If you’ve been frequently washing and sanitising since the start of the COVID-19 saga, chances are your hands are a dry, cracking mess by now.

We can’t stress the importance of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and choosing (or making) a good sanitiser with at least 60 percent alcohol content, but these practices also extremely drying to your cuticles and palms.

In the spirit of #selfcare, we’ve collated a list of the best hand creams out there to salvage your parched digits. These vitamin- and antioxidant-rich formulations not only work wonders on the damage brought forth from your new-found hygiene habits, they’ll also offer long-lasting protection against environmental damage.

From Kiehl’s heavy-duty salve to Le Labo’s luxuriously scented pomade, here are our favourite hand creams to stock up on now.

Byredo Suede Hand Cream

If you’ve missed using Byredo’s luscious scents during the quarantine, the brand has lotions that’ll do the trick just as well while keeping those hands moisturised. You might already have a favourite scent, so it makes sense to dive for a matching one. Otherwise, the Suede hand lotion is one of the brand’s top sellers, and features the same olfactory alchemy courtesy of bergamot, musk, and amber. Packaged within a utilitarian-chic tube, the formula relies on glycerin for hydration and a good percentage of good ol’ shea butter, giving you intense protection against dry skin without the greasy feel.

From S$77 for 100ml. Available at Byredo and Escentials.

Verso Hand Serum

Swedish skincare brand Verso knows a thing or two about delivering more than mere hydration. This creamy hand lotion’s rich antioxidant and niacinamide content also diminishes wrinkles, sun damage, and dark spots besides relieving dryness and itchiness, so you can be sure you’re getting all-round protection here. It’s also loaded with the brand’s proprietary Retinol 8, a vitamin A complex that’s eight times more effective than retinol in boosting cell regeneration, but half as irritative.

From S$78 for 30ml. Available at Verso and Escentials.

Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment Cream

Being deprived of a manicure for a couple of months isn’t excuse for unsightly hands and cuticles. Clarins’ lightweight hand and nail treatment cream provides not only the nourishment properties of shea butter, but also reduces dark spots with Japanese mulberry extract and keeps cuticles conditioned and nails strong with myrrh extract.

From S$43 for 100ml. Available at Clarins, Tangs, and Robinsons.

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

As its name so modestly suggests, you can trust this calming eucalyptus-scented salve to get right down to business with its heavy-duty formula. Expect a luxurious mix of reparative oils — think avocado, olive and sesame seed — which draw and absorb water from the air to form a “glove-like” protective barrier against moisture loss. 

From S$27 for 75ml. Available at Kiehl’s, Tangs, and Metro.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

A potent blend of coconut and sweet almond oils aside, this concentrated cream’s refreshing burst of mandarin, rosemary, and cedar makes it a treat to apply throughout the day. The calming salve also combats the signs of aging with wheat germ oil and beta carotene, if you needed an extra excuse to lather yourself in it.

From S$39 for 75ml. Available at Aesop, Tangs, and Look Fantastic.

Le Labo Hand Pomade

Le Labo’s creamy and non-greasy hand pomade was clearly made to revive the toughest of hands, especially since its plant-based formula involves the likes of sweet almond to moisturise and peony root to repair. There’s also shea butter to nourish the skin, but it’s really its aromatic basil and verbena fragrance that’ll win you over. 

From S$31 for 55ml. 

Lano Hand Cream Intense

Like its cult lip salve Lanolips, Lano’s hand cream incorporates its hero ingredient lanolin, a fat-rich emollient derived from sheep, within this rich formulation. There are four naturally-infused options, but the Coconutter wins our vote during these rough times being cooped at home for smelling so deliciously reminiscent of a beach vacation in the Maldives. 

From S$15 for 50ml. 

Shatricia Nair
Deputy Editor
Shatricia Nair is a motoring, watches, and wellness writer who is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, tourbillons, and the latest fitness trends. She is fuelled by peanut butter and three cups of coffee a day.