In our current challenging times, I am one of millions making major changes to their handwashing habits. My own have risen from the objectively fairly lazy ‘I guess I should, I was just touching raw chicken’ to, oh, every half hour. A very necessary hygiene practice, of course, but one that leaves hands, though certainly extra clean and hopefully non-virusy, more prone than ever to dryness and discomfort. Lucky for me, I happen to be married to a true hand cream afficianado. Having spent teenage years both on Roaccutane (producing long term drying effects) and working in a hospital (instilling a long term obsession with clean hands), my husband has used hand cream at a bare minimum of three times a day for the past fifteen years. So, who better to ask than a true hand cream connoisseur to rate some of the all-time best hand creams for dry hands – at a variety of price points – so that you can choose your very own perfect match?

The classic French pharmacy buy (available in Aussie chemists!)

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast Mains Barrier Repairing Cream

“This gel feels like it’s forming a protective layer over the skin, so you don’t have to apply it as often and the effects last longer. It has no scent at all, which I really like. I am always putting some hand cream on in the morning as I to finish getting ready, often not actually rubbing it all the way in until I’m out the door; this one is quite thick, so I don’t have to worry about a puddle of it flying off my hand as I try and button my shirt at the same time. Also, it’s the best choice for door handles… in that I can have just put this on and still use them!”

The eco-luxe Australian option

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm

“This thick cream has an amazing, lightly citrus scent that’s truly unisex, and it feels really good on. I love the convenience of pump packaging and the huge amount of product you get, but the downside is it’s always impossible to get it all out. I estimate that there was still 20% of the cream left in the bottle that I was never able to get to, which is such a shame.”

The posh British choice

Jo Malone London Vitamin E Nourishing Hand Treatment

“Honestly, I wouldn’t repurchase for myself, but I would for my wife. First of all, the floral scent isn’t for me. It has good moisture and coverage, in that it spreads easily without being too thin, but it feels a bit oily, like it’s left residue on my hands. I think this one is more something Zoe would apply after doing her nails or before bed than one I see myself using every day. The black and cream packaging is very suave, though.”

The overall favourite

Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve

“This one felt the best. It’s creamy without being runny and goes on easily – it doesn’t slide or make your skin slippery, wet or gungey. Also, you don’t need a lot to really moisten your hands up. It smells herbal, almost medicinal, which I like. A small but important note – the packaging is nothing fancy, just simple and old school but still attractive. The tube really looks like what’s inside is going to get the job done – which it does!”

The fancy, French and feminine version

Chanel La Creme Main

“Ok, so I have to start by saying the egg shape is definitely super cool. It’s not just good looking, either, but a great practical design – the cream is never hard to get out, there’s no wastage and no build up – it always just squeezes out smoothly. The scent of this one is very floral, and it really lingers, which again isn’t my cup of tea but if you like that, you’ll love this. It isn’t super moisturising, in that you have to put a lot on to get the same feeling as others give with less, but the upside of this is a really dry finish, so it’s a great one to use if you want to apply it more often – for instance if you prefer to put some on every single time you wash your hands.”

Story by Zoe Briggs. Holding shot by @beautystars_pl

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