hand cream

The Best Hand Cream in Canada

It’s the cold season in Canada – we’ve all been washing our hands more frequently in our yearly attempts to avoid colds as well as the flu. Combine frequent hand washing with exposing your hands to the cold and dry winter air and you might find that you have chapped hands. Ouch!

Don’t worry though – you’re not doomed to suffer from winter dry skin and cracked hands. Did you know some scientific studies show that using hand creams can help prevent skin dryness and roughness that results from frequent handwashing?

Not all hand creams are created equal though – different creams have different compositions and consequently have different effectiveness. Even if you don’t have dry fingertips and reptile-esque skin, you can still benefit from applying hand cream to your hands. For example, some hand creams contain SPF that’ll protect your skin from UV rays. The sun still shines in winter, so you still need protection from the sun! Other hand creams are specially formulated to target specific demographics, such as people who have wrinkles or ageing-related concerns.

If you don’t want to sift through a sea of hand cream reviews on various web pages, we got you. We’re here to guide you through some of the best hand creams available in Canada, whether you have dry and scaly palms or if you just want to treat your hands to a little something extra.

Our top picks

How to choose a hand cream

The best hand moisturizer is going to vary from person to person. But, there are still a few things you can look out for to help narrow down your mental list of hand creams you want to try out. 

  • Ingredients: As we mentioned, not all hand creams are created equal. For example, some hand creams will contain ingredients that will moisturize your hands very well, but also may make your hands a bit greasy. Other hand creams may absorb better but may not have enough moisturizing power for particularly dry hands.  
  • Prices: We all want soft hands, but not at exorbitant prices. You will want to consider how much product you’re getting for the amount you’re paying and whether that fits in your budget.
  • Smell: If you’re sensitive to fragrances, you will want to check that whatever hand cream you’re using doesn’t have fragrance (perfume) or other strong-smelling ingredients listed in their ingredients list. 

Why trust us

There’s a multitude of hand creams out there and it can be a little dizzying to go through them on your own. We want to make the selection process a little easier for you, so we went through verified online customer reviews from all around the web to curate a list of the top-rated hand creams for you to consider. We’ve spent about 10 hours weighing different hand creams against each other to make a list of them that’s useful to as many people as possible. Rest assured, the review process for this article was data-backed and fact-checked. It also includes our personal views – researching cosmetic items is one of my hobbies and I love to share what I know with others. 

The best overall hand cream for cracked fingers

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream is also our choice for the best hand cream for cracked fingers.

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream, often mentioned as the green hand cream by shoppers, is probably one of the most recognizable hand creams out there and for good reason. Take it from one of the numerous reviewers on Amazon: “Working Hands managed to actually help heal the painful cracks on my hands like magic overnight.” With a rating of 4.6 on Amazon, it’s one of (if not the most) top-rated hand creams out there. It’s relatively simple key ingredients of water, glycerin and paraffin help to hydrate your hands as well as keep moisture in. 

 At about $10 a tube or about $9 a jar, it’s an affordable option for just about anyone with cracked skin on their hands.  

  • It lasts a reasonable amount of time. 
  • Non-scented.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • It might make your hands sticky.

The best drugstore hand cream

Glysomed Hand Cream

This chamomile hand cream helps to soothe and calm irritated skin as well as effectively moisturize your hands. A lot of hand creams only focus on the moisturizing aspect of keeping your hands healthy, so this cream is a good option if you’d like your hand cream to do more for you. 

You can find the Glysomed hand cream for around $28 for 2 250 ml tubes. It might be a little pricier than other hand creams, but it’s still relatively affordable. It’s rated high on Amazon with 4.8 stars – people seem to love this hand cream for its richness and skin protection capabilities. 

  • Calming and moisturizing. 
  • It comes in a variety of sizes.
  • It may take some time to fully absorb into your hands.

The best hand cream for wrinkles and dryness

Nivea Q10 Anti-Age Hand Cream

This hand cream is great news if you’re on a budget but still want a hand cream to address the wrinkles on your hands. This can also be a great hand cream for ageing hands. Coming in usually under $5 for a bottle, you’ll be hard-pressed to find hand creams that are priced any lower.

For those of us who don’t know, Coenzyme Q10 (or just Q10) is an antioxidant in the skin that destroys free radicals in your body. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that can damage your skin cells, which can subsequently lead to wrinkles. Reviews from Amazon and other online retailers commonly describe this hand cream as being very smooth and moisturizing, but not too greasy. 

  • Low-priced.
  • It contains antioxidants.
  • Strong, floral scent.

The best hand cream with SPF

Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion with SPF 15

While technically this isn’t made specifically for your hands, we think it’s a good and affordable contender, nonetheless. It contains natural colloidal oatmeal which is a great anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps relieve irritation and protect your skin’s moisture barrier. It also provides broad-spectrum protection against both harmful UVB and UVA rays, which play a role in ageing and burning.

Usually under $10 for 347 ml, this is a budget-friendly option for daily protection of your hands from the sun.

  • Non-greasy and non-sticky.
  • You can use it on other parts of your body.
  • Not very portable.

The best lotion For frequently washed hands

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

The Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream is particularly rich in glycerin, which is a humectant. Humectants are ingredients in skincare products that attract water to themselves. Humectant rich hand creams are great for applying right after your wash your hands. In addition to glycerin, the Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream also contains Cetearyl alcohol, an emollient that you can find in coconut oil. According to Healthline, emollients are substances that help soften dry, flakey skin.  

In particular, thick moisturizers such as this one might be good for people who have eczema. According to Neutrogena, just a dab and your hands will be soft and moisturized again in no time. With an average Amazon rating of 4.7 stars and a relatively low price, we think this well-reviewed hand cream is worth a shot. 

  • Affordable.
  • Fragrance-free.
  • It can be a bit greasy due to its thickness.

The best luxury hand cream

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

Did you know that Kiehl’s makes more than just face creams and serums? While the Ultimate Strenght Hand Salve is definitely pricier than a lot of the other creams listed here, about $25 a tube is less of a sting to your wallet than you’d usually expect for a luxury brand.  

What makes this hand cream special is that it contains a blend of avocado oil and sesame oil, which moisturizes and softens the skin, forming a “glove-like” protective barrier against moisture loss. Reviews on Sephora cite this hand cream as being thick yet not greasy, with quick drying time. With a rating of 4.5 stars overall on Amazon, we’d say that this hand cream is a pretty safe bet if you want to pamper your hands a little. 

  • It contains avocado oil.
  • It contains vitamin E.
  • Some people find the eucalyptus smell too strong.

The best hand cream for winter

Eucerin Complete Repair Hand Cream

While this Eucerin hand cream doesn’t have packaging that necessarily jumps out at you, it’s a great choice for moisturizing and healing your winter bitten hands. After all, harsh weather conditions contribute to dry skin on your hands. One of the ingredients that stands out in this cream is ceramide-3; in general, ceramides help restore your skin’s barrier, which helps increase the moisture level of your skin. 

In addition, this cream contains urea that helps to keep your skin from drying out. In summary, rather than just supplementing your hand with moisture adding ingredients, the Eucerin Complete Repair Hand Cream works to repair your skin so that it better hold moisture on its own. Reviews on Amazon describe this cream as light and not leaving your hands greasy as other comparable hand creams do. 

  • It repairs your ability to retain moisture.
  • Non-greasy.
  • Some reviews state that the moisturizing capability is not so powerful.

The best hand lotion for men

Nivea Men Revitalizing Body Lotion

Sometimes, men need a little nudge about applying skincare for hands. If you’re looking for a moisturizer they will actually use, the Nivea Men Revitalizing Body Lotion is a pretty contender. On Amazon, this lotion for men is rated at 4.5 stars overall, with the vast majority of its ratings being 5 stars. While it’s technically not made specifically for your hands, it will still work to moisturize your hands quite decently. What’s especially great about this lotion is that it’s non-greasy and it contains vitamin A. In case you don’t know, vitamin A can help encourage the production of new skin cells and prevent skin dryness.

  • Multi-purpose cream.
  • It contains vitamin A.
  • Not very portable.

Best unscented hand cream

Aveeno Hand Cream Intense Relief for Dry and Cracked Skin

This is also our pick for the best cheap hand cream.

If you’re looking for a fragrance-free hand cream that will last and won’t break the bank, that’s the one for you. When looking for a hand cream, many of us just want some relief for our hands, so having such a high-quality affordable option sounds like a great deal (especially if you don’t like or can’t use scented hand lotions.)

During our tests, we noticed that the Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream does last through hand washing as promised, which is quite a money- and time-saving feature. Most people don’t have the time or can’t afford to apply a hand lotion every other hour.

This scent-free hand cream is ideal for dry, cracked skin and it can moisturize for up to 24 hours, although there’s no consensus on that amongst users. Some consumers suggest you use it every 12 hours, whereas others suggest you apply the hand cream every 48 hours. For us, using it once a day was enough for our hands to look healthy even during winter in the Prairies. It really depends on your skin, the humidity levels in your area, and how you feel about your hands.

  • Non-greasy.
  • No scent.
  • Travel friendly.
  • It may push out too much cream out of the tube at once.

How we picked the best hand creams

For this particular buying guide, we at Rank-it.ca tried to keep all of the listed hand creams affordable (under $30 or so), while still providing a variety of hand creams with different ingredients, so that everyone can find their perfect match. We went through over 24 hand creams that were available online and only took into consideration hand creams that had at least a 4-star average rating on Amazon and Google Reviews. We also tried to only choose hand creams that have a light scent or no scent at all to accommodate for individuals who have fragrance sensitivity. 

Frequent hand cream questions

What is a hand cream?

Hand creams are semi-solid emulsions of oil and water – they’re meant to help your skin retain water and reduce the dryness of your skin.  

Where to buy hand creams?

You can find a hand cream anywhere from online retailers like Amazon, drugstores such as Shoppers Drugmart, wholesalers like Costo and even luxury beauty stores like Sephora. 

What is the best hand cream for dry skin?

This is a bit of a subjective question – everyone’s skin is different so the best hand cream for someone else’s dry skin might not be the best for yours. However, in our opinion, O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Cream seems like a solid choice for many people who have dry skin. 

Which hand cream is the best?

This is also a bit subjective, since again, everyone has different skin. In this post, we’ve compiled a list of hand creams that are catered to different skin concerns and budgets– have a look and see which hand cream speaks to your concerns (and wallet) the most. 

How much does a hand cream cost?

Hand creams can range from a few dollars all the way to over a hundred dollars, depending on where you’re looking. More expensive doesn’t always mean better though – you’ll often find that you can find inexpensive hand creams that have similar ingredient lists to pricier hand creams. 

Can I use hand cream as a moisturizer?

While you technically could, it’s probably better that you use a separate moisturizer for your face. Hand creams might contain fragrances that could irritate your facial skin as well as comedogenic ingredients (ingredients that block your pores and cause blackheads.) Hand creams also might be too rich for the skin on your face, which could lead to breakouts. 

Can frequent hand washing affect my skin?

Absolutely – it’s no secret that frequently washing your hands can strip your skin of its natural oils, making your hands quite dry. Hand creams can help mitigate this by sealing in moisture if you apply hand cream after washing your hands. Moisturizing soap can also help prevent your hands from becoming too dry after washing. 

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Updated date

January 15th, 2024

About the author

Pearl Tsui

Pearl Tsui is a writer that’s written anything from posts showcasing adorable animals to guides detailing what you can do to reduce your utility costs. When she’s not typing away at her laptop or avoiding the sun, she likes to explore the Edmonton River Valley as well as spoil her boyfriend’s cat with various catnip toys.
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