If you’re washing your hands morning, noon, and night (and you should be), you’re likely finding out just how dry your skin can get. Here are 11 awesome overnight creams to help replenish your skin.
It’s never been more important to wash your hands multiple times a day. Of course, you should be doing this all the time, coronavirus pandemic or not. But right now, it’s an even more essential practice than it usually is. The CDC and other health officials are encouraging everyone to wash their hands more frequently and more thoroughly to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
If you’re following this advice, you’ve probably found that, while this leaves your hands clean and (hopefully) germ-free, it also leaves them super, super dry and scaly. Not only is this uncomfortable, but it’s also dangerous. Skin so dry that it cracks can end up leaving you even more susceptible to germs and bacteria getting into your system.
So, just as it’s important to have soap on hand, it’s also important to have a hard-working hand cream nearby. The best way to keep your hands hydrated, smooth, and soft, is to moisturize overnight, and you should ideally use an intensely thick hand cream for that. The below options are great for waking up to super soft hands and keeping them that way.
Note that if you’re shopping for hand creams on Amazon at this writing, be prepared for shipping delays and stock shortages. Here’s a shopping tip: if you check out a hand cream and it’s not in stock, but it looks like exactly what you need, see if you can order a multipack or unscented version. These typically don’t sell out as fast as the cheaper individual items.
How to Make the Most of Your Overnight Hand Cream
There’s more to it than just putting some on and going to sleep:
- Apply hand cream while skin is still damp: When your skin is wet, the pores are left more open, which means that your skin will better absorb the cream and moisturize more effectively. Wash your hands, let them dry for a few seconds so the skin is damp and not soaking wet, then apply cream.
- Really massage it in: Don’t be too dainty here. You really want this stuff to get to work, so massage it into your hands for about 30 seconds so it really gets in there. It feels nice too!
- Wear gloves over your hands while you sleep: Gloves help lock and seal in the moisture so that your hands get super soft and so that the cream doesn’t rub off while you’re sleeping. Spa gloves are great for this since they have a convenient gel lining.
- Exfoliate two to three times a week: Exfoliating is an excellent way to get rid of dead skin cells and super dry skin that needs to flake off. Doing it every night can be too much, but about two or three times a week, you can use a scrub to really get rid of that dead skin.
O’Keefe’s Working Hands Cream
O’Keefe’s Working Hands Cream was made for super dry hands, and it shows. It doesn’t just leave hands feeling soft right after application: the formula creates a protective barrier on the skin’s surface that helps lock in that moisture and keeps your skin hydrated for a while and helps prevent dryness in the future.
As great as this stuff is for extremely dry hands, you should only apply a small amount. It’s thick and works well with just a bit, and too much can make your hands feel sticky, which isn’t what you want. The brand also notes that mild stinging with very cracked skin is normal. Several of our staff members, confirm that if you have supremely dry hands it does sting a bit at first but it’s worth it on account of how miraculously it heals up truly chapped and battered hands.
Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream
Made with ceramide-3, shea butter, and other hydrating ingredients, Eucerin Advanced Repair Hand Cream is an excellent option for day or night hydration. The formula absorbs into skin quickly and doesn’t leave an annoying greasy feeling behind, even as it hydrates. It’s also free of fragrances, parabens, and dyes, which makes it a perfect cream for anyone with sensitive skin.
Gloves in a Bottle Shielding Lotion
Many nurses and healthcare workers swear by Gloves In A Bottle Shielding Lotion, which works hard to moisturize dry skin and prevent that dryness from happening at all. The formula bonds with the outer layer of skin cells to basically turn into an extra layer, which is like a pair of “invisible gloves” that prevents dry skin. This layer will keep out irritants that rob your skin of moisture and help your skin retain its own natural oils.
An application lasts about four hours and it will come off naturally as you exfoliate the outer layers of your skin. Apply it before bed or use it throughout the day.
Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
One of my biggest pet peeves is the feeling of very dry skin, so I can’t survive without good hand cream. My favorite has to be Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. The glycerin-enriched formula is incredibly hydrating, but it also absorbs into skin really well and never feels greasy. You only need a very small amount to instantly feel a difference. It has no scent and it seems to stay on skin for hours.
I love that it can be used for day or night—I generally apply it right before bed and sleep with it on, and absolutely notice a difference. I also love that it’s inexpensive and very accessible.
Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream
Burt’s Bees Ultimate Care Hand Cream is made with extremely dry skin in mind. It’s made with baobab oil, watermelon seed oil, and a natural fruit acid complex that gently exfoliates while also hydrating, so it’s a great two-in-one. Although it’s really moisturizing, it has a non-greasy feel that makes it great for daytime use as well as nighttime use.
And it’s also all natural, made with other ingredients like pumpkin oil and green tea extract, so if you’re looking for that, this is a great option. It’s hypoallergenic, has no added fragrance, and is made without phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, and SLS.
Pre de Provence 20 Percent Natural Shea Butter Hand Cream
One of the best ingredients to look for in a hand cream is shea butter, which is incredibly hydrating for dry skin. You’ll find plenty of it in Pre de Provence 20 Percent Natural Shea Butter Hand Cream, which is nourishing, soothing, and healing. Not only does it hydrate skin, it also offers natural protection from UV rays.
While this is specifically called a hand cream and is wonderful for overnight use, it can also be applied to any area of the body where skin is super dry, like your nose, lips, and even your hair.
CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion
Super dry skin can definitely benefit from a chemical exfoliant, and CeraVe SA Renewing Lotion offers that as well as extra hydration. It’s made with salicylic acid and lactic acids that exfoliate away dead skin cells while also smoothing out rough skin and renewing the surface. Three essential ceramides will restore the protective skin barrier to prevent future dry skin.
This lotion is also fragrance-free, hypoallergenic, gentle, and non-irritating for anyone with sensitive skin. This is a great overnight option since it both exfoliates and moisturizes while you’re sleeping.
Curel Ultra Healing Hand Therapy
The key to a good overnight hand cream is one that not only hydrates the outer layer of skin, but also works within the skin. Curel Ultra Healing Hand Therapy does exactly that. It’s made with their exclusive Ceramide Complex, which helps restore skin’s ceramide levels (ceramide helps maintain skin’s moisture) and penetrates skin to get to the source of dryness. In other words, it doesn’t just make skin feel moisturized, it genuinely helps skin.
It’s also made with shea butter, pro-vitamin B5, and eucalyptus leaf extract, all of which feels amazing on dry skin. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t clog pores, so it’s perfect for daytime use as well as nighttime use.
Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
A salve is generally a bit thicker and more intense than just a bottle of hand cream, so it’s really best to use it overnight while you’re sleeping. is a maximum-strength moisturizer that helps severe dryness. The formula allows skin to draw and absorb water from the air to form a “glove-like” barrier that protects against any moisture loss.
The botanical oils, like avocado oil and sesame oil, and natural waxes from things like olive oil also help moisturize and soothe.
Skinfix Eczema+ Hand Repair Cream
Skin issues like eczema can be difficult to treat without getting irritated. That’s why creams like Skinfix Eczema+ Hand Repair Cream are so great. This one replenishes and restores the skin barrier using two active pharmaceutical ingredients: colloidal oatmeal and sweet almond. It’s also made with a hydrating blend of jojoba oil, shea butter, and healing botanicals.
This hand cream doesn’t just get rid of dry skin, it’s also been proven to treat eczema and can reduce the redness, itching, and stinging that goes along with it.
Weleda Skin Food
Weleda Skin Food has become really popular for instant hydration—and it’s great for hands, but also for any dry skin on your body. The cream is made of a plant-extract formula with ingredients like pansy, calendula, and lavender for natural relief. It also absorbs quickly into skin and leaves it feeling moisturized and smelling wonderful (although it’s worth noting that it’s free of preservatives, fragrances, colorants, and mineral oils).