Which is the best hand cream that moisturises dryness?
Dry skin on hands can be caused by a few factors, and people do seem to suffer the effects of dry skin on hands more than anywhere else.
It is sensible to address the reasons for the dryness before looking for a remedy. So, when washing dishes with detergent, using bleach or any other harsh materials (including soaps with a high pH) or other alkaline products, wear protective rubber gloves. Be gentle when drying them, especially if you do this often - so dab the water off with a towel, if using a hot air dryer, don’t put your hands too close to the very hot air.
If you go out in cold, windy weather or if you have poor circulation, gloves are the answer there too. Check that you are getting all you need in your diet as this can make a big difference to the condition of skin - especially vitamins: A, B, C, E and iron. Including avocado, oatmeal, oily fish and olive oil can improve skin, whilst a diet with too much fat and sugar can cause inflammation, dry and irritated skin.
If it is being caused by psoriasis or dermatitis, the treatment needs to be more measured - but you don’t mention this, so I will assume the skin is just dry.
The 4 Basics for Dry Skin
If you are unable to wear gloves, or you already do, then using an occlusive moisturiser should make a difference. Try to find one that has a mixture of 4 ingredient types:
hydrating, humectant, emollient and protective.
Hydrating and humectant: Glycerine, sorbitol and hyaluronic acid are excellent at hydrating and are humectants - glycerine or sorbitol are cheap but effective, so are in many moisturisers.
Emollient and occlusive: Cocoa butter, nut oils, olive oil and mineral oil are all inexpensive emollients that are frequently used. These are often occlusive too (this locks in the moisture and keeps out the weather), otherwise, any of the following are occlusive and are commonly used: silicones, lecithin, stearic acid, lanolin, cetyl alcohol, beeswax, carnauba or candelilla waxes.
Soothing: It’s worth spending a little extra on something that soothes damaged skin too, like colloidal oats, aloe vera, rose hydrosol or rice water.
Make a list
When looking at an ingredients list, there may be a dozens there that don’t sound familiar. For this treatment, you only need to pay attention to the first few as ingredients are listed greatest first: Water is often the biggest component and so first, although in barrier creams/balms, there’s often very little, if any. Glycerine should appear in the first four or five, so should cetyl alcohol or stearic acid, the butters and waxes if they are used. Silicones are effective in smaller amounts, so as long as they appear above the preservative on the list they can still be effective as occlusives (a few are used, often dimethicone or cyclomethicone).
Don’t be swayed by advertising
So you will have to read the back of the cream bottles to know whether the product might actually work. Try not to be persuaded by the name of a cream - it can be called Pure Avocado Heaven for Hands and have a tiny dribble of avocado oil, or none at all. And try to ignore the picture on the tube/jar for similar reasons. Whilst you are not going to use a cream if you hate the scent, try not to be swayed by the scent alone - a lot of money is spent by manufacturers producing a perfume to make a very ordinary cream smell ‘luxurious’.
Don’t pay for what you don’t need
The price will play a part, but you can get a perfectly good hand moisturiser, with enough of the ingredients I mentioned above, at the top of the lower price range. To get the soothing, or sophisticated hydrating components will cost a bit more and if you want vitamin A or even C, these can be trickier to get into a cream and still be effective - so they can increase the price. Search for one after making a list of what ingredients you actually need and try not to be swayed by extras you don’t need for this job. peptides and ceramides are great ingredients if you are trying to improve sun damage or resurrect mature skin, they can be very expensive and are not vital for this.