Your bathroom is overflowing with hydrating serums, neck creams and shimmery gold under-eye masks — but they’re all for your face. What are your hands — chopped liver? They need some love too. After all, they’re among the first areas of your body to show signs of aging because of how often they’re exposed to the elements. “When it comes to aging, most people pay attention to their faces but forget the skin below the neck. Your hands often show your age because they usually go unprotected from the sun despite continuous exposure,” said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, associate professor of dermatology and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
It’s time to protect your paws! If you’re starting to notice dark spots, wrinkles or crepiness, the best anti-aging hand creams can help turn back time. Packed with powerful ingredients like retinol and antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E, the best hand creams promise to hydrate, plump and brighten delicate skin. And it shouldn’t take years to notice results either. Dr. Debra Jaliman, an NYC-based board-certified dermatologist, told us that if you’re consistent with use, you should start seeing more youthful-looking hands in about three to six months. Not bad!
To figure out which formulas truly set themselves apart from the rest, we consulted top-rated dermatologists and polled our very own shopping editors. The 17 best anti-aging hand creams highlighted below deserve a coveted spot on your vanity.
Two of the dermatologists we talked to raved about this CeraVe hand cream, and thousands of Amazon shoppers are fans too. Packed with anti-aging ingredients, Dr. Jaliman recommends it because “it contains hyaluronic acid which hydrates the skin, and ceramides which help to protect the skin barrier. And it has niacinamide which evens skin tone.” Dr. Sonia Batra, host of CBS’s syndicated daytime talk show The Doctors and board-certified dermatologist, likes it too: “It absorbs quickly and can be used throughout the day after handwashing without feeling greasy. It contains three ceramides to restore the barrier of the skin and is fragrance-free.” Bonus: It’s super affordable.
Pros: Inexpensive, hydrating, protective, evens out skin tone
Cons: Some shoppers say it’s not as thick as other creams and have to reapply often
This rose-scented hand cream is a top pick of Zeichner’s. “This ultra-rich moisturizer does a great job of hydrating and protecting the skin without leaving my hands feeling heavy or greasy,” he said. “Its hero ingredient is lanolin, the same ingredient that makes sheep’s wool waterproof. Plus it contains a rose extract with known antioxidant benefits, which is why it is commonly used in anti-aging skin care products.” He’s not the only one who is a fan. Hundreds of shoppers love it too, with many calling it the “best hand cream EVER!”
Pros: Hydrating, lasts long, smells great
Cons: Small amount of product (1.69 oz.) for the price
While it’s not technically a hand cream, both Dr. Purvisha Patel, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, and Dr. Mona Gohara, board-certified dermatologist and associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, recommended using Vaseline to keep your hands looking youthful. “It’s made from a purified mineral oil that is the ultimate barrier repair cream, making it great for nights and cold days,” said Gohara. Along with protecting and hydrating skin, the noncomedogenic formula also reduces the appearance of fine, dry lines for a more youthful appearance.
Thanks to its ability to reduce wrinkles and even out skin tone, retinol is one of the most powerful anti-aging treatments out there — so it makes sense that it’s the main ingredient in this dermatologist-approved hand cream. Jaliman likes it because “it also contains squalene, shea butter and glycerin which are extremely hydrating. It is also fragrance-free.” It’s definitely pricey, but shoppers say it’s well worth the cost. “I normally would not pay as much for a hand cream, but in this case, I am on my second tube. My hands have not looked this good in years. The spots are barely visible. I am usually skeptical about product descriptions, but this one is right on,” raved one.
This multitasker not only fights wrinkles on your face, but Zeichner says it works great on your hands as well. “It combines Coenzyme Q10, which is a potent antioxidant with a retinyl ester to strengthen and smooth the skin. Since it is not irritating, it can be used across all skin types, even in people who are sensitive,” he added. Along with being fragrance-, alcohol- and dye-free, the cream is also packed with other hydrating and anti-aging ingredients like vitamin E, macadamia nut oil and retinol to smooth and strengthen skin.
While the powerful antioxidant-rich formula by Medix 5.5 can be used anywhere on your body, people say it works wonders on their hands. Nearly 13,000 Amazon shoppers have given the fast-acting formula their seal of approval because it helps minimize the appearance of wrinkles and dark spots while simultaneously improving skin tone and elasticity — and it smells amazing to boot. One verified customer said, “I bought this for my mama because her hands were starting to get that crepe-like texture. Her hands are much better and it helped lighten the dark spots too.”
Pros: Smells great, hydrates, lightens dark spots, improves texture
Cons: Some people had issues with getting the bottle’s pump to work properly
Although it’s marketed for the face, this vitamin C-packed serum by RoC is one of Zeichner’s top picks for hands. “This serum contains a stabilized form of vitamin C, which is known to brighten dark spots and even skin tone, while offering protection against free radical damage that the hands are exposed to on a daily basis,” he said. While it’ll certainly reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, it isn’t as hydrating as most options since it’s not a cream, so we recommend layering on a regular hand lotion over it for maximum effects.
Pros: Brightens and tightens skin, reduces the appearance of dark spots
Since pesky UV rays are one of the biggest causes of early aging, investing in a good hand cream with a high SPF is the best way to avoid future damage. This option from Supergoop! not only has SPF 40 for optimal sun protection, but it’s also infused with powerful antioxidants and natural oils to nourish, moisturize and brighten the skin on your hands. I’ve kept a bottle of this in my car ever since my dermatologist told me how damaging the sun can be on your skin even through car windows and love to put it on every time I head out for a long ride.
Coconut and mandarin orange peel oil are just a few of the luscious ingredients in this hand cream. Nearly 1,000 Nordstrom shoppers are fans, with one raving, “Hands down (pardon the pun) this is by far the best hand cream I have ever tried. It easily absorbs, and instantly moisturizes making your hands look hydrated and much younger. The smell is divine. I’ve nearly emptied this tube and will be re-purchasing. It is the only hand cream I’m going to buy from now on.”
Pros: Smells great, hydrates hands and helps them look younger
This super-hydrating hand cream by StriVectin is a popular option, and rightfully so —it’s specially formulated with plantain leaf extract that works to firm loose crepey skin. Jaliman is a fan because it also boasts “peptides that stimulate collagen production and shea butter and glycerin for hydration.” Bonus: You don’t need to use a lot to see results. One happy Amazon customer wrote, “This is by far the best hand cream that I have ever used!! StriVectin products are the best! After only three days of using this hand cream, my hands are showing a big difference! Less crepey skin and more volume! You don't need to apply a lot, a little goes a long way! Will be ordering again!”
Pros: Firms skin, hydrating, boosts collagen production
Sleek packaging, cruelty-free ingredients, hypoallergenic and powerful? It’s no wonder Katelyn Mullen, our Commerce Managing Editor, adores this fragrance-free hand cream. “I’ve tried quite a few brands across many price points to help my hands look more hydrated and less ... old,” she said. “I found all my previous creams to be too oily, until I tried Nécessaire’s The Hand Cream. The texture is soft, there is no scent and it absorbs quickly, which was my No. 1 requirement. The only downside is the price. I use it often so I have been going through it a little faster than I’d like at this price point.”
Jaliman approves of this La Roche-Posay option because “it’s fragrance-free which is good for sensitive skin. It also contains shea butter and glycerin so it provides good moisturizing properties. Plus, it has niacinamide to even skin color and to improve skin texture.” Not only does the brand say the cream will instantly soothe dry skin, but it also promises your hands will stay hydrated for up to 48 hours since it’s resistant to washing.
If dry, wrinkled hands are making you appear older than you are, give this Gold Bond option a try. Not only is it constantly a top-seller among Yahoo readers but our Deals Writer and self-proclaimed “skin-care freak” Britt Ross is also a fan. “My skin felt noticeably more moisturized and smoother just eight hours after I’d slathered it on, and stayed that way the rest of the day,” she said. Packed with seven moisturizers, three vitamins, omega fatty acids, antioxidants and botanicals, this powerful lotion tackles thin, crepey, dry skin with ease.
Pros: Reduces the appearance of crepey skin and wrinkles, affordable
Cons: Some shoppers reported having to reapply more often than they’d like to see results
“Loaded with glycerin and steric acid (a lipid that is in our skin barrier) it helps to keep moisture in and irritants out,” said Gohara about this popular drugstore pick. Thicker than your average hand cream, this Neutrogena option promises to give dry, chapped and cracked hands instant relief, making them look and feel smoother and more hydrated. Users say you need to give it some time to dry after application before you go about your day, but that the results are worth the wait. “This hand cream is thicker than most and needs to dry when applied. It works fantastically though. ... My hands and nails look great,” wrote one.
Looking for an anti-aging hand cream that provides all-day hydration? Consider this option from Vanicream. “Though this is thick, it absorbs quickly and does not have common chemical irritants such as dyes, fragrance, masking fragrance, lanolin, parabens or formaldehyde releasers. It is also very affordable,” Batra told Yahoo Life. One five-star Amazon reviewer said she was searching for a cure for her dry hands and “pretty much got the same answer from every woman that I asked, and the dermatologist. And that’s Vanicream. They told me to put it on my hands before I go to bed and wear gloves to bed. ... Within three days my hands started feeling not only back to normal but better than they have been since I was in my youth.”
A favorite among Yahoo Life staffers, this nontoxic, vegan and cruelty-free option just happens to smell incredible (cue the sweet almond and sage). According to the brand, the blend of botanical extracts and antioxidants helps minimize fine lines and sun damage. And we can’t get enough of the retro packaging. “Best hand cream,” reported an Amazon five-star reviewer. “I love this product! It makes your hands soft and is not greasy. It has a subtle scent. My manicurist commented that my cuticles have never been this good!”
Pros: Smells great, non-sticky, hydrating
Cons: Small bottle size, sometimes is hard to find in stock
Looking to restore and soothe the skin of your hands? Batra recommends this Avène cream because “it lasts through five handwashings and contains ingredients to help calm and restore the skin such as sucralfate, copper-zinc sulfate complex and thermal spring water. It is also hypoallergenic, hydrating and absorbs quickly.” Shoppers rave that in addition to making their hands softer and more moisturized, it also helps them look more youthful! “Very good product, I keep buying more when it finishes. My hands look younger even after constant use,” said one.
Pros: Smoothes skin, gives a more youthful appearance
Factors to consider when choosing an anti-aging hand cream
According to Dr. Purvisha Patel, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, “you should look for hand creams that have SPF 30 or above as well as ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, vitamin E, ferulic acid, niacinamide and Illuminotex to reduce the signs of aging.”
Host of CBS’s syndicated daytime talk show The Doctors and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra agreed about antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, as they “mop up ultraviolet damage and brighten skin.” She also recommended choosing a hand cream that has “hydrating ingredients such as ceramides, glycerin and shea butter” for optimal effects.
And if you’re wondering whether it’s safe to use the anti-aging powerhouse retinol on your hands, the answer is yes — it’ll “promote cell turnover and stimulate collagen,” Batra told Yahoo Life — as long as it’s in moderation. “However, since the skin on the hands is thinner and more sensitive, I usually recommend retinol only once or twice a week to prevent dryness or irritation.” NYC-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman said it’s best to use hand creams with retinol only at night — and instead choose an option with SPF for daytime use.
When picking a cream, look for something that’s thicker than your average lotion, as it has to “stay on the hands throughout the day and in between washes,” said Patel. Dr. Mona Gohara, associate clinical professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, agreed, noting that our “hands take a beating” throughout the day.
How can you keep your hands looking young?
“I recommend using products that protect and prevent damage during the day and repair damage at night. While traditional hand creams are designed to moisturize and repair the skin barrier, you can use the same active ingredients in your facial products to your hands as well. In the morning, you can apply a vitamin C serum along with sunscreen. In the evening, you can apply a moisturizer along with a retinol, the best product to stimulate collagen. Especially for people who have crepey skin on the hands, adding a hyaluronic acid serum both morning and night is useful,” said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, associate professor of dermatology and director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Patel’s biggest secret to keeping your hands looking young is sun protection. “It’s important as our hands are in the sun more than we think. Incorporating driving gloves and wearing SPF 30 or above whenever outside is important.” Gohara agreed, saying, “UV light comes through the car windshield and windows even on cloudy days. Ninety percent of the visible signs of aging come from daily unprotected UV exposure. Sun spots, wrinkles and crepey skin on the hands are amongst the most common of these concerns.”
Is there a difference between hand lotion and body lotion?
“Hand lotion is often thicker than body lotion since it is usually designed to penetrate the thicker skin of the hands and to withstand more frequent washing,” said Batra. “Many hand lotions are also formulated to be absorbed more quickly than products for the body so that they are less messy or likely to be wiped off.”
How often should you use anti-aging hand creams to see results?
While typical anti-aging creams should be applied twice a day, in the morning and night, Patel said that “hand creams on the other hand need to be reapplied after every hand washing, and under gloves/occlusion at night for maximum results.”