Wearing SPF on every part of your body is a non-negotiable. (You’ve heard it from us time and time again and here are the receipts.) Hands are presumably included in this statement, but experts say they are often overlooked when it comes to sun protection. “The tops of your hands are often exposed, especially when driving, golfing, etc.,” says board-certified dermatologist and founder of Avant Dermatology & Aesthetics, Sheila Farhang, M.D. “We always say our hands reveal our age since people typically use anti-aging creams or cosmetic procedures for the face and neck.”
Joshua Zeichner, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, agrees and says any products with the SPF written on its label will protect you by its specified amount as long as your using enough of it. This includes hand creams that are intentionally formulated with SPF or traditional sunscreens. “Hand creams with SPF tend to have richer textures with the goal of hydrating and repairing rough skin on the hands,” Dr. Zeichner says. He notes that using traditional facial sunscreens might prove to be more draining on your wallet since they are typically swirled with anti-aging ingredients, antioxidants, and botanicals—which are more expensive.
Ahead are the best sunscreens to slather your hands with, but remember to re-apply every time you go to wash your hands (which we know might be even more often these days).
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Handscreen SPF 40
“This sunscreen provides broad-spectrum UV protection in a formula that hydrates and repairs dry, cracked skin on my hands,” says Dr. Zeichner—but that’s not the only reason why he loves it. “It fully rubs into skin without leaving hands feeling greasy.”
Daily Hydration Hand Cream with SPF 30
Dr. Farhang reaches for this affordable, hydrating hand cream, saying she usually opts for an SPF of over 30. She also likes how convenient its small size is.
Clean Freak Nutrient Boosted Daily Sunscreen
Mineral sunscreens have a bad reputation for leaving behind a chalky residue. FYI, that’s not always true—and this sunscreen is the proof. Dr. Zeichner likes this formula for how it disappears as it’s rubbed in and protects with nourishing ingredients like squalane, colloidal oatmeal, and shea butter.
Rich Girl Broad Spectrum SPF 25 Hand Cream
This luxuriously emollient hand cream will leave your hands feeling extra-moisturized. It’s blended with ingredients like jojoba oil, avocado, and shea butter—you know, additives that leave your skin feeling buttery soft.
Original SPF 15 Sunscreen Hand Cream
Sure, this lightweight, moisturizing formula will protect your hands from the sun. We know this. What’s particularly standout about it is its piña colada—and quintessentially Summer—scent. It will transport you to warmer months even during the dead of winter. (Because, you’ll be wearing hand sunscreen then too, of course.)
Emollient Rich Hand Cream SPF 15
Yes, it says “emollient” on the bottle, but this hand cream moisturizes and soothes skin without leaving keyboards or cell phone screens covered in grease immediately post-application.
You’ll want to keep reapplying this hand lotion, which softens skin (thanks to its combo of soy and sea algae) and gives it a subtle floral scent.
HandDrink Hand Cream
As the name suggests, you should be reaching for this tube when your hands are looking and feeling extra thirsty. It’s swirled with moisturizing oils, as well as mild exfoliators to make your hands look their healthiest.
Ultimate Age Defense Hand Cream
Some might see Gold Bond as the gold standard of skincare because of how long it’s been around. (The brand launched in 1882, you know.) Others might have discovered its skin-healing magic when Shaquille O’Neal’s “Sha-cool” commercials for the brand debuted in the early 2010s. (Is that just me?)
Regardless, this hand cream lives up to the brand’s reputation for soothing and healing dry skin. It’s mixed with the good stuff (skin-softening ceramides, moisture-retaining hyaluronic acid, brightening vitamin C) and protects hands with an SPF of 30. All without leaving behind a greasy residue.
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