Seriously, it’s a dream—and derm-approved—for parched, irritated hands and skin.

By Maggie Seaver
Updated March 12, 2020
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Washing hands (properly) is obviously a necessary part of everyday life—as both a health and safety measure and as a courtesy to fellow citizens. But since the CDC officially prepared Americans for the U.S. outbreak of coronavirus in late February, hand-washing has been touted as the number-one way to help prevent the spread and contraction of the recently dubbed pandemic. So it seems like washing my hands is all I do now—it’s all anyone does now. I feel like Lady Macbeth.

That’s all well and good, except it poses another (albeit lower stakes) dilemma. If you’re someone like me, with extremely dry, sensitive skin, and particularly dry hands, this whole vigorously scrubbing hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after touching anything or anyone is starting to irritate your paws.

What’s a gal with cracked cuticles, eczema-prone backs of hands, and rough palms to do? Not washing hands is out of the question, of course—but thank goodness there’s always moisturizer to the rescue. I swear by CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, which comes in a big tub that lasts a long time. It’s available at any drug store, as well as big box and online retailers like Target and Amazon. (The only problem is that I can’t sneak it into my purse or work bag.)


To buy: $17;

I keep this miracle cream handy on my dresser at all times and apply after hand-washing or dishwashing, and every night before bed. It's fantastic for moisturizing the entire body, too, not just hands (although I avoid applying to my face because it’s so rich). I also have a stash in my work desk drawer for easy hand hydration after every wash.

Developed with dermatologists, and highly recommended to me personally by several dermatologists, this CeraVe product isn’t a lotion, but a rich cream. It’s formulated with three ceramides and hyaluronic acid, which help retain the skin’s natural moisture. Cream is thicker and even more hydrating than lotion, which can be less effective and more irritating to dry or eczema-prone skin. Despite it’s thicker consistency, this cream absorbs cleanly (no greasiness!), leaves my hands soft and smooth, and helps reduce any irritation from dryness. For optimal hydration, apply ASAP after washing hands or showering, when your skin is still slightly damp.

You may already have your favorite lotion or cream, and I’m very happy for you; but if you’re in the market for a deeply moisturizing cream that doesn’t feel heavy or greasy, I highly recommend the drugstore product that’s single-handedly getting me through the season lathering and rinsing all day long.