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

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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

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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

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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

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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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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.