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24 Best Hand Creams to Nourish Even the Most Parched Skin

Scrubbing your hands raw? Here are the best hand creams for dry skin that have garnered rave reviews from consumers and top dermatologists.

Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication.

24 Best Hand Creams To Nourish Even The Most Parched Skin Ft Via Merchantrd.com, via merchant (3)

Soothe your dry, cracked hands

Constantly washing your hands, using sanitizer and simply being in dry air all wreak havoc on our poor skin. Of course, we want to remain germ-free, but in keeping our hands super clean, we might be removing more than just germs. “Along with germs, soap also breaks down the natural oils in the outermost layer of our skin. This layer is protective, maintaining moisture in the skin,” says David Lortscher, MD, a dermatologist in San Diego. But it’s not like we’re going to stop washing our hands, so what can we do? The solution is clear: Use the best hand creams—specifically the best hand creams for dry skin. “Applying a moisturizer after washing helps restore that barrier,” Dr. Lortscher says. “If your hands are left un-moisturized after frequent washing or use of hand sanitizer, itching, flaking and, in severe cases, cracking may result.”

The weather also plays a part in drying out skin. But even when the temperature warms up, dry-air problems can remain. “It’s not just the wintry weather that wreaks havoc on our hands,” says New York City dermatologist Hadley King, MD, a clinical instructor of dermatology at the Weill Medical College of Cornell University. “Low humidity and indoor heating [or cooling] can also lead to dry, cracked skin.”

While you can definitely add moisture back to the air with one of the best humidifiers to prevent dryness, there are also products to use to help our skin feel better (not to mention, it’s one of the habits that make you look younger), including the best lotion for dry skin, the best body butters and the best face moisturizers. For your hands, though, you should look for a specifically formulated hand cream.

“Ideally, any time that you wash your hands, you should be moisturizing afterward, especially in the wintertime,” says Orit Markowitz, MD, a dermatologist and founder of OptiSkin in New York City. You should also try to protect your hands from harsh soaps and ingredients. “Use a mild soap and protect your hands by wearing gloves if you’re washing dishes and exposing hands to harsh ingredients.”

How to choose the best hand creams for dry skin

How do you pick a hand cream that’s up to the task? According to Dr. King, moisturizers for the hands, as well as for any other areas of skin, should contain three key components:

  • Humectants, like hyaluronic acid and glycerin, to draw water into the top layer of the skin
  • Emollients that seal the water in, like fatty acids and ceramides
  • Occlusives—such as petroleum, beeswax, mineral oil, silicones, lanolin and zinc oxide—that provide a protective barrier to prevent water loss

Of course, that’s a lot of label-reading, and not all moisturizers are created equal. Dermatologists have the expertise when it comes to skin and skin-care products, including what hand cream is best for your individual needs. With the help of our experts, we rounded up the best-reviewed hand creams on the market, including the ones that earned more than 4.5 stars from Amazon reviewers—so that your poor hands get some much-needed TLC.

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Perricone Md Cold Plasma Plus Hand Therapy Ecomm Via Ultavia merchant

Best hand cream for overworked hands

Perricone MD Cold Plasma Plus+ Hand Therapy

Loaded with shea butter, which comes from the nut of the shea tree native to Africa, this luxurious hand cream is rich in essential fatty acids, perfect for those who wash their hands a million times a day. The amino acid glycine in the formula, meanwhile, improves moisture retention. It also contains phospholipids, which help aid in the skin’s absorption of those active ingredients. A verified Amazon reviewer gushed, “This product actually works. I honestly didn’t think/believe the claim to lessen the look of hand veins. So much so that I didn’t even bother taking a before picture … BUT after 3 weeks, even my husband noticed the difference. ” Before moisturizing with the best hand creams for dry skin, follow the most hygienic way to dry your hands to keep them properly hydrated and further keep germs at bay.

Pros:

  • Improves skin hydration and appearance
  • Uses shea butter for moisturization

Con:

  • Pricey

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Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Cream Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best hand cream for hand eczema

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Daily Moisturizing Cream

For the many folks who suffer from eczema, constant hand-scrubbing can be even more irritating and uncomfortable. This utterly non-greasy cream from Aveeno has colloidal oatmeal, a soothing agent known to help skin retain water, while also acting as an anti-inflammatory. Other notable ingredients include glycerin and ceramide. While Dr. Lortscher says this is a great pick for hands, he cautions against using it on your face, as it contains potentially pore-clogging ingredients. People with eczema gave it stellar reviews. One says, “It is like a miracle for me. I’ve been fighting itchy rashy eczema on my hands…This is the best most remarkable stuff I ever used and now my hands are soft and totally clear.” It’s one of the drugstore beauty products dermatologists swear by.

Pros:

  • Awarded the National Eczema Association seal of acceptance
  • Reduces eczema symptoms including itchiness, redness, dryness and irritation
  • Widely available

Con:

  • Some users found it sticky upon application

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Nails Inc Thirsty Hands Super Hydrating Hand Mask Ecomm Via Targetvia merchant

Best at-home spa experience hand cream

Nails Inc. Thirsty Hands Hand Mask

If there was ever a time to think outside the tube, it may be now. Imbued with a blend of plant extracts, shea butter and vitamin E, these funky hand mask gloves will soften and rejuvenate your hard-working hands—and are one of the best hand creams to give you a spa day at home. Leave them on for 15 to 20 minutes while you lounge on your couch. The fingertips are touch-screen friendly, so you can scroll on your phone while the mitts work their magic. When time’s up, take them off and gently massage in any leftover lotion. It can also be part of a fun at-home DIY manicure.

Pros:

  • Vegan and cruelty-free
  • Smells amazing

Con:

  • Single-use product

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Crepe Erase Advanced Anti Aging Repair Treatment Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best hand cream for crepey skin

Crépe Erase Advanced Anti-Aging Hand Repair Treatment

As hands age, skin can lose its elasticity, resulting in loose, wrinkly, thin skin that’s often described as “crepey.” This Crépe Erase hand cream is one of the best hand creams that specifically targets this issue to support skin’s elastin and collagen production, plumping up skin for a more youthful appearance. One of the anti-aging creams dermatologists trust, the product’s TruFirm Complex uses phytonutrients including apple, dill and sage extracts to protect the skin’s structure.

Pros:

  • Hydrating actives lock in moisture
  • Plumps skin for a softer, more youthful appearance

Con:

  • Can irritate eyes, so be careful not to touch your peepers after putting the cream on your hands

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Eos Shea Better Coconut Hand Cream Ecomm Via Target.comvia merchant

Best budget hand cream

Eos Shea Better Hand Cream

The best hand creams aren’t all out of reach, even if you’re on a budget. This Eos hand cream smells and feels luxe, but the price is a true bargain—one of the best natural beauty products for your money. Rich in sustainably-sourced shea oil and shea butter, it instantly deep-moisturizes. It comes in five scents, but we vote for the coconut, which reminds us of a tropical vacation. Bonus: Each purchase supports the Global Shea Alliance, which works to make a positive impact on shea farmers. One satisfied customer raved: “I was to the point of using a pumice stone on my fingers because they were so rough and dry. I’ve been using this for a little over a week and the rough patches are gone!”

Pros:

  • Sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly
  • Lasts through handwashing for 24 hours
  • Paraben, phthalate and gluten-free

Con:

  • Small bottle

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Bliss Lemon And Sage Hand Cream Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best fast-acting hand cream

Bliss Lemon & Sage Hand Cream

A sumptuous moisturizer with a sunny, fresh scent, this truly blissful hand cream from Bliss gets its oomph from aloe-leaf juice and a trifecta of hydrating oils—macadamia nuts, grapeseed and soybean. Rich in vitamins and antioxidants, it quickly absorbs into the skin for revived hands (and softened cuticles) without an oily feel. As one pleased reviewer put it, “My entire hands, including my cuticles, were just dying this winter, and this has really, really brought my skin back to health.” As with other vegan makeup brands, Bliss is planet-friendly, cruelty-free and made without parabens, phthalates or sulfates.

Pros:

  • Absorbs instantly into skin
  • Ingredients include aloe leaf extract and macadamia nut, grape seed and soybean oils

Con:

  • Some users didn’t like the scent

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Cerave Healing Ointment Moisturizing Skin Protectant Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best hand cream for very dry skin

CeraVe Healing Ointment

Formulated with ceramides, hyaluronic acid and petroleum, this classic ointment is one of the best hand creams for dry skin with thousands of positive reviews to soothe, hydrate and protect your skin from further damage. Plus, it’s hypoallergenic, so even if you have sensitive skin, it’ll be calming and soothing. One reviewer who gave it five stars called it a “serious treatment that works….A single application per day and you are good to go.” CeraVe also makes one of the best anti-aging eye creams for sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Trusted, widely available brand
  • Contains ceramides and hyaluronic acid to restore skin’s natural moisture barrier
  • National Eczema Association seal of acceptance product

Con:

  • Not all users may like the ointment feel

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Rose Hand Cream Intense Ecomm Via Ultavia merchant

Best scented hand cream

Lano Rose Hand Cream Intense

This Australian brand may not be a household name, but it should be—especially if you love the best hand creams that smell simply divine. This formula leaves a silky, protective veil over skin, thanks to its main antioxidant, rose oil. The heavenly fragrance comes from that oil, not artificial scents. Even better, Lano doesn’t test on animals, or contain parabens or sulfates. Bonus: It works amazingly well on dry feet, too, if you’re also looking for a product for your DIY pedicure.

Pros:

  • 98.6% natural ingredients, including ultra-hydrating lanolin
  • Woman-owned beauty brand

Con:

  • Screw-off cap

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Compagnie De Provence Extra Pure Hand Ecomm Via Walmartvia merchant

Best hand cream for travel

Compagnie de Provence Extra Pure Hand Cream

Good things come in small packages—3.4 ounces to be exact, which meets TSA’s limit for carry-on liquid products. This little luxury is also perfect for tucking in your purse or leaving in your car, so you’ll be ready to nourish your hands after making a grocery run. The non-greasy potion is one of the best hand creams to pamper weary hands with sweet almond, olive and grapeseed oil, as well as honey, which has scientifically-proven healing properties. It comes in a slew of intriguing scents, including Fig of Provence and Mediterranean Sea, but Mimosa Flower is the newest, with a bright, mood-lifting vibe—after all, some skin conditions get worse when you’re stressed.

Pros:

  • 96.7% natural ingredients, made in France
  • Perfect travel-size tube
  • 12 intriguing scents to choose from

Con:

  • Expensive

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Eltamd So Silky Creme Ecomm Via Dermstore.comvia merchant

Best hand cream for super-soft hands

EltaMD So Silky Hand Creme

If you want one of the dermatologist-approved best hand creams that still packs a seriously soothing punch, look no further than EltaMD’s hand cream. The clean beauty and cruelty-free product is stuffed with amazingly hydrating, smoothing and antioxidant ingredients including ceramides, vitamin E and jojoba esters. In addition, sclareolide, a compound derived from clary sage, targets discoloration to reduce dark spots. The result? Hands that look as good as they feel. For the rest of you, you can use one of the best body scrubs for smoother skin.

Pros:

  • Intense moisturization
  • Also targets hyperpigmentation

Con:

  • May need to apply multiple times a day

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La Roche Posay Lipikar Balm Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best hand cream for your skin’s microbiome

La Roche-Posay Lipikar Triple Repair Moisturizing Body Cream

This top-rated moisturizer from La Roche-Posay is the favorite of Kavita Mariwalla, MD, founder of Mariwalla Dermatology in West Islip, New York. She says that the preservation of the skin barrier and microbiome is crucial in the treatment of dry, irritated hands—and this top-notch cream, which contains a proprietary prebiotic thermal water, boosts and protects the microbiome and replenishes lipids. What’s the microbiome? “It’s the invisible community of microorganisms, including bacteria, found at the skin surface,” Dr. Mariwalla says. “Changes in the microbiome may be linked to a disruption of the skin’s natural barrier, which can cause visible signs of skin sensitivity. With the help of prebiotic moisturizers, we can reduce dry, irritated skin and minimize skin barrier disruption.”

Pros:

  • Prebiotics work to improve skin microbiome
  • More than 13,500 Amazon reviews with an average 4.7-star rating
  • Also includes shea butter, glycerin and niacinamide

Con:

  • Some users found the cream too thick

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Aquaphor Healing Ointment After Hand Wash Ecomm Via Targetvia merchant

Best hand cream for sensitive hands

Aquaphor Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy

Go old-school with this drugstore fave. Judging by its reviews, legions of folks with dry skin swear by it—and for good reason. Essentially a go-anywhere, do-anything skin protectant and rejuvenator, this is one of the best hand creams for dry skin with zero added fragrance or color, which makes it a go-to for those with sensitive skin. Plus, it soothes not only cracked hands but also sore feet, rough elbows, chapped lips and minor burns and scrapes with equal ease. It’s an excellent emollient, sealing and protecting the top layer of skin. “After a week of using this,” wrote one reviewer, “my skin is super plump, feels like a baby’s bottom and so smooth.” Need another reason to give it a try? Aquaphor is reportedly Meghan Markle’s skin-care secret.

Pros:

  • Water-free ointment promotes healing
  • Versatile uses
  • Clean beauty product

Con:

  • May stain clothes

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Re Nutriv Estee Lauder Intensive Smoothing Hand Creme Ecomm Via Bloomingdalesvia merchant

Best hand cream for fading age spots

Estée Lauder Re-Nutriv Intensive Smoothing Hand Creme

This posh pick contains mango-seed oil, vegetable oil and meadowfoam seed oil to not only saturate worn-out hands with lasting moisture, but also to help fade age spots for more even skin. If you’re going to be putting on hand cream a zillion times a day, it may as well pull double duty. While Estée Lauder’s hand cream is a little pricier than some of the other options out there, reviewers say it’s well worth the money. “This hand cream is in a class by itself. Once you use this hand cream, you will be spoiled with anything else, this cream in one use makes your hands feel and look so much better.” one reviewer wrote.

Pros:

  • Fades dark spots
  • Luxury product for dry, dehydrated hands

Con:

  • High price point

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Dove Body Love Moisturizer Ecomm Via Walmartvia merchant

Best hand cream for around-the-clock protection

Dove Body Love Intense Care Hand Cream

This rich and moisturizing formula lasts a long time and won’t leave greasiness or an oily residue behind, promises Dr. King. Plus, Dove’s hand cream hits the trifecta of moisturizer ingredients. “It contains the ideal combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives, and studies show that it provides moisturizing benefits for 48 hours,” she says. It’s one of the best hand creams for dry skin that lasts—make it part of your perfect skin-care routine.

Pros:

  • Replenishes ceramides in skin
  • Skin will retain nine times more moisture with up to 48 hours of moisturization, compared with untreated skin

Con:

  • Not fragrance-free; some users didn’t like the scent

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Cerave Crema Mani Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best hand cream for intense moisturization

CeraVe Reparative Hand Cream

Another favorite from CeraVe, the brand’s Reparative Hand Cream is one of the best hand creams that gets the job done, Dr. King says. “This is a non-greasy cream that contains hyaluronic acid as well as three essential ceramides to create a protective barrier to lock hydration into the skin,” she says. Even better: it’s fragrance-free and suitable for sensitive skin.

Pros:

  • Actives include hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ceramides; plus dimethicone, a skin protectant
  • Restores skin’s moisture barrier
  • Doesn’t burn or sting

Con:

  • Small tube

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10 Luxe Hand And Body Cream Ecomm Via Defenagevia merchant

Best hand cream for aging hands

DefenAge’s 10 Luxe Hand & Body Cream

One of dermatologists’ best tricks for how to look younger? Keep your hands from giving away your age. “DefenAge 10 Luxe Hand & Body Cream is my go-to for both anti-aging and hydration,” says Nashville dermatologist Natalie M. Curcio, MD. “It feels great as it is applied to the skin, relieves dryness and itching—even in dry, sensitive skin like mine—and enables moisturization that lasts and lasts while contributing to anti-aging and improving the look and feel of the skin itself.” Houston dermatologist Suneel Chilukuri, MD, agrees. “This will change our ability to not only improve dry skin, but will also improve loose, crepey skin,” he says. The secret ingredient is the defensin molecules that wake sleeping skin stem cells and instruct them to produce more collagen and elastin, the building blocks of healthy, youthful skin.

Pros:

  • Firms and plumps skin while also calming inflammation
  • Smooths and softens hands
  • Fragrance-free

Con:

  • Expensive

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Isdin Uradin Lotion 10 Ecomm Via Isdinvia merchant

Best hand cream for itchy hands

ISDIN Uradin Lotion 10

One of the main actives in ISDIN Uradin Lotion 10, urea is a powerful humectant that can soothe itchy skin, explains Deanne Mraz Robinson, MD, a Connecticut-based dermatologist. “Urea has been tested and proven effective for patients with atopic dermatitis and eczema as it temporarily hydrates the skin, and also improves skin barrier function over time,” she says.

Pros:

  • Restores skin’s natural hydration and smoothness
  • Reduces itching due to dryness

Con:

  • Some users noted stickiness right after application

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Vaseline Dry Hands Rescue Hand Lotion Ecomm Via Targetvia merchant

Best hand cream for nail and cuticle health

Vaseline Dry Hands Rescue Hand Lotion

Vaseline Dry Hands Rescue Hand Lotion spells relief for dry hands, says Mona Gohara, MD, a Connecticut-based dermatologist, with Vaseline jelly, glycerin and pro-lipids. “The base is the healing jelly which is a good humectant that traps water in your dry hands,” she says. But hand health is not just about the skin itself: This is one of the best hand creams for dry skin that also adds shine back to ragged cuticles and strength to peeling nails.

Pros:

  • Specifically formulated for after hand-washing
  • Starts working from first use
  • Works to strengthen nail health as well

Con:

  • Fragrance-free, but some users didn’t like the natural smell

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Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best hand cream nighttime hand cream

Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

This fan favorite scores rave reviews from hand moisturizer connoisseurs. “Having tried virtually every type of lotion on my hands in the world, Neutrogena hand cream is the best,” writes one reviewer. “It doesn’t leave your fingers greasy, it absorbs quickly and actually heals the dryness in your skin, especially around the fingernails.” Although you can use it any time of day, it’s especially soothing to slather on before bed, and you’ll wake up with super-soft hands.

Pros:

  • 24-hour moisturizer with time-release formula
  • 40% glycerin
  • Fragrance-free

Con:

  • Small tube, although a little goes a long way

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Cutemol Emollient Moisturizing Cream Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best hand cream for cracked skin

Cutemol Emollient Skin Cream

When you need the big guns, reach for this emollient-rich cream, says Dr. Markowitz. “Cutemol is ideal for the wintertime for people who tend to have dry, irritated skin.” This water-in-oil emulsion is effective for skin problems ranging from cracked, raw skin due to hand-washing, to conditions like eczema and psoriasis. Bonus: It’s also great for dry, cracked heels.

Pros:

  • Natural ingredients including beeswax, lanolin and allantoin
  • Repairs damaged skin and prevents flaking
  • Works like an ointment but with the feel of a cream

Con:

  • Some users reported water and oil separating

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Body Moisturizer By Cetaphil Ecomm Via Amazonvia merchant

Best drugstore hand cream

Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

This moisturizer was recently re-formulated to include ingredients like niacinamide, vitamin B5 and glycerin, says New York City dermatologist Lian Mack, MD. This combo helps to strengthen the skin barrier by pulling water to the skin and minimizing the risk of water loss, she says. “It’s lightweight in texture but heavy in moisture, and leaves even the driest skin type feeling hydrated.”

Pros:

  • Continues to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier throughout the day
  • Formulated with avocado oil, and vitamins B5 and B3
  • Hypoallergenic

Con:

  • Some users reported problems with the pump dispenser

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Vanilla Bean Hand And Body Goat Milk Cream Dionis Ecomm Via Ultavia merchant

Best hand cream for dehydrated hands

Dionis Hand & Body Goat Milk Cream

Goat’s milk is on trend, and it’s popping up in lots of skin care products, including this Hand & Body Goat Milk Cream by Dionis. “Goat milk is a great humectant due to its high lactic acid content which draws in moisture, yet also functions as a gentle exfoliant to treat dry skin,” says Los Angeles-based dermatologist Onyeka Obioha, MD. “This goat milk hand cream is perfect for dry, thirsty skin, especially in winter.” You can pair it with the best lip balms to nourish chapped lips.

Pros:

  • Made with goat milk, naturally high in protein, fat, vitamins and minerals to retain skin moisture
  • Made in the USA and cruelty-free

Con:

  • Some users said vanilla smell was too spicy

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Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl Hand Cream Ecomm Via Sephoravia merchant

Best hand cream for added sun protection

Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl Hand Cream with SPF 25

This hand cream packs a one-two punch against the top two hand saboteurs: cold air and UV rays, says Dr. Markowitz. After all, dermatologists want you to know that skin cancer can also appear on your hands, so use one of the best moisturizers will SPF. This product “has broad-spectrum SPF 25 sunscreen, which protects from the sun’s UVA and UVB harmful rays,” she says, which is important as our hands are often neglected when it comes to sun protection. This product is also formulated with shea butter, avocado and jojoba oil to keep hands moisturized, she says.

Pros:

  • Protects against skin cancer
  • Brightens and evens skin tone
  • Paraben and sulfate-free

Con:

  • Users report scent is either love-it-or-hate-it

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Cetaphil Cracked Skin Repair Lotion Ecomm Via Walmartvia merchant

Best hand cream for prescription-strength relief without an Rx

Cetaphil Cracked Skin Repair Lotion

Dr. Mack is literally obsessed with Cetaphil Cracked Skin Repair Lotion, another top pick from the brand. “The 2% dimethicone creates an occlusive barrier that prevents transepidermal water loss [evaporation through the skin’s surface] and stimulates healing,” she says. “I personally love how this feels on my skin…I recommend this for extremely dry skin types.”

Pros:

  • Daily use can repair skin in one month
  • Uses the compound urea to hydrate skin

Con:

  • Some users thought it was too greasy

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Sources:

Denise Mann, MS
Denise Mann is a freelance health writer whose articles regularly appear in Reader’s Digest. She has received numerous awards, including the Arthritis Foundation's Northeast Region Prize for Online Journalism; the Excellence in Women's Health Research Journalism Award; the Journalistic Achievement Award from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery; National Newsmaker of the Year by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; the Gold Award for Best Service Journalism from the Magazine Association of the Southeast; a Bronze Award from The American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors; and an honorable mention in the International Osteoporosis Foundation Journalism Awards. Mann received a graduate degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., and her undergraduate degree from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa. She lives in New York with her husband David; sons Teddy and Evan; and their miniature schnauzer, Perri Winkle Blu, and rescue chihuahua-pitbull, Thomas.