DIY Hand Cream For Cracked & Dry Skin

Constantly washing our hands or using my homemade hand sanitizer will leave your hands painfully dry and cracked. Use this DIY hand cream recipe with shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, and nourishing oils to heal and restore your skin.

DIY hand cream to restore dry cracked skin

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Constantly washing my hands or using hand sanitizer often leaves them painfully dry and cracked. So I now use this DIY hand cream recipe with shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, and nourishing oils to heal and restore my skin.

A few weeks ago I posted how to make my homemade hand sanitizer, and shared the product with my family. The last time I saw my daughter I was shocked at how sore and cracked her hands were. She’s a key worker working through the virus pandemic, so it’s lots of handwashing and sanitizer for her.

This is one of the main reasons for making this product, so that my daughter and her colleagues could coat their hands with wonderful restorative DIY hand lotion between shifts.

DIY hand cream for dry cracked skin

So I created a brand new homemade hand cream. And I’m so happy I did, as her hands are looking so much better now, even after a week. The only problem I have now is making enough of this cream to keep up with the demands for it!

Watch How To Make Hand Cream At Home

Why Make DIY Hand Cream?

Originally I thought about making a diy balm, no water just oils and waxes, and although this makes a decent hand cream, the problem with this is that balms tend to leave your hands greasy for quite some time which wouldn’t be very useful if you are putting medical gloves on and off throughout the course of the day.

I’ve chosen all my favorite dry skin ingredients in this recipe, but I am aware that at the time of writing this it may not be possible to get hold of everything on the list so substitutes can be made, which I have included in the recipe below.

making a DIY hand cream

What’s In This Hand Cream Recipe

Lavender Hydrosol

This brings some great anti-fungal and soothing properties to the homemade hand cream. It’s one of the best hydrosols for hydrating skin yet is super gentle and smells wonderful. As with most cosmetic facecare recipes, you can usually substitute hydrosols for good old distilled water and you will still produce a great cream.

cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, and emulsifying wax for a hand cream recipe

Wheatgerm Oil

It is packed full of vitamins E and B, essential fatty acids, and in omega 3 oils. Wheat-germ oil is a little underrated mainly due to its strong aroma and sticky feel when used alone. Don’t understate the benefits of this oil as it repairs and nourishes the skin so well and is very economical to buy. Good substitutes are Jojoba, avocado, sweet almond or olive oil.

Allantoin Powder

This is a non-irritant synthetic version of comfrey root powder, it’s safe to use and a great little addition to any cream that’s targeting dry, cracked, irritated, and aging skin. It also claims to make sensitive skin more resistant to everyday wear and tear and aid the healing and regeneration of new cell growth.

All in all Allantoin powder is a handy cosmetic ingredient to have around. I don’t recommend substituting the Allantoin but if you really can’t get hold of it, then leave it out. After all, the other ingredients in this DIY hand lotion will still pack a punch.

Shea Butter & Cocoa Butter

We all know how good these butters are at moisturizing and trapping moisture into the skin. They are often the go-to for most skincare formulations, and why wouldn’t they be as they are suitable for all skin types. They can relieve dry itchy irritated skin, and reduce red blotchy marks while nourishing and restoring your skin.

Beeswax

Is added to give the skin a protective coating, I didn’t want the cream too waxy but hands that are in and out of water due to constantly washing them will need a bit of beeswax love. This can be substituted for calendula wax to make it vegan friendly.

D- Panthenol

This comes in both a powder and liquid form. Vitamin pro B5 It’s a superb moisturizer, it is extremely hydrating and it can help to keep our skin moist by capturing moisture from the air.

I’m using the liquid D- Panthenol in this recipe, to be honest, I prefer the liquid one as it’s added at the cooldown and you can feel the texture of the cream becoming creamier.

You can easily substitute one for the other but they do need treating differently. The powdered one is fairly-heat stable and should be added to the water phase before placing in the water bath (see step 2). The liquid one isn’t heat-stable so it needs to be added to the cool down phase once the cream is below 100f (40c)

DIY hand cream to restore dry cracked skin

How To Make Hand Cream For Dry Skin

Use this homemade hand cream recipe with shea butter, cocoa butter, beeswax, and nourishing oils to heal and restore painfully dry and cracked skin.
5 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
Yield: 100 Grams (approx)
Author: Angela Wills
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Ingredients

Oil Phase

Water Phase

Cooldown Phase

Instructions

  • Weigh the oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, and emulsifying wax into a heat proof container.
    14 grams Wheatgerm Oil, 6 grams Shea Butter, 6 grams Cocoa Butter, 2 grams Beeswax, 8 grams Emulsifying Wax NF
    Weigh the oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, beeswax, and emulsifying wax into a separate heat proof container.
  • Weigh out the lavender hydrosol and glycerine into a separate heatproof container. If you are using D Panthenol powder stir this into the water at this point.
    55 grams Lavender Hydrosol, 5 grams Glycerine
    Weigh out the lavender hydrosol and glycerine into a heatproof container
  • Make a water bath by placing a small amount of water (about 1 1/2 inches deep) into a shallow flat bottomed saucepan, and bring to a low simmer.
    Make a water bath
  • Sit both the water and oil containers into the simmering water and leave until the waxes and butters are fully melted within the oil and both containers reach 70c.
    Sit both the water and oil containers into the simmering water
  • Once melted and heated, turn the heat off and remove them from the water bath.
    Once melted and heated, turn the heat off and remove them from the water bath
  • Now it’s time to combine your oil and water together, so whilst stirring pour the water base (hydrosol, and glycerine combination) to the oil base. This will produce a milky sometimes yellowish liquid.
    Now it’s time to combine your oil and water together
  • Mix/stir constantly until the temperature has cooled below 100f around 40c. Your cream should be a nice creamy consistency by this point.
    Mix/ stir constantly until the temperature has cooled below 100f around 40c
  • Now its time to add the cool down ingredients.
    Place the container back on the scales, press the tare button and weigh the Allatione powder into the cream and stir well. Press the tare again and add the liquid D-panthenol. Repeat the same with the vitamin E and preservative. Give the cream a good mix after adding each ingredient to make sure they are well combined into the cream.
    Add between 5 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil. If you have used Wheat-germ as your carrier oil you may notice the finished cream has a strong wheat-germ scent, so I’d recommend using the full 10 drops of essential oil here.
    The other carrier oils choices have a milder scent and although the lavender essential is great for dry chapped skin you also want it to smell nice and not be too overbearing so I’ll leave this to your personal preference within the range I’ve suggested (between 5 to 10 drops).
    1 gram Allantoin Powder, 1 gram Liquid D-Panthenol, 1 gram Vitamin E Oil, 1 gram Preservative, 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
    Place the container back on the scales, press the tare button and weigh the vitamin e
  • Spoon into your sterile container with lid
    Spoon into your sterile container with lid

Notes

If you are adding a good quality preservative, this hand cream should last a minimum of six months up to one year.
I’m using the liquid D- Panthenol in this recipe, to be honest, I prefer the liquid one as it’s added at the cooldown and you can feel the texture of the cream becoming creamier.
You can easily substitute for the powder but they do need treating differently. The powdered one is fairly heat-stable and should be added to the water phase before placing into the water bath (see step 2). The liquid one is not heat-stable so it needs to be added to the cool down phase once the cream is below 100f (40c)
Category: DIY Skincare
Cuisine: N/A
Difficulty: Easy

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Final Thoughts

So that’s my amazing, restorative hand cream recipe. You don’t have to be a key worker to know that washing your hands so much is detrimental to the health of our skin. We’re all washing our hands like crazy right now.

While it is important to ensure we’re taking precautions in these difficult times, we also need to think about the health of our skin. This cream will keep your hands feeling soft and fresh, I can guarantee you that.

My daughter said something funny to me the other day. With her hands being so dry after constant washing, she said this hand cream made her hands feel ‘normal’ again.

While the word normal doesn’t really seem like an exciting or catchy adjective to use for a skincare product, but with all of our lives turned upside down I feel like a little dash of normalcy is exactly what we all need.

Moving on from the hand cream, we can also create a wonderful homemade lotion for dry and mature skin that will nourish any part of your skin!

Photo of author

Angela Wills

Hi, I'm Angela, and I make most of the homemade things here at Savvy Homemade. I’m fearlessly dedicated to creating tried, tested recipes & products that will work for everyone. I'm an experienced soap maker, skincare formulator, author, busy Mom of 3, and recently a Grandma! Welcome to SavvyHomemade, it's my true passion.

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Discussion (17 Comments)

  1. I’m looking forward to making this. Thank you for sharing 🙂 I would like to be able to add some Urea for extra skin moisturising/healing as I have very dry cracked skin that flared up with all the extra handwashing and sanitising of late. Would I just add say 10% to the cooldown phase, and use less hydrosol? Thanks in advance for your advice 🙂5 stars

    Reply
    • Hi Pat,

      You could add it at cooldown, however with as much as 10% you might find it easier to put it into the water part and allow it to dillute into the hydrosol. While there is some discussion going on about it’s heat sensitivity, there’s been no clear cut research yet.

      Othewise, if you try to add it at cooldown, there’s a good chance you’ll have problems with seperation (unless you’re happy to take it down to about 5%). And yes, swap out some hydrosol for this. Or you could lower both the glycerine and hydrosol to compensate. You’ll find this sort of thing can be a bit trial and error. Hope this helps.

      Reply
  2. Amazing hand cream! I’ve made salves and balms aplenty but this was my first go at a proper cream with the aqueous phase. It came out so well I immediately made a second batch! My kids, my lumberjack husband and my medical chums are all delighted with the improvements in their sore chapped hands. I’ll be trying the eczema cream next! Thank you so much for sharing this.5 stars

    Reply
    • Hi Alison,

      That’s amazing! I’m so glad it worked out. Emulsions can sometimes be tricky, but looks like you’re off to wonderful start! Let me know how you get on with the eczema formula, you’ll have a great time I’m sure!

      Reply
  3. I just tried this recipe and absolutely love it. Thank you so much for sharing!!! Love your site!
    Best Wishes for a Happy Easter.
    Rhonda5 stars

    Reply
  4. Hi Angela, firstly thank you so much for sharing all your experience and recipes. I’m just starting in this world having been making candles, wax melts and air fresheners for years. I am so looking forward to trying this hand cream recipe as I too am a nurse struggling with sore, cracked hands. I’m also wanting to make some for colleagues/friends but I know a few of them don’t like Lavender can I substitute this for any other hydrasol and essential oil. Thanks in advance for your help

    Reply
    • Absolutely!

      I’d try substituting it for chamomile hydrosol and essential oil. It doesn’t have quite a strong scent like Lavender, but would be wonderful for soothing sore and cracked dry skin.

      Reply
  5. Hi Angela! I am new to making lotions and was excited to try your hand cream. I followed you instructions and used a digital scale for precise measurements. My substitutions were: I used distilled water instead of hydrosol, olive oil instead of wheat germ oil, mango butter instead of cocoa butter and left out the Allantoin powder. But my cream is very runny. Is there something I need to use to make it thicker? I noticed some recipes call for whipping the ingredients with a stick blender – would that make a difference? Thanks for the great recipes!5 stars

    Reply
    • Hi Kritis,

      In this instance, I doubt whipping will help. The thickness comes from the amount of e-wax. So, I would try adding a little more. Perhaps a gram or so more and see if the consistency changes. Sometimes this can happen when you substitute things. But it’s a good skill to have, so I applaud you for your efforts. Let me know how you get on here in the comments.

      Reply
      • Thanks Angela, Actually I meant to let you know that I tried it again this weekend. I figured I must have SOMETHING wrong. I also wanted to add a preservative since I was giving as gifts. And it worked fine this time! Its good to know that the e-wax is what the thickness comes from though. I made a batch of 8 hand creams and I am anxious to give them at Christmas.

        I also wanted to mention that I love the feature you have when you choose to ‘print’ the recipe, where you can select the yield, and the site automatically adjusts the quantity of all products used, accordingly. Love that!

        Thanks so much for the site!
        Kristi5 stars

        Reply
  6. Hi Angela,
    Thank you for this recipe – I’m a healthcare worker and I so need this in my life right now. could you please suggest the type of preservatives I should use with this recipe?

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Tyna,

      I’m sure you could! I know I have been washing mine like crazy, so I can’t imagine what your poor hands are going through. Take a look at my guide to preservatives, it should help you out. Although, for quick reference, I like to use Preservative Eco (Geogard ECT) as it’s accepted in natural skincare. However, if that doesn’t bother you too much the most popular preservative for emulsions is likely to be Germaben. It’s totally up to you though.

      Reply

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