There are about a gajillion hand lotions/balms/butters/etc. out there from which to choose, and after sampling a lot of hand treatments, I can say with much confidence that there is no right answer, just the answer that's right for you. And so I bring you my favorites when it comes to nurturing digits to dream about.
Favorite Deep Moisturizer: Lush Handy Gurugu Hand Cream
This one (seen at the top of this post) means business! Made with organic shea, cashew, almond and pumpkin seed butters, it's a great treatment to apply right before bed. Given how amazingly thick it is, I'm surprised at how quickly it absorbs. I highly recommend lathering this stuff on and then putting on a nice soft pair of cotton gloves before you hit the hay. My husband doesn't like when I do that, but my hands sure do. Handy Gurugu has a fun, earthy scent that will appeal to the patchouli-wearing crowd.
$18.95 at lushusa.com
I'd never heard of candlenut oil until I came across this hand cream, but I'm definitely a fan now. Frequently used in Indonesia, candlenut oil is known for being a powerful moisturizer and also for creating a velvety finish. That soft, indulgent feeling is the thing that really turned me on. This balm soaks right into the skin and illipe butter leaves a cushiony feeling that proves that the moisture is sealed in. I have a toddler, so in order to avoid catching every germ he brings home, I wash my hands a lot and want to avoid constant reapplication. This is the big winner when it comes to longevity. Also, the scent is fresh and light, enough so that I've applied it on a crowded train and not gotten a sideways glance.
$25 at drugstore.com
If money is no object, then this is your best bet. This hand cream is special in a variety of ways -- not least of which is that it has sun protection baked right in. I've been using my daytime facial moisturizer on my hands for years when I know I'll be out in the sun for extended periods of time, but it just doesn't feel quite right on my hands. This product solves that problem. In addition, it fights age spots and discoloration with a skin-refining peptide that sloughs off dead skin cells, activates creation of new cells and promises to soften the cuticle area and strengthen nails. Phew! This much awesomeness doesn't come cheap, but it's well worth the indulgence.
$150 at laprairie.com
When I say that these lotions smell good, I mean it. The two I got (Sweet Almond and Spicy Vanilla Chai) were so divine, I headed up to my local co-op to smell the other scents. Amazing! This lotion is wheat and gluten free, and it's 100 percent vegan. It contains no phosphates and the packaging is biodegradable. Featuring shea butter and jojoba oil, it's a treat for your hands and can be used all over for relief from dry, ashy skin. Need more good news? It comes in an unscented version for those sensitive to scents or seeking a less-intrusive option.
$8.99 at drugstore.com
Feeling a little grungy while working the old 9-5? Enter this hand lotion. Not only does this thick, luxurious product soften your skin, but it takes away odors and leaves your hands feeling clean and refreshed. The trick? Absinthe extract, also known as wormwood. This extract is a key ingredient in the bright green colored alcoholic drink that is en vogue right now. It also has medicinal and antiseptic qualities that make it great for freshening up your hands. The Absinthe Collection, which also features a hand cream, hand wash and hand gel, was introduced in February, and I'm already a big fan!
$20 at thebodyshop-usa.com