Whether you’re still practicing strict stay-at-home safety measures or carefully exploring the parts of the country that are cautiously reopening, it’s never been more important to disinfect your hands. While it’s obvious to most that clean hands are critical during times of pandemic, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, M.D., Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, warns that avid hand care is always important, especially when traveling:
“Whether there is a pandemic or not, travelers should always be extra vigilant about hand washing. Whether you’re on a plane, bus or train, you are in close contact with hundreds of other people who are all touching the same doorknobs, counters and seats. This creates a breeding ground for microorganisms that can easily spread an infection from one person to many others.”
Unfortunately, as many are already experiencing, increased washing can lead to a host of skin issues, especially when the wrong products and techniques are used. As Dr. Zeichner explains, “Many people end up disrupting the skin barrier. When there are cracks in the outer skin layer, the skin loses hydration and becomes inflamed.”
Happy Hands is a four-part series rounding up the best products to keep your hands clean and comfortable during the COVID-19 pandemic now, and as you travel back into the world after. In this edition, the 10 best hand lotions and moisturizers from Most Extreme to Best for Nature Nuts are presented.
Best for Beginners
Bringing CBD to the masses with accessible price points and easy in-store access (look for it at CVS locations this summer), KARIBO CBD Infused Hand & Body Lotion is an every-day product perfect for the CBD-curious. With a low concentration of hemp-derived CBD (about 8.3 mg per ounce) and a cost just under $20 for a whopping 12 ounces, the soothing lotion is a no-risk foray into the calming and restorative benefits of CBD combined with the moisturizing properties of aloe vera and vitamins A and E.
Most Affordable Power
If your hands are suffering from overuse and over-washing (or you’re determined to prevent this) and you’re ready for a more serious concentration of CBD, Nourishing Body Lotion from Anzie Blue offers more than 60 mg per ounce in a fast-absorbing lotion at $60 for a four-ounce bottle. In addition to the therapeutic benefits of CBD leaves infused in the lotion, ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, mango seed butter and aloe leaf juice moisturize while chamomile and ylang ylang further relax your skin and senses.
Best for Pure Power
The neediest hands are going to want the strongest relief and should turn to 500 MG CBD Hand Lotion from Also Organics, offering 250 mg per ounce of whole-plant CBD infusion in combination with vitamin C and lavender oil to soothe and heal dry and sensitive skin. Used by eczema and psoriasis sufferers, this instant absorber is toxin-free and safe for the whole body, including delicate facial skin. This is the high-power specialty lotion to satisfy the most unhappy hands.
Best for Regular Use
For an invisible barrier that maintains your skin’s natural moisture and protects your hands from irritants, apply Avon Care Silicone Glove regularly, and especially before exposing your hands to any environmental stressors. The skin-softening formula reduces dryness and helps to heal already dry and cracked hands while simultaneously working to prevent further damage with a light lotion.
Best for Heavy Duty Use
If your hands will be exposed to serious skin stress (including incessant washing) either from work or adventure, invest in Gloves In A Bottle for powerful protection. The waterproof lotion forms a liquid glove that lasts 4-12 hours and won’t wash off, trapping natural moisture, providing additional hydration and shielding your skin from environmental irritants, including the necessary soaps sanitizers that often dry out hands.
Most Citrusy Sweet
Orange-forward with a hint of pink grapefruit and a lingering whisper of lemon and lime, Energizing Citrus Body Lotion from A Girl’s Gotta Spa! blends shea butter, cocoa butter and olive oil for an all-over body lotion you’d be wise to save for your hands. A small pump is all it takes to soothe dry and itchy hands, and the vibrant aroma will give you the kick of energy you need to journey onward with work or adventure.
Best for Beach Bums
It’s impossible not to associate the scent of coconut with the beach, and Coconut Milk & Sandalwood Deep Moisture Hand Lotion from Soapbox will mentally transport you to the most exotic shores. Coconut milk oil’s moisturizing properties come from its abundance of fatty acids and vitamins E and K, and the additions of shea butter, olive oil and aloe provide quadruple the hydration. Bonus: For every purchase, a bar of soap is donated to someone in need, and you can see where yours went with the “hope code” printed on each bottle.
Best for Nature Nuts
Whether your prefer the garden or the woods, if you love to get your hands dirty with earth you’ll be nuts for the variety of Spit + Polish Hand Lotion scents available from Duluth Trading Co. With hydrating oils of sunflower, coconut, jojoba and hempseed, the lightweight lotions range in naturally invigorating scents from Tominto (tomato and mint) and Pure Lavender to Cedar & Fir and Lost in the Woods. Of course, if your nose needs a break, you can carry the Unscented lotion as a backup.
When the damage is done and your hands are in extreme need of healing and rehydration, reach for Theraderm’s Extreme Dry Skin Therapy. Longer lasting than typical moisturizers, Extreme Dry Skin Therapy contains 20% highest-grade lanolin to form a protective oil barrier on your skin’s surface, allowing the natural lipid barrier to repair and replenish, while also penetrating to the deepest layers of your skin to provide moisturizing relief.
For antioxidant protection and rich, multi-layer moisturization from lactic acid and vitamins A, C and E, apply LCA fx141 Hand and Body Replenisher from Priori. Beyond long-lasting hydration, the sericin in this emulsion visibly corrects your hands by smoothing wrinkles, stretch marks and rough patches with daily application (once or twice per day will do it for most), for a bonus beauty boost with your comforting relief.
You can find Happy Hands, Part 1: Soaps and Sanitizers here.
You can find Happy Hands, Part 2: Lotions here.
(These specific products are not endorsed by Dr. Zeichner, whose participation in this series is solely as an expert on the general importance of skin care. Consult your physician or dermatologist to discuss the best practices and products for you.)