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The 10 best hand creams to buy in 2019

ByPriceRunner Updated October 4, 2019

We have tested hand creams and name Neutrogena Nourshing Hand Cream as best in test. It is an economical and reasonably priced cream which is a knight in shining armour for dry hands, as it is very moisturizing but at the same time does not feel greasy. Best premium choice is Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment. This hand cream is both economical and does not feel sticky, and also gives an very smooth end result. The skin on your hands feels soft and the creamy texture makes it easy to rub out evenly.

How we did the test

We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. The hand creams in these tests have been tested by normal people in their everyday lives. The tests took place over a long period and the creams have therefore been used under a range of different conditions. They have been evaluated both during normal application, under stressful conditions where testers couldn’t wait long for the cream to be absorbed, and in conditions involving water. The parameters below have formed the basis of the final score.

  • Drying time: How quickly is the cream absorbed? Is it properly absorbed into the skin or does it stay sticky? After the cream has been absorbed, how does it behave on contact with water?

  • Moisturising ability: Does the cream moisturise the skin without feeling too greasy? Does it make the skin smooth?

  • Scent & packaging: Is the scent strong or does it also suit more sensitive users? Is the scent suitable for both men and women? Is the container easy to carry with you and store?

The evaluation is based on the total overall experience of the hand cream. This has then been evaluated against the product price to produce a final score.

1. Cetaphil Repair Sensitive Hand Cream

Cheap, effective hand cream that produces fantastic results

Price class: Budget Degree of moisturising: High Formula: Cream Packaging: Plastic tube Drying time: Fast Quantity: 50 ml

The packaging perhaps isn’t the most attractive we’ve ever seen, but you should never judge the cream by its tube! Because the contents of this anonymous tube give perfect moisturisation to even the most sensitive hands. Cetaphil Repair Sensitive Hand Cream is a really thick cream, and when you first squeeze some out you’d be forgiven for thinking that it's going to be hard to rub in. But here, too, you’ll get a nice surprise. The cream quickly sinks into the skin, and even if you work in an office with lots of paper, you won’t leave greasy fingerprints everywhere. The ingredients of Cetaphil Repair Sensitive Hand Cream include squalane, which can have a positive effect on the elasticity of the skin (something the skin loses gradually over time) and glycerine, which is perfect for moisturising. The snap lid is practical and the nourishing properties of this hand cream will quickly make it a firm favourite. It has an extremely mild scent and suits all skin types.

Low price but fantastic results.
Very boring (but functional) packaging

2. Neutrogena Nourishing Hand Cream

Economical cream that’s a saviour for dry hands

Degree of moisturising: High Formula: Cream Format: Plastic tube Drying time: Quick Quantity: 50 ml

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Concentrated Hand Cream 75ml

Here’s the saviour for dry hands. Neutrogena Nourishing Hand Cream has an incredible ability to moisturise and calm dry, irritated hands.. In the winter, this is a helpful companion, and the small size of the tube means you can easily pop it into your bag. After rubbing it in, your skin becomes smooth and soft. The cream is very economical, and as long as you don’t put too much on it’s not sticky. The consistency is rather stiff. This means that the best method for applying the cream is to put a dab on each hand and then rub it into one hand at a time.

The tube has a screw cap. This is obviously rather fiddly, and makes it more difficult to apply the cream somewhere like an underground train or bus. The faint, neutral scent means that it suits both men and women. Neutrogena Nourishing Hand Cream has a very low price, which together with all of these positive characteristics quite clearly makes it a fantastic choice of hand cream.

Economical, really moisturising, non-sticky, cheap
Stiff consistency, screw top

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3. Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment

Non-sticky and economical cream that gives incredibly soft results

Degree of moisturising: Average Formula: Cream Format: Plastic tube Drying time: Short Quantity: 100 ml

Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment Cream 100ml

Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment is absorbed by the skin incredibly quickly and gives soft hands without leaving a film of grease. After use, it feels like your skin is naturally this soft. The cream is economical and it’s easy to apply the right amount, which means that it lasts a long time. The skin on your hands becomes smooth and the creamy consistency is easy to spread evenly. The mature scent may first strike you as strong, but it subsides and becomes fainter after you have finished rubbing the cream into your hands.

Clarins have given their tube the same classic design as all the brand’s products. It simply looks exclusive. Unfortunately, the tube has a screw top and is quite large, which means it’s not very practical to take with you on the go. This type of packaging is most suitable for keeping in the bathroom cabinet or standing on your desk. But this disadvantage can be seen as marginal, because the other positive characteristics are more important. Because of the fantastic results achieved with this hand cream, Clarins Hand & Nail Treatment takes a well-deserved top position.

Non-sticky, neutral scent, economical, very soft results
Large tube, screw top

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Skincity UK

4. Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Hand Treatment

Pleasant consistency that’s quickly absorbed by the skin and gives soft hands.

Degree of moisturising: Average Formula: Gel/cream Format: Plastic tube Drying time: Short Quantity: 75 ml

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream Intensive Moisturizing Hand Treatment 75ml

This product looks at first glance like a cream, but according to Elizabeth Arden it’s a combination of cream and a gel. And that becomes apparent when you use it. It’s absorbed by the skin as easily as a gel while leaving the hands as moisturised as if you had used a cream. And it really does moisturise, entirely without stickiness. Eight Hour Cream Hand Treatment makes the hands soft and keeps the skin feeling elastic. Although you can rapidly carry out dry activities after using it, your hands can be a little oily on contact with water.

As the scent is not too sweet, this product is suitable for both men and women. The scent can initially seem too strong, but it subsides after a while. However, for sensitive users the strength of the initial scent can be too much. The tube is small and neat to carry with you, and has the classic Elizabeth Arden appearance. The cream is rather expensive, but it is economical and the moisturising ability means that Eight Hour Cream Hand Treatment is very good value for money.

Gives soft hands, quick drying time, pleasant consistency
Strong scent, oiliness on water contact in the short term

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5. The Body Shop Hand Cream

Lätt formula som ändå ger bra återfuktning

Prisklass: Mellan Återfuktningsgrad: Mellan Formula: Kräm Förpackning: Metalltub Torktid: Kort Mängd: 100 ml eller 50 ml

The Body Shop Strawberry Hand Cream 30ml

The Body Shops klassiska handkräm Hand Cream kombinerar en lätt formula med en bra återfuktning. Den tunna konsistensen på krämen gör att den enkelt kan smörjas ut över huden och den torkar också in snabbt. Ingen hinna lämnas kvar och snabbt kan man återgå till det man höll på med - även om kontakt med vatten kan få vänta lite längre. Visst är det inte den fetaste produkten på marknaden men den gör huden smidigt len och räcker gott och väl till normalt vintertorra händer.

Krämen kommer i flera olika dofter med dessvärre är de flesta mycket starka, vilket kan vara jobbigt för en känslig användare. Förpackningen har skruvkork, vilket gör användning i farten en aning mer problematisk då man helst vill undvika risken att tappa korken när man smörjer in händerna medan man väntar på bussen. Tuben finns både i stort och litet format och den lilla är helt enkelt perfekt att ha med sig i väskan. The Body Shop Hand Cream är en bra handkräm för den med normalt torra händer.

Lätt formulabra återfuktningmycket snabb torktidtub i olika storlek
Starka dofterskruvkork

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The Body Shop

6. Biotherm Biomains Hand & Nail Treatment

Very economical with a faint scent and gives soft hands.

Degree of moisturising: Average Formula: Cream Format: Plastic tube Drying time: Average Quantity: 100 ml

Biotherm Biomains Age Delaying Hand & Nail Treatment 100ml

You only need a small pea-sized amount of this cream for both hands, which makes it very economical and means that the tube lasts a long time. Biomains Hand & Nail Treatment is quite oily. The cream moisturises well, but still dries quite quickly. These are perfect characteristics for a cream to have with you on the run if you quickly want to carry on with your tasks after moisturising your hands. However, if the cream isn’t carefully rubbed in, it can continue to feel rather sticky at the roots of the fingers.

The relatively large tube has an attractive design and is obviously a Biotherm product. The size means that the cream isn’t so useful for carrying in your bag. But this is balanced by the fresh but faint scent that means you can even use the cream in the office or in other environments where you need to think of other people's sensitivities. Because the scent is so neutral, the cream is also suitable for both genders. The price is high, but given the positive characteristics of Biotherm Biomains Hand & Nail Treatment, it’s worth it.

Moisturising, faint scent, very economical
Slightly sticky, large tube

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Perfumes Club

7. L:A Bruket Hand Cream no. 102

Elegantly packaged hand cream with fantastic scent

Price class: Premium Degree of moisturising: Medium Formula: Cream Packaging: Tube or pump bottle, depending on size Drying time: Medium Quantity: 70 ml

L:A Bruket No 102 Handcréme Bergamott Patchouli 30ml

It’s hard not to be seduced by L:A Bruket’s stylish, luxurious packaging. If you choose the small (30 ml) or medium (70 ml) size, the cream comes in a stylish white aluminium tube. If you buy the large bottle, you get a dark brown pump bottle that looks fantastic in your bathroom next to a matching soap. But packaging isn’t everything – so what’s the cream like?

L:A Bruket Hand Cream is a softening and moisturising hand cream with a mild antiseptic effect. While it doesn’t produce miraculous results on the very driest hands, it still feels calming and softening. It’s absorbed relatively quickly and your hands feel smoother. The scent of bergamot and patchouli is quite prominent, and if you don’t like these fragrance notes, you’d probably best choose something else. However, if you like this type of woody scent, you’ll really love the smell of this hand cream. Because the scent lingers for a long time. Given the substantial price, there are many other hand creams that are considerably more effective. But if you’re after a touch of luxury in your everyday life, L:A Bruket isn’t a bad choice.

Attractive packagingSmells great and gives smooth hands
ExpensiveNot moisturising enough for really dry hands

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8. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream

Extremely moisturising and very economical, with only a faint scent

Degree of moisturising: High Formula: Cream Format: Metal tube Drying time: Long Quantity: 50 ml

L'OCCITANE Shea Butter Hand Cream 150ml

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is an extremely moisturising hand cream – a real saviour for hands dried out by winter weather. Only a very small amount, slightly larger than a pea, is enough to moisturise both hands. The consistency is thick and creamy, but the cream is still easy to spread evenly over both hands. Because the hand cream is so greasy, it takes quite a long time for it to be absorbed. If the hands aren’t completely dry, it’s also more difficult for the skin to absorb all the moisture, which can produce a sticky feeling.

The stylishly designed tube comes in an exclusive box and the packaging gives an impression of luxury. As the tube is relatively large, it’s most suitable for keeping at home in the bathroom cabinet. The scent is very faint and is therefore also suitable for sensitive users. L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream is an extremely nourishing cream for hands needing an extra moisture boost.

Extremely moisturising, faint scent, economical
Long drying time, relatively expensive, large tube

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Life and Looks

9. Nivea Repair & Care

Has a neutral scent and comes in a handy format

Degree of moisturising: Low Formula: Cream Format: Plastic tub Drying time: Long Quantity: 75 ml

Nivea Repair Care Hand Cream 75ml

Nivea’s container for Repair & Care is unlike the majority of others as the cream comes in a flat tub with rounded edges. This is a useful format as it means that it fits into even narrow bags and on all of the shelves in the bathroom cabinet. Unfortunately the contents aren’t so good. When you apply the cream, it feels like there’s still a film of grease on your skin. It takes a long time for the cream to sink in and even quite a while after using it your hands still feel sticky. Nor is it particularly moisturising compared to its competitors. For normal skin it works as intended even with a small amount, which means that the cream lasts for a long time. However, dry hands are often too tough a challenge, meaning that more cream has to be applied – and then Repair & Care is no longer particularly economical.

The hand cream has practically no scent at all, which means that it can be used even with other people around you. The scent is also sufficiently neutral for use regardless of gender or if you also want to be able to use other perfumes. Despite the fact that the price of Repair & Care is so low, we expected more of a hand cream from such a well established manufacturer as Nivea.

Neat packaging, neutral scent
Sticky, low moisturising ability

10. Indy Beauty The Velvety Hand Cream

A budget-friendly hand cream with a pleasant scent

Price class: Budget Degree of moisturising: Medium Formula: Cream Packaging: Plastic tube Drying time: Long Quantity: 40 ml

The demand for vegan beauty products is increasing, and the Indy Beauty brand got a warm welcome when it was launched in 2018. With cute packaging and wallet-friendly prices, there’s a lot to recommend this Swedish brand.

Sadly, Indy Beauty The Velvety Hand Cream isn’t one of their best products. The packaging is certainly practical and cute, but the cream is extremely runny. This makes it easy to over apply, if you happen to squeeze the tube a little too hard.

And the cream is also hard to rub in completely. You end up with a sticky film on your skin that you’d really like to wipe off, which causes greasy fingerprints on both keyboards and mobile phone screens.

And in terms of effect, Indy Beauty The Velvety Hand Cream doesn’t offer anything outstanding either. Despite the fact that it feels greasy on the skin, the moisturising effect is minimal at best.

This may be a budget-friendly hand cream, but Indy Beauty The Velvety Hand Cream is still a disappointment. There are many products in this price segment that do the job much better. This means this cream will inevitably end up forgotten in the bottom of your handbag.

Good price, pleasant scent
Sticky, hard to work in, ineffective

Everything about Hand cream

For many people, dry skin is a problem, not least in the autumn and winter when the air is colder. Cracked hands become a part of everyday life and even your nails can become brittle. One way for both men and women to prevent dry hands is to regularly moisturise them. But of course you can use hand cream all year round. There are even hand creams that contain sun protection, which are extra useful in the summer. Many also contain substances that counteract skin ageing, and may be intended for wrinkled hands, for example. You can find special products in the pharmacy for extremely dry hands or for those with eczema.

How to use hand cream

When you choose hand cream, you should note whether it contains water or alcohol, and if so how much, as these are generally substances that dry out the skin. Otherwise, you should think about whether the hand cream is intended for a special purpose, if it should have a sun protection factor or a scent suitable for use by men. To provide extra moisture, it’s useful if the cream contains nourishing substances such as aloe vera. Other properties that can be decisive when you are buying hand cream are whether it smells good and whether and how much it feels sticky after application.

So that you don’t end up with too much cream, we recommend that you apply a small amount of hand cream on the back of one hand and then rub it in over both hands. It’s better to use a little bit at a time and add more if that wasn’t enough. Too much hand cream means that your hands can easily become sticky when the skin becomes saturated and can’t absorb any more. For example, if your knuckles are particularly dry you can add more cream to this area afterwards.

Tips for counteracting dry hands

Hand cream is fantastic, but there are more things you can do to make your hands soft and smooth. In winter, water and cold temperatures are often the problem. So it’s important to wear gloves when you’re outdoors and to avoid getting your hands wet as far as possible. It’s a good idea to wear rubber gloves when you’re washing dishes or cleaning. You can also have hand cream as a natural part of your hand washing process, which is easy to achieve by keeping a pump of cream on the sink. Just like your face, you can exfoliate your hands and give them a mask on a regular basis. If you don’t want to buy products for this, there are home-made versions that you can make with ingredients you will already have in your store cupboard. You can make a hand scrub by mixing honey and coconut oil or olive oil and sugar. You can also make a hand mask with coconut oil.

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