Like us, you’re probably washing your hands way more often than usual these days. Each time you wash your paws, the natural oils in your skin get stripped out, which can lead to dry, cracked hands. Here is something else to think about during those 20 seconds spent washing and singing the ABCs or the chorus to Toto’s “Africa”: You are more susceptible to bacteria if your skin is cracked.
“When skin is very dry and if it cracks, fissures, or tears, those end up being disruptions in the barrier of your skin where bacteria or other parasites can enter and cause infection,” said Dr. Sonya Kenkare, a board-certified dermatologist based in Evergreen Park, Illinois.
While Kenkare says plain old Vaseline is great for healing dry, cracked skin, why not treat yourself to one of these hand creams we’ve discovered during our travels to bring a little bit of Greece, Iceland, or Australia into your life? Not only do they feel and smell great, but they are also all shoppable online and can be delivered straight to your home. Be sure to bookmark this for later, too. These hand creams are all TSA-friendly and do wonders on skin dried out by airplane air.
Granado Brazil Nut Hand Cream
Buy Now: $11 for 1.7 oz. tube, amazon.com
I discovered Granado while staying at Rio de Janeiro’s Belmond Copacabana Palace hotel a few years ago. Founded in the late 19th century, the Brazilian skincare line has a variety of scents, but the Brazil nut one is my favorite. It’s a little bit nutty with some grassy notes, which reminds me of how a tropical rain forest smells just after a downpour. It’s hard to find in the United States, but Amazon tends to restock often even if it does sell out. —Lyndsey Matthews, destination news editor
Korres Hydrating Luxury Hand Cream
Buy Now: $25 for three 1.7 oz. tubes, amazon.com
No matter the scent—rose! water lily blossoms! sea cotton! bergamot pear! yogurt! guava!—this lotion always leaves my hands smooth and smelling nice but not too nice (we all know the sickly sensation that can accompany an overpowering scent). Bonus: It dries quickly and your hands feel softer, I swear, in an instant. —Katherine LaGrave, digital features editor
All Good Goop
Buy Now: $14 for 2 oz. jar, amazon.com
I was introduced to All Good Goop, an organic skincare formula mixed with essential oils, on a trip to India with a friend. It’s good for everything—cuts, sunburn, chapped hands, blisters. It’s thick, so it can take some rubbing in if you’re using it as hand cream. —Maggie Fuller, associate digital editor
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
Buy Now: $16 for 1 oz. tube, amazon.com
I never go anywhere without a tube of this Japanese cream. The glycerin-based formula enriched with vitamins B2 and E is super thick but absorbs fast and doesn’t leave a greasy residue anywhere. It may be pricey, but a little of this cream goes a long way and a one-ounce tube has lasted me an entire year. It has a distinct camphor scent, but it fades quickly (they also make a fragrance-free version). —LM
Sóley Organics Græðir Hand Cream
Buy Now: $21 for 1.7 oz. tube, soleyorganics.com
Pure Icelandic spring water and extracts from a selection of wild, hand-picked herbs like bearberry, willow, and yarrow extracts go into this silky lotion, whose name—Græðir—means “healer” in Icelandic. —KLG
Herbacin Kamille Hand Cream
Buy Now: $24 for three 3.4 oz tubes, amazon.com
Made in Germany with glycerin and dimethicone, this hand cream leaves your hands feeling moisturized but not greasy. The chamomile blossom extract in it provides a light fragrance, but is not overpowering. The 3.4 ounce tube is TSA-friendly, but if you want something even smaller to throw in your bag you can also buy a tiny 0.67 ounce tin that takes up next to no space. —LM
Weleda Skin Food
Buy Now: $13 for 2.5 oz. tube, amazon.com
Even though it’s formulated with chamomile and calendula, Weleda doesn’t smell all that great. It’s also greasy—try and touch anything within two minutes of applying it, and you’ll leave an oily smudge. But it’s a small price to pay when you see (and feel) the huge difference it makes on your skin: What was once chapped and irritated is miraculously, gloriously, smooth and soft. —KLG
Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm
Buy Now: $30 for 2.6 oz. tube, nordstrom.com
Aesop’s skincare products are widely available in the United States, but whenever I grab this metal tube of hand cream it brings me right back to a road trip on the Great Ocean Road a few years ago in Australia. While the cream absorbs quickly, the lightly herbal scent of mandarin rind and rosemary sticks around to brighten my spirits. —LM
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