Nurse in hospital with healthy hands after using high quality hand cream

The Best Hand Creams For Nurses

The worst feeling in the world is having dry, cracked hands. It stinks for the regular population, but nurses! Washing hands, using hand sanitizer and wearing gloves does a NUMBER on their poor hands! The second worst thing to having dry hands is using cream that makes your hands inoperable; greasy, slimy hands are an unfortunate side effect to using creams. But, have no fear nurses, there are creams that DON’T do this to your hands! You need to be able to use a pen, open a door, take vitals, take care of your patients without leaving a trail of grease like a little RN slug. You need fast drying, deeply nourishing, near fragrance-free creams that can be used as often as you sanitize your hands. Following are five of the best hand creams for nurses to use on and off duty.

Top 5 Best Hand Creams For Nurses

1. Yes to Carrots hand cream

Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Moisturizing Hand & Cuticle Cream for Dry Skin, 3 Fluid Ounces
  • Yes To coconut oil and shea butter give you a non-greasy, yet super moisturzing hand and cuticle skin protectant cream.
  • Formulated with virgin coconut oil, which is rich in vitamins A, C and E and provides nutrients that keep hands and cuticles protected.
  • This hand and cuticle saver, helps to smooth and restore dry, cracked and chapped skin.
  • To use: Apply to hands twice a day (and get ready for some seriously soft hands!)
  • 97% Natural Petroleum, SLS, & Paraben Free Cruelty-free. Allure 2016 Best of Beauty Award Winner!

The entire “yes to” line is full of great products, but “yes to carrots hand cream” will tick every box that you want as a nurse. The formula is nice and thick, you can feel as soon as it touches your skin that your skin is thanking you. Even though it is thick, with a couple rubs it dries down with almost no greasy residue. It also doesn’t have an intense smell, it just smells a little fresh. The company prides itself on using all natural ingredients which you can immediately tell from the lack of chemical smell or overpowering fragrance (which is sometimes used to cover chemicals.) It is easily accessed too at your local drugstore, or larger retailers like Target and WalMart.

2. O’Keefe’s working hands hand cream

O'Keeffe's Working Hands Hand Cream, 3.4 Ounce Jar, (Pack 1)
  • O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream is a concentrated hand cream that heals, relieves and repairs extremely dry, cracked hands
  • Creates a protective layer on the skin’s surface that instantly boosts moisture levels and helps prevent further moisture loss
  • Makes a difference you will feel within days
  • For best results apply after hand washing, after bathing, and at bedtime, as these are the most effective times for moisturizing extremely dry skin
  • Safe for people with diabetes

This cream is specially formulated for those that don’t want the greasy after math of hydrating your hands. Like the previous cream, this dries down almost immediately and has no odor. This is different in that is a little hydrophobic, that is, when you wash your hands you won’t be washing the good nourishing cream off your hands. It does feel thicker on your hands than some other creams, but this only means that great moisture is going to sit a little longer on your skin and will be able to work its magic for that much longer. The large pot may not be the most convenient for someone that wants to be able to carry the cream with them, so it is also available in a tube for easier administration.

3. First aid beauty ultra repair cream

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Hydration Moisturizer for Face and Body - 6 oz.
  • Head-to-Toe Moisture: A fast-absorbing, rich moisturizer in a light, whipped texture that provides instant relief and long-term hydration for dry, distressed skin and eczema – with no greasy after-feel
  • Suitable for All Skin Types: This hydration wonder leaves even the most dry, flakey skin feeling smooth, hydrated and comfortable after just a single use – clinically proven to immediately improve skin hydration by 169%
  • Safe For the Family: Safe for sensitive skin, this hydrating face and body cream can be used by all members of the family, including children
  • Free From: Alcohol, artificial colorants, artificial fragrance, lanolin, mineral oil, parabens, petrolatum, phthalates, propylene glycol, sulfates, talc, formaldehydes, oxybenzone, coal tar, triclocarban, ethanol, ethyl alcohol, denatured alcohol, methanol, N-butyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, SD alcohol
  • Dermatologist Tested: Our cruelty-free moisturizing cream is also vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, oil-free, parthenolide-free, soy-free, safe for sensitive skin and nano-free

This is a newer brand, but it delivers! As with all the products mentioned this dries down fairly fast when applied. Odor free and has deeply penetrating moisture. It is a cream that will need to be applied more often after hand washing because it does not have a hydrophobic property like some of the creams on this list. However, it is a very gently moisturizer, so overuse will not irritate the already raw skin of dry and cracked hands. This cream is also great to use as an overnight treatment when off duty. Applying a liberal amount and then wearing treatment gloves for about half an hour will transform dry hands over night. Starting off a shift with already nourished hands will cut down on the havoc wrecked by constant sanitizing.   

Bonus Tip! This cream is acceptable to use on the entire body including face. It is good to use before bed for deep overnight moisture for the face and body.

4. Lansinoh HPA lanolin

Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding, 1.41 Ounces
  • No.1 Recommended Brand: Our HPA Lanolin Cream for Breastfeeding is clinically tested and most recommended by Doctors.
  • For Nursing Mothers: Thick, rich lanolin nipple cream soothes and protects sore nipples.
  • Safe for Baby: Made from just lanolin, so there's no need to remove this nipple nursing cream before breastfeeding.
  • 100% Natural: No petroleum, parabens, or preservatives. Our Lansinoh nipple cream is made from a single, hypoallergenic ingredient.
  • Ultra-Pure: Our unique refining process ensures a high quality lanolin cream without fragrance or taste.

I know what you’re thinking, Lanolin is for breastfeeding mothers! Yes, it is, but it also is amazing for your hands. Word to the wise, this one needs to be used very sparingly. It is oily and hard to absorb if you use too much. A tiny amount of this rubbed into your hands will dry down fast with an intense punch of moisture. Keep in mind, this is normally used for chapped nipples and acts as a thin shield from the moisture of a feeding baby. So, too much will give you a slick coating on your hands. When used in great moderation it will act similar to the O’Keefe’s Working Hands, not totally washing off with sanitizer and hand washing. Lanolin has its own smell, but there will be so little used that it should be nearly undetectable.

Pro Tip! While applying to hands concentrate product around cuticles. This is a great moisturizer for them in general since they get drier than the rest of the hand in the winter, and it will help prevent hangnails and the deep cracking that can sometimes happen in the winter.

5. Aquaphor healing ointment advance therapy

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Aquaphor Healing Ointment - Moisturizing Skin Protectant for Dry Cracked Hands, Heels and Elbows, Use After Hand Washing - 14 Oz Jar
  • One essential solution for many skin care needs: Use as a lip moisturizer, hand cream, foot cream for dry cracked feet, minor wound care and much more
  • Different from a lotion or cream, this ointment nourishes skin while creating a protective barrier that allows for the flow of oxygen to create an ideal healing environment
  • Extreme weather conditions and frequent exposure to water, hand soap, and hand sanitizer can cause dry cracked hands and cuticles. Use Aquaphor Healing Ointment over night as a hand cream for dry hands to restore moisture to enhance healing
  • Preservative and fragrance free, specifically for sensitive skin and clinically proven to restore smooth, healthy skin
  • Color variations occur due to the nature of the ingredients in the product, but do not affect product safety and performance. Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a white translucent to light yellow ointment

Yes, this is another product that most people associate with babies…diaper rash in particular. But, like Lanolin, when applied in a smaller amount to hands it can be a life saver. This has that same property of protecting skin from water and hand washing while still nourishing. Since this is formulated with baby’s bottoms in mind, it is also a cream that you can use quite often without the worry of irritating skin any further. There is a slight odor with this cream, but nothing too overpowering or that might irritate sensitive patients.

Any type of moisturizer is going to help your cracked or dry hands. These are just a few that tick the boxes of things that are relevant to nurses and their need to use their hands! Yes to carrots and First Aid Beauty are creams that can be used all the time, on shift and in regular life. The other three would be best used only while on duty. The protectant property that Aquaphor, Lanolin and O’Keefe’s have is great to keep moisturizer from falling off while constantly washing hands, but they are not something to use every day. They are formulated to have oxygen flow to your skin through the protectant, but if it is not a perk that is necessary, let your hands breathe without the protective layer, they will thank you.

All in all, you need to find a cream that YOU like. These are all great products. Pick one that fits for you and try it out.

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