If all that sanitizing and sudsing has left your skin stripped and dry, these six standouts (among dozens rubbed on and reviewed) will protect, plump, and pamper for a perfect 10.

By Anneke Knot
January 07, 2021
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

We learned a lot of lessons this past year: how to make a sourdough loaf, how to successfully (OK, not so successfully) color our hair at home, and maybe even a few TikTok moves. Arguably, one of the more important lessons we learned from 2020 was the importance of keeping our hands clean. After the COVID-19 outbreak, soaps and sanitizers became the season's hottest accessory. We spritzed, sprayed, and lathered every chance we could, leaving cracked and dry palms in our wake. After a little testing by Real Simple's beauty team, we learned it doesn't have to be this way. We discovered creamy soaps, quick drying lotions, and stylish (and effective) hand sanitizers. If you must leave your house, be sure to do so armed with one (or all!) of these picks. After all, it has been a hard year, don't your hands deserve a break?

Credit: courtesy of manufacturers
Credit: Courtesy

$14; Amazon.com

Hands are one of the first areas to show sun damage. But this argan-oil-rich, broad-spectrum SPF cream feels so lovely and absorbs so quickly, applying a nickel-size amount is a treat. The large bottle fits in a car’s cup holder (hands on a steering wheel are so exposed!), while the mini is great before a gel mani, to shield skin from the UV lamp.

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$38; Amazon.com

Finally, there’s hope for desiccated Wicked Witch hands! This tube packs serious ingredients to boost volume and brighten.

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$4; Target.com

Slip on gloves lined with shea butter, wait 10 minutes, and remove. Massage excess into cuticles and feel like a new person.

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$22; Goop.com.

Fill the glass bottle with water, drop in one tablet, and scrub-a-dub-dub. Sustainability has never looked so chic.

Credit: amazon.com

$4; amazon.com.

This one is trusted by doctor’s offices because the 70 percent ethyl alcohol means bacteria won’t stand a chance.

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$16; Amazon.com

The ideal purse mate, this mist zaps germs without leaving skin tight. The vanilla-cinnamon scent is mmm delish.