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My favourite has to be the L’Occitane hand creams. I loved the limited edition one they did a few years back which just smelled amazing! It was Ylang Ylang I think. I tried to stop using it so much but still eventually finished it. I haven’t seen them selling it since. I thought maybe they’d bring it out as limited edition again but no dice. Oh well.

Their formula, regardless of the scent, is great. It does vary a bit, some are lighter in texture than others, but they’re all good. My favourite from the regular line (if they still do it) is the almond one. It smells delicious, like I just want to eat it! ?

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I’ve been using the Shea Moisture olive/green tea lotion, which is super thick and I had to empty it into a little Lush pot so I don’t have to struggle to squeeze it out of the bottle. But it’s really, really good, and smells wonderful, too. I also use oily balms when I go to bed at night – Alaffia Africa’s Secret, Honest Company healing balm, or Egyptian Magic.
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For performance, my absolute favorite is Ahava Mineral Hand Cream. It feels creamy when I start to massage it in, but then after about 15 seconds, the texture changes and it turns into a kind of wet flush of hydration. And the hydrating effect is very long lasting. I’ve never used anything quite like it, and I absolutely love it to slather on before bedtime. The only thing I don’t love is the fragrance. It’s pretty strong, and clashes with any scents I choose to wear.

For daytime, I’ve been loving First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream. It’s doing a great job of keeping the “winter crud” at bay, and it’s completely fragrance free. I keep a big jar of it at home, a small tube in my purse, and another tube in my coat pocket.

HANDS DOWN (lol….) Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. When I was a barista, my hands would crack and bleed from the constant heat and washing. Kiehl’s is the only thing that actually helped–and I tried a lot of different hand creams before getting to that one.

My favorite ones of all time are the L’Occitane ones; if I had to choose one favorite scent from them, it would be the now-discontinued Honey 🙁 for budget/unscented, my favorite is the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Fast Absorbing one.

I agree with you Christine about Eucerin. It’s the only brand of moisturizer I use on my body now. I like that it actually moisturizes my skin and has no scent to compete with my perfume. I probably have at least 3-4 of the hand creams currently on the go. I’ve got them scattered everywhere.

The old-school Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream! No frills and no noticeable scent (for some reason i find that the Original formula is less greasy, works better, and has less of a scent than the “Fragrance Free” version…?) but it’s the only thing that saves my hands during Michigan winters. It’s very thick but dries in a few minutes without being greasy

I don’t think I’ve found my HG yet, but I use a mix of Vaseline and Eucerin because they work and aren’t scented. My hands can tolerate a light fragrance, so I also use Bliss, Josie Maran, and Curel, too. I like the smell of the L’Occitane ones, but unfortunately, the heavy fragrance irritates and dries out my hands, and they are pricey.

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This winter, I’ve been using Lubriderm Intense Skin Repair Lotion. I seriously thought it would be as wonderful on my hands as it is on my body, but no. My hands have small areas of eczema and also very dry, thickened skin on the sides of my nails. Nothing I’ve tried has ever completely healed them, including Eucerin Eczema Relief. So I’m reading other commenters suggestions. My hands need a major rescue!

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Nancy, have you tried the CeraVe Renewing SA Cream, with salicylic acid? I haven’t, but I’ve been impressed with several of their other products, and this should exfoliate while moisturizing, is supposed to be good if you have eczema.

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My go to is L’occitane. but, it has to be the origianl. The other ones that are scented have less shea ( I think) and are sometimes too fragrant. I also keep a pump of Aveeno around. I typically will just use drugstore brands in summer and loccitane in Fall/winter.

I like Burt’s Bees regular milk & honey body lotion on my hands. it softens the skin without making my hands feel slimy. I keep an Eos hand cream in my purse for work. The formula is nothing special (more of a body lotion than a hand cream) but the packaging is convenient.

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NuSkin Epoch Sole Solution. It’s actually a foot cream, but it does wonders for my elbows and hands. It is the only product that works on my crocodile-like elbow eczema, and it really helps with the itching and keeping the red eczema patches from forming on my thumbs.

The two best hand creams I personally love comes from Crabtree and Evelyn which are the Jojoba Oil hand and
cuticle cream and Rosewater hand cream. The formulas are so rich, thick and fragrant that it immediately eliminates ashen/chapped hands. I also love the rich jojoba as well as the rose fragrance which complements the hand creams very well. Just one or two small squeezes, your hands are immediately infused with moisture for your hands/cuticles as well as lovely scents that makes me think of spring/summer.

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I have a whole arsenal of hand creams BC I work as a server, I wash my hands several times per hour during work (and I work full-time). Here is my list sorted by categories.

Best Work-Horse Hand Creams:

Derma Topix Intensive Hand Cream: It is non-greasy, absolutely no scent, lasts through several hand-washings, absorbs immediately. Most importantly, it has no seed, nut or essential oils (important for customers or patients with strong allergies) but it does have fatty acids derived from such so check for yourself. This is basically the same formula as the hand cream that dermatologist Dr Cynthia Bailey Hand Cream sells. Best if used on damp hands to trap moisture.

Lubrex Hand Cream. This actually hydrates a lot better than Derma Topix and lasts through even more hand washings BUT it has sunflower seed oil so I don’t personally use at work in case of sunflower seed allergies. The consistency is similar to Kiehl’s but I prefer Lubrex BC it has no essential oils.

If you can tolerate essential oils in your work horse hand cream, then I also like CO Bigelow Chapped Hands Remedy (hands-down the absolute best in trapping moisture of everything I have ever tried), Kiehl’s Ultimate Hand Salve, and L’Occitane’s.

Best Exfoliating Hand Cream: Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Creme. Works well and is gentle.

Best SPF Hand Cream: Cerave AM. I know it is meant to be a facial moisturizer but it dries down quickly–allowing me to get immediately back to my task and this is what I carry around with me everyday.

I also keep tamanu oil on my vanity and include a drop or two in my hand cream to promote healing.

Wow! Thanks for that comprehensive list!! I’m a mom of young ones so I constantly change diapers which means I constantly wash my hands which means they look terrible–chapped, red and actually bleeding! I’m going to seek those brands out.

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Happy to help, Pamela. Since your hands have progressed to the point of chapped, red, and bleeding, I have additional tips that come from my experience, my coworkers and our doctors. I baby the skin on my hands when I’m not at work bc when working, my hands have to withstand frequent washing AND harsh hand soap. So when not at work, it is the other extreme, I am super gentle and protective of my hands. Here is what we did when one of us at work got in your situation: (A) Medicate hands immediately with prescription or over-the-counter medication; (B) Protect hands to give the skin a chance to heal with hand cream and non-latex gloves; (C) Stop or reduce usage of the harmful cause–in this case, the hand soap AND hand-washing; while (D), meeting your demands in life (diapers). More in detail…

For (A) Treatment: if your hands are swollen, completely red and inflamed, you will need to see a doctor for a prescription to help with the inflammation. If it is just patches of red and doesn’t “feel painful” as much as “looks terrible,” then try Aquaphor on damp hands. Neosporin, Polysporin, or even a drop or two of tamanu oil mixed with aquaphor on minor cuts. One of my coworkers includes a drop of aloe in her hand cream for hydration. No fragrance or essential oils in any hand cream of choice.

For (B) Protect Hands: Non-latex gloves will be your best friend for any task that needs hands. Dish-washing, tidying, changing diapers, cleaning, art projects, gardening, etc. I keep running gloves in my purse for when it’s cold and dry (like in a grocery store–I wear gloves while buying groceries). I have gardening gloves, repair-work gloves, diposable nitrile gloves, etc.

Use a fragrance-free hand cream with NO essential oils (bc essential oils can damage delicate skin). Derma Topix can be found at dermstore.com for free shipping (use code BLOSSOM25 for 25% off if you catch this comment today) but Lubrex can only be found at smartpractice.com. At the drugstore, there is Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Cream Fragrance-free (the only reason it’s not mentioned above is bc it doesn’t absorb as fast or get through as many hand-washings as the others). I personally use Cerave AM if I plan on going bare-handed outside.

For (C): Change up Hand Soap.

If you wear gloves for all tasks, you will automatically wash hands less often and less vigorously bc they no longer get so dirty. So, you no longer often need the harsh normal hand soap–a gentle skin cleanser will suffice. I like Olay Foaming Face Wash for Sensitive Skin when my hands are healthy, but when super chapped, I mix in a little Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser (or Cerave Hydrating Cleanser) with the Olay. If I need to wash grimey chapped hands, I mix in the Cetaphil with a moisturizing hand soap.

For (D) : if your kids hate the feel of your hands with gloves on–no worries. Just wear gloves for EVERYTHING ELSE you do. This is how all of us at work do it. When not at work, we protect and baby our hands. When at work, the gloves come off (literally) and our hands can put up with excessive hand-washing with harsh hand soap.

So this concludes my essay-like guideline on how to take care of hands when one must wash ALL the time. Good luck!

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Whoops, I just realized my comments sounds like Cerave AM is my favorite. It is not. I wear that on top of my work-horse hand cream for SPF protection–Cerave AM by itself won’t do much for very dry hands.

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Super helpful! I’m going to try to remember Derma Topix and Lubrex. And using the CevaVe AM face moisturizer for sunscreen on hands is brilliant! Certainly not any more expensive than Deborah Lippman Rich Girl or Supergoop Forever Young.

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I really like the formulations of Jurlique and Caudalie. Right now I use Sibu for all my body/hand/feet needs. It’s really great! I like Lollia Wish but it’s often too scented for me. I use it more on the body as a perfume. I also want to try Volcano hand cream as I love the Capri Blue candle of the same name.
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You are all much younger than me. I am 54, and I started noticing some aging on my hands – change of texture and a couple of dark spots. I got a jar of the Lather AHA Hand Creme with Evening Primrose in a FabFitFun box. It’s the only hand cream I’ve tried that is transformative – both immediate and long term results. Highly recommended if you want more youthful hands.

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