The Best Hand Creams to Keep in Your Carry-on Bag
When I travel, my hands seem to reach peak dryness. I get overwhelmed by options when I walk into the drug store or a beauty shop in search of a moisturizer that will give my hands the hydration they need in order to to face the change in weather, in addition to super-drying airplane cabins.
So to make things a little easier on all those who suffer from cracked, chapped, hard-working dry hands, we’ve compiled some of the absolute best, intensely hydrating hand creams to use when you’re traveling, especially to or from cold and dry destinations.
Here, you’ll find something for every need, from anti-aging cream to the best drugstore option (we know there are too many!); hand creams created with safe ingredients to target eczema-prone skin, or lotions that smell so delicious you’ll near ditch your perfume. Most of our picks meet the carry-on size requirement of 3.4 ounces or less, and trust that those that may not be available in a convenient travel-ready size are so good that it's worth the time spent siphoning them into portable bottles.
Best for Dry Hands: Weleda Skin Food
Certified natural with light floral fragrance, this ultra-rich cream relies on extracts like calendula and chamomile, beeswax, and almond oil to penetrate dry, rough skin for a deep and lasting hydration.
To buy: amazon.com, $11
Best Vitamin E Hand Cream: Kiehl’s Richly Hydrating Hand Cream
Shea butter and vitamin E come together in this soothing, deeply hydrating cream to heal and protect dry hands in need of some serious love.
To buy: kiehls.com, $15
Best Hand Cream on Amazon: L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream
Best Smelling Hand Cream: Inis Nourishing Hand Cream
Fair warning: once you start using Inis hand cream, you may never go back, solely because of the ocean-fresh scent — not to mention how soft and smooth it will leave your hands thanks to argan oil, seaweed extracts, and 20 percent shea butter.
To buy: amazon.com, $17
Best Natural Pick: Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream
It probably comes as no surprise that a company well known its steadfast dedication to sourcing ingredients from nature is our pick for the best natural hand cream. Loaded with hydrating, plant-based ingredients like baobab oil, watermelon seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, and green tea extract, this rich, unscented lotion hydrates tough skin, and you can rest easy knowing the ingredients used are not harmful.
To buy: amazon.com, $12
Best Hand Cream for Sensitive Skin: Aveda Hand Relief
A T+L editor applies this hand lotion every morning, and reports that the hydrating results last all day long. With an ingredient list that’s 95 percent naturally derived, this cream is free of synthetic fragrances, animal ingredients, petrolatum, and formaldehyde. And it leaves no greasy residue.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $9
Best Hand Cream With SPF: SuperGoop! Forever Young Hand Cream
The best part about this hand cream? It basically doubles as an anti-aging cream, too. Between the powerful antioxidants, argan oil, meadowfoam, and SPF 40, you’ve got a combination that packs a seriously protective punch.
To buy: sephora.com, $12
Best Drugstore Pick: Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Fast Absorbing Hand Cream
This classic formula from Neutrogena is just as effective as it is affordable. Unscented, fast-absorbing, and a true bargain, you’ll have soft, happy hands within just a few days of repeated use .
To buy: amazon.com, $27 for a pack of three
Best Hand Cream Under $10: O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Cream
It’s pretty much impossible to go wrong with O’Keeffe’s (just read those Amazon reviews). Because this treatment cream — which consists of ingredients like water, glycerin, and paraffin — creates a protective layer on the skin that locks in moisture, you can expect to see a dramatic difference in hydration after just a couple days.
To buy: amazon.com, $8
Best Hand Cream with Collagen: Salcoll Collagen Hand Cream
The naturally occurring, protein-packed collagen in this anti-aging hand cream results in supple, smooth skin, while also addressing severe dryness, and boosting skin cell regeneration.
To buy: amazon.com, $30
Best Hand Cream for Eczema: Aveeno Active Naturals Eczema Therapy Itch Relief Balm
Aveeno is famous for its ability to deliver soothing, hypoallergenic formulas, and this cream is one of the brand’s top-rated performers. The tried and true eczema therapy balm uses colloidal oatmeal to calm itchy, dry skin, while also strengthening the skin’s natural barrier to lock in long-lasting moisture.
To buy: amazon.com, $18
Best Coconut Hand Cream: Skin Trip
It’s hard to decide what’s better: the delicious, coconut scent of this hand cream or its luxuriously smooth texture. Made from clean and simple ingredients like coconut oil, aloe vera, and distilled lanolin, your hands and body will be beyond happy — and hydrated — after applying this lotion.
To buy: walgreens.com, $10
Best Organic Hand Cream: Alba Botanica Jasmine & Vitamin E Hawaiian Moisture Cream
Lightweight, hypo-allergenic, and 100 percent vegetarian ingredients: the Alba Botanica jasmine and Vitamin E moisturizer deeply nourishes, intensely hydrates, and quickly rejuvenates dry, cracked skin, leaving it soft and smelling absolutely delicious.
To buy: amazon.com, $10
Best Soothing Hand Cream: SheaMoisture Raw Shea Chamomile & Argan Oil Baby Lotion
It may be made for babes, but there’s no reason adults shouldn’t use this rich, soothing moisturizer, too. Made from raw shea butter, calming chamomile and argan oil, you’ll find that this hand cream is gentle on delicate skin while it quickly alleviates dryness and protects against further irritation. Plus, it has a delightful and calming scent.
To buy: target.com, $8
Best for Anti-Aging: Aveeno Positively Ageless
Rule number one for younger-looking skin: hydration. Aveeno’s anti-aging line, Positively Ageless, is all about deep, intense moisture.
To buy: amazon.com, $6
Best Non-oily Hand Cream: Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
Available in two sizes, this high-quality, rich balm uses botanicals and emollients like mandarin rind and rosemary leaf to yield a deeply hydrating cream that smells delicious and doesn’t leave an oily residue behind.
To buy: nordstrom.com, $27
Best Hand Cream for Men: Vaseline Men Extra Strength Hand and Body Lotion
The best thing about this cream? It absorbs in 15 seconds, priming dry skin for the deep hydration that just several uses will yield. Made with special micro droplets of Vaseline Jelly and Vitamin B3, this cream promises to keep dry skin hydrated for three weeks.
To buy: target.com, $6