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5 Best Vegan Hand Creams to Moisturize Your Skin

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Your skin’s the only skin you’ve got, so be kind to it! And while you’re at in, be kind to the environment and the animals, too!

They deserve just as much thought when considering your next favorite hand cream and I’ll help you find just the right product for your needs.

In a Hurry? Here’s Our Quick List of Top Picks

What to Look for and Avoid in a Hand Cream

I live in a high desert environment, and it can go from moist and delightful to dry and moody from hour to hour. In order to combat the environment effects on my skin, I carry a hand cream with me at all times.

I have one in my purse, my backpack, my glove box, on my bedside table, next to the kitchen sink, in the bathroom. There are hand creams always within reach.

Some I love, some I tolerate, some are just meh. But I hate throwing things away, so I try to use them up, even if they aren’t my favorite.

It’s only been recently that I started really looking at what’s inside those tubes of necessary moisture and making more informed choices about which creams I will buy from here on out.

As with any product you’re planning on slathering on your skin, it’s important to know your ingredients!

The first things you want to look for are the natural moisturizers. The best plant-based oils and butters for deep conditioning are avocado, jojoba, olive, macadamia nut, coconut, shea, and the like.

There are so many varieties of natural emollients, there’s no need to add in synthetics.

Most hand creams also tackle dry cuticles, which is what sets them apart from say, a body lotion.

The intense moisturizers can battle many environmental enemies, as well as constant use. Your hands are busy throughout the day, shouldn’t they be pampered and protected?

The problem with many hand creams is they just aren’t functional for busy hands. Most will leave a greasy feel, or a filmy residue feels wet and slippery.

You can’t work with slick hands, and you probably don’t have much time during the day to sit and wait for your moisturizer to absorb fully.

We looked for hand creams that are effective and functional. So, you don’t have to take time out of your busy day in order to keep your hands soft and pampered. You don’t have to sacrifice your work to take care of your working hands.

The good stuff is fairly easy to spot, but sometimes the labelling of “bad stuff” is a little trickier to discern.

Below, we’ve highlighted some of the more common animal-based ingredients you might not recognize.

You’ll want to avoid animal fats and emollients, such as lanolin, butters made from cow, goat, and sheep’s milk, lard, and whale oils.

Bee products are found in many natural products, so be on the look out for this as well. Royal Jelly, beeswax, and honey are ingredients often found in so-called “green” products.

Also be on the lookout for other animal-based ingredients like urea, imidazolidinyl urea or uric acid. This ingredient from animal (mammal) urine and is used to treat skin dryness and itching, and to soften cuticles and nails.

Arachidonic Acid

Arachidonic Acid, derived from animal liver, is a fatty acid and functions as a skin conditioning agent.


Estrogen or estradiol, derived from pregnant mare’s urine, is usually found in products for aging skin, and touted to help restore elasticity and youthfulness.


Retinol, sourced from fish liver oil, is a skin conditioning agent, usually associated with anti-acne treatments. It is also used in cosmetics for mature skin, claiming to restore suppleness and reduce wrinkling.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid is commonly animal-based and comes from rooster combs. It is supposed to attract moisture, retaining it for increased softness and long-lasting moisture in your skin.

It can also be plant-based, so be sure to check with the manufacturer if it is not specified on the label.

5 Top Picks for Vegan Hand Creams

Okay, now that’s out of the way. Let’s dive into the best of the best and find out why we chose the following as our favorites.

I’m a hand cream junkie, and now I’m officially ready to part ways with all the crappy creams I’ve been hoarding.

Bliss Lemon & Sage Hand Cream

Bliss - Lemon & Sage Hand Cream | High-Intensity & Fast-Absorbing Hand Lotion & Cuticle Cream | Non-Greasy Shea Butter Formula Absorbs Instantly | Vegan | Cruelty Free | Paraben Free | 4.0 fl.oz.

First of all, this hand cream smells amazing! Bliss’ iconic lemon & sage scent is a perfect balance of fresh and clean, with a hint of earthiness. It’s ideal for everyone, even people with fragrance sensitivities.

This hand cream absorbs instantly, but needs to be reapplied after handwashing, or throughout the day for severely dry skin. It isn’t greasy, but it isn’t intensely moisturizing either, so you may need to layer it on for the desired effect.

I first sampled this hand cream at a fancy hotel. I’m always happy to see hotels offer nicer products in their bathroom amenities. Often times, you end up with chemically infused garbage you’re stuck with because you forgot to pack your lotion. So, it’s nice there are better options available!

What We Like

  • Non-greasy formula
  • Delightful scent
  • Absorbs instantly

What We Don’t Like

  • Not super long-lasting
  • Some iffy ingredients

All Natural Hand Cream for Dry Cracked Hands

All Natural Cracked Hands Repair Cream - Vegan No Crack Dry Working Hands Lotion Moisturizer Hand Cream Treatment for Rough or Aging Hands

This hand cream by Aya is spectacular. I truly respect this company for their ethical approach to modern-day cosmetics. As with their other products, Aya relies on ancient knowledge of ayurvedic practices to create a truly natural and effective cream.

Unlike other hand creams that temporarily moisturize, this one actually heals your dry, cracked skin. After continued use, your hands will not only look better, but they’ll feel better too. A little goes a long way with this cream, so don’t be fooled by its thin formula.

Please note, this hand cream has been reformulated to no longer utilize any artificial, chemical based ingredients. In some reviews the ingredients list parabens, but they are no longer using them. Yay!

What We Like

  • Edible ingredients
  • Heals dry cracked skin
  • Light citrus scent

What We Don’t Like

  • Thinner formula
  • Pricey

Peter Lamas Spa Sensuals Intensive Repair Hand Cream

Peter Lamas Spa Sensuals Intensive Repair Hand Cream, 4 fl oz

The best part about this intensive repair hand cream is its longevity. It stays put even after multiple hand-washings. Which is not easy to achieve, especially in a non-greasy cream.

Another great attribute to this cream is its anti-aging properties. The vitamin-packed formula helps keep the skin on your hands looking youthful and supple. Continued use shows lasting results, not just a quick fix.

This formula may be too thick for regular everyday use but is ideal for intense hydrating and healing. If you’re looking for a hand cream that heals and keeps healing, this is the one for you.

What We Like

  • Long-lasting formula
  • Light citrus scent
  • Anti-aging

What We Don’t Like

  • Pricey
  • Thick formula is hard to disperse

Nubian Heritage Hand Cream – Coconut Papaya

Nubian Heritage Hand Cream, Coconut Papaya, 4 Ounce

Nubian Heritage uses knowledge from African, Hispanic, Indian, and Asian culture, and traditional ingredients and healing philosophies to create modern organic products for skin and hair.

This hand cream, with its unique blend of coconut and papaya is perfect for dry, dull, or aging skin.

Coconut is a natural cleanser and moisturizer, relied on for centuries for both food and beauty treatments.

Papaya is well known for its tasty flavor, sweet scent, and skin renewing properties. Together they make a delightful hand cream which is both pampering and healing.

Another awesome thing about this hand cream is that it’s inexpensive and found in many drug and discount stores. This is important to note, as sometimes you NEED a hand cream right now, and you don’t want to sacrifice your ethics.

What We Like

  • Unique subtle scent
  • Long-lasting moisture
  • Works through hand washing

What We Don’t Like

  • Super thick formula hard to dispense
  • Other lines in this brand use animal ingredients (sad face)

Swedish Dream Seaweed Hand Cream

Swedish Dream Seaweed Hand Cream

This company has the absolute cutest packaging! It is just too adorable. This particular handcream has a seahorse and a lovely sea lily and kelp scent.

I was hooked from the moment I saw it. I’m happy to report it’s not only cute but healing as well.

It’s perfect for brittle nail beds, cracked cuticles, rough and calloused fingertips, and dry cracking knuckles. Its dainty size makes it an ideal travel companion, and you won’t have to go scrambling around to find a hand cream in the middle of your off-the-map journey.

This cream absorbs quickly, isn’t greasy and helps heal even the driest skin. It does leave a bit of a shiny film, but I found if you use less, it is less of an issue.

What We Like

  • Adorable packaging
  • Unique scent
  • Absorbs quickly

What We Don’t Like

  • Difficult to get out of tube
  • Filmy residue

Top Choice for the Best Vegan Hand Cream

All Natural Cracked Hands Repair Cream - Vegan No Crack Dry Working Hands Lotion Moisturizer Hand Cream Treatment for Rough or Aging Hands

Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or an intensive daily treatment for the skin on your hands, these products have got you covered. You don’t need to worry about animal ingredients or testing if you purchase from these brands.

Our absolute favorite hand cream from this list is Aya Natural’s All-Natural Hand Cream for Dry, Cracked Hands.

We love the simple, food grade ingredients in their products. And we admire the dedication to creating ethical products for modern-day consumers.

This cream is perfect for everyday use and works wonders when slathered on thick and covered overnight. You’ll wake up to soft and supple skin that lasts. An overnight treatment is especially luxurious in the dead of winter.

This is a workhorse of a hand cream, and although it’s oily base may seem too greasy at first, use less, and prepare to be amazed!

You can’t get much more natural than that! With all the great choices, you can have a different hand cream within reach during every moment of your life. Your skin will never be dry and itchy again! Bye, bye Cryptkeeper craws!!

Best Vegan Hand Creams to Moisturize Your Skin


Michelle M. VanGurp

I'm a mom of two tweens. It's important to find food that satisfies our hunger and also fits into our busy lives. I love to find and share food that's easy, delicious, and plant-based. Writing about cooking is a dream come true.

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