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.
Kiehl's Ultimate-Strength Hand Salve
As good for you outside as in, avocado oil and sesame oil are key ingredients in Kiehl's Ultimate-Strength Hand Salve. Both provide a host of amino acids and vitamins that help restore moisture to dried-out skin. The scent is hardly noticeable, almost like clay, while the lotion goes on light and absorbs quickly. Its maximal effects are among the longest lasting of our picks. [$15 for 2.4 oz; kiehls.com]