Based on the appearance of my hands lately, you might assume I’d never heard of hand cream. Under normal circumstances, the demands of my day to day life rarely leave my hands in such a state as they have been as of late. But these are not normal times, and I’m guessing that regardless of the demands of anyone’s typical day-to-day, most of you can probably relate to these complaints of raw, dry hands. It’s true that washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content helps in the avoidance of coronavirus but it also leaves our hands looking like dried apricots.

To help alleviate this discomfort, formulators are looking for ways to including moisturizing ingredients into their sanitizers to reduce their drying effect. Additionally, consumers are looking to counteract the dehydrating side-effects of soap and sanitizers by purchasing hand creams and lotions with effective hydrating ingredients. Effectiveness has quickly become a top driving factor for a consumer to purchase, where they may have cared more about the aroma, experience, or natural ingredients in the past.

With that in mind, Cambrian’s personal care experts weighed in on their favourite ingredients for promoting moisture and hydration. While we can’t promise satin-soft baby hands these days, these ingredients should help alleviate the painful side effects of highly sanitized, dry hands.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, or sometimes listed as Tocopherol or Tocopheryl Acetate, is a popular ingredient in both sanitizers and hand creams. This is because vitamin E is a gentle antioxidant that aids in cellular restoration and has moisturizing and healing benefits. This tried and true ingredient has been around for a long time in the skincare world. Vitamin E is also oil-soluble, which allows it to work well in many oil-based moisturizers.

Caprylyl Glycol

Preservative blends commonly use caprylyl glycol. This multifunctional ingredient is not just useful in preservatives though, it acts as a humectant moisturizer and skin conditioning agent. In hand sanitizer, its preservative properties help reduce the microbial load. This allows the alcohol to remain free to target viruses or bacteria on application. Its humectant properties will help negate some of the drying effects of the alcohol on the hands.


Aloe is a popular ingredient for soothing, calming, and moisturizing. Its hydrating factors are due to its high polysaccharide and sterol content. Due to its natural source and possibly even its popularity in DIY sanitizers, we’re seeing many instances of aloe being incorporated into industrially produced hand sanitizers.

Calendula Oil

Calendula oil is an excellent soothing ingredient. It has been found to have some anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties and has also been known to promote skin hydration.


Waxes do not typically provide moisture for the skin, however, they are excellent at locking in moisture provided by other ingredients. Many waxes exist that do an excellent job of creating a barrier for the skin, but a great natural ingredient for this purpose is beeswax.


Ceramides are long-chain lipids that naturally occur in the skin. These fats help hold skin cells together and keep out potentially damaging pollutants while locking in moisture.

Hyaluronic Acid

If it works for your face, it’s likely also going to work for your hands. Usually, facial creams and serums are a popular application for hyaluronic acid but that doesn’t mean it won’t work wonders for dry hands as well. Hyaluronic acid is a fantastic ingredient for hydration due to the fact that its molecules attract and bind to water molecules.


Curious about how you could incorporate some of these moisturizing ingredients into your project? Talk to your Cambrian account manager or contact us.