4.2 ounces | Scented: Yes

How We Selected the Best Lotions for Dry, Cracked Hands

Our recommendations were built from a blend of home-testing and expert guidance. We consulted with dermatologists such as David N. Lortscher, MD, to find out what you should look for when choosing a hand lotion. 

For two weeks we follow manufacturer’s directions on some of the top hand creams and lotions for dry, cracked hands on the market. Before using the cream or lotion we make sure our hands were completely clean and free of any grit, grime, or other substance that would shift the results of our test. We follow this routine for two weeks to come back with personal, genuine results so you can have options for great hand lotions for dry, cracked hands that we personally love and use. Within this time period we note how quickly the lotion spread, how thick it was, how the lotion fared against the elements, how moisturized our hands felt and for how long, any notable fragrances or scents in comparison to how our hands felt before, and how restorative or healing the lotion was.

We consider products based on their ingredients, dosage, and whether or not they were formulated specifically for hands. We selected a range of formulations, from lotions to balms, and ones that can treat a variety of conditions, including conditions like diabetes and eczema.. While each product meets a different need, we believe that they all address dry, cracked hands and skin. We also based our suggestions based off of research surrounding different health conditions as well to make sure the symptoms would be properly addressed.

What to Look for in a Lotion for Dry, Cracked Hands


When seeking a lotion to treat dry, chafed, chaffed or cracked skin, look for products that provide moisturizing ingredients such as colloidal oatmeal, ceramides, and natural oils. Look for products that are dermatologically tested, or clinically proven to be effective for dry skin. David N. Lortscher, MD, suggests:

  • Oil-based ingredients, including occlusive agents like petroleum or mineral oil to help seal in moisture
  • Soy, which contains active components that helps restore skin barrier function and replenish moisture
  • Silicones: When used in moisturizers, Dr. Lortscher says they act as lubricants and reduce friction
  • Ceramides: Helps decrease dry skin and irritation
  • Aloe: Known for skin soothing and healing properties
  • Hyaluronic acid (HA): it’s a humectant, meaning it binds water and holds in moisture in the outermost layer of the skin.

Sun Exposure

Dry and sensitive skin is only further damaged and sensitized when exposed to the sun, so be sure to use a lotion containing sun protection or to apply sunscreen in addition to any moisturizing lotion.


Lotions come in varying consistency from watery and thin to thick and creamy. When addressing dry, cracked skin, it’s important to find a consistency of lotion that’s going to help lock in moisture (often found in thicker creams) but that’s also still wearable and comfortable for you.

Disclaimers for Prolonged Use

Some products are not recommended to be used regularly or on an ongoing basis. Read the directions for use and seek medical guidance if in any doubt.

Scented vs. Unscented

When it comes to scented lotions, an unscented version can limit the risk of additional irritation to the skin. “For dry, cracked hands, you should generally choose unscented lotion that is free of alcohol and other common irritants," says Dr. Lortscher.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can you use hand lotion on other areas of the body?

    Unless specifically stated on the product, you should avoid using hand lotions on other areas of the body, especially the face. According to Dr. Lortscher, “While hand creams and hand lotions are both kinds of moisturizers, lotions can be a bit drying if they have higher water content. In general, hand creams tend to be more occlusive than hand lotions, meaning they provide a restorative layer of oil on the skin’s surface that helps slow down water loss, which is a good defense against cold, dry air.”

  • How often should you reapply moisturizing lotion?

    If you're experiencing dry and cracked skin, you should apply hand lotion as frequently as feels needed. Dr. Lortscher says he’d recommend applying and reapplying any time the skin feels tight or dry.

  • What causes dry, cracked hands?

    Dry, cracked hands are typically caused by harsh weather (severe cold winters especially), frequent hand washing or long showers or baths, aging, or health conditions such as eczema and diabetes. When selecting a lotion or hand cream, it’s important to keep the potential cause and symptoms of your dry hands in mind so you can find a product that addresses your needs properly.

  • How can you prevent dry, cracked hands?

    You can prevent dry, cracked skin by applying moisturizing hands lotions and creams daily, after washing, or before going outside and facing weatherly elements. If your dry, cracked hands are the result of a health condition, it’s always recommended to keep your health condition’s symptoms and traits in mind when selecting a cream or lotion. It’s also wise to talk to a medical professional as well.

  • How much should I expect to spend on a hand lotion or cream for my dry, cracked hands?

    Most hand lotions and creams range from $3 to on the higher end, $30. Product size and ingredients largely impact lotion price. While our best overall pick L'Occitane's Hand Cream comes in at $30, but you can still find a great product at much less of a cost.

Why Trust Verywell Health

Brittany Loggins is a freelance writer with a depth of experience on a range of subjects from wellness to politics. She is a seasoned health reporter who seeks input from doctors and experts in order to provide thoroughly-vetted product recommendations.

Additional reporting by Brittany Leitner

As a health writer with over 8 years of experience, Brittany Leitner understands how important access to information is when it comes to making educated health decisions. She has interviewed dozens of medical experts, tested out hundreds of products, and aims to provide quality recommendations that won't break the bank.

2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Spada F, Barnes TM, Greive KA. Skin hydration is significantly increased by a cream formulated to mimic the skin's own natural moisturizing systems. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2018;11:491-497. doi:10.2147/CCID.S177697

  2. Ilnytska O, Kaur S, Chon S, et al. Colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) improves skin barrier through multi-therapy activityJ Drugs Dermatol. 15(6):684-690.

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