Seriously hydrating lotion that leaves ZERO residue
January 18, 2019 11:09 AM   Subscribe

My hands get so dry and scaly and cracked in the winter, but I cannot STAND any feeling of lotion on my skin so I don't use it until it gets REALLY bad, and then only at bedtime so I am asleep while I have it on. Lotion really helps but especially in this age of touchscreens and keyboards, can you tell me how I can keep my hands moisturized without having to wash my electronics every day?

During the day I sometimes wear neosporin and bandaids on the cracks to help them heal. I literally cannot stand even the idea of lotion on my hands. I know.

I also have allergies and have to wipe out the corners of my eyes regularly -- and I also wear contacts so any lotion in my eyes will make my contacts unwearable. I know I sound like a huge honking snowflake but is there ANYONE out there who has my particular requirements and have found some kind of solution?
posted by rabbitrabbit to Health & Fitness (53 answers total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
Aveeno Intense Relief Hand Cream absorbs really quickly. I use it OFTEN and my keyboards are not goopy at all. It comes in a tube so you can use just a little bit at first (while you get used to it) without wasting any.
posted by wellred at 11:16 AM on January 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

Do you dislike the slipperiness of lotion, or the stinging of lotion on cracked skin?

To avoid getting lotion on things, can you wear gloves, particularly those with touch-sensitive tips? It may take some trial and error to find gloves that you like and that work well with devices, but that could both keep your hands more moisturized and keep your devices from getting gooped up.

Good luck, from one winter lizard to another!
posted by filthy light thief at 11:18 AM on January 18, 2019 [4 favorites]

I'm with you on not wanting to feel lotion on my hands. My trick is to put a dollop of lotion on the back of one hand and rub it in with the back of the other hand (so rubbing the backs of my hand against each other.) I spread it around on the back of my fingers this way too. I get the benefit of mostly moisturized hands without the gucky feeling of getting lotion all over everything.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:20 AM on January 18, 2019 [10 favorites]

I do the exact same thing as Canadian Girl and it works great, especially since my knuckles get the most dry/cracked! I use Aveeno with collodial oatmeal and it's the least offensive lotion I've found.
posted by DTMFA at 11:28 AM on January 18, 2019

Response by poster: Unfortunately it's not the backs of my hands that are the problem. Here is a pic of what my palms look like (yes, I have been to multiple doctors to see if there is anything that can be done. No, none of them have been able to figure out any treatment that works better than just treating it as if it's dry skin). I don't currently have a ton of cracks, but I get big cracks either on the sides of the knuckles or in the fleshy part of the palm-side of the finger. I get almost no cracks or scales on the backs of my hands.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:28 AM on January 18, 2019

Just saw your followup- that doesn't look like dry skin to me, more like some type of allergy or atopic dermatitis. You said you've seen multiple doctors, but if you haven't already, try an allergist and dermatologist?
posted by DTMFA at 11:30 AM on January 18, 2019 [10 favorites]

There was this recent thread on hand lotions, some good recommendations there. I've been liking Hand Chemistry Pro-Repair Skincare for Hands recently, it's not greasy at all - though their Heel Chemistry product for cracked skin might be worth trying for your specific problem.
posted by plasticpalacealice at 11:33 AM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Yes, I've seen multiple allergists and dermatologists. None of them have been able to fix it. I realize I'm threadsitting so I'll step away for a bit, but trust that I'm looking for lotions that don't feel like lotions or leave any kind of residue or are irritating to contact wearers if it happens to get in the eyes. I'm not looking for a diagnosis.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 11:34 AM on January 18, 2019

one thing you might want to do is while you sleep at night, get a moisturizing cream or body butter (something heavier, these usually have shea butter in them), and a pair of cotton gloves. right before you go to sleep, when you're done with your phone and electronics, but the cream/butter on your hands, get them good and moisturized (some residue is okay) and then put the gloves on. you sleep with them on all night long under the premise that it's sort of trapping the moisture on your hands.

if you feel any residue/stickiness in the morning, wash your hands.

i've used this method with my feet (which are a shitshow of dryness on a good day) and i've had excellent results.
posted by koroshiya at 11:39 AM on January 18, 2019 [12 favorites]

If soaking doesn't have the same icky feeling as lotion for you, I would soak your hands in warm water with epsom salts. You can do one at a time and gently rub any dry areas to loosen hard skin before you remove your hand. Not sure if this will help with dryness, but it can help with the pain of hard skin around cracks.
posted by soelo at 11:47 AM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Aveeno Positively Ageless Skin Strengthening is the hand cream I've had the best luck with.
posted by neushoorn at 11:47 AM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

You might like O'Keeffe's Working Hands if you haven't tried it already. It tends not to leave me feeling gloppy afterward, and it smells disturbingly like nothing.

No matter what hand lotion I've used, though, I always rinse my hands well before doing anything with my contact lenses. Get some handkerchiefs or tissues to wipe the corners of your eyes; your corneas will thank you. (Yes, it sucks to have to reapply hand lotion afterward, but: eyes are important.)
posted by asperity at 11:48 AM on January 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream is not sticky as you don’t need to use much. You might also benefit from only using it on your palms rather than your whole hands, particularly for avoiding getting lotion in your eyes. Gloves while you sleep with thick lotion is also a good option.
posted by plonkee at 11:48 AM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Wouldn't help for touchscreens but you could get one of those plastic protectors that fit over keyboards. Then you could just wipe that down daily rather than worrying about it getting all over the keys.

(Co-signing on: that is not dry skin, that is something else! I hope you can find an effective treatment. It looks extremely uncomfortable.)
posted by praemunire at 11:53 AM on January 18, 2019 [5 favorites]

Cotton gloves at night have really helped me. They come in boxes of 24 and you can wash them. During the day, I use something like Working Hands or the Neutrogena Norwegian formula; those are relatively good at not leaving much residue as long as you don't use too much. Or there's a new Gold Bond Cracked Skin Relief product that is good and, again, fairly low residue. But I find all of that is really about protection, not rehydration. At night I use gloves and, currently, Trader Joe's Ultra Moisturizing Hand Cream. I put on more than I would ever use during the day, bung those gloves on and my hands feel much better in the morning. So much so, I sometimes put a glove on one hand or the other to moisturize during the day.
posted by BibiRose at 12:08 PM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Gold bond ultimate hand cream is The Best. My experience is that it gets absorbed in enough to not be felt in a couple minutes, without any residue that I notice. Cracking for me isn't frequently on my palms, so ymmv.
posted by enfa at 12:10 PM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

+1 to everything koroshiya said. You need to start moisturizing with cotton gloves on EVERY NIGHT. Wash your hands in the morning and don't worry about moisturizing during the day for now. But you need to be consistent for a few weeks, and don't skip the gloves.

Then re-evaluate to see what your condition is like after consistent moisturizing. If the overnight moisturizer has helped but you need more of it, you can consider various workarounds for daytime moisturizing. For now -- you know lotion helps, you know you need to use it, so do it while you're sleeping and not awake to feel it on your hands and don't need your hands to do anything. But you can't keep waiting until the condition is unbearable before moisturizing; you need to stay on top of it, especially while winter air is exacerbating the issue.
posted by serelliya at 12:13 PM on January 18, 2019 [9 favorites]

Seconding Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. It initially feels like it's going to be greasy, but then it all rubs in. That said, I wouldn't put it (or anything!) on my hands immediately before touching my contacts. I've never had a problem with my touch-screen devices.
posted by wisekaren at 12:34 PM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am very nearly that neurotic about the feeling of lotion on my hands, and what works for me during the day is thin cotton gloves, like everyone is saying, only cut the very tips off so your fingertips can poke through and do touchscreen / fine motor work. Moisturizer everywhere underneath the glove, but not on the very tips of your fingers. For me at least, the horrible lotion sensation turns out to be more about the feeling of residue between me and whatever I'm touching, so having the added layer of glove fixes the ick.

Also, if your skin is that reactive, maybe stick to super simple and hypoallergenic barrier moisturizer like plain petroleum jelly or lanolin, rather than anything formulated and fancy.
posted by Bardolph at 12:41 PM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

Oh wow, I'm really sorry about that. Your palms look very much like what my sister and I had as kids, when we had wild, super-dry eczema that left us with splits spontaneously form in our skin at joints, etc.

For us, the only thing that helped was to slather our palms/hands/body parts in a shitload of plain-vanilla Eucerin, cut with Vaseline for extra occlusion, to bed. Urea-less Eucerin and Vaseline do not make cuts or compromised skin sting, nor do they hurt when you get them in the eyes. (Ask me about my experiences!) These days, an eczema specialist that I know sometimes recommends Cutemol in place of some or all of the Eucerin.

When my sister's hands and mine looked like that, it was because our skin barrier was so broken and destroyed it wasn't not holding in the moisture. It was explained that because our skin was so broken, we needed something that held moisture in for us, and protected our skin while it healed. And in those situations, it meant as much in the way of physical barriers as we could, plus a residue.

If you need to be able to use a touchscreen, use cheap, thin cotton gloves inside a cheap pair of touchscreen gloves. It's awkward, but at least you can stick your index finger out and swipe/scroll. Or use a stylus.
posted by joyceanmachine at 12:48 PM on January 18, 2019 [15 favorites]

I find that lotions that are dimethicone based rather than vaseline based are better at sinking in and not leaving my hands feeling gross. My everyday lotion is just the regular unscented stuff from Aveeno. I have a pump on every counter in my house, at my desk, and even a little bottle in my purse. I apply it every time I wash my hands and sometimes in between. I think that's another key part - you get used to the feeling of lotion the more often you put it on.
posted by joan_holloway at 12:49 PM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I use L'Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream. I can use my smartphone immediately after applying it, zero residue or feeling of anything on my hands.
My kid has very dry skin and can sometimes get cracks like that. We use fish oil based cream and it takes care of the cracks in a day or two. Perhaps you could use something like that during the night.
posted by gakiko at 12:49 PM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

I get eczema on my hands so I get where you're coming from! I think the above suggestions to wear cotton gloves with moisturizer at might is a really good one.

For daytime - have you tried applying lotion and then toweling it off with a clean hand towel? I suspect you may be using too much, and this would remove all but a very fine layer that you might not notice as much.
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:55 PM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Your hands look like the backs of my legs after I've been scratching and clawing at them all winter. It's often been exacerbated by allergies, detergents, etc, but still ultimately boils down to winter dry skin/eczema.

Counterintuitive but have you tried straight up oils or plant butters? I also hate hate haaaaaaaaaaaaaate the feeling of lotion, and I find that jojoba oil, almond oil, and shea butter actually sink in better and absorb in a way that doesn't feel disgusting. I've also found hand creams that are based on shea butter instead of petroleum to be more tolerable.

The other thing I've done on occasion when my hands or face get super cracked and painful is mix a few drops of glycerin with an inch or so of OTC hydrocortisone cream and enough water to make a runny ointment. I wouldn't go slathering on cortisone continuously but for rough times it works magic overnight and still feels less gross than lotion lotion.
posted by yeahlikethat at 1:01 PM on January 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

I am very nearly that neurotic about the feeling of lotion on my hands, and what works for me during the day is thin cotton gloves, like everyone is saying, only cut the very tips off so your fingertips can poke through and do touchscreen / fine motor work.

I do a similar thing, except my solution is to buy cheap stretchy winter gloves, which typically have "touchscreen fingers" built in these days. Disposable nitrile gloves work too -- IME you can still operate a touchscreen/trackpad with them on.

As far as lotions go, I haven't tried the ones others are suggesting here, but the least greasy one I've found is Eucerin Advanced Repair cream, which absorbs pretty quickly, but it ain't cheap. I just use regular Eucerin or Bloody Knuckles if I do the glove thing.
posted by neckro23 at 1:15 PM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I also love the cream linked by gakiko but for me it does take a couple of minutes to sink in. What I love about this is that it feels like it really moisturises and the effect is immediate. And this is supported by anybody i have ever given any to try. I despise most hand creams, especially those designed to leave no residue, because they don’t feel like they moisturise, they just seem to sit on the skin, it no longer feels dry but it doesn’t feel moisturised either. So consider what exactly the feeling is you dislike. But I have to admit that even trying to be patient I have the fingerprints from freshly moisturised hands on all my electronics.

I also wear glasses so I tend to clean them every morning when I start to work. I use disposable wipes, they are designed to leave glasses free from streaks and fingerprints and I just move right on to my phone and finish with the computer keyboard. It takes all of a few seconds and given the large number of surfaces you touch with your hands in any day it is a good idea to clean your electronics frequently anyway. Every so often I feel fancy and use a damp cloth with dish soap for a deep clean.

As for something that sinks right in but is also a lot less moisturising something like Cerave body loition is designed to help restore barrier function and also to sink in quickly because people want to get dressed after applying body lotion. That definitely doesn’t leave residue on my electricals.

But I would urge you to try some really rich, occlusive creams a try for at night, use gloves. My hands don’t even look dry but they feel it and you must be so uncomfortable - extreme measures may be needed and that seems to be the easiest to implement.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:19 PM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I don't have a rec for daytime lotion, but just want to second the recommendation for using plain Eucerin (the original stuff in the tub) at night. (Sorry this isn't what you asked, but regular lotion at night isn't going to cut it, Eucerin is thick and amazing. If you can't stand the feel of that, I also recommend CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream or CeraVe Healing Ointment for night time use.)
posted by purple_bird at 1:20 PM on January 18, 2019

I hate lotion gunk on my hands though I need the moisturizing on my legs. I apply lotion everywhere else then wash my fingertips, or else I apply the lotion with a paper towel. If having it on your palms but not your fingertips (for eye and screen touching) helps, this is one way to deal.

Two product suggestions.

1) I have an Oil of Olay face lotion that leaves virtually zero residue. It'd be expensive to use on hands, but face stuff, especially for sensitive skin, is going to be less gunky.

2) I have found that cream is better than lotion for avoiding gunk. Eucerin Hydrating Cream was my absolute favorite for the week before I realized I was allergic to it.
posted by gideonfrog at 1:23 PM on January 18, 2019

This isn't really answering your question, but have you tried switching laundry detergent? I used to get scaly all up and down my arms and legs and lotion didn't seem to help much, but it turns out I was allergic to something in Tide. So I switched years ago and haven't had the scaly arms since.

Either way, good luck to you. Skin issues can be really tough to diagnose and treat.
posted by Sphinx at 1:34 PM on January 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

Touchscreen gloves are good, fingerless gloves might be even better (assuming the tips of your fingers don't need as much help).

Whatever you use, try to reapply a few times a day, especially after you wash your hands.

I've also found that alternating between different kinds of creams/lotions/oils can help.
posted by trig at 1:35 PM on January 18, 2019

There's a show on netflix called "embarrassing bodies!" that I should be deeply ashamed to admit I've watched but in fact I've watched it pretty obsessively, and there was a woman on there with horrifying deep fissures in her legs from dry skin. They killed and bled. The doctor had her put lotion on her legs and then wrap them in plastic wrap. It worked and she healed. So at night try it? I remember one christmas my cousin gave my aunt a hot wax treatment spa thingie for feet where you'd soak your feet in in greasy warm wax, and then you had to hang out in these ridiculous booties for twenty minutes or so while your feet marinated and became angelic. We all tried it and it did feel nice on the feet. Anyway, if you did that on your hands at night and then whipped on some ski mittens or something and went to bed to keep from thinking about it, it might help.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:40 PM on January 18, 2019

I've been using Amlactin Rapid Relief (I get it at CVS). It's pricey for hand lotion but it's worked wonders on my eczema, to which I am a martyr every winter. It stings when you first start using it, but once you've rubbed it in there's no leftover residue.
posted by orrnyereg at 1:44 PM on January 18, 2019

I think you want something like Aquaphor which is basically thinner petroleum jelly with mineral oil and lanolin. Apply before bed and cover with gloves. This product was recommended to my husband to treat extremely dry skin with no moisture barrier caused by radiation treatments.

I agree with other commenters that the key is consistency - do this all winter. When your hands start to heal you can switch to a more lotion-type product that absorbs more thoroughly and that you can use throughout the day.
posted by muddgirl at 2:00 PM on January 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

I think what you have is more like a wound or sore that won’t heal. In fact, that’s what some dermatologists say dry skin is, where the moisture barrier has been damaged and needs to be repaired and then less or no moisturizer is needed. Irritants can also damage the moisture barrier, so you’d need to avoid future irritation.

I had a sore on another part of my body, and the thing that worked after trying all sorts of things for several years was keeping it as sealed up as much as possible for as long as possible for several days. Vaseline and other occlusive lotions (e.g., dimethicone and other silicones) might help, but you might need something like colloidal bandages, which I did. Plastic wrap and cotton gloves might also help. Most healing happens at night, so you can see what happens if you only do this at night. However, if you look at it as though it’s a wound, ensuring that it’s properly dressed for awhile might be better over the long run. I made sure to wear my coverings for a few days straight before changing.
posted by alusru at 2:02 PM on January 18, 2019 [6 favorites]

Yeowtch, that looks uncomfortable, I'm sorry you're dealing with it! I've never experienced anything similar, so take this with a grain of salt, but I wonder if using moisturizing serums (typically meant for the face) during the day, then combined with the heavier creams/oils/gloves at night might help?

I'm thinking something based on hyaluronic acid, like Deciem's The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid, or the Hyaluronic Concentrate Gel from their sibling brand.

Squalane or Argan oil might help too -- as suggested up thread you may find these oils sink in faster and feel different than moisturizer. Both are also used on the face, so that might help with the eye-wiping constraint.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 2:22 PM on January 18, 2019

o'keefe's working hands is what i would suggest. virtually smell-less, and if i rub it in good it isn't goopy at all. i have some on my desk at work and use it a couple times a day in the winter. no goopy keyboard or mouse.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 2:33 PM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

For 10 years I had "eczema" (according to the dermatologist) on my hands that looked similar to yours. Rich lotions helped, cortisone a little more, but the thing that really moved the needle was being absolutely rigorous about avoiding detergent-based dish soap, hand soap, and shampoo. Turned out it was really contact dermatitis that I kept exacerbating whenever I washed dishes or my hair. Switched to Dr Bronner's castile soap for almost everything and now, finally, my hands are healed and I rarely have to use lotion at all.
posted by libraryhead at 3:55 PM on January 18, 2019 [7 favorites]

I have extremely dry and irritable skin (and used to live in the Canadian prairies... ugh), but have very few problems if I do the following religiously:

Vaseline Creamy on my entire body immediately after showering, every two days (and on my face before showering... I know. Maybe this would help your hands?). Leave time for sitting around while it works, and towel off a bit before getting dressed. I try to do this in the evening but morning works too. It feels greasy for about half an hour, and then I notice nothing.

A mix of Aquaphor and either cortisone cream (non-face) or Elidel (face - this has been a total lifechanger) for any problem bits, in addition to the vaseline. I do not find aquaphor provides enough moisture but it is a great barrier.

Vaseline on any dry spots morning and evening.

Once any problem spots are healed, I have never needed any lotion during the day if I'm consistent with the above. If I have problem spots I will carry around Aquaphor to apply to them throughout the day if they start to feel uncomfortable.

Unfortunately, as many have said above, I think you probably need some heavy duty stuff on your hands at least at night to heal them. I have found all 'light' 'non-greasy' creams to be 100% useless for my dry skin, and actually find that they usually feel grosser to me.
posted by lookoutbelow at 3:59 PM on January 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

I am fussy about feeling lotion on my hands but have very dry skin, and Cerave Renewing SA lotion is the one that I can tolerate.

For overnight treatment of super flaky painfully itchy skin, coconut oil is the one of the only things I've found that has a more lasting effect. (I don't love the odor or the feeling of coconut oil, but I've learned to tolerate it for the relief of feeling moisturized even after a shower.)
posted by desuetude at 5:38 PM on January 18, 2019

I'm using Palmer's concentrated cream on my hands, which are often dry. It's a pretty rich cream that seems like it won't absorb and then suddenly it does, and I wipe off whatever is left on the backs of my arm so as not to leave smears on devices (I haven't left any so far). Seconding wonderful, miracle, amazing Aquaphor for overnight + gloves if you don't mind doing that. I use the one called healing balm or something like that and it works on EVERYTHING, from burns and bites, to horrible wind chapped skin, to dry and cracking hands.
posted by glitter at 5:38 PM on January 18, 2019

I’ve tried a lot of hand creams, and this No-Crack Super Hand Cream is my favorite. The packaging doesn’t look like much but it’s great. It absorbs well and I’m able to use my touchscreen and keyboard pretty quickly. Pro-tip: don’t accidentally get the scented version.
posted by Empidonax at 6:13 PM on January 18, 2019

For my own eczema and dyshidrosis, while I find that lotion is useful in reducing flare ups, once it comes in the lotion does nothing and it's time to break out the heavy duty topical steroid (which also happens to come in the form of a thick greasy physical barrier).
posted by The arrows are too fast at 7:06 PM on January 18, 2019

Cicaplast Baume feels to me like it has no residue at all and it's really good at healing chapped hands.
posted by bluebelle at 7:25 PM on January 18, 2019

I solve this problem by wiping my fingertips off with a tissue after putting hand lotion on at work.
posted by MadamM at 7:45 PM on January 18, 2019

Lubriderm absorbs quickly and doesn't leave your hands feeling sticky after a few seconds.
posted by ananci at 7:59 PM on January 18, 2019

Have you checked your water? If you have hard water (lots of minerals), it may be part of the problem. The list of irritants can include contact dermatitis from clothing and bedding (I've had this due to the wrong laundry detergent).

Soak your hands in cool bottled water instead of tap water before adding a lotion and cotton gloves. I recommend O'Keeffe's Working Hands, which does the job for me.

Speaking of, have you tried organic cleansers, as suggested by libraryhead? Dr. Bonner's is available in Wal-Mart and Target, and they also have an unscented balm for infants available through Amazon. I'm curious which dish detergent libraryhead is using for hand washing.

I highly recommend Chagrin Valley solid shampoo bars, which are a natural alternative to detergent-heavy shampoos. The owner got her start by creating a line of soaps for her husband, who has eczema. Those soaps may be a good choice.
posted by TrishaU at 3:37 AM on January 19, 2019

I had similar conditions on my feet for 20 years. The only thing that permanently solved it was clobetasol propionate, which is by prescription. My feet are healed! I now occasionally put lotion on them but that's only because they're only dry like most feet. I'm about to get the clobetasol cream for my hands, which are becoming a similar problem, and I will be using the glove method described above.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:27 AM on January 19, 2019

Aquaphor would heal it. You will feel aquaphor, though. With dry skin of that severity, finding lotion that heals it and that you hardly feel will be nearly impossible. I will say that when my skin gets that dry, aquaphor heals it in a few days, and then I just need to use a little bit for the rest of the winter as a maintenance dose. Use it before bed, like you said you've been doing.

Good luck.
posted by Amy93 at 7:44 AM on January 19, 2019

This is armchair quarterbacking of the highest degree but this looks a lot to me (as someone who also has it) like dishyrdrosis. For me lotion helped but wasn't enough and what really made the difference was lotion that I added a few drops of lavender essential oil to. No idea why but it's the only thing that's ever really worked.

Anyway if you can manage the sensation at night, I will put in a plug for the Eucerin baby eczema with colloidal oatmeal, which is SUPER moisturizing. For the daytime, I find that hippie brand moisturizers often absorb faster and leave less residue, so maybe an unscented Everyone or Jason's or Avalon Organics would work.
posted by WidgetAlley at 8:24 AM on January 19, 2019

If none of the above works, try some asian lotions (Korean or Japanese). They have some alcohol in them, so they dry quickly and don't leave any residue. Look in asian stores (or a Nature republic if you have one around). Biore makes a few and you may even find them at Target or Walgreens.
posted by Arthur Dent at 8:25 AM on January 19, 2019

Cutemol hand cream is different from others in that it’s applied to slightly damp hands, and then you rinse the residue away and pat your hands dry. It is the only cream that has healed my past flares of hand eczema.
posted by redfishbluefish at 9:17 AM on January 19, 2019

I asked a similar question to this one not long ago (my hands were looking nearly as bad as yours, but not quite) and I ended up with a combination of O'Keefe's Working Hands and original formula Eucerin. I find that the key to not having residue is just to apply small amounts, but more frequently. I keep the Working Hands by the sink and use it after I wash my hands—I can feel it on them for a while afterward, but it's an oddly dry feeling, sort of a smooth, powdery, armored feeling (which makes no sense but I can't describe it better) that I actually find quite pleasant. The Eucerin I keep by the bed and apply at night, rubbing small amounts into my hands a few separate times over the course of the hour or so that it typically takes me to fall asleep. If I only apply small amounts, my skin sort of just drinks up the lotion and it disappears into the cracks, which after a week or so of this regimen are much smaller and less angry.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 12:05 PM on January 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

That looks really uncomfortable, sorry. Could you set aside a few days for intensive treatment to reach a "good" state, then use a less-intense method to maintain?

For intensive treatment: Aquaphor Healing Ointment (most intense) or Nivea Creme. Both contain Petrolatum (a skin protectant) and mineral oil. You're probably going to hate the feeling of it, but could you get some cotton gloves, set aside a few days for this project, and maintain a layer on your hands nearly constantly, day and night? This might let you get to a point where your hands are well moisturized.

Then – once your hands are in great condition – you can try to maintain your skin with lightweight, non-greasy options. Look for lotions that contain dimethicone. Dimethicone is a silicone-based oil, which does not feel greasy. It helps lotions glide over the skin, works as a skin protectant, and feels dry instead of feeling oily. I've read about negative aspects of dimethicone, and I've also had products with dimethicone (specifically, CeraVe Therapeutic Hand Cream) recommended by a dermatologist I trust. I find it incredibly helpful to maintain moisturized skin.
posted by reeddavid at 2:33 PM on January 20, 2019

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