The affordable hand creams our contributors are relying on these days

Terrific tubes of moisture to soothe dry skin.

Terrific tubes of moisture to soothe dry skin

With all the hand washing and sanitizing we've been doing lately, our hands could certainly use a little extra help. We asked our writers what affordable creams they're applying on repeat right now. Below, a list of their trusted go-tos for times like this. 

Truc Nguyen, freelance writer and stylist

I normally carry a tube of heavy-duty hand cream in my purse in the wintertime to combat dryness. These days, for convenience, I have big pump bottles of lotion next to every sink in the house for use after hand washing. My favourite is Live Clean's Daily Moisturizing Fragrance Free Body Lotion — it's hypoallergenic, quick absorbing, doesn't feel greasy, and is lightweight enough for frequent application. 

Live Clean Daily Moisturizing Body Lotion, $9.99, Shoppers Drug Mart

ALB, Youtuber and ASMR artist

I've been using The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Cream for years. It's a super heavy-duty hand cream that I use before bed and it seriously makes a difference overnight. I have to have my hands on camera as part of my job, so having well-moisturized hands is something that's gotten harder and harder with all the extra hand washing lately. But this hemp hand cream makes a difference and at only $10 a tube I never feel guilty for the purchase. If you're looking for an overnight hand cream this is the one!

Hemp Hard-Working Hand Protector, $10, The Body Shop

Eva Voinigescu, freelance journalist and producer

Nivea Creme all-purpose moisturizer has been my go-to hand lotion ever since my family doctor recommended it to soothe my eczema. It's very thick and creamy so I usually put it on before bed for intense, overnight hydration, but it's also handy on cold winter days or after doing dishes. I like that it comes in an old-timey tin that feels classic and special and that the fresh laundry smell reminds me of my grandma — in the best wrap-you-in-hug kind of way. 

Nivea Creme, $12.97, Walmart 

Jen O'Brien, editor and freelance writer

You might know eos for its signature spherical lip balms, but the company also makes some pretty amazing hand cream. I'm a big fan of their Intensive Hand Lotion in Vanilla Orchid. It's fast-absorbing (I hate when cream leaves my hands too greasy to touch anything post-application) and it has a subtle tropical scent that's not too overpowering. This hand cream also comes in the cutest little pebble-shaped containers, which fit perfectly in a small purse or pocket. Since it's priced under $5, I always grab a couple and stash them in various coat pockets.

eos Intensive Hand Lotion Vanilla Orchid, $3.29,

Kyne Santos (aka Online Kyne), makeup artist and YouTuber

My favourite hand cream at the moment is Palmer's Cocoa Butter Concentrated Cream. I've been reaching for it all the time since my hands have been so dry these past couple months. It's really thick, rich, and the best part is definitely the scent. I have such a sweet tooth, so the first time I discovered cocoa butter-scented anything was honestly a milestone moment in my life. 

Cocoa Butter Concentrated Cream, $3.50, Palmer's

Julia McEwen, writer, editor and stylist

I have eczema, except on my hands, so it's the only time I feel comfortable using a scented product on my skin. I recently discovered this Burt's Bees hand cream that has an invigorating combination of rosemary and lemon and I'm hooked. The shea butter base is excellent for my dry hands — now more than ever — and the rich, buttery texture goes on smooth and absorbs fast. I also like the small size, so I can bring it with me anywhere (not that I'm currently leaving the house anytime soon) and the price is right!

Burt's Bees Hand Cream with Shea Butter, Rosemary & Lemon, $5.99, Shoppers Drug Mart

Carly Ostroff, beauty writer and on-air expert

Like everyone else who's been washing their hands like a hundred times a day, the struggle has been pretty real. Luckily, I always have a good supply of Caudalie's Hand and Nail Cream. It's 98 per cent natural, and it's super creamy without being greasy. Plus, it's good for my nails. The cream has grape polyphenols, shea butter and avocado, so it smells amazing too. I usually apply it a couple of times a day, and it keeps my skin really hydrated. Basically, with anything Caudalie, I know I'm always in good hands. 

Hand and Nail Cream, $22, Caudalie

Pay Chen, writer and on-air food and lifestyle expert

My pick is Weleda Skin Food. This is hands down (ha ha!) my favourite hand cream which also doubles as an excellent face moisturizer for dry skin. Unlike other hand creams that feel like they evaporate the second you put them on, I like that Skin Food is rich enough to keep my hands from drying out. In warmer months (and for those who might not want such a thick cream) they also have a Light version of the cream that absorbs quickly and lightly moisturizers.

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream, $23.49,

Jillian Viera, stylist and writer

If you're looking to give your mitts the "clean" beauty treatment, I'm partial to BeautyCounter Hand Cream in Citrus Mimosa. It's nice to offer the hands — perhaps the most hardworking part of your body — the same kind of minimalist, icky ingredient-free TLC that's usually reserved for your face. This lightweight cream is packed with wholesome, nourishing ingredients, like shea butter, calendula and chamomile, and leaves behind non-greasy, but long-lasting protection. The subtle tangy scent is a total bonus — it awakens my senses without overwhelming them.

Hand Cream in Citrus Mimosa, $21, BeautyCounter

Portia Corman, executive producer of CBC Life

I garden. A lot. I try to wear gloves as much as possible but as any gardner knows, a casual stroll through the yard often leads to a full out gloveless weeding session. After being attacked by countless rose bushes and the drying effects of a day in the dirt, I highly recommend Crabtree and Evelyn's Gardeners Hand Cream with macadamia seed oil and shea butter. It's a little pricey compared to others, but you also get a lot more compared to most of the slim tubes of hand cream out there. And the scent, well, the website describes it as, "inspired by summer memories of freshly-cut grass on a sunny day". So if you like the outdoors and you have dry hands, you won't be disappointed.

Gardeners Hand Cream, $48.50, Crabtree and Evelyn 

Michelle Bilodeau, writer and editor

I loved the original version of this hand cream from Deciem's The Chemistry Line because it was super hydrating and I found that it helped my nails grow longer and stronger (I usually have pretty weak nails). Now that I am washing my hands 10 times more each day, and using hand sanitizer, I need to re-up on a good hand lotion. The new version still contains Hyaluronic Acid, but now has the added benefits of mango butter and incha inchi oil. I can't wait to add to my cart. 

Chemistry Brand HA3 Hand Hydrator, $9, Deciem

Jessica Brooks, digital producer and pro-trained cook and baker

Penny Lane Organics Shea Butter is my go-to affordable hand cream. I love it because it's thick and greasy and actually looks like it's really working. Its slick appearance is also why it makes a better nighttime moisturizer. If my hands are really in need of extra help, I'll slather it on super thick and sleep in moisture-locking cotton gloves. It's not the most fashionable look, but my hands are definitely smoother by the morning. The large-sized tub lasts me almost a whole year, and for a raw and natural product that can vary in consistency, this one is the best I've come across.

Natural Shea Butter, $15.99, Penny Lane Organics

D'Loraine Miranda, editor and writer

Weleda's Skin Food is a cult favourite among editors and beauty experts, and for good reason: it's super hydrating and emollient, and can be applied anywhere (think: elbows, knees, heels). PSA: This cream is quite dense so you only need a small amount, which helps justify the price. It's formulated with lanolin, a thick wax found in raw wool from sheep after shearing, as well as a blend of soothing essential oils, so I especially love slathering this cream on my hands and nails before bed and letting it work its magic overnight. 

Weleda Skin Food Original Ultra-Rich Cream, $23.49,

Mishal Cazmi, beauty writer, editor and founder of 100 ML

Good things do come in small packages, like Burt's Bees Orange Blossom and Pistachio Hand Cream. While I have a few hand creams in rotation, this one has recently become one of my go-tos. It's rich and creamy enough to tackle dry hands, but also sinks easily into the skin. I'm not a big fan of heavily scented hand creams but the orange blossom and pistachio are just subtle enough — like a freshly baked tea cake — and a welcome joy during a time of frequent hand-washing.

Burt's Bees Orange Blossom and Pistachio Hand Cream, $5.99, Shoppers Drug Mart

Shayma Saadat, food writer, professor and entrepreneur

I stumbled upon My Rose Bulgarian Hand Cream years ago at a small pharmacy at Christie subway station in Toronto. The delicate scent of Bulgarian rose is one of my favourites. It isn't overpowering or too heady and is around $6. I remember when I started using it, my then 5-year-old son also got into the habit of applying a bit of it on his cheeks after a bath. I always have a tube of this hand cream on my bedside table. I am using it a lot these days, and its aroma is a reminder of beautiful days which shall return.

My Rose of Bulgaria Hand Cream, about $6, available at pharmacies

Brittany Toole, associate producer at CBC Life

Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve has been my go-to hand cream for years, and I'm relying on it more than ever these days. It's the only moisturizer I've found that helps repair my extremely dry, cracked hands during the winter, and now, after weeks of repeated hand-washing I'm leaning on it even more. My favourite thing about it is that it seems to linger for a hand wash or two. It also smells amazing, and since a little goes a long way with a tube of this cream, I don't have to replace it often. 

Ultimate Strength Hand Salve, $21, Kiehl's

These recommendations have been edited and condensed for clarity. 

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?