With biting winds outside and dry, stale air inside, winter is brutal on your skin. Worst of all is the season's effect on hands, which dry out more rapidly than the rest of the body. The only solution: hand cream.
"Because of their lack of sebaceous glands, hands are prone to drying," explains Dr. Terrance Keaney, director of W for Men at the Washington Institute of Dermatalogic Laser Surgery. "When you expose your hands to dry, cold weather, an increase in trans-epidermal water loss – a loss of moisture from the skin – occurs, which causes hands to crack and peel." In short, nature and civilization have conspired to strip our hands of the precious moisture they require not to dry up and peel off in a sandpapery mess.
The solution is to moisturize early and often. Dr. Keaney recommends using a fast-absorbing lotion that doesn't leave grease stains on all your stuff. He also advises getting ahead of the problem, because it's easier to prevent dryness than it is to cure it. We tested dozens of creams, salves, lotions, and potions before settling on this list of man-friendly moisturizers. Read on to find the ones that best suit your lifestyle and preferences.
Jack Black Hand Healer
To keep their hands in game-ready condition despite extreme cold temperatures, players on at least 10 NFL teams now rely on Jack Black Industrial-Strength Hand Healer. This concoction gets its oomph from the reparative power of macadamia nut oil and glycerin, and vitamins A and E bolster and develop skin cells' internal strength when used over time. The addition of natural antiseptic eucalyptus oil keeps out bacteria, which can cause existing cuts to fester or infect. We like that it goes on light, absorbs quickly, and isn't at all greasy, plus the subtle menthol scent feels fresh. [$45 for 16 oz; getjackblack.com]