Hand Creams for Cold Weather

Our favorite hardworking picks to keep dryness at bay

Winter is coming (in the northern hemisphere at least) and that not only means dryness outdoors and in, but more frequent hand-washing as cold and flu seasons start to creep in—leaving hands in a sorry, chapped state. Our advice is to start moisturizing long before the knuckles show signs of distress by keeping them hydrated. Below are our favorite healing potions, all chosen for their thoughtfully made formulas.


Aesop’s unisex, made-in-Australia skincare products have garnered a global following for its anti-trend approach and dedication to the best performing ingredients. They offer two different Aromatique Hand Balms ($27): Resurrection features lavender and herbs while Reverence offers a complex earthy and woody fragrance (we love its use of vetiver). The creamy formula becomes a formidable layer of moisturizing relief—though you have to be patient and wait some minutes for the stickiness in the palms to dry completely. Packaged in a sizable tube for easy squeezing, the hand balm also doubles as a great travel-sized body lotion.

Kahina Giving Beauty

Kahina Giving Beauty’s organic skincare line taps the power of ethically sourced Moroccan argan oil. You know the Fez Hand and Body Balm ($48), their richest moisturizer, means business as soon as you open the jar (a protective, heavy blue violet glass that helps maintain the potency of the formula). Don’t let the consistency freak you out; it melts right to the skin and a little bit goes a long way. This is our secret weapon for those pesky, dry patches that never seem to budge—especially for those itchy, red eczema or psoriasis flares. Argan oil works with calendula, carrot seed oil, shea butter, coconut oil and more to soothe and heal.

Stop The Water While Using Me!

The all natural line of body products from Hamburg, Germany’s Stop The Water While Using Me! cheekily reminds us to conserve (and think about) Earth’s most precious resource when washing up. Thankfully, no water is required to pump their Hand Balm ($28) onto dry patches. Organic soybean oil and organic olive oil provide a strong moisturizing base, while cucumber extract, organic rose water and lime balance each other out in the happiest hand cream we’ve ever sniffed. It will be our bright ray of sunshine when the days turn dark; the brand’s US online shop makes its debut this week.


If there were to be a Holy Grail of cold weather hand creams, Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve ($29) just might be our pick. It’s strong enough to repair severe dryness “caused by heavy industrial work” (or wireless keyboard fatigue) but soaks in immediately and feels close to invisible for no-nonsense efficiency. The fairly neutral scent (a faint hint of eucalyptus) will be a plus for those sensitive to fragrances. 100% of net profits of this limited edition, red-capped version of the Hand Salve (at a generous size of 230 ml) will be donated to amfAR for AIDS research—feel good inside and out.

Images by Cool Hunting