My Favorite Over-the-Counter Hand Creams for Cracked Winter Skin

As many of you probably know, autumn is my favorite season and while I am sad to see if pass by I am equally as excited about the upcoming winter season. Winter is my second favorite season of the year and I love snow, cozy hot coffees, sweater weather, etc.

Despite my love for winter and all things cozy, every single year I am troubled with very dry and cracked skin. That probably does not sound appealing or exciting, but it is the truth. This year has been especially bad with all of the additional hand washing and sanitizing due to pandemic concerns. Over the years I have developed a list of my favorite over-the-counter hand creams from the drug store and I decided to share them with you all here today.

*Quick Notes Before We Get Started:

  1. Most of these hand creams are unscented. I would love to write a post about my favorite scented lotions and cosmetics, etc., but my chapped hands are kind of extreme. It may sound gross, but they even bleed. I have been to multiple dermatologists over the years for this condition and time and time again I am reminded of how bad perfumes and alcohols are for dry skin and many scented lotions contain these kinds of ingredients. I listed a few that were lightly scented to provide a larger variety in my review, but I personally typically reach for unscented options.
  2. I am not a dermatologist! (Or anything else remotely related to the medical field!) I am a regular person who though trial and error found some hand creams that work for me and I wish to relay this information to readers. If you, too, suffer from dry skin I would recommend speaking with a doctor if you have any questions about certain cosmetics.
  3. I am a super tactile person and the way lotions or creams feel on my hands is a huge determining factor in my like or dislike of a product. For instance, I dislike greasy or gritty-feeling like products. I included a little bit of everything on the list, but what I like may not be what you do!
  4. All of the creams I will be talking about today can be found at your regular corner drug store. I purchased all of these creams at either Target, Harmon Face Values, or Walgreens. If I can make a recommendation: buy small or travel-sized bottles to test the products before committing to the economy sized one! You will be able to tell within a few days if the hand cream is making a difference. Also, I determine the quality as it rests overnight. During the day I do apply hand cream, but between constantly washing my hands, doing dishes or laundry, changing diapers, etc., it never fully absorbs into my skin. I put cream on every night and see the results in the morning.
  5. There are many, many more products on the market than what I will be writing about in this post. The few that I am going to talk about are pretty popular ones, but it is possible that none of these will work for you. Even if they do work for you, maybe you will dislike the feel of them on your hands, the scent, etc. As I mentioned previously, I highly recommend consulting a doctor with any further questions!

Hand Creams for Cracked Winter Skin

Aveeno Skin Relief Intense Moisture Hand Cream with Oat

Greasiness: 1/5

Richness: 3/5

Repair: 3/5

I really like this Aveeno hand cream because I immediately feel relief and see improvement in my skin. My hands will literally be cracking and burning but feel relief after applying this lotion within minutes. It is fragrance free, steroid free, contains soothing oat, and lasts even through hand washes. It is also easy to wear, which probably sounds crazy but it’s true! It is not really greasy at all and feels very natural on the skin. It appears to be very thick but quickly absorbs into the skin. This is a lotion that I like to wear throughout the day because of its natural-feeling. In general I am a big fan of Aveeno’s products and this is yet another one that works really well.

Eucerin Intensive Repair Very Dry Skin Lotion

Greasiness: 4/5

Richness: 4/5

Repair: 4/5

This is actually the first year that I am trying out this Eucerin Intensive Repair Lotion and it is a love/hate relationship. It works really well, but I hate how greasy the product feels on the skin. This is not a lotion that I can wear throughout the day because of its greasiness and ability to rub off on surfaces, clothing, etc. I only use it at night, and I even wipe off some of the lotion that is on my palms because I feel like I cannot touch anything. It is free of fragrance, dye, and parabens, which is all great! But it also contains Alpha Hydroxy acid which can make skin more sensitive to sunlight so maybe this product would not be ideal in the summertime? I wanted to give this product a try because Eucerin is such a trusted brand, and while it works well it is not my overall favorite. However, it does make the list because (and I cannot stress this enough) it does work.

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands

Greasiness: 1/5

Richness: 3/5

Repair: 4/5

Okay, I do not know why, but the O’Keeffe’s Working Hands that comes in the bottle feels different on the skin to me than one that comes in the round container. The cream in the container feels gritty and flaky and I dislike it very much. However, the cream in the bottle is really great and I like it a lot for every day use! It is not greasy which I love, and is also fragrance free, phthalate free, paraben free, and hypoallergenic. This is another hand cream that can be worn throughout the day because of its natural feel.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hand Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid

Greasiness: 2-3/5

Richness: 2/5

Repair: 2/5

I included this one on the list because when I was at the store doing some research for this post the woman who was working said that a lot of people try this Neutrogena Hydro Boost hand gel for their cracked hands. I wanted to also try it because it is not a traditional lotion and is (as the name suggests) a gel. Overall, I don’t hate this product because I do like the way it feels on my skin but it is slightly scented. I try to avoid scented hand creams like the plague because fragrance typically contributes to dry skin. However, the scent is actually quite pleasing. It smells sort of fresh, if that makes any sense? I think this product would be better as an overall body gel if one is concerned with hydration.

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy for Dry and Cracked Skin

Greasiness: 4/5

Richness: 4/5

Repair: 4/5

Aquaphor is just about the gold-standard for skin care. I trust Aquaphor for all of our son’s diaper rash creams, eczema spots, lip balm, etc. This product does work, but I am not crazy at all about how greasy it leaves my skin feeling. In all honesty it feels like straight petroleum jelly on my hands! However, I included this product on the list because it does work and is very trusted. This is another product that many consumers apparently reach for in stores according to those with whom I spoke.

In Conclusion…

So, all of these products do seem to work (at least for me), and they can be found at your every-day drug store. If I had to choose my favorite I would probably go with either the Aveeno or the O’Keeffe’s. I like that I can wear these products throughout the day as well as overnight and see results.

Let me know what works best for you, or if you have any recommendations!

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