12 Best Hand Creams for Skin Worn Out by Handwashing & Dry Classrooms

Say goodbye to dry, cracked hands!

Collage of the best hand creams

Hand sanitizer and winter weather can really take their toll on teacher hands. One teacher recently asked for moisturizer recommendations on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook and received so many fantastic suggestions that we knew we had to share them. To make our list, the best hand creams for teachers needed to be fragrance-free, non-greasy, fast-absorbing, and long-lasting. Here are the top picks, tested and approved by real classroom vets!

(Just a heads up, WeAreTeachers may collect a share of sales from the links on this page. We only recommend items our team loves!)

1. Gloves in a Bottle

Gloves in a Bottle hand cream (Hand Creams for Teachers)

“My dermatologist recommended that I use Gloves in a Bottle,” says Christine L. “It forms a barrier on your hands that stays even when you wash them.” This cream is vegan and fragrance-free and recommended for those with eczema and psoriasis, too.

2. Vanicream

Vanicream hand lotion

“I have extremely sensitive skin,” shares Beth B. “I’ve used Vanicream for 3 years after my dermatologist recommended it. No scent, absorbs well, and no greasy feeling.” Vanicream makes a moisturizing ointment for extra dry skin, too, along with a variety of other bath and body products.

3. Baby Dove Lotion

Baby Dove Lotion (Hand Creams for Teachers)

Multiple folks with sensitive skin touted Baby Dove as one of the top hand creams for teachers. “I have psoriasis, so there are a lot of lotions I can’t use,” explains Samantha B. “I absolutely love Baby Dove, though. It is one of the very few lotions that do not cause my hands to burn or break out.” Other teachers pointed out that Dove also makes a hand sanitizer with moisturizers built in, which is definitely worth checking out.

4. Udderly Smooth


Udderly Smooth hand and body creams (Hand Creams for Teachers)

Take it from Amanda L: “I have 8 million creams, and this is the one I keep returning to because it works.” Sharon N. agrees: “I get Udderly Smooth to keep by the school lunchroom sink. (It’s cheap, so I don’t mind that everyone uses it.) No scent, absorbs quick.”

5. O’Keefe’s Working Hands

O'Keefe's Working Hands hand cream

This one was recommended more than any other, so it had to go on our list of the best hand creams for teachers. Nadine L. proclaims, “O’Keefe’s Working Hands cream works like magic!” Like some others, it forms a barrier on your hands to retain moisture and protect your skin. O’Keefe’s also makes a foot cream that gets rave reviews.

6. Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream

Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Hand Cream (Hand Creams for Teachers)

“My hands crack and bleed each winter,” Janna S. says. “Through trial and error, the one I like best is Gold Bond healing hand cream. Absorbs quickly, non-greasy, doesn’t irritate my skin. Soothing and healing.” Gold Bond is a trusted name in moisturizers, so it’s no surprise other teachers agree. “My nurse friends, who wash their hands even more than me, recommended it, and it’s life changing,” enthuses Rachel M.

7. The Happy Cow Moisturizing Udder Balm

The Happy Cow Moisturizing Udder Balm (Hand Creams for Teachers)

“My husband is a custodian, and I’m an elementary librarian, so our hands are beat up,” says Ashley Q. “This is his favorite lotion to use, and it works so well on his cracked hands.” (Note that this one contains lanolin, so it might not be appropriate for those with sensitive or cracked skin.)

8. Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream

Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream (Hand Creams for Teachers)

“I’ve used this for almost 20 years,” Kim J. states. “It is by far the best one in helping to repair dry, cracked hands.” It’s fragrance-free and rich but not greasy. A tube only costs a few dollars, too.

9. Duke Cannon Bloody Knuckles Hand Repair Balm

Duke Cannon's Bloody Knuckles Hand Repair Balm

The name might be a little gross, but Kristi C. promises that this is “literally THE BEST.” It’s free from parabens, phthalates, and synthetic fragrances, but it does contain lanolin.

10. Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair

Vaseline Intensive Care Advanced Repair

“After lots of trial and error, this is what we use most in our house and I keep in my classroom,” advises Carlie A. “It works well, is unscented, and (most important to me) soaks in completely almost immediately. So I can quickly put some on without getting greasy stains all over the papers I’m carrying around.” This drugstore staple is available in giant bottles at a real bargain price, too.

11. Cetaphil Cracked Skin Repair Lotion

CETAPHIL Cracked Skin Repair Lotion (Hand Creams for Teachers)

Greta M. is one of many teachers who love Cetaphil, calling it “super gentle, fragrance-free, works great, and particularly good for sensitive skin.” It’s safe for most skin types and adds a protective layer to retain moisture throughout the day.

12. Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor Healing Ointment

Aquaphor is another name that popped up over and over when we asked about the best hand creams for teachers. Their Healing Ointment has more than 47,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, so there’s no doubt it’s a brand you can trust.

Want to ask for advice or share your thoughts with other teachers? Join us on the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook!

Plus, 14 Ways to Brighten Your Classroom During the Dreary Winter Months.

12 Best Hand Creams for Skin Worn out by Handwashing & Dry Classrooms