K, I’m assuming you already know how important sunscreen is for your face and body…right? (Like, pls consider this your official reminder to be slathering on an SPF every single day if you aren’t already.) But there is one area that’s often overlooked when it comes to UV protection—and it lowkey gets just as much sun exposure as the rest of your body. Yup, I’m talking about your hands—and it’s officially time to start protecting them with an SPF hand cream.
Wait, I should wear SPF on my hands?
According to dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor at Yale, the skin on your hands is actually one of the first areas to show signs of aging. “90 percent of the signs of aging come from daily, unprotected UV exposure,” she says. And fine lines and wrinkles aside, just like with the rest of your body, sun damage on your hands can also increase your risk of skin cancer. Dr. Gohara says anyone who drives a lot should be taking extra precaution when it comes to protecting their hands with SPF, since “the sun from your car windows can silently scorch your skin without you even noticing.”
TL;DR: It’s time to start applying sunscreen to your hands regularly. The best and easiest way to do that? Layering on an SPF-spiked hand cream. And although you might be tempted to just mix your current hand cream with last year’s bottle of sunscreen, Dr. Gohara advises against it—it’s best to use a formula that’s specifically made for hydrating and UV-blocking, like one of these top-rated options ahead. P.S. As with any sunscreen, you’ll want to reapply these bbs every two hours for optimal protection. Got it? Cool, keep scrolling for the 12 best SPF hand creams of all time.
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Best Antioxidant SPF Hand Cream
Supergoop Handscreen SPF 40
Not only is this SPF hand cream made with SPF 40, but it’s also full of antioxidants like vitamin E and argan oil (both of which keep your skin super soft and hydrated). And if you’re looking for a cleaner SPF, it’s worth mentioning that this one is also sulfate, paraben, and fragrance-free.
Best Healing SPF Hand Cream
CeraVe Ultra-Light Face Moisturizing Lotion SPF 30
If your hands are perpetually cracked, flaky, and red, you’ll want to start with this super-healing SPF hand cream from CeraVe. Packed with hyaluronic acid (to moisturize) and ceramides (to lock in that moisture), this SPF will calm your irritated skin and keep it protected from the sun.
Best SPF Hand Cream for Sensitive Skin
Eucerin Daily Hydration Body Cream with SPF 30
When it comes to ultra-sensitive skin, it’s best to avoid fragrance and essential oils all together. That doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the SPF hand cream game though, as evidenced by this excellent fragrance-free option from Eucerin. Slather it over your hands and it’ll gently hydrate and protect your skin without irritating it.
Best Exfoliating SPF Hand Cream
EltaMD UV Lotion Broad-Spectrum SPF 30+
The hero ingredients in this SPF hand cream? Citric acid, which works to gently exfoliate your skin, and antioxidant-rich vitamin E. It’s also got a nice dose of hyaluronic acid, a super hydrator, to keep your hands nice and silky post exfoliation.
Best Color-Correcting SPF Hand Cream
Aveeno Positively Radiant Sheer Daily Moisturizer SPF 30
Try as we might, we can’t always prevent sunspots and hyperpigmentation. This SPF hand cream is equipped with soybean extract to help fight discoloration, while the SPF 30 works its magic to protect you from developing more later on.
Best Soothing SPF Hand Cream
Josie Maran Whipped Argan Oil SPF 45 Body Butter
I love this SPF hand cream from Josie Maran because it has not one, not two, but three soothing ingredients. You can say goodbye to red, inflamed hands, thanks to this formula’s blend of aloe, chamomile, and green tea. Bonus: This one’s technically a body butter, so you can also slather it on your legs and arms.
Best UV Protection SPF Hand Cream
Paula’s Choice Resist Youth-Extending Daily Hydrating Fluid SPF 50
Reminder: Derms recommend using a minimum of SPF 30, so you know you’re covered with this SPF 50 hand cream from Paula’s Choice. And TBH, there’s very little this hand cream doesn’t do. It’s got powerful antioxidants like vitamin E and grapeseed extract, soothing ingredients like green tea leaf extract, and antibacterial properties (hi, grape seed extract).
Best Anti-Aging SPF Hand Cream
Hempz Yuzu & Starfruit Daily Herbal Lotion SPF 30
For dewier, plumper-looking skin, this SPF hand cream will help moisturize and smooth your hands every time you apply it. It’s all thanks to the formula’s ultra-moisturizing hemp oil and retinyl palmitate (part of the retinoid family, which helps reduce signs of aging).
Best Brightening SPF Hand Cream
Ultraluxe Skincare Microvenom Hand Cream with SPF 30
Let me introduce to you the two brightening stars in this SPF hand cream: bearberry extract and vitamin C. Together these two help brighten up dull skin, while the formula’s antioxidants (‘sup, green tea extract) work to keep your hands soft and smooth.
Best Hydrating SPF Hand Cream
Deborah Lippmann Rich Girl SPF 25 Hand Cream
For anyone who experiences chronic dry hands, a hand cream that actually lasts and doesn’t evaporate minutes after that first application is key. This SPF hand cream is made with shea butter, avocado oil, and jojoba oil, three excellent moisturizing ingredients to get ahead of the flakiness.
Best Mineral SPF Hand Cream
Unsun Emollient Rich Hand Cream SPF 15
If you’re dealing with acne-prone or sensitive skin, make sure you’re using a mineral or zinc sunscreen (they sit on the surface of your skin and are generally less irritating than physical formulas). This one is full of antioxidants (think: vitamin E and beet root extract) and soothing ingredients (like aloe leaf and cucumber extracts).
Best Antibacterial SPF Hand Cream
Jane Iredale HandDrink Hand Cream
Now that all have a healthy amount of PTSD from last year when there was not a single bottle of hand sanitizer or Clorox wipes to be found, the word “antibacterial” has a legit sexy ring to it. So if that’s what you look for in your hand creams, you’ll love this SPF-spiked formula that’s made with honeysuckle extract (it’s got natural antibacterial properties—score).
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