best hand creams of 2020

AD | 5 Sweet Smelling Hand Creams To Soothe Your Lockdown Hands

[This post is sponsored by Notino]

Lockdown hands. I’ve got them. You’ve got them. My husband … actually doesn’t have them, because Mr Perfectpants over there has been doing exactly the right amount of handwashing to repel the virus, while simultaneously keeping his freakishly soft hands (Seriously, though, how does he do it? He never uses hand cream, so does he have a portrait of his hands in the attic or something? Has he made a deal with the devil? WHAT, though?) in perfect shape. Don’t you just hate him?

As for the rest of us, though, well, if you’re anything like me (And I really hope you are, or I’m about to make myself sound spectacularly stupid here…), I’m willing to bet your hands are currently telling the tale of two months worth of near-constant handwashing, right? In my case, my hands were ALREADY in pretty rough shape going into lockdown: mostly because of all of the additional handwashing parenthood seems to involve. Add in those weeks in February/early March when Max was still in nursery, and my health anxiety was already in overdrive due to the approaching pandemic, and I guess it’s not really surprising that, a few weeks ago, my hands actually started bleeding, they were so dry. Seriously.

I’m happy to report, however, that I’ve been able to dial-down the non-stop handwashing a bit since we went into lockdown. (It’s OK, I’m not just throwing caution to the wind: because we’re shielding we literally haven’t left the house in eight weeks now, so I’ve been able to go back to just washing my hands at all of the times I’d normally wash them, as opposed to every single time I touch something…) My hands, meanwhile, have been gradually starting to look like they belong on a human again, so I’ve rounded up five of my (current) favourite hand creams, for anyone else who dreams of being able to bend their fingers again without wanting to cry: and given that we can’t just pop out to the chemists to buy them, these are all available to order online from my sponsors at Notino…

nude nail polish collection by Essie01.
YOPE Ginger & Sandalwood Natural Hand Cream

Not only does this one come in a satisfyingly squishy tube, it also smells absolutely gorgeous – like, er, ginger and sandalwood, surprisingly enough. It’s quite a strong scent (I actually applied it about 40 minutes ago, and I can still smell it now…), so if you’re not a fan of perfumed products, this might not be the one for you. It is, however, very eco-friendly, with recyclable packaging and over 90% natural ingredients, and it’s also suitable for sensitive skin. I’ll be honest: I picked it out mostly for the packaging, but what’s inside is just as nice, luckily.

John Masters Organics hand cream review02.
John Masters Organics Orange & Rose Hand Cream

As good as this cream smells , my favourite thing about it isn’t the orange & rose fragrance, but how quickly it sinks into the skin. One of the reasons my hands got into such a bad way, despite having hand cream dotted all over the house, was the fact that I’m much too impatient to wait ages for my hands to stop feeling slippery after applying cream to them, so I tell myself I’ll do it later, then just never get around to it. This cream, however, is totally non-greasy, and leaves your hands feeling soft and smooth as soon as you’ve finished applying it: so, even if I’d hated the scent (I don’t), it would’ve been worth it for that reason alone.

the best hand creams for super-dry hands

L’Occitane Rose Hand Cream

Yup, it’s another rose scented balm: what can I say, when it comes to hand cream, I obviously have a “type”. This one is very much my type, though, : the fragrance is one of those delicate, vaguely old-fashion rose scents, and it’s not in the least bit artificial smelling, which makes it a real treat to apply. The main ingredient here is shea butter, and, this is another cream that melts into the hands really easily, leaving them feeling instantly softer. (Oh, and I also love the packaging of this one, which helps make it feel just a little bit more luxurious than the very basic, supermarket own brand stuff I’d been using previously…)

nude nail polish collection by Essie[L-R My favourite Essie nude nail polishes in Topless & Bare, Sugar Daddy, Mademoiselle & Ballet Slippers]

Biotherm Bath Therapy Relaxing Blend Hand Cream

After all of those rose-scented products, here’s something totally different: a very refreshing, fruity blend of berries and rosemary, combined with shea butter and apricot oil, and claiming to moisturise your hands for 48 hours. (Which, no, it doesn’t, really: or not in this house, anyway. I mean, I might not be washing my hands quite as much as I was when I was still leaving the house on a regular basis, but I DO still have a toddler, and a huge amount of pandemic-related health anxiety, so absolutely nothing is lasting for 48 hours on these hands…) This one is a little more greasy than the other products I’ve featured here, but the scent is a nice change, and although it claims to be “relaxing”, I actually find it helps wake me up a bit, which is always welcome in these permanently-tired times.

rose scented hand cream05.
Roger & Gallet Rose Hand and Nail Cream

Yeah, I know – I gave you ONE fruit-scented product, then it was right back to rose again. What was that I was saying about having a ‘type’? This cream might sound similar to some of the others, however, but they actually all smell quite different, with this one having a much fresher scent than the rest. It’s every bit as moisturising, though, with no greasy film, and although the tube itself is quite small, it’s the perfect size to throw in your handbag – assuming, of course, that you still actually need one these days.

Have you been suffering from lockdown hands? What have you been using to fix them?


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  • Mary Katherine


    These look wonderful, Amber! Those of us “out and about” have discovered that hand sanitizer EATS skin. It feel like I’m wearing suede gloves! While my grocery is a mega-store where I can buy anything from clothing to housewares, I feel like I need to shoot in and out, mask-wrapped, and strolling the personal care aisles just seems …frivolous, right now. So this is definately something I’d order online. And I’m glad someone else appreciates a squishy tube – made of malleable metal or something, right?

    May 13, 2020