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Men often ask a lot of their hands. Their occupation may involve manual labor, or their favorite hobby may leave hands a little rough, too.
If the skin on your hands is irritated and cracking, you can’t wait for relief. That’s why you need a superior hand cream or lotion – including Gold Bond’s Everyday Essentials Lotion – which we’ll cover in our reviews of the best hand lotion for men.
We’ll review 9 creams and lotions, discuss some hand lotion/cream buying tips, look at how to apply hand lotion and cream, and also review different types of hand moisturizers.
Let’s get started.
|Gold Bond Men’s Everyday Essentials Lotion||Check on Amazon →|
|Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer||Check on Amazon →|
|O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream||Check on Amazon →|
|Burt’s Bee’s Ultimate Care Hand Cream||Check on Amazon →|
|Nivea Men’s Maximum Hydration 3-in-1 Nourishing Lotion||Check on Amazon →|
|Brickell Men’s Maximum Strength Hand Lotion||Check on Amazon →|
|Ahava Men’s Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream||Check on Amazon →|
|Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream||Check on Amazon →|
|Man Lotion Hand, Face, and Body Lotion||Check on Amazon →|
Before you buy: 5 Things to consider when purchasing hand cream or lotion
Walk down any aisle in your favorite pharmacy or supermarket that features hand creams and lotions and something becomes clear instantly: there are many, many choices.
While it’s tempting to grab the first container of cream or lotion that catches your eye, or one you may have heard about, it’s always good to have some knowledge – and research – at your side before you choose.
Consider the following factors as you pick a lotion that’s best suited for you:
A lotion’s ingredients help determine its effectiveness and can separate it from other less-effective products. As a general rule, you should choose products with as many natural ingredients as possible.
Natural ingredients are as effective – if not more – than chemical alternatives – and, of course, safer for your skin and well-being.
Some ingredients to look for include carrier oils and essential oils. Carrier oils, which come from seeds and nuts, moisturize the skin among other attributes. Carrier oils include coconut oil, jojoba oil, and almond oil.
Essential oils, such as sandalwood, pine, and cedarwood, typically provide a lotion with its scent (usually subtle) while offering other benefits for skin health.
Shea butter and cocoa butter have moisturizing qualities and help to soften skin. Fatty alcohols, meanwhile, stabilize a lotion’s ingredients while also acting as an emollient, i.e., skin softener.
Some ingredients to avoid include synthetic colors and fragrances. They often contain ingredients that can cause skin irritation, particularly for men with sensitive skin.
Short-chain alcohols –sometimes referred to as “simple” alcohol – can irritate and even damage the skin. Be wary of chemical names such as isopropyl, ethanol, and propanol, among many others.
Parabens, often found in mass-produced hand creams and lotions, act as a preservative but are linked to a variety of health problems, although there’s no definitive proof yet.
2. Skin type
Another important thing to keep in mind when buying hand cream is your skin type. You may have dry, cracked, sensitive, or normal skin, and the lotion you choose should work effectively for your type.
No matter which lotion or cream you choose, you’re going to have to live with its smell. Some lotions have stronger fragrances than others, and you may or may not prefer a subtler scent and, if you’re like a lot of men, you prefer something with a masculine smell.
Also, it’s always a good idea to choose a scent that complements other fragrances you wear, such as cologne.
While a higher price doesn’t guarantee a higher quality, some brands are worth a heftier price tag because of their overall effectiveness. Then again, some lower-priced lotions work just as well as pricier ones, which is another reason why it pays to do your research.
Generally speaking, you can find quality products to fit every budget. Also, be wary when shopping online; buy from credible online stores and not sketchier ones that often sell products at a drastically lower price (because they may be cheap knock-offs, for one).
You’d be hard-pressed to find a hand lotion that didn’t moisturize the skin, but some also help repair cracked skin while also soothing sensitive skin.
Now let’s move on to our reviews of the best creams and lotions.
The 9 best hand creams and lotions for men 2020
- Repairs damaged skin
The best hand lotion/cream for:
Men looking for a versatile product that covers all of their hand care needs
Men’s hands can get dry and rough, more so than women in many cases. But Gold Bond is all about handling the tough cases and its Everyday Essentials Lotion is a multi-purpose solution for dry and cracked skin.
Moreover, like all of Gold Bond’s products, it’s fast-acting. If you need a quick dose of moisture, this lotion is for you. It also repairs and soothes skin without making you wait; according to Gold Bond, absorption into the skin takes only 15 seconds.
While Everyday Essentials provides fast relief for dry skin, it works to repair and heal skin over time with consistent use. After a couple of weeks you’ll notice that your skin dries out less frequently and has a healthier look overall.
That’s one of many reasons why it ranks among the best hand cream for dry hands.
Another plus is that it doesn’t go on too thickly but isn’t greasy, either. You’ll experience near-instant relief that lets you return to the task at hand without delay.
- It’s an easy-to-use solution that serves multiple needs, and it’s very affordable.
- It has a fresh scent that’s noticeable but not overpowering.
- It doesn’t go on too thick, dries quickly, and it lets you get back to work sooner rather than later.
- Some users say that the cap doesn’t seal tightly enough.
Gold Bond sets a gold standard for men’s cosmetic products and its Everyday Essentials Lotion has everything you need to treat your dry, cracked skin.
- Repairs dry and cracked skin
The best hand lotion/cream for:
Working men who often experience dry, cracked skin
The name says it all with this hand cream: “Industrial Strength.” Jack Black’s Hand Healer is ideal for any man, but especially for men who make their living while using their hands.
Construction work and other types of manual labor can lead to cracked skin, callouses, and more, but Jack Black offers a solution with its versatile cream.
And by versatile, we mean it’s also effective for treating dry and cracked skin on your feet, elbows, ankles, or any place where you have irritated skin.
It also helps to repair skin that has tiny cuts and bruises, another hazard when working in demanding occupations.
Unlike many other lotions, Jack Black’s Hand Healer goes on thickly because it doesn’t use grease or oil. This can take some getting used to, but it dries quickly and doesn’t leave behind residue.
You won’t waste time while waiting for it to absorb into your skin, and you don’t need to apply a lot of it to reap its many benefits.
The Hand Healer formula includes pure cornstarch, organic green tea, and lavender, all of which soothe and refresh skin.
It also includes macadamia nut oil that softens and moisturizes the skin. And it has a refreshingly cool and light scent that makes it the best smelling men’s hand lotion on our list.
While the Hand Healer is more expensive than some other lotions and creams, it comes in a 16-ounce bottle that should last you a long time.
- It’s versatile enough for use on your hands, feet, elbows, and other distressed areas of the skin.
- It helps to heal small callouses on the hands.
- Its non-oily, non-greasy formula doesn’t leave behind a residue like some other creams and lotions.
- It’s a little bit on the pricier side of things.
Whether you’re a man who works in physically-demanding jobs or not, the Jack Black Hand Healer keeps your hands moisturized, smooth, and free from cuts and callouses.
- Works well on extremely dry hands
- Comes in a tube or jar
- Protects and soothes skin
The best hand lotion/cream for:
Men who need a heavy-duty hand cream
We spend time in these reviews examining hand creams and lotions for men who work in physical, manual-labor occupations with good reason.
They, perhaps more than anyone, can experience rough, dry, and cracked hands that are painful and may even hinder their work.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream is an excellent hand lotion for mechanics or anyone whose hands take a beating during a long day.
It’s a concentrated cream that repairs and relieves extremely dry, cracked skin while providing a protective layer that improves hydration and prevents moisture loss.
Like some other creams and lotions on our list, O’Keeffe’s hand cream works quickly and, with consistent use, you’ll notice a long-lasting difference in how your skin feels and looks.
A small amount of it also goes a long way, and O’Keeffe’s advises that you apply it after you wash your hands – and also at bedtime – to get the best results.
This cream’s protective layer, as mentioned, traps in moisture while preventing moisture loss. It’s also suitable for people with diabetes who have to be wary of skin absorption of harmful chemicals and sugars.
While you only get a small amount – 3.4-ounces – in each tin, you only need to use a small amount of the cream to notice positive results. If you like it, which we think you will, you can always buy multiple tins for long-term use.
- This cream produces long-lasting effects that help keep skin healthy well into the future.
- Both the tube and jar forms come with a 100% money-back guarantee.
- It provides a protective layer over the skin that keeps moisture in.
- You only get a small amount for what you pay for it.
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream offers a heavy-duty solution to treating dried, chapped, and irritated hands.
- Natural ingredients
- Helps to exfoliate the skin
The best hand lotion/cream for:
Men with sensitive skin who also need a good exfoliating cream
When you see the name “Burt’s Bees,” think natural. The North Carolina-based company is all about loading their products with natural ingredients, including their Ultimate Care Hand Cream for men.
And while it’s now the property of Clorox, Burt’s Bees assures its customers that they won’t retreat from their original mission.
The Ultimate Care Hand Cream includes a plethora of natural ingredients, include pumpkin oil, watermelon seed oil, and green tea extract that help provide natural protection for rough, hard-working skin, even skin exposed to harsh elements.
There’s also a natural fruit acid complex that serves to exfoliate the skin while ridding it of dead cells, which helps keep your hands soft and fully-hydrated throughout the day. Plus, the Ultimate Care Hand Cream works quickly to relieve chapping, calloused, or irritated skin.
It’s also a good choice for men with sensitive skin who may experience more irritation because of the chemicals found in other lotions and creams.
There are many other things to like about this hand cream, including that it’s dermatologist-tested, hypoallergenic, and doesn’t contain additional fragrance beyond its natural scent.
- It serves as an excellent exfoliant while removing dead skin cells, and allows the skin of your hands to moisturize itself naturally.
- It doesn’t leave a greasy residue after you’ve applied it.
- It moisturizes your skin even it’s naturally dry or cracked.
- May feel a bit sticky when you first apply it.
Burt’s Bees knows how to take care of a man’s skin – naturally – and their Ultimate Hair Hand Cream has a lot going for it, including that it’s the best hand cream for cracked fingers.
- 24-hour protection
- Absorbs quickly
- Exceptional moisturizer
The best hand lotion/cream for:
Men who want a versatile lotion that they can use on various parts of their body
Nivea’s Men’s Maximum Hydration 3-in-1 Nourishing Lotion is another product we like for, among other things, it’s versatility.
By versatile, we mean lotions that you can use on various parts of the body, and not just your hands, and offers the convenience of not having to switch from product to product to achieve head-to-toe hydration.
Nivea’s lotion also is for men who don’t have a lot of time to wait for a product to start working.
The 3-in-1 Nourishing Lotion absorbs into the skin quickly and provides its benefits almost immediately. Even better, its skin-healing and nourishing effects last for 24 hours.
You’ll also appreciate how easily the product goes on the skin while not leaving a greasy residue. And it’s specially formulated for men.
- Nivea’s Hydra-IQ technology helps the lotion absorb quickly into the skin while not leaving an oily feeling behind.
- You can use it on several parts of the body and it’s especially excellent for use on your face.
- One application provides a full-day of hydration and healing.
- It has a scent that not all users appreciate.
What’s not to like about a lotion that absorbs quickly, provides all-day relief, and is versatile enough for use on all areas of the skin?
- Natural ingredients
- Absorbs quickly
- Locks in moisture
The best hand lotion/cream for:
Men who spend a lot of time outdoors
Brickell is a fast-growing company founded in 2014 that prides itself on creating superior men’s grooming products that contain natural ingredients.
Their Maximum Strength Hand Lotion is a popular choice among many men, and lives up to the company’s reputation for quality. It’s designed, in part, for men who spend a lot of time involved in outdoor activities, whether it’s for work or pleasure.
It lives up to Brickell’s commitment to natural ingredients while including ingredients such as Vitamin E, shea butter, and jojoba oil.
Vitamin E helps repair dry and flaky skin; shea butter is a natural fat that moisturizes the skin; while jojoba oil builds a protective cushion that locks in moisture.
Other ingredients found in the Maximum Strength Hand Lotion are aloe vera and green tea. What you won’t find in it are parabens, silicones, sulfates, artificial fragrances, and other potentially harmful ingredients.
It’s also a fast-absorbing lotion that’s non-greasy and excellent for treating chapped, cracked, and dry skin. And it comes in scented and unscented versions.
- It comes in a convenient travel size that you can take anywhere.
- It has a lightweight, non-greasy feel that absorbs into the skin quickly.
- The scented versions include lemongrass, peppermint, and eucalyptus.
- The lotion feels a little runny to some users.
Brickell’s combination of natural ingredients and a strong commitment to excellence helps make their Maximum Strength Hand Lotion among the best around.
- Replenishes skin
The best hand/lotion cream for:
Men who want a lotion loaded with essential minerals
The Dead Sea contains a unique blend of minerals and salts that, in some cases, are nearly identical in structure to some of the minerals in the human body – particularly in skin cells.
It’s no surprise, then, that a Dead Sea formulation is excellent for treating skin disorders, including rough, dry, and chapped skin that the Ahava Dead Sea Mineral Hand Cream targets.
Ahava’s hand cream has 21 essential minerals – including potassium, calcium, and magnesium – that keep skin healthy and protected from the elements.
Moreover, the Ahava cream formula helps to lessen the signs of aging while helping to keep skin young-looking and healthy. Plus, it absorbs into the skin quickly and you’ll feel its soothing effects almost instantly.
Another key ingredient is witch hazel, which helps keep skin smooth and revitalized without leaving an oily residue behind. All in all, this cream enhances the skin’s moisture level immediately.
- We like that this cream is paraben-free, hypoallergenic, and vegan.
- It’s formulated for daily use and helps to lock in moisture.
- It has a lightweight feel but is packed with essential minerals that help heal and revitalize the skin.
- Its benefits aren’t as long-lasting as other creams and lotions.
Ahava incorporates a variety of unique minerals into a formula that provides instant relief to dry, rough skin.
- Provides excellent hydration
- Soothes rough skin
The best hand lotion/cream for:
Men looking for an affordable, yet effective hand cream
Neutrogena’s hand cream has been around for four decades and it includes a formula that still works terrifically after all these years.
Their Norwegian formula cream is effective for treating dry, rough skin, but also an affordable option that comes in a 3-pack that should last you a long time. Each 2-ounce tube contains enough lotion for 200 applications.
A key ingredient in this hand cream is glycerin, which offers several benefits for the skin, not the least of which its moisturizing qualities. It reduces dry, dull patches on the skin, while maintaining the proper hydration balance needed for healthy skin.
Moreover, glycerin helps promote cell growth that, in turn, enables the skin to heal. It also provides long-lasting relief; a single application will last you a long time.
- It’s versatile enough to use on your elbows, knees, lips, and face.
- It’s fragrance-free for the most part, although its ingredients create a natural mild lavender scent that’s pleasing.
- It comes with a sturdy screw cap that ensures no product is wasted.
- It feels a little oily when compared to some other lotions.
Neutrogena is a trusted name in the world of grooming products and their Norwegian Formula Moisturizing Hand Cream is formulated to treat dry, rough skin.
- Masculine, fresh scent
- No greasy residue
Best hand lotion/cream for:
Men who want an effective hand lotion that’s decidedly masculine
The team at Man Lotion is serious about developing products that manage the delicate balance between too-masculine and too-girly.
That in mind, they’ve developed their Hand, Face and Body Lotion which is neither too manly – but manly enough – or too feminine. It’s a masculine product, for sure, but doesn’t have an overpowering smell that lingers way too long.
Instead, it has a clean, natural scent that’s pleasing but isn’t going to overpower your co-workers. Scent aside, it’s a great all-around lotion that you can use on other parts of your body.
It’s also fast-absorbing and doesn’t leave a greasy residue, and is formulated specifically to moisturize dry, rough skin.
More good news is that it doesn’t include parabens or petroleum byproducts that are often toxic. It contains vitamins and natural plant extracts, instead, and isn’t tested on animals.
- Its natural scent has a hint of spice and is decidedly masculine without going overboard.
- Men who perform manual labor and other physically-intensive tasks love this lotion.
- The lotion includes vitamins A and D, and hydrolyzed wheat protein to help build strong, healthier skin.
- The scent isn’t overpowering but it’s not for everyone.
Like the man wielding a sledgehammer on its container, Man Lotion’s versatile body lotion is a no-frills product that gets the job done.
How to apply hand lotion and hand cream
Even applying a good hand lotion or cream twice a week can help keep your hands properly moisturized. But if you work outdoors or have a job that’s physically demanding on your hands, you can apply it more frequently, including daily, or even twice daily.
Either way, applying hand cream isn’t a complicated process:
1. Choose the right amount
A general rule, a little hand cream or lotion goes a long way. How much you use depends on the size of your hands, of course, but usually a dime-sized amount, or slightly bigger, is enough.
2. Wash your hands
It’s always a good idea to wash your hands before applying hand cream. Also, pat them dry to remove any moisture so the skin absorbs the lotion better.
3. Remove jewelry and accessories
Take off your rings, watches, bracelets, etc., before you apply the cream to ensure that you cover all areas of the skin without harming your valuables.
4. Apply it in sections
You’ll get better overall coverage with the lotion if you apply in sections. Start at the top of your hands and work the lotion into the knuckles, between each finger, on the palm, and around the wrist.
5. Spread it evenly
Again, you don’t need to drench your hands with lotion because a small amount of it should be enough. Just make that you have enough to spread an even layer over your hands, fingers, and wrists.
6. Don’t wash your hands immediately
Give your skin time to absorb the lotion before washing your hands, if you feel the need to wash them, that is.
The 3 Main Types of Hand Moisturizers
We talk about cream and lotion in this article and it may seem like they’re interchangeable parts. While they’re a lot alike, they’re also not the same.
They are the two main types of hand moisturizers, however, while balm is another product used to treat men’s often rough, dry hands.
The biggest difference between cream and lotion is that cream has a higher viscosity and lotion, i.e., they’re a lot thicker. They’re usually stored in jars because they’re too thick for most bottles and pumps.
Creams are excellent for treating dry skin because they add a layer of protection that’s particularly effective in dry or winter climates in which there’s less moisture in the air.
Creams generally feel greasier than most lotions because they have a higher percentage of oil. That said, you shouldn’t use oil-based creams on your face unless you have extremely dry skin.
In general, if you have excessively dry skin (or normal skin during the winter months), cream offers a lot of benefits. The extra layer of protection provides superior hydration.
Creams with a heavier consistency are ideal for use during the evening.
Lotions are low viscosity and thinner than creams. They contain a lot of water and are easier to spread over larger areas of the skin than creams. Many lotions are stored in bottles that have a pump or squeeze top.
People with normal skin that isn’t excessively dry can usually get away with using lotion as their primary moisturizer. They’re effective in the summer or humid climates where there’s already plenty of moisture in the air.
Another benefit of lotion is that it leaves a less-greasy residue than cream; also, it’s easy to apply, especially on areas of the body covered by hair.
Balms are denser than lotions and creams and formulated with beeswax or oil as its base. It’s particularly effective in areas of extremely dry skin, such as the hands or joint areas. Because they’re so dense, they’re typically not suitable or use on the face.
How we chose these products
Among the factors we took into consideration when choosing the creams and lotions for our review was, of course, effectiveness (does it actually work?) but also versatility.
Products you can use on more than one part of the body, and not just the hands, always help to simplify your grooming routine.
We also considered other factors, not the least of which were the reviews of others, including price, fragrance, and ease of application. Almost all of the products in our reviews earned high marks in all of these categories.
Hand cream is a must for any man who works with his hands or who suffers from dry skin in general. Your grooming routine should include the consistent application of creams and lotions to keep your skin healthy and you comfortable.
Do you use hand cream? If so, which product? We always welcome your input and would love to hear from you.