The Best Hand Creams With SPF, According to Dermatologists


This mineral-based hand cream from Unsun provides water-resistant protection for up to 80 minutes, meaning you’ll leave the pool in search of a sparkling beverage long before you’ll need to hop out to reapply. While it also falls on the low end of the SPF spectrum, Dr. Mamelak likes its moisturizing and soothing ingredients, including coconut oil, shea butter, and chamomile.

Best Moisturizing Sunscreen: Hello Sundays The One For Your Hands With SPF 30 and Hyaluronic Acid

Hello Sundays

The One For Your Hands with SPF 30 and Hyaluronic Acid

  • Pros: Non-greasy
  • Cons: Strong smell, according to some reviewers

The cheekily named The One For Your Hands is packed with all the soft-skin essentials your hands could ask for, including hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, vitamin B5, and aloe vera. And it’s got a nice texture to boot! As one reviewer noted it’s “sun cream that doesn’t feel like sun cream.” High praise, indeed.

What should you look for in a hand cream with SPF?

Dr. Garshick advises shopping for a cream or lotion that offers broad spectrum coverage (meaning it blocks both UVA and UVB rays) and has an SPF of at least 30. UVA rays cause long-term skin damage and may also contribute to skin cancers, while UVB rays damage the DNA in skin cells, cause sunburns, and likely cause most forms of skin cancer. An SPF of 30 means the sunscreen blocks 97% of UVB radiation from the sun. (By contrast, SPF 15 only blocks 93%of UVB radiation.) Unfortunately, many hand creams with SPF on the market fall short of the SPF 30 standard, but Dr. Garshick says any amount of protection is always better than nothing.

While shopping, you may also run into terms like “mineral” or “chemical” sunscreen. Mineral (also known as physical) sunscreen uses ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun, blocking harmful rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, contain ingredients like aminobenzoic acid, avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene that absorb harmful UV rays. Mineral sunscreens are often considered better for sensitive skin because the ingredients are less likely to cause irritation than those in chemical sunscreens. The downside, however, is that mineral sunscreens can leave a white cast, especially on darker complexions.

“Typically, chemical sunscreens don’t leave as much of a white cast,” Regine Mathieu, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist at Behr Laser and Skin Care Center in Fresno, California, tells SELF. “That being said, many companies are striving to create mineral-based sunscreens that are more inclusive.”

Whichever cream or lotion you choose should also contain moisturizing ingredients. (That’s kind of the point of hand balms, right?) Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and glycerin, as they smooth and soften the skin.




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