Image courtesy of @aesopskincare on Instagram 

Winter is the best way to differentiate a ‘nice’ hand lotion from a work horse – one that does its job to keep hands soft; repair dry, even cracked skin. Recently, we put our fingers to the task of finding not only the best-of-the-best hand creams, but also those that travel easily onboard our carry-ons.

Our A-list revealed:

Margaret Dabbs Intensive Hydrating Hand Lotion. Formulated by London podiatrist, Margaret Dabbs, who pioneered the ‘medical pedicure,’ this emollient-rich hand treatment does not disappoint. Chock full of ingredients like geranium and mandarin (for their uplifting scent) and white water lily (to hydrate), the true standout of this lush cream is emu oil, known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Also available: travel-size hand wash, cleansing gel and scrub.

La Mer The Hand Treatment. Silky and lightweight, this decadent hand cream stays on through several hand washes, working to soothe and repair dry skin. Its superpower ingredient: miracle broth, containing giant sea kelp, hand-harvested in the pristine waters off Vancouver, British Columbia. We love that every time a new miracle broth is created, it is infused with drops from the batch that came before it.

Bamford Botanic Hand Cream. A cleanser and moisturizer all in one, this made-in-England, nutrient-rich cream is packed with botanical butters and oils. Shea butter. Jojoba. Aloe. Lavender. And luxurious honey to protect and soften. We love that Bamford packages all of its products in recycled paper, cardboard or glass. And that they come certified COSMOS organic by the soil association.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm. True confession: we were originally drawn to this hydrating hand balm for its packaging – an artful pink metal tube, undeniably instagram-worthy. But once the balm sunk in, we were wowed by its texture, no greasy residue. Its rich, skin-softening ingredients: sweet almond and coconut oils; cocoa and shea butters. And its scent – notes of mandarin, rosemary and cedarwood. Added bonus: works just as amazingly on feet.

L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. A hands-down L’Occitane favorite, this best seller is reportedly sold every two seconds throughout the world. Enriched with the purest shea butter, it absorbs quickly into the skin – combining with organic spring honey and sweet almond oil (rich in omegas 6 and 9) to soften and nourish. Through business development training, L’Occitane empowers 10,000 women in Burkina Faso, West Africa, to produce the nourishing staple. Beautiful.

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