Best Cetaphil Hand Lotions and Creams for Dry or Cracked Skin

In our daily skincare routine, we often prioritize facial care, but the skin on our hands deserves just as much attention. Your hands are working hard every day, and when neglected, they can lose moisture, resulting in dry, cracked skin that looks and feels uncomfortable. Correct hand skincare and a good routine is vital - we take a look at top ingredients and the best Cetaphil hand lotions and creams for dry skin.

Why are hand creams and lotions essential for dry skin?

Hand creams and lotions play an important role in maintaining a healthier skin barrier. A damaged skin barrier can result in numerous problems, including itchiness, flakiness, redness, and increased susceptibility to infections.1

Hands are particularly vulnerable because they touch everything, are frequently washed,2 and are exposed to varying weather conditions and a wide range of potentially harmful substances and germs throughout the day.

By using moisturizing cream for dry skin, especially if you have a job where you wash your hands frequently, you can help restore the dry or cracked skin on your hand and ensure that your hands stay comfortable and protected against the rigors of daily life.3

Best ingredients to look for in hand creams and lotions for dry skin

While skincare products for hands contain a variety of beneficial ingredients, some play an important role in addressing the issues of dry and cracked skin. The best hand lotion for dry skin and best hand cream for cracked hands should include one or more of these most commonly used ingredients:


Ceramides are essential components in skincare, known for their remarkable ability to restore and maintain the skin's natural moisture barrier.4 Along with fatty acids and cholesterol, ceramides form a natural protective barrier for the skin, shielding it from environmental stressors like irritants and pollutants. This prevents dryness, maintains flexibility, and contributes to a more youthful-looking appearance. When it comes to dry and cracked hands, ceramides play an important role in hydration, effectively replenishing lost moisture and helping to restore the skin's protective layer.4,5

To learn more about ceramides and their role in skincare, visit our ceramides ingredients page.

Shea Butter

Shea butter, derived from the nuts of the African shea tree, is renowned for its remarkable moisturizing qualities. Its effectiveness comes from its natural composition, which replenishes moisture and creates a protective barrier against environmental factors. This makes it an excellent choice for soothing dry skin.5

Shea butter contains a blend of fatty acids that ensures easy absorption without greasiness. It is also rich in antioxidant vitamins that promote healthier-looking skin, provide deep hydration, and enhance skin's suppleness. Additionally, shea butter helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, resulting in smoother, more youthful-looking skin on your hands.5

To explore the benefits and uses of shea butter, refer to our shea butter ingredients page.


Glycerin is widely used in moisturizers, and it helps increase skin hydration by drawing moisture from the surrounding air into the outer layer of your skin. This property makes glycerin a valuable and commonly used ingredient for skincare products. Beyond its hydrating properties, glycerin also contributes to skin barrier improvement, resulting in a more even and youthful-looking skin on your hands.6,7

Look at our glycerin ingredients page for further information on glycerin and its benefits to your skin.


Urea is another valuable skincare ingredient with multiple benefits for your hands. As a humectant and natural component of the skin, urea draws in moisture from the environment and softens rough skin. This ingredient helps maintain the skin's protective barrier and helps to enhance the healthy appearance of skin. This makes urea-containing products effective in treating dry skin on your hands.8

For more details, visit our urea cream ingredients page.


Dimethicone also offers several benefits for dry hands. This ingredient acts as a barrier to prevent excessive water loss, effectively locking in natural moisture. Dimethicone's moisturizing properties help maintain the skin barrier, reducing signs of dryness and fine lines. Dimethicone helps to create a protective layer, resulting in smoother, softer skin with improved texture. This makes it a suitable choice for dry and cracked hands.7

Refer to our ingredients page for dimethicone for a deeper insight into this skincare ingredient. page.


Petrolatum is another highly effective moisturizing ingredient commonly used in skincare products. It reduces water loss from the skin and acts as a barrier that maintains skin hydration. Additionally, it helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, leaving the skin smoother-looking, which makes it another important ingredient for dry or cracked hands.7

Cetaphil’s best creams and lotions for dry and cracked hands

Cetaphil offers a diverse range of creams and lotions, enriched with the ingredients mentioned above, making them perfectly suitable for use on hands. These Cetaphil products not only provide effective hydration but also come with additional benefits:

Gentle and non-irritating

Cetaphil products are renowned for their gentle and non-irritating formulations, dermatologist recommended, many Cetaphil products are suitable for the sensitive and worn-out skin on your hands.

Cetaphil Cracked Skin Repair Lotion with skin protectant dimethicone, helps improve sensitive, dry, or cracked hands whilst being gentle on the skin, as does Cetaphil Advanced Relief Cream, which is enriched with soothing shea butter.

Lasting hydration

Whether your hands are in need of daily moisture or require extra care, Cetaphil has you covered. Cetaphil creams and lotions are tailored to deliver long-lasting hydration for dry skin, such as Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream and Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion, which both provide lasting 48-hour hydration. Cetaphil Intensive Healing Lotion with Ceramides helps your skin get extra hydration and skin barrier support. This lotion is specially designed to provide intense moisturization and relief to dry, rough, and flaky skin, promoting healthy-looking and hydrated hands.

Quick absorption

Another key feature of some Cetaphil creams and lotions is that they are fast-absorbing, allowing you to apply them and seamlessly return to your daily activities without any lingering greasiness or stickiness. For those dealing with extremely dry, cracked hands, consider Cetaphil Healing Ointment enriched with petrolatum. For deeper cracks, Cetaphil Cracked Skin Repair Balm, with its glycerin-rich formula, is an excellent choice.

How to use Cetaphil moisturizing lotions and creams for hands

To make the most of your hand creams and lotions, it's important to use them correctly in a good skincare routine. Firstly, try to minimize frequent handwashing, which can further dry out your skin and make the skin on your hands rough.3

When washing your hands, avoid hot water, which can exacerbate dryness; opt for lukewarm water instead. After activities like dishwashing, it's beneficial to apply hand cream promptly to restore moisture. Additionally, wearing gloves when facing cold weather or handling harsh detergents can safeguard your hands from potential harm.9

Even with the best hand cream for dry hands, you need to use your lotion or cream continuously and consistently to keep your hands feeling soft and comfortable and to get best results.

The bottom line

In our daily skincare routine, our hardworking hands deserve more attention. Cetaphil offers a range of creams and lotions with key ingredients like ceramides, shea butter, glycerin, urea, dimethicone, and petrolatum to address dry and cracked hands. To maximize their benefits, minimize excessive hand washing with hot water, apply the product after washing, and maintain a consistent skincare routine for soft and comfortable hands.


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