Top 32 Best Japanese Hand Creams to Buy Online 2019 – Tried and True!

Top 33 Best Japanese Hand Creams to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

So you’re getting ready to invest in Japanese skincare, down to your fingertips. But if you’re going to pay for that shipping fee (or plane ticket), then the hand cream better be good. It should hydrate, of course, and also smell nice. And you should be able to put it on, start typing, and not have your desk look like a crime scene that’s been dusted for fingerprints.

There are perhaps few things in this world more plentiful than hand creams, so to help you narrow down your choices, we ordered the 32 most popular hand creams from Japan’s e-commerce giants (such as @cosme, Amazon, and Rakuten) and tested for the following:

  1. Hydration
  2. Fragrance
  3. Application

This is how we tested and found the most exceptional Japanese hand creams.

Table of Contents

How to Choose Japanese Hand Cream – Buying Guide

We’ll get into how we tested and compared all the products, but before that, we want to introduce three things you should look out for when picking out a Japanese hand cream.

① What Do You Want Your Hand Cream to Do?

Here are some common ingredients you’ll find in Japanese hand creams, as well as what they’re purported to do.

You Always Want a Hydrating Hand Cream

You Always Want a Hydrating Hand Cream

A whole host of skin problems–such as redness, irritation, and chafing–all stem from the same source: the thinning of your skin’s natural barrier, which impairs its ability to retain water. The easiest way to keep your skin soft and in one piece is by making sure it stays properly moisturized.

Of course, hydration depends on the overall formulation of the cream and how the ingredients play off each other, but generally speaking, products that contain hyaluronic acid※1 and ceramides※2 are effective. They’ll keep skin from chafing in the first place.

You also want oils※3 in your hand creams. Oils form a lid over your skin, preventing evaporation and locking in moisture. Popular oils include shea butter, as well as jojoba, castor, olive, and macadamia seed oil. These are all relatively gentle ingredients, which is what you want if your skin is already dry and irritated.

※1ヒアルロン酸: hyaluronic acid

※2 セラミド: ceramides

※3 -油: -oil (e.g. jojoba oil is written as ホホバ油)

To Protect Your Skin from Irritants, You Want Petroleum Jelly

To Protect Your Skin from Irritants, You Want Petroleum Jelly

It doesn’t have the power to heal or even soothe irritation, but petroleum jelly※4 effectively prevents skin irritation. Petroleum jelly forms a greasy membrane over your skin, protecting it from drying winds and other irritants. It also locks water into your skin so it stays hydrated throughout the day.

Petroleum jelly also water insoluble, which means that if you apply a thin layer before washing the dishes or other housework, it’ll shield your hands to a certain extent. Generally speaking, it’s also non-irritating and very rarely causes reactions.

※4 ワセリン: petroleum jelly (in Japan, petroleum jelly is commonly known by its brand name, Vaseline)

For Chapped and Flaking Hands, You Want Vitamins

For Chapped and Flaking Hands, You Want Vitamins

If your hands are already starting to crack and flake, then try a cream that’s been fortified with vitamins※5. Vitamin E is great in particular because it improves blood circulation and soothes irritated skin. Vitamin C derivatives, on the other hand, boost cell turnover, which is connected to healing.

※5 ビタミン: vitamin

For Sandpaper Rough Skin, You Want Urea

For Sandpaper Rough Skin, You Want Urea

When your hands start crusting over and your skin grows rough, see if you can find a cream with urea※6 in it. Urea can soften the dead, tough outer layer of skin.

However, because it’s such a potent ingredient, it could actually cause more harm than good when applied over thin or sensitive skin. Also, don’t use it when your hands are itchy, irritated, or cracked.

※6 尿素: urea

② How Do You Want Your Hand Cream to Smell?

How Do You Want Your Hand Cream to Smell?

If you’re going to be applying at the office, maybe don’t get a hand cream that smells very strong. Floral and soap-scented creams are universally appealing and always a safe choice. Herbal and woody scents have both fans and critics. You can skip them if you’re that worried about you or your coworkers/girlfriend/boyfriend/cat possibly not liking the smell of the cream.

Citrus scents are said to calm you down when you’re stressed. Citrus hand creams tend to smell soft and fresh and are loved by many, so they’re good to keep around and apply both at work or in your downtime. They also make a good gift to both men and women, whether they’re into aromatherapy or not.

③ How Quickly Do You Want Your Hand Cream to Set?

How Quickly Do You Want Your Hand Cream to Set?

Most of us spend half of our waking hours on a smartphone or at a computer, so you want to pay attention to how quickly the hand cream absorbs into your skin. Our guess is no one really enjoys having smears on their keyboards or fingerprints on their touchscreen.

You want a hand cream that’s struck a balance between water and oil. Too much water and your fingers are leaving wet stains behind them; too much oil and you’re stuck with sticky residue. A cream that’s got the right amount of water and oil will absorb easily into your skin and not leave your hands tacky.

However, it’s hard to tell how a cream applies without actually using it out for yourself. If you do get a chance to test out some samples at the store, go for it; otherwise, take our test results into consideration when deciding what hand cream to buy.

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

What Products We Ordered and How We Tested Them

Now to introduce the 32 most popular Japanese hand creams that we ordered and the process by which we tested them.

{The Products We Tested}

  1. yuskin A (ユースキンA)
  2. Curél Moisture Hand Cream (キュレル ハンドクリーム)
  3. Pax Naturon Hand Cream (パックスナチュロン ハンドクリーム)
  4. Mentholatum Uruoi Saratto Gel Medicated Hand Veil (メンソレータム 薬用ハンドベール うるおいさらっとジェル)
  5. atrix Hand Milk (アトリックス ハンドミルク)
  6. CoenRich Q10 Whitening Medicated Moisture Cream Hand & Finger (コエンリッチ 薬用ホワイトニング ハンドクリーム)
  7. atrix Extra Protection Hand Cream Tube (アトリックス エクストラプロテクション チューブ)
  8. Shiseido Medicated Hand Cream More Deep Jar (資生堂ハンドクリーム 薬用モアディープジャータイプ)
  9. atrix Hand Cream Medicated A Jar (アトリックス メディケイティッド A ジャー)
  10. KissMe Medicated Hand Cream (キスミー薬用ハンドクリーム)
  11. Nivea Creme Tube (ニベア クリーム チューブ)※
  12. Nikko Rica Sun White P-1 (日興リカサンホワイトP-1)
  13. Orbis Hand Treatment (オルビスハンド トリートメント)
  14. yuskin hana Deep Moist Hand Cream Japanese Rose (ユースキン ハナ ハンドクリーム ジャパニーズローズ)
  15. BELVISO Hand & Skin Treatment Jar (ベルビーゾ ハンド&スキンケアクリーム ジャータイプ)
  16. recipist hand cream Rosemary (レシピスト すべすべ仕上げのハンドクリーム ローズマリー)
  17. AUX PARADIS Fleur Aromatic Hand Cream (オゥパラディアロマティックハンドクリーム)
  18. IGNIS Extra H Hand Cream (IGNISエクストラ H ハンド クリーム)
  19. MARKS&WEB Moisture Hand Cream (マーク&ウェブ モイスチャーハンドクリーム)
  20. TAMA Shoku Cosme Tesho-sui Hand Cream (タマ食Cosme 手粧水 ハンドクリーム)
  21. THREE Hand & Arm Cream AC (THREE ハンド&アームクリーム AC)
  22. MAMA BUTTER Hand Cream Orange (ママバター ハンドクリーム オレンジ)
  23. LEAF & BOTANICS Lavender Hand Cream (LEAF&BOTANICS ハンドクリーム ラベンダー)
  24. atrix Beauty Charge Peach Tea (アトリックス ビューティーチャージ ピーチティー)
  25. MUJI Hand Cream Neroli (無印良品 ハンドクリーム ネロリ)
  26. Wonder Honey Honey Dew Hand Cream Tea Talk (ワンダーハニー とろとろハンドクリーム ティートーク)
  27. BOTANIST Botanical Hand Cream (BOTANIST ボタニスト ボタニカルハンドクリーム)
  28. Canmake Make Me Happy Fragrance Handcream (キャンメイク メイクミーハッピー フレグランスハンドクリーム)
  29. Loretta Dentoumushi no Gogo ~A Ladybug’s Afternoon~ Hand Cream (ロレッタ てんとう虫の午後)
  30. FIANCÉE Hand Cream (フィアンセ ハンドクリーム)
  31. KissMe Mommy! Hand Cream Citrus Mix Aroma (キスミーマミー ハンドクリームC シトラスの香り)
  32. Fernanda Fragrance Hand Cream Amelia Swell (フェルナンダ Hand Creamアメリアスウェル)

We then tested for each of the following things:

Test ①: Hydration
Test ②: Fragrance
Test ③: Application

※Nivea is a joint venture between the Japanese corporation Kao and Beiersdorf AG and is thus included on this list.

Test ①: Hydration

Hydration

First, we tested for hydration.

We used the SKICON-200 EX, an analyzer that can detect changing moisture levels, for this test.

We applied the creams to our arms and the compared the state of our skin before application to its state eight hours after application. We also had our eight lab rats (volunteers from the editing department) stay holed up in a room kept at a constant temperature and humidity the entire time, moving as little as possible.

The Big Takeaway: Hand Creams that Contained Vaseline Kept Skin Hydrated for Longer

The Big Takeaway: Hand Creams that Contained Vaseline Kept Skin Hydrated for Longer

Most creams that were able to keep our skin moisturized for the whole of the eight hours had petroleum jelly in them. Vaseline actually stays on the surface of your skin, forming a shield between it and the rest of the world that keeps water in and irritants out. Just remember you may need to reapply in between hand washes.

Formulas that featured squalane, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides also helped with water retention.

Test ②: Fragrance

Fragrance

Next, we sniffed all the hand creams.

We gathered a few more volunteers from our editing department and had them try out all the hand creams. We then took a vote and determined which the most universally appealing were.

The Big Takeaway: You Will Rarely Go Wrong with Light Florals

The Big Takeaway: You Will Rarely Go Wrong with Light Florals

Almost everyone at our office liked soft florals. They couldn’t bee to strong or sweet, but rather light and clean–the kind of cream you wouldn’t mind smelling in a small, stuffy office.

To get even more specific, the simple, delicate smell of jasmine and the fresh citrusy scent of neroli were well-received. Neither were too powerful or had anything particular about them that could be found unpleasant.

Test ③: Application

Application

The last thing we looked at was how each cream applied.

Five minutes after application, we laid our hands onto a layer of confetti and looked at how much stuck to our skin. We also looked at how easily each cream spread as we were applying it and how it felt to be using a computer or flipping through a magazine afterwards.

The Big Takeaway: Creams that Featured Shea Butters were Rich but Not Tacky

The Big Takeaway: Creams that Featured Shea Butters were Rich but Not Tacky

It didn’t matter how thick or thin the formula was–as long as the cream spread easily and absorbed easily into skin, it wasn’t sticky and didn’t leave behind residue.

In particular, formulas that featured shea butter never really got too greasy–they had a rich, smooth texture that fell somewhere in between lotion and cream. They set easily into skin and didn’t leave hands tacky.

The Final Verdict: Top 32 Best Japanese Hand Creams to Buy Online

Now to introduce the 32 best Japanese hand creams available online. They were ranked by how well they did on our tests and given an overall grade ranging from D to A+.

32. BELVISO Hand & Skin Treatment Jar

BELVISO Hand & Skin Treatment Jar

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Price: $12.67

Not Hydrating. Actually, Not Worth Choosing, as There’s Nothing Really Special at All about This Cream

Well, they weren’t lying when they said it wasn’t sticky. It also wasn’t hydrating and, at the end of eight hours, our hands were almost as dry as they were before application. There was also barely any scent to this cream–that could be good or bad, depending on what you’re looking for.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Unscented
Hydration D Application D
Fragrance C Overall Score D

31. yuskin hana Deep Moist Hand Cream Japanese Rose

yuskin hana Deep Moist Hand Cream Japanese Rose

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Visit Kirei Station for more details

Price: $5.90

Thick Cream that Doesn’t Spread and Doesn’t Hydrate

This thick cream left a kind of white veil over skin, and we had to slowly massage it in. Even though it was quite sticky, it wasn’t hydrating. At least we found the gentle scent of roses soothing.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Japanese Rose
Hydration D Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score D

30. Orbis Hand Treatment

Orbis Hand Treatment

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Price: $6.15

Not Enough for Dry Hands

This was a gel and practically skated across our skin; however, hydration was lacking. Orbis’s Hand Treatment might be good for summer, when you’re looking for something light and cool, but it won’t protect your hands from the drying winds of winter. It was also unscented.

Formula Hydrating (Gel) Smells Like Unscented
Hydration D Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score D

29. Canmake Make Me Happy Fragrance Handcream

Canmake Make Me Happy Fragrance Handcream

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Price: $11.90

There was a Light Citrusy Scent… that Some Compared to Toilet Deodorizer

It was kind of wet and slimy, so we weren’t happy with how it applied. Most of us liked the whiff of fresh grapefruit we got right when we put this hand cream on. But, as time passed, some people started complaining that it smelled like bathroom air freshener, so we guess the scent’s hit or miss.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Pink Grapefruit
Hydration D Application D
Fragrance B Overall Score D

28. LEAF & BOTANICS Lavender Hand Cream

LEAF & BOTANICS Lavender Hand Cream

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Price: $9.00

Might be Good if You’re Looking for Lavender Aromatherapy

This hand cream drew its scent from organic lavender. The smell wasn’t particularly strong, however, so don’t expect it to have the same effect as an essential oil. The texture was silky and not sticky, which may also be why hydration was sub-par.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Lavender
Hydration D Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score C

27. Curél Moisture Hand Cream

Curél Moisture Hand Cream

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Price: $8.13

Gentle Hand Cream that Leaves Behind No Residue. Just Needs to be a Bit More Hydrating…

Curél’s products are a godsend for those with sensitive skin. This hand cream was unscented, though it did have that typical slightly sour hand cream smell. It absorbed without any resistance and didn’t leave behind any residue, so it was a shame it wasn’t hydrating enough for dry skin.

Formula Hydrating, OTC Drug※7 Smells Like Unscented
Hydration D Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score C

※7 医薬部外品: translated here as over-the-counter (OTC) drug; often also referred to as a quasi-drug

26. CoenRich Q10 Whitening Medicated Moisture Cream Hand & Finger

CoenRich Q10 Whitening Medicated Moisture Cream Hand & Finger

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Price: $4.11

Leave a Trail of Slime in Your Wake, Just Like a Snail

Just in case you haven’t noticed yet, this hand cream featured coenzyme Q10, which adds shine and elasticity to your skin. It was also decently hydrating, but we couldn’t get over how slimy it was. If you try to text on your smartphone right after application, you’ll cover it with fingerprints–just be forewarned.

Formula Hydrating, OTC Drug Smells Like Unscented
Hydration C Application D
Fragrance B Overall Score C

25. IGNIS Extra H Hand Cream

IGNIS Extra H Hand Cream

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Price: $13.58

An Okay Hand Cream. Nothing Special about It, Despite the Price

This cream was quite dense, but it melted like butter into skin. It was supposed to smell like “Extra Herbal Honey,” but the scent was too artificial to really smell like anything at all.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Honey
Hydration C Application B
Fragrance C Overall Score C

24. Fernanda Fragrance Hand Cream Amelia Swell

Fernanda Fragrance Hand Cream Amelia Swell

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Price: $11.81

It’s Got a Lovely Floral Scent. Doesn’t Hydrate, Though

This was another hand cream that was dense and rich in texture, but it spread easily and didn’t leave skin tacky. It smelled a bit synthetic, but the gentle scent of flowers was well-received by many.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Lilac & Peach Blossom
Hydration D Application A+
Fragrance A Overall Score C

23. BOTANIST Botanical Hand Cream

BOTANIST Botanical Hand Cream

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Price: $7.79

Wonderful Scents in a Small Tube

This had a refreshing scent, mixing together the delicate sweetness of lilies and sharpness of lime. It did earn only a D for hydration, but it felt silky and left behind no residue. It’d be a good one to use as a little pick-me-up during the summer. This line’s also got a bunch of other scents lined up, so it might be fun to find one that appeals to you.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Lime & Lily
Hydration D Application A+
Fragrance B Overall Score C

22. MAMA BUTTER Hand Cream Orange

MAMA BUTTER Hand Cream Orange

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Price: $9.57

Soothes You with the Warm Fragrance of Oranges. A Bit Tacky, Though

We’d say orange is one of those universally appealing scents. This cream derived its fragrance from natural essential oils, so it smelled very fresh (and not artificial). You do need to massage it into your skin to get rid of residue, so don’t rush the process.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Oranges
Hydration D Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score C

21. Pax Naturon Hand Cream

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51yvmNB1agL._SL1000_.jpg

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Price: $5.08

An Unremarkable Hand Cream that Simply Works

This didn’t absorb readily, so we had to slowly work it into skin. It was a heavier hand cream, and it did feel hydrating. However, it left behind a greasy residue, so it’s not one to use at the office or in summer.

Formula Hydrating Smells like Unscented
Hydration B Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score C

20. TAMA Shoku Cosme Tesho-sui Hand Cream

TAMA Shoku Cosme Tesho-sui Hand Cream

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Price: $15.20

This is Basically Toner for Your Hands. Disappears into Skin

This felt like a gel toner. It was a bit slimy right after application, but the moisture either absorbed into skin or evaporated with time, leaving skin smooth and soft. The hand cream was supposed to be fragrance free, but there was a very faint and pleasant sweetness to it.

Formula Hydrating (Gel) Smells Like Unscented
Hydration B Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score C

19. Nikko Rica Sun White P-1

Nikko Rica Sun White P-1

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Price: $10.39

Additive-Free and Allergy Tested. A Good Choice for Sensitive Skin

This formula is free of fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, making it gentle enough for infant skin. It felt like petroleum jelly, which it was, and locked in moisture, but it did leave skin shiny and greasy. You can also use it for your face and lips, so it’s a good one to keep in your pack for emergencies or to seal up your skincare at night.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Unscented
Hydration B Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score C

18. MARKS&WEB Moisture Hand Cream

MARKS&WEB Moisture Hand Cream

Visit MARKS&WEB for more details (Japan Only)

Price: $15.39

Gentle Scent of Jasmine for Spring and Summer

This probably won’t be hydrating enough for winter. However, the formula did contain macadamia nut oil and apricot essential oil, which left skin soft and supple. It also had the clean, refreshing smell of jasmine, naturally sourced.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Jasmine
Hydration D Application A
Fragrance A+ Overall Score C

17. AUX PARADIS Fleur Aromatic Hand Cream

AUX PARADIS Fleur Aromatic Hand Cream

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Price: $9.74

If You Enjoy the Experience of Putting on Hand Cream. Doesn’t Hydrate, but Feels Like Silk and Smells Like Flowers

This didn’t lock in moisture, but we loved how it slid onto and melted into skin like butter. It went on thin, but the faint smell of flowers lasted for hours. It was a very clean scent, obvious but not overpowering. You’d probably love this cream if you’re into fragrances.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Flowers
Hydration D Application A+
Fragrance A Overall Score C

16. recipist hand cream Rosemary

recipist hand cream Rosemary

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Price: $8.90

Gentle, Budget-Friendly Cream

This cream spread well, but it didn’t absorb and left a white cast on our skin. It was also quite tacky upon application. However, we found the light scent of rosemary gentle and calming.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Rosemary
Hydration D Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score C

15. yuskin A

yuskin A

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Price: $6.13

Contains Four Active Ingredients that Protect Hands from Chapping, Cracking, and Chills

This was filled with hydrating and skin-healthy ingredients that protect against irritation: vitamin E, glycyrrhetinic acid, DL-camphor, and glycerin. It did smell medicinal upon application, but it didn’t linger long enough to bother us.

Formula Includes Vitamins Smells Like Unscented
Hydration C Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score B

14. KissMe Medicated Hand Cream

KissMe Medicated Hand Cream

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Price: $2.98

Locks in Moisture. It Does Smell Medicated, However

There was some stickiness right after application, but it faded with time. It covered our skin with an oil-based membrane that kept water from evaporating. It kept our hands hydrated for all eight hours, so it’s a good one to use at bedtime. The only thing was it smelled sharp, cold, and medicinal–kind of like Vicks VapoRub.

Formula Hydrating, OTC Drug Smells Like Unscented
Hydration A Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score B

13. THREE Hand & Arm Cream AC

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Price: $27.05

Hydrating and Herbal

This felt thin and light but was actually one of the ten most hydrating creams we tested. There was a prominent herbal scent right after application, which turned into a cooler, lighter scent with time–oddly similar to Sprite. How much you like this cream depends on how much you like herbs (and Sprite, we guess).

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Herbs
Hydration A Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score B

12. Nivea Creme Tube

Nivea Creme Tube

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Price: $2.32

Cheap Enough for Liberal Application

This was pretty much the tube version of that famous blue can. They shared the same ingredients, but this one’s easier to carry around and apply. We can’t complain about the hydration, but the cream itself was quite thick and sticky, so we hesitated to use it around screen and keyboards.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Unscented
Hydration A Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score B

11. atrix Hand Cream Medicated A Jar

atrix Hand Cream Medicated A Jar

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Price: $7.13

Another Strong, Sinus-Clearing Cream

This had a cold, piercing smell and even felt chilling on skin. It was soft and easy to apply, leaving behind little residue. Since it smelled kind of strong, instead of using this all over your body, we’d recommend just touching up dry patches on your hands, knees, and elbows.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Unscented
Hydration A Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score B

10. atrix Extra Protection Hand Cream Tube

atrix Extra Protection Hand Cream Tube

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Price: $7.53

Use This When Washing and Scrubbing. Long-Lasting, but Not Slimy

This contained vitamin E, which improves blood circulation, and hyaluronic acid, the poster child for moisturizing ingredients, so it protected not only against dryness, but cracks and chaffing. It also repelled water and didn’t wash off easily, so you don’t have to worry about reapplying every time you get your hands wet.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Unscented
Hydration B Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score B

9. Mentholatum Uruoi Saratto Gel Medicated Hand Veil

Mentholatum Uruoi Saratto Gel Medicated Hand Veil

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Price: $3.90

If You’re Looking for Something Supremely Hydrating, but Not Tacky

This was a jiggly gel. It spread like water and sunk into skin in the blink of an eye. But even though it went on thin, it kept skin moisturized for a long time. Try this if you want something that simply performs well and feels light as air.

Formula Hydrating (Gel); OTC Drug Smells Like Unscented
Hydration A+ Application A
Fragrance B Overall Score A

8. Wonder Honey Honey Dew Hand Cream Tea Talk

Wonder Honey Honey Dew Hand Cream Tea Talk

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Visit Kirei Station for more details

Price: $15.65

Works Decently Well and Really Smells like Peach Tea

This cream really perked us up with the bright scent of peach tea. It wasn’t just sweet, but gave off the rich, warm fragrance of black tea. It was a bit slimy after application, but blended into skin decently well. Hydration was also there, though nothing amazing.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Peach Tea
Hydration B Application B
Fragrance A Overall Score A

7. MUJI Hand Cream Neroli

MUJI Hand Cream Neroli

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Price: $8.50

If You’re Looking for a Deal. Will Have You Hooked on Its Clean and Simple Scent

This, we decided, was the second best-smelling hand cream we tried. If you’ve ever been to a MUJI before, you’ll recognize the clean, gentle citrus smell. It’s a smell that compliments anyone, no matter your age, gender, or personality. Hydration was merely decent, but we’d use this cream just because the scent made us so happy.

Formula Hydrating (Gel) Smells Like Citrus Fruit
Hydration C Application A+
Fragrance A Overall Score A

6. KissMe Mommy! Hand Cream Citrus Mix Aroma

KissMe Mommy! Hand Cream Citrus Mix Aroma

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Price: $4.69

Functioning Hand Cream with a Bright Lemony Scent

This hand cream felt soft and plush and spread easily. It wasn’t greasy and left skin dewy. It also gave off a refreshing lemony scent, without any unpleasant sourness. However, some may find that it smells too strong, so be sure not to overapply.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Citrus Fruit
Hydration B Application B
Fragrance A Overall Score A

5. Loretta Dentoumushi no Gogo ~A Ladybug’s Afternoon~ Hand Cream

Loretta Dentoumushi no Gogo ~A Ladybug’s Afternoon~ Hand Cream

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Price: $43.87

Feels Amazing, is Wonderfully Hydrating, and Smells Great, Depending on Your Preferences

Take a moment to admire the adorable packaging. This cream also earned full points for hydration; it was thick and wet in texture, but it wasn’t sticky and absorbed easily. It also had a woody scent, like how walking through a forest would smell like–some loved it, but others didn’t.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Botanicals
Hydration A+ Application A+
Fragrance C Overall Score A

4. atrix Hand Milk

atrix Hand Milk

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Price: $9.79

Keeps Hard-Working Hands Healthy and Intact

We were also impressed with how hydrating this cream was. Just a little went a long way, and our skin stayed moisturized for hours. Since it mixed well with water, you could apply this on wet hands and soothe your skin as you’re doing housework.

There was just one thing we didn’t like about this cream. Because it was quite watery, if you were to put on too much at once, it would leave your hands wet and slimy. The pump on this bottle wasn’t the best, so it was also difficult to control how product came out.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Unscented
Hydration A+ Application C
Fragrance B Overall Score A

3. Shiseido Medicated Hand Cream More Deep Jar

Shiseido Medicated Hand Cream More Deep Jar

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Price: $4.35

Features Both Urea and Vitamins. Repairs as It Hydrates

This hand cream is considered an OTC drug in Japan. It contained vitamin E and urea, which meant that it not only moisturized, but also soothed and softened dry, rough skin.

You may not want to use urea on sensitive skin, but there’s few things better for thick, calloused skin. The formula also included powder, so you could use it for a powder massage, which improves blood circulation. There was also xylitol as a hydrating ingredient, which moisturizes deep into the skin.

Formula Contains Urea and Vitamins; OTC Drug Smells Like Unscented
Hydration A+ Application B
Fragrance B Overall Score A+

2. FIANCÉE Hand Cream

FIANCÉE Hand Cream

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Price: $2.45

Has You Both Feeling and Smelling Like You Just Took a Shower

This seriously just smelled like soap. We wouldn’t call it subtle or elegant, but it was clean and fresh.

As for application, this earned a solid A+. It felt light and spread easily–your hands won’t have that sticky and wet I-just-put-on-cream feel. You can start working or typing right after application, which means a lot less stress if you’re someone that reapplies cream every time you wash your hands.

And even at the end of eight hours, our skin was just as moisturized as it’d been at the start of the day–this cream got everything right.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Soap
Hydration A Application A+
Fragrance B Overall Score A+

1. atrix Beauty Charge Peach Tea

atrix Beauty Charge Peach Tea

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Price: $4.67

Look at Those Straight A’s. Not One Thing about this Hand Cream was Off

atrix has appeared on this list a couple of times, but they really blew us away with their peach tea scented hand cream. The peach was neither too sweet nor artificial, and it was complemented by the earthiness of black tea. It had the warm and gentle scent of a freshly brewed pot of leaves.

This felt more like a gel than a cream and soaked right into skin like a toner would. It felt light and silky as soon as we applied it and didn’t leave behind incriminating fingerprints. You can put it on anywhere and at any time–after finishing up chores, before starting work for the day, while driving in the car.

We also had no complains about hydration. At the end of the day, our skin was still smooth and moist. Hydration, application, and fragrance–this hand cream didn’t overlook anything. It’s a product that mybest is proud to stand behind.

Formula Hydrating Smells Like Peach Tea
Hydration A Application A
Fragrance A Overall Score A+

How to Get the Most out of a Hand Cream

Turns out there’s a wrong and right way to use hand cream as well. Go figure.

Don’t Give Your Hands a Chance to Dry out

Don't Give Your Hands a Chance to Dry out

The most important thing when caring for your nails and hands? Make sure they stay hydrated. Don’t wait until your skin’s dry to moisturize; you should be applying hand cream throughout the day to make sure your skin never dries out to begin with.

In particular, you should be applying hand cream after chores (like scrubbing and dish washing) and after washing your hands, which is when oil and moisture levels in your skin drop. Skin care also continues while you’re sleeping, so it’s a good idea to apply right before turning in for the night as well.

It never hurts to take extra steps to protect yourself from irritants. That means putting on gloves before using detergent or mittens before going out on a cold windy day.

Draw a Line from the First to the Second Joint of Your Pointer Finger. That’s How Much Cream You Should be Using

Use as Much Cream as It Takes You to Connect the First and Second Joints of Your Pointer Finger

Basically, if you have a tube of hand cream, you want to squeeze out about 3-4 cm worth of product; if you have a jar, you want a cherry sized dollop, about 1.5 – 2 cm in diameter. After you’ve gotten out as much product as you need, warm it up in the palms of your hands first; that’ll help it spread and absorb into skin.

Gently massage the cream in, applying all the way to the tips of your fingers.

Summary

We rounded up members of our editing department, purchased the 32 most popular Japanese hand creams, and tested them all.

Your writer recommends carrying around multiple tubes of hand cream–hand creams that smell nice and hand creams that do heavy-duty hydrating. That way, you can take your pick depending on your mood or the state of your skin. On the other hand, your translator is cheap and carries around just a single tube of the all-mighty L’Occitane.

Original by Haruka Toda; Translation by Jasmine Li

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