Who said soft and manly couldn’t be synonymous? When you think about staple items for men’s grooming, you probably think of shaving cream, aftershave, cologne or hair gel.
Unfortunately, many men overlook hand cream as a necessary addition to their skin care regimen.
Sure, you might initially think it’s a little girly to moisturize regularly, but there’s nothing hot or macho about sandpaper palms. Ask any woman in your life and they’ll tell you: soft hands are sexy.
What is Hand Cream For Men
Hand cream’s name doesn’t leave much to guess at. By definition, it’s a liquid with the consistency of a cream that’s made to be rubbed into your hands.
Because the skin of your hands is generally rougher and harder to penetrate, hand creams are generally much thicker than face or body creams.
As a good rule of thumb, it’s important to recognize that different areas of your body have different hydration needs.
For this reason, know that body lotion and hand lotion are never interchangeable.
Use hand lotion on hands, face lotion on your face and region-specific products like best eye cream in the exact location that the label dictates.
Normally, hand cream’s goal is to hydrate and protect the skin from dryness, cracking and dead skin.
Depending on which product you select, some have added features. A few of these include the inclusion of SPF or properties that help slow your skin’s aging process.
While you can, in theory, use a women’s hand cream product, it’s ideal to invest in a cream that’s made specifically for the needs of men’s skin.
Benefits Of Using Hand Cream
Like a good pair of silk pajama, the comfort of moisturization isn’t a luxury reserved for the ladies.
Besides the obvious cosmetic benefits, regular use of a high-quality hand cream has plenty of logical advantages.
Have you ever tried to pole vault with dry, cracked hands? Do you think it would be easy to chop wood with cracked and flaking knuckles?
The truth of the matter is that hand hydration isn’t just about the look and feel. Hands that are healthy and moisturized also perform better.
Especially if you’re an outdoorsman or athlete, making sure your hands are well-moisturized is a key element in maximizing your ability to perform physical activities.
Improved Nail Health
Outside of moisturizing the skin of your hands, a good hand cream also works to deliver much-needed hydration to your nails and cuticles. Brittle, dry nails are more inclined to crack and split, causing severe pain.
However, with the help of high-quality hand cream, you can keep your nails strong and healthy. Additionally, hydrated nails are usually easier to cut with a good pair of handy nail clippers.
As a young man, you were probably taught how to have a firm, assertive handshake. Unfortunately, there’s no room in a good first impression for the presence of dry, scaly hands.
Moisturizing with hand cream is a great way to make a good impression. Additionally, well-cared-for skin (whether it be on your face, body or hands) is the best way to appear youthful.
If you’re especially interested in cream as an age-concealing tool, consider looking into the top anti-aging cream for men.
Types of Hand Creams for Men
These products have healing properties that aim to reverse the damage from past abuse.
If you’ve spent years in manual labor jobs or if you’re accustomed to working outdoors in harsh conditions, you’ve probably noticed your skin is a little rougher and damaged.
Made especially for extremely dry and cracked skin, a good repairing cream can sometimes turn back the clock and undo the destruction caused by years of mistreatment.
Hand creams which aim simply to moisturize are one of the most basic and essential types. With none of the bells and whistles of repairing creams, they focus on doing one job and doing it well.
By delivering much-needed moisture to your hands, moisturizing hand creams are an ideal product for men with average, undamaged skin who are looking to maintain their hands’ health and overall feel.
Protection-minded hand creams aim to guard skin from sun, wind and cold. Again, these hand creams are often used by those who work outdoors in extreme conditions.
They can help reduce the chances of getting skin cancer, stop windburn and even improve your circulation to reduce the chances of frostbites.
In short, top-notch protecting hand cream is possibly a hardworking man’s most essential tool.
While most hand cream products will work to improve the health of your nails as well, there are specific products designed to meet the needs of men whose nails need a little extra help.
Hand creams which focus on the nails help deliver nutrients and hydration to the nail and cuticle. By remedying dryness, these products fortify the nail and increase their overall strength.
Cream vs Lotion
If you’re confused about the label variations between hand cream and hand lotion, the good news is you’re not alone.
The truth is that although there is a small, technical difference between the two terms, both products serve the same function of moisturization.
If we’re getting technical, lotions differ from creams merely in the sense that they contain more water.
This makes them slightly runny and thinner. Because they’re lightweight, they often absorb more quickly into the skin than creams.
On the other hand, the creams are slightly thicker. It takes a little more effort to rub in a cream product, but the result is a product which is often a bit more effective in the long run.
Often packaged in tubs and jars, they normally contain a slightly higher oil content than lotions.
How To Choose The Best Hand Cream For Men
The product’s thickness and oil content are the biggest factors in absorption.
Ideally, you want a product that quickly penetrates the skin, delivering much-needed moisture to all layers of your hands.
However, you want it to perform this function quickly, so you don’t have to waste time rubbing the product in or waiting for it to dry.
Unfortunately, creams that absorb poorly or too slowly are essentially useless. If the product’s hydrating products can’t make it past the surface level, it’s not much good at all.
If you’re after a manly hand cream, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll want to stray away from floral and fruity scented creams. In fact, you might want a product that’s all together unscented.
For those who happen to prefer a bit of fragrance, there are some more macho options.
Regardless of which you choose, be sure it’s a scent created by all-natural ingredients, such as avocado or eucalyptus rather than unnecessary chemicals.
Which product you select should also depend largely on your skin type. For oily skin, you’ll want a lightweight, breathable cream.
If your hands are especially dry or calloused, you’ll require the help of a heavy-duty, extra thick product that gets down to business and penetrates deep.
Alternatively, for normal to slightly oily skin, a standard, middle-line product should serve just fine.
Some of the most common ingredients for hand cream include silicone-derived ingredients such as dimethicone or Cyclomethicone.
Because these make for a more lightweight substance, they’re an ideal ingredient to look for especially if you have normal or oily skin.
If your skin is particularly sensitive, remember that you’ll want to stick mostly to products containing natural ingredients.
Which Ingredients Should the Best Hand Cream Have
If your skin is easily irritated and requires soothing, scout out products which contain chamomile.
It’s naturally comforting qualities helps ease redness and irritation for an overall healthier look and feel.
As a frequent, natural ingredient in creams and lotions, shea butter does an excellent job in moisturizing your skin. It also helps soothe hands that have become extra dry or irritated.
Along with Vitamin E, these ingredients are great for those using hand cream to increase the strength of their nails.
Because they deliver much-needed nutrients that penetrate skin cells and soften cuticles, they allow nails to grow healthier and even quicker.
If you frequently execute activities that can cause your hands to crack or bleed, you’ll want to use a hand cream which includes eucalyptus.
Because it’s a natural antiseptic, it helps to make sure that small cuts and cracks caused by dryness never have the chance to become infected.
Though glycerin may not sound like the best or healthiest ingredient for hand cream, it delivers a multitude of benefits to any moisturizing product.
As one of the most popular natural ingredients in hydrating creams, it doesn’t just keep skin from getting dry, it can also help reverse the effects of aging in mature, damaged skin.
Ingredients You Should Avoid
Due to their links to cancer and other harmful effects, parabens should be avoided at all costs. This isn’t just a good rule of thumb for hand creams. All of the best skin care products for men will be paraben free.
If you simply must buy a product with a fragrance, you’ll want to make sure its source is natural ingredients, not chemicals.
The unnecessary addition of chemicals in order to make a product smell good can have a number of drawbacks.
It can strip your skin of its natural oil balance, cause unanticipated damage and prevent full hydration.
It shouldn’t matter what a product looks like before application. It should matter how it functions. Sadly, many hand cream manufacturers haven’t quite gotten the memo.
In the effort to change the color and appearance of the product, some have included unnecessary and even harmful ingredients.
One of the most toxic ingredients that is still, somehow, frequently included in lotions and creams are phthalates.
Because they’ve been known to disrupt the endocrine system, they should be avoided in hand creams as well as all other grooming products.
Of course, it can be impossible to avoid absolutely all negative ingredients in hand creams. When it comes to picking one, you’ll need to choose your battles.
Either way, read the ingredients list in detail and be sure never to purchase or apply a product containing ingredients you’re unfamiliar with.
How To Apply a Hand Cream
If your hands are caked with dirt or grime, it’s harder for the moisturizer to penetrate the skin for long-term hydration.
While it might not always be possible to wash your hands before application, it’s good to do it whenever you’re able. Before application, you’ll want to cleanse the skin with a quality bar soap for men or other gentle soap.
Once your hands are clean, here’s the step-by-step guide to moisturizing with hand cream.
Remove any jewelry and accessories which might get in the way or prevent absorption.
Squirt a conservative amount of the product into your palm, applying it first to the back of your hands.
Rub your hands together, allowing each motion to gently rub the product in your skin for maximum hydration.
If you’ve applied an excess of lotion, apply it to your arms and legs. Even though hand cream is not specially formulated for these areas, it definitely can’t hurt.
How Often You Should Use a Hand Cream
How often you use your hand cream will depend mostly on which kind you buy. Always follow the instructions on the back of your product’s label and listen to your own body’s needs.
However, for many creams, a single or twice-daily application is widely acceptable.
However, if you’re an outdoorsman whose hands are constantly exposed to harsh weather, if you live in an especially cold climate or if you have particularly dry skin, it’s okay to hand cream more frequently.
Your skin is the body’s largest organ. Having healthy and hydrated skin isn’t one of the first things you probably think about when asked to ponder manliness and first impressions, but it’s definitely a key player.
Thankfully, there’s a wide market of hand creams to keep your hands healthy and ready for whatever life has to throw at them.
Photos from: kb-photodesign / depositphotos.com, kornienkoalex / depositphotos.com, tanjakrstevska / depositphotos.com, belchonock / depositphotos.com and OlafSpeier / depositphotos.com.
- What is Hand Cream For Men
- Benefits Of Using Hand Cream
- Types of Hand Creams for Men
- Cream vs Lotion
- How To Choose The Best Hand Cream For Men
- Which Ingredients Should the Best Hand Cream Have
- Ingredients You Should Avoid
- How To Apply a Hand Cream
- How Often You Should Use a Hand Cream