A hand lotion specifically designed for men can help bring your skin care game to the next level.
A quality hand lotion should not only be able to make your hands feel much smoother, but it should also be designed to prevent future moisture loss, not feel greasy or sticky after application, work with your skin type, and evoke a balanced scent that isn’t overbearing – such as the Duke Cannon hand balm
Not only will we review all the best hand creams for men currently available, but we also go over key considerations you will want to keep in mind when buying your next hand lotion, along with a few pointers on how to get the most out of your next hand lotion.
Let’s get started:
A few key considerations before buying a hand lotion
As we reviewed a variety of hand lotions, we found that there were certain common product features allowing for objective comparison.
When finding the perfect one for your hands, it’s important to understand these features and how they can vary between one hand lotion and the other.
1. Key ingredients
What really makes a hand lotion perform better (or worse) than others will of course be the ingredients.
During our research we found that many of the top hand creams relied on just a few key ingredients to achieve strong results, they were as follows:
- Shea butter – A key moisturizer found in a variety of skin care products, shea butter is a fat extracted from an African shea tree and is a vital ingredient to soften skin.
- Cocoa butter – Derived from a cocoa bean, this unique butter has a very low melting point allowing it to fully liquify when rubbed onto your hands. Cocoa butter exhibits key emollient properties to soften both dry and cracked skin.
- Carrier oils – Typically derived from seeds and nuts, carrier oils double as both a moisturizing agent along with several homeopathic remedies. Typically muted in smell, they are great for men who want a low-key scent. Varieties include coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, etc.
- Fatty Alcohols – Often found in many of the larger brands, fatty alcohols such as Cetearyl, Lauryl, and Stearly alcohols act as a stabilizer for the ingredients while also are an emollient. Don’t be scared by the alcohol in the name, fatty alcohols are fundamentally different from short-chain alcohols (such as rubbing alcohol) and will not dry out your skin.
- Essential oils – Like carrier oils, essential oils are found in several homeopathic remedies. Their role in hand lotions are more for scent than anything else. If you want a masculine smelling hand cream, go with an essential oil that has pine, cedarwood, or sandalwood contained within.
2. Skin type
As is the case with body lotions, when picking out the best hand lotion for you, it’s important to self-diagnose your skin type.
Whether you have dry, cracked, sensitive, combination, or simply a normal skin type, you will want to get a hand lotion that is targeted for you.
This will yield much better results in both the feel and look of your hands after application.
3. Hand cream vs. hand lotion vs. hand balm vs. hand salve
The Food & Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States is rather loose when it comes to labeling requirements for beauty and cosmetic products.
This allows companies to name their products however they wish – which can of course lead to confusion.
As we researched all the different hand lotions currently available, we saw the following terms used:
- Hand lotion
- Hand cream
- Hand balm
- Hand salve
- Hand healer
- Hand repair balm
- Cuticle cream
…and countless other variations.
The point being is that this product category has a lot of variation on the labeling and should be looked at carefully before purchasing.
While a hand salve or cuticle cream may sound more medicinal and have a price to match, an objective look at the ingredient label may prove that you are wasting your money by going with the premium sounding name.
Therefore, you will want to just take a moment to objectively compare a hand cream before making a purchase.
4. Ingredients to avoid
As we eluded to earlier, there are certain ingredients that you will want to avoid or look at in a skeptical manner.
Most notably will be the following:
- Short chain alcohols – Fundamentally different from fatty alcohols described above, short chain alcohols (sometimes referred to as simple alcohols) will do damage to your hand and often make your situation worse. Short chain alcohols to avoid include SD alcohol, Isopropyl alcohol, Ethanol, Propanol and several others.
- Synthetic colors and fragrances – Often a catch-all for several ingredients, synthetic colorants and fragrances often contain hazardous ingredients that can cause flareups for those with sensitive skin. These ingredients are best to be avoided if possible.
- Triclosan – Found in studies to decrease the levels of some thyroid hormones (source). Triclosan is closely being looked at as a factor in decreasing the effectiveness of antibiotics.
- Parabens – Typically found in mass-produced hand creams as they act as a preservative, parabens are another ingredient that is closely being studied by the FDA (source). Some have claimed a link to breast cancer and other health problems, however, this has yet to be proven.
Scents, especially when it comes to hand creams is often a polarizing decision.
You either want your hands smelling or you don’t.
Should you want your hands to evoke a manly scent after application of your hand cream, we recommend getting a hand lotion that matches the other fragrances you wear, such as a body spray or cologne.
This will ensure that your overall scent doesn’t clash.
Prices of hand creams can vary significantly. However, after researching all the options available, we find that you shouldn’t have to pay more than $30 for a hand cream that delivers quality results.
Those priced less than $10 often compromised on both the size of the bottle along with the quality of the ingredients. Therefore, if you do decide to get a cheap hand cream, be sure to find one that checks all the boxes as we described above.
10 Best Hand Lotions & Creams For Men of 2021 Reviewed
1. Best For General Use: Duke Cannon Hand Balm
Highly sought after for their wide variety of men’s grooming products including both their bar soap and lip balm, Duke Cannon provides another well-rounded product in their Bloody Knuckles hand balm.
Designed for men who use their hands heavily including, fighters, workers, nurses, and more, once applied, this hand balm won’t leave your skin feeling greasy, sticky, or oily.
This unscented hand balm relies primarily on both lanolin and shea butter as the heavy lifting ingredients.
The reviews on this product by other men were outstanding.
Many of them really liked that it had no scent whatsoever and that it was able to repair intensely dry and cracked hands.
Like all Duke Cannon products, with each purchase, a portion of the proceeds go towards U.S. Veterans (learn more about the initiative here).
- Will repair hands that see heavy duty activity
- Won’t feel greasy, sticky, or oily after application
- Made in USA and supports U.S. Veterans
What You Need To Know
2. Best Designer Hand Lotion: Anthony Hand Cream
Perfect for men who are starting to show the signs of aging, this hand cream by Anthony relies on a unique mixture of an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) along with wheat protein that will work to not only reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, but to also even complexion and tighten your skin on your hands allowing them to feel and appear healthy.
Marketed as a premium skin care product for men, Anthony is regularly found at high end barbershops as they deliver uncompromising performance and a price tag to match.
While this bottle of hand cream still is affordable, considering the quality of ingredients and the premium name that its associated with, the small 3oz size is perfect to take with you in your favorite messenger bag or when traveling via airplane as it adheres to the TSA size restrictions.
Men who used this hand cream, particularly those with dry cracked hands, got great results with repeated application. The biggest standout feature that men loved about this cream, beyond the rich ingredients, was the light non-greasy feeling after application.
- Designer cream at an affordable price
- Repairs dry skin
- Travel friendly
- Non-greasy after application
- Smaller size will require constant restocking
What You Need To Know
3. Best All Natural Hand Cream: Jack Black Industrial Strength Hand Cream
Jack Black’s Industrial Strength Hand Healer is a well-like name and powerful healer of sore, heavy-worked hands. The people at Jack Black have tested their product with golfers, carpenters, and the like proving its effectiveness in relieving calloused skin and cuticles.
Vitamins A & E provide healthy conditioning, Macadamia nut oil comes in to further moisturize and it is finished with the cooling relief of Eucalyptus. The ingredients are organic and non-greasy, where the scent is light and refreshingly cool. Golfers rejoice, now you can stretch your 18 into 36 with the popular, yet modestly priced 3oz bottle of Hand Healer.
- Contains Vitamins A&E for better results
- All natural ingredients
- Fast absorbing
What You Need To Know
4. Best For Deep Cracked Hands: O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream
O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream is just as the title says; a hand cream for those blue-collar, tough hands that see endless work. Typically, the working man’s hand is tough skinned, yet dry and susceptible to cracking and bleeding.
Whether you work with your hands or just suffer from dry hands, O’Keeffe’s will be your saving/soothing grace as it gives deep moisture to even the toughest skin and its non-greasy formula will get you back to work quick.
It is unscented and hypoallergenic so everyone can use it, but what’s more is that the fine folks at O’Keeffe’s stand behind their product with a 100% money back satisfaction guarantee.
If there was any compromise on this hand cream, it would be around the ingredients contained within. Containing glycerin, silicone, etc., its doesn’t contain any organic or natural ingredients, extracts, vitamins, etc. like others on our list.
- Targets deep cracked hands
- Few compromises on ingredients (glycerin, silicone, etc.)
What You Need To Know
Containing 99% natural and 80% organic ingredients (coconut oil, jojoba oil, olive oil, etc.), this hand balm by Brickell was one of the most highly reviewed hand lotions for men currently available.
Absorbing into your hands incredibly fast, this no-nonsense hand balm allows you to quickly moisturize and hydrate to give you soft hands immediately.
Evoking a sweet peppermint scent from essential oils, while not for everyone, is invigorating.
Available in two sizes (2oz and 4oz) the smaller option is perfect for testing and traveling. Adhering to the strict liquid rules enforced by the TSA, you don’t have to worry about throwing out or checking your bags should you bring this with you on your next business trip.
The larger 4oz option is perfect for home and office use when you need a quick hit of hydration, especially during the winter months.
- Smells invigorating
- Works for men of all ages
- Packed with moisturizers
- Absorbs quickly
What You Need To Know
AHAVA’s mineral hand cream comes with glowing reviews because it is packed with ingredients that work in various ways to improve skin and fight dryness. Witch Hazel is present as a sort of astringent to reduce inflammation, while Dead Sea minerals, ginger root extract, jojoba oil and ginkgo biobla work to restore skin health and build a foundation for your fresh, repaired skin.
Even with all of the beneficial ingredients the scent remains masculine and clean, and the formula moisturizes without leaving your hands greasy. The 3.4 oz bottle is priced right considering its benefits and popularity.
- Absorbs instantly
- Scented in a masculine fragrance
- Won’t leave a residue
- Contains Dead Sea minerals
What You Need To Know
The creators at Man Lotion boast that “this is not your wife’s lotion,” meaning just because your skin needs moisture does not mean you need to smell like a field of lavender and lilacs. Man Lotion is, obviously, designed for men, with a light clean scent derived from natural products like coconut, sweet almond, and grapefruit seed oils.
The lotion is fortified with vitamins A, D and hydrolyzed wheat protein to build strong, healthy skin. Also, it is fast absorbing and non-greasy so you won’t find yourself wiping your hands on your pants after application. The idea is to fight dry skin with natural moisture and keep your manhood intact with a quiet clean scent.
- Subtle coconut smell
- Contains vitamins
- Made in USA
- Subjective scent
What You Need To Know
Burt’s Bees has made their name known from popular natural products like lip balm and the trusted name brings a great salve to the table for skin care. Burt’s Hand Salve has an herbal scent and is built on natural oils that provide moisture and dryness relief – making it great for men with sensitive skin.
Burt’s, like their counterparts, is great for repair and added softness, but they depart from the norm by adding bees wax (as expected) to create a protectant that helps seal and maintain your skins new strength.
Burt’s 100% Natural Hand Salve comes is a clever 3oz tin that easily fits in your pocket.
- Trusted brand in skin care
- Herbal scent is unisex
- Penetrates deep
- Container may be tough to manage
What You Need To Know
Pre de Provence No. 63 is not only is a solid lotion, it is a hit for the playboy type that love a hearty warm aroma. The fast absorbing lotion formulated from glycerin, shea butter, and aloe vera will hydrate for relief of dry skin without leaving your hands greasy.
What sets this lotion apart is its scent: a masculine aromatic blend that hints citrus-cedar wood, violet and plum, finished with a peppery base of amber and tobacco. The fancy scent will turn heads and the large 8oz bottle gets a nod of approval on stellar pricing for generous portions.
- Warm aroma
- Good for men of all ages
- Soothes and softens skin
- May stay on a bit too long
What You Need To Know
10. Best Cheap Hand Lotion: Everyone Lotion
Everyone Lotion comes in a bulk (32oz) because it is a lotion intended for hands, body, and face. This lotion boasts ultra-moisturizing quality through its blend of carrier oils (like coconut oil & sesame seed oil) and herbal extracts that leave your skin soft and vibrant from head to toe.
There are three choices on scent; Citrus & Mint, Coconut & Lemon, Lavender & Aloe so this comes down to preference, but really the importance is in formula that promotes overall skin health and softness. The super price-friendly, natural and organic, Everyone Lotion is a multi-tool for men’s skin care.
- 3-in-1 great for men on a budget
- Large size provides values
- Variety of scents available
- Not as thin as most hand lotions
What You Need To Know
How to apply and use a hand lotion
Applying a hand lotion is a rather straight forward process. However, we wanted to share a few tips in order for you to get the most out of your new hand lotion.
1. The right amount
When applying a hand lotion, it’s important that you use only a little bit. Just like a face cream, a little can go a very long way.
Therefore, you will want to use about a nickel to quarter sized amount. Of course, you will want to vary this depending on the size of your hands and the severity of your skin condition.
2. Rub in quadrants
While it might seem intuitive to simply rub your hands together and say you are finished. Get in the habit of applying the hand lotion in sections. This ensures adequate coverage of your entire hand.
A routine may look like this:
- Top of hand to knuckles
- Around each finger from thumb to pinkie
- Massaging between fingers
- Palm of hand
- Around the wrist
Doing this with a significant other isn’t only a great bonding experience but having someone else apply with two hands can allow for deeper penetration of the hand lotion into your skin.
3. Don’t overdo it
It’s only natural that we want instant gratification when applying hand lotion. However, if you have dry cracked hands, expect it to take a couple of days before you see softer and heathy looking hands.
When applying a hand lotion, try to only do it twice or three times daily.
Over applying may cause the hand lotion to start feeling sticky and oily after application as your skin just simply can’t absorb any more.
Hand lotion vs. body lotion vs. foot lotion
When it comes to skin care products, men naturally want to get one product to do everything.
It’s through this laziness efficiency seeking mindset, that 3-in-1 products like body washes that can also be used as a shampoo and face wash exist in the first place.
Now you might be wondering if a hand lotion really is worth purchasing, especially if you have a body or foot lotion at your disposal.
In short, you can use them interchangeably, but you shouldn’t.
Here’s how each of them is fundamentally different:
- Hand lotion – Typically made in a much thinner consistency than body or foot lotion, hand lotions are designed to be quickly applied and absorbed into your skin. Without feeling too greasy or oily, hand lotions are a little dryer of a lotion and won’t spread on everything you touch such as a keyboard, phone, etc.
- Body lotion – Designed for complete body coverage, body lotions are emollient-heavy and are made to penetrate deeper into your skin and stick around on the surface a bit longer. At a slightly thicker consistency, body lotions are often applied once or twice daily.
- Foot lotion – Given that the skin on your feet is much thicker than the rest of your body (including hands), the lotion that is formulated for application here is much more viscous as well. Foot lotions can penetrate deeper and are designed for once a day application. They are often free of any fragrance and are intended to repair cracked heels.
Common questions about hand lotions
During our research we came across several of the same questions and we wanted to take a moment to address them here:
What are the best hand lotion brands?
The right brand will be the best one that works for you.
With that being said, during our research, we found that a mix of both premium and affordable brands such as the following, demonstrated excellent performance and value:
- Jack Black
- Duke Cannon
- Burt’s Bees
They not only had a strong ingredient label, but those that were scented smelled great, while also providing a consistency that penetrated deep to get your hands soft while not feeling greasy or oily.
Are body lotions and hand lotions the same?
As we explained earlier, body and hand lotions are fundamentally different.
Not only is the lotion consistency the most apparent difference as body lotions are thicker than hand lotions, but body lotions are a bit heavier on the emollient and moisturizing properties due to the fact that the skin on the rest of your body is thicker.
Can I use hand lotion on my feet?
Sure, you could, but it won’t be as effective.
If you are looking to repair a cracked heel or some peeling on the bottom of your feet and don’t have a proper foot lotion, then a body lotion will be your next best substitute.
Given that hand lotions are much thinner, you will be wasting a lot of product should you try to use this on your feet.
Is it worth paying extra for SPF protection?
Hand creams are made to moisturize and nourish your hands only. If you want added sun protection we recommend applying a secondary coat of sunscreen.
How and why we chose these products
With so many lotions available all at drastically different price points, we feel confident that we found the best hand lotions for men that work for just about any budget.
Not only do all these hand lotions deliver quality and consistent performance, but the adherence to better ingredients and softer skin should make them a great choice.
We hope that this review and guide provided all the essential information you were looking for in order to find the perfect hand lotion for you.