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In the past year, we've all ramped up our hand washing and disinfecting routines due to the pandemic. Although all the sudsing has left our hands clean, all the water, soap, and scrubbing make our skin ultra-dry. And now that we're approaching cooler weather again, our skin is about to be as parched as ever and craving some relief. You probably already know the cure for dehydrated skin is lotion, but it shouldn't be just any old moisturizer. (Definitely not the one in the back of your vanity that hasn't been used since last winter.) The ingredients in your products are important, says Channing Barnett, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Barnett Dermatology in Boca Raton, Florida.

woman wearing a sweater applying hand lotion
Credit: Grace Cary/Getty Images

Barnett recommends a few simple products and routine updates to get your skin feeling oh-so-smooth. The first thing to know is to look for an item that comes in a tub or a tube, not something thin enough that can be pushed out of a pump. "The creamier, the heavier the product, the better," she says. The other important step to take is to know the best time to lather up. "The ideal scenario is, if you're going to wash your hands, to moisturize right after, to seal in that moisture," Barnett explains. She also says to apply lotion multiple times per day.

Now, let's get to the goods. Barnett highly recommends all these products and says though they're thicker in their consistency, they all have a grease-free finish. Plus, they're all available online, so you won't have to leave the house.

Related Items

vanicream ointment
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall

This ointment is one of Barnett's all-time favorites because it's ultra-nourishing and is free of dyes, parabens, fragrances. Barnett says if the ointment is a little too thick for daytime use, consider applying at night and leaving it on while you sleep.

Buy It: Vanicream Ointment ($7 Amazon)

cerave healing ointment
Credit: Courtesy of Ulta

Best Non-Greasy Finish

Developed by dermatologists, this 3-ounce package of ointment from CeraVe is gentle, but still leaves hands hydrated thanks to three essential ceramides that your skin craves. It's also made with hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture without making leaving a greasy residue.

Buy It: CeraVe Healing Ointment ($11, Ulta)

aveeno eczema therapy
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best for Eczema

Barnett swears by this 7.3-ounce tube of eczema-friendly cream that's effective even for those who don't have a skin condition. It treats the visible signs of redness, dryness, and irritation as well as reduces the urge to itch. "It’s a great product. It’s not greasy," Barnett notes.

Buy It: Aveeno Eczema Therapy Moisturizing Cream ($16, Amazon)

aquaphor healing ointment
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best for More Than Just Hands

This 1.75-ounce package of formula from Aquaphor, which is preservative and fragrance-free, adds a barrier to help heal dry, cracked hands. It's safe for sensitive skin and also works well for lips, heels, and feet.

Buy It: Aquaphor Healing Ointment ($5, Walmart)

neutrogena hand cream
Credit: Courtesy of Walmart

Best Reviewed

Glycerin, which is a liquid that attracts water to moisturize, makes this cream ultra-hydrating. It's hypoallergenic (won't cause an allergic reaction), noncomedogenic (won't clog pores), and fragrance-free. The 2-ounce pack has a nearly perfect rating from more than 1,445 reviewers, with 91% of people recommending the product.

Buy It: Neutrogena Formula Hand Cream ($4, Walmart)


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