“Your hands heal the world.” A dear friend and mentor of mine once shared this profound statement as we spoke over coffee. The epiphany has lived rent-free in my head ever since. It’s true that even if we don’t perform daily acts of manual labor, most of us don’t have the luxury of idle hands. And though the work our hands do—preparing meals, performing daily tasks, cleaning and organizing our spaces, and raising children—might fly under the radar, it takes a toll on our skin. When it comes to skincare products, our face often gets all the love. That’s why today, I’m highlighting the best anti-aging hands creams to help us all perform this simple act of self-care.

Over the phone last month, my mentor expressed how much small aspects of her life have changed since adding both a baby (the cutest little girl with the widest eyes) and a dog to her family. Sure, they’re cute, she said—but boy can they make a mess. And as the owner of a skincare brand herself, she was quick to point out the most noticeable change: her dry, cracked hands.

If you’re trying to get serious about preventing crepey skin, look no further. Consider this your ultimate guide to anti-aging hand creams that work fast, while flooding your skin with long-term moisture.

Featured image by Belathée Photography.

Image by Belathée Photography

The Best Anti-Aging Hand Creams, Broken Down

The best hand creams for dry skin don’t have to be medical-grade ointments from the pharmacy. But they also don’t have to be expensive creams too precious to actually use. The trick is to find a middle ground.

“Unlike our face, we’re simply not culturally trained to protect our hands like we do our face from the environment and especially UV exposure,” says Tanuj Nakra, MD, FACS, a triple board-certified facial cosmetic and oculoplastic surgeon and the founder of AVYA. But it hasn’t always been this way, he says. “There’s a reason women in the Victorian era wore gloves all the way up to their elbows.”

When it comes to preventing and treating dry, aging hands, the best time to start is now. So stock up on your creams and sunscreen, it’s time to invest in hand care.

While laser and other medical treatments might be an option, the best anti-aging hand creams should deeply hydrate and nourish in the short term, while fading age spots and smoothing fine lines in the long term for prolonged hand health. I spoke to Dr. Nakra and Dr. Gary Goldfaden, a board-certified dermatologist and lifetime member of the American Academy of Dermatology, to uncover what to look for in a hand cream, and where to find the best treatments.

Image by Teal Thomsen

Why Our Hands Age So Quickly

“The hands are one of the first places on the body to show the signs of aging,” says Dr. Goldfaden. This is partly because “there are no sebaceous glands on the palms of the hands, and the tops of the hands have very little fat tissue and lose collagen and elastin as they age.”

“Our hands are constantly exposed to the elements—think about outdoor activities, driving, etc,” says Dr. Nakra. Over time, this thin, sensitive skin starts to get worn out. “This all adds up to rapid aging of the skin of our hands and forearms, as compared to skin elsewhere that may be less exposed.”

Image by Michelle Nash

How can you reverse aging hands naturally?

“An important factor in the aging process is the gradual loss of collagen and elastin that are manufactured by specialized skin cells called fibroblasts,” says Dr. Goldfaden. “A dynamically effective strategy for preventing skin aging is to reduce collagen breakdown while simultaneously increasing fibroblast production. Studies showed that niacinamide stimulates new fibroblast growth and collagen secretion.”

As for prevention, Dr. Nakra says, “there are invasive options, such as laser resurfacing and fillers, including fat injections. However, for options that do not require dramatic maneuvers and downtime, I strongly recommend using products that contain vitamin C and peptides to help rebuild the molecular health of the skin.”

Image by Belathée Photography

Tips for Preventing Further Aging

“The same damage that UV can cause our facial skin also occurs elsewhere,” according to Dr. Nakra. So make sure to take the same care of your hands that you do of your face. “UV protection is critical to prevent ongoing aging, and deep moisturization helps thicken the skin, promote hydration, and enhance tone. Use sunscreens, and cover up whenever possible.”

The Best Ingredients to Treat Aging Hands

According to Dr. Nakra, “the same ingredients that work for your face also work on the hands and forearms. Specifically, vitamin C and peptides can be helpful for restoring tone and reversing aging. Of course, sunscreen is critical to prevent aging changes, and deep moisturizing helps skin retain moisture and treats fine lines and wrinkles.”

Dr. Goldfaden notes, “Topical application of niacinamide helps preserve valuable enzymes that defend your skin against many of the common factors that accelerate aging.”

Other anti-aging ingredients for hands include:

  • Antioxidants CoQ10 and Alpha Lipoic acid (often seen/formulated together)
  • Vitamin B (niacinamide)
  • Avocado oil
  • Beeswax
  • Cocoa butter 
  • Shea butter
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Ceramides/Peptides
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Aloe
  • Oatmeal
Image by Belathée Photography

Products to Look For

“A cream with antioxidants and hydrating ingredients is the best for hands,” says Dr. Goldfaden. “Hands are dry and do not produce oil as our faces do, so a serum is only going to do half the job. An oil may sit on the surface of the skin and not penetrate or treat the issue.”

However, oils can act as occlusive to lock in and retain moisture. “Products heavy in oils and fats (like butters or balms) enhance the skin’s barrier properties that retain inherent moisture,” says Dr. Nakra. “Serums are products containing active ingredients that can promote rejuvenation. Creams work in both ways as a vehicle for active ingredients and also a source for hydration.”

Choose products with a cohesive mix of ingredients that work together to deeply nourish from within, then lock in moisture without sitting on the surface of the skin.

Image by Michelle Nash

The Best Anti-Aging Hand Creams

Goldfaden MD Hands to Heart Anti-Aging + Brightening Hand Treatment

This powerhouse treatment has it all: squalane, glycerin, vitamin E, and natural, moisturizing oils. Niacinamide, caffeine, and coenzyme Q-10 brighten dark spots.

The AVYA Nourishing Hand Treatment

This hand treatment combines advanced science with Ayurvedic medicine. The formula includes vitamin C and peptides for restoring tone and reversing aging.

Soft Services Theraplush

Supercharge your anti-aging results with retinol. This overnight serum makes your hands more resilient with its powerful, lightweight formula. No wonder it keeps selling out.

Augustinus Bader The Hand Treatment

The same complex of natural amino acids and high-grade vitamins in the cult-favorite face cream. It mimics your skin’s molecules to deliver key nutrients and repair signs of aging.

Henne Luxury Hand Cream

This luxe, on-the-go oil nourishes fast with organic shea butter which is naturally rich in vitamins A, E, and F. Plus, the minimalist packaging looks good on any nightstand.

Pai Skincare Heavy Mettle Hand Cream

Heavy Mettle prevents moisture loss with resilient sea buckthorn and omegas 3 and 7, which provide long-lasting hydration.

Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Healer

Slather this strong salve on your hands to heal and soothe the driest skin. Plus, vitamins A and E penetrate deeply to condition from within.

Ranavat Sacred Rose Restoring Hand Crème

Pair the wound-healing powers of traditional royal roses from Pushkar, India with protective antioxidants and the hydrating powers of almond oil.

Kiehl’s Since 1851 Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

All-day care at your fingertips. Avocado oil and sesame seed oil create a “glove-like” protective barrier to keep moisture in and environmental damage out.

Grown Alchemist Intensive Hand Cream

Hyaluronic acid is your face’s favorite ingredient—this cream makes it your hands’ go-to as well. It combines with argan oil, vitamin E, and antioxidants for extra protection from free radicals.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Hand Barrier Repairing Cream

Heal your hands’ barrier to prevent dryness and reverse signs of aging. Niacinamide helps fade discoloration and smooth fine lines while the signature La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water hydrates and refreshes.

kai Hand Cream

Aloe vera distinguishes this hydrator while safflower oil conditions. Meanwhile, dewy apple extract refreshes and brightens skin for revitalized hands.

Supergoop! Handscreen Sunscreen SPF 40

Yes, you should wear sunscreen on your hands! It’s some of the most sensitive skin on your body, and this fan-favorite formula delivers antioxidants in an SPF 40 protective film.

UNSUN Emollient Rich Hand Cream SPF 15

Packed with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, this hand cream shields damaging sun rays while coconut oil provides antibacterial and skin-softening properties.

EltaMD So Silky Hand Crème

This silky-smooth hand cream combines vitamin E and ceramides for ultimate barrier protection and to reverse fine lines. Superstar ingredient sclareolide targets pigmentation to reverse age spots.

Vanicream Skin Cream

Vanicream is a gentle but powerful, non-comedogenic cream suitable for the whole body. It heals even the most delicate and sensitive skin to turn back the clock on your hands.

Tatcha Indigo Soothing Hand Cream

Support your skin’s natural healing process to rebuild healthier, smoother skin. The secret ingredient is natural Japanese Indigo, a legendary botanical prized for its ability to soothe fine lines.

Osea Anti-Aging Hand Cream

This clean beauty hand cream uses sea botanicals to restore with an antioxidant-rich formula that reverses dryness from hand-washing and environmental exposure.

M-61 Hydraboost Hand Cream

Peptides smooth the skin while vitamin B5, vitamin E, and hyaluronic acid hydrate and work to plump and replenish the skin’s moisture level.

Bioderma Atoderm Intensive Balm

Hydration at its finest, enriched with vitamins and ceramides. The balmy texture quickly diminishes the symptoms of eczema and dryness.

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream

Weleda’s cult-favorite Skin Food is a bedside mainstay. This ultra-rich version contains extracts of gentle viola tricolor, calendula, and chamomile in a rich, thick base of oils and beeswax.

Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream

Ceramides and natural moisturizing factors make this reparative moisturizer a soothing solution to cracked and flaky hands.

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream

No matter how you spend your day, this hand cream will go the distance. It forms a protective layer over your overworked hands while providing long-term hydration for more supple skin over time.

OLEHENRIKSEN Stay in Touch Restorative Hand Crème

Botanicals and berry oils fill this cream with antioxidants to help protect against pollution and damage.

ELEMIS Pro-Radiance Hand & Nail Cream

Give yourself a mini manicure every day with this hand and nail cream. Milk proteins fortify your skin and cuticles to keep hands looking youthful and strong.

African Botanics Marula Botanical Hand Cream

This luxe hand butter is a whipped concoction of wild African oils, alpine rose plant stem cells, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. These naturally soothing ingredients pamper and protect while reducing signs of aging.

Origins Make A Difference™ Rejuvenating Hand Treatment

Named the “resurrection plant,” the rose of Jericho is an ancient evergreen plant known for its hydrating powers. This hand cream repairs damage caused by UV exposure and helps even skin tone.

Skinfix Eczema+ Hand Repair Cream

Oatmeal is one of the most gentle, healing ingredients for sensitive and eczema-prone skin. Combined with sweet almond oil and allantoin, a hydrating humectant, this silky skin treatment addresses itching and dryness.

Fresh Milk Hydrating Hand Cream

Biotin is an anti-aging superstar, enhanced by hyaluronic acid to support barrier function in this milky hand cream.

Algenist GENIUS Liquid Collagen Hand Cream

Collagen is a well-known, anti-aging superstar and plays a key role in this game-changing cream. Add to that algae, glycerin, and shea butter to deliver lasting moisture and antioxidants to brighten skin tone.

Fenty Skin Hydra’Reset Intensive Recovery Glycerin Hand Mask

This cushiony hand mask soaks into the skin to deeply condition and lock in moisture. 40% glycerin plus murumuru and mango butter combine to create a restorative mask.

Nécessaire The Hand Cream

Your favorite body product brand also makes one of the best hand creams. Niacinamide supports your skin barrier and evens skin tone while marula oil, vitamins C and E, omega-6, and omega-9 help nourish skin.

Mojave Desert Skin Shield Organic Oasis of Mara Hand Cream

The rave reviews say it all. This skin shield hydrates and protects your skin with nourishing ingredients and a lightweight texture.

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