You wear sunscreen every day, are loyal to your nightly retinoid, and treat yourself to regular masks—but how’s the skin on your hands? If they’re feeling and looking parched, dull, and cracked, you’re not alone. Many of us neglect this area, which is made even more uncomfortable by frequent hand washing and sanitizing.
Enter: moisturizing gloves. “Moisturizing gloves are a happy marriage between advanced forms of moisturizing ingredients and an optimized delivery system,” explains Dr. Ava Shamban, board-certified dermatologist in Beverly Hills, California. There are many different types of moisturizing gloves on the market, including simple fabric gloves that can be worn over your favorite hand cream or more technologically-advanced products. To find the best moisturizing gloves, we conducted hours of research, evaluating top-rated picks on their functionality, efficacy, technology, and style. After consulting with a board-certified dermatologist, we narrowed down our picks to land on the following best in show.
Kitsch Moisturizing Spa Gloves
The team at Kitsch knocked it out of the park with these darling moisturizing gloves. The soft cotton fabric features a cute speckled knit that gives them more of a winter glove vibe, making them perfect for multitasking. Their insulated gel helps prevent moisture from escaping your skin, working to soften away cracks, flakes, and dryness even before you apply a hand cream (which will offer even more intensive nourishment). Our favorite feature, though, is that the fingertips allow you to use touchscreens, so you’re not rendered helpless during your DIY spa treatment—we scrolled through our feeds with ease. We can’t wait to try the coordinating socks next.
Price at time of publish: $18
Active Ingredients: Cotton, gel lining | Benefits: Moisturizing, softening, soothing | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Earth Therapeutics Aloe Infused Gloves
It’s rare to get your choice of colors when shopping for moisturizing gloves, but Earth Therapeutics offers seven different options, including neutrals like black, tan, and gray as well as fun pastels. The gel interior of these soft gloves is infused with aloe and vitamin E to help condition dry skin—and you’ll get even more benefits if you wear them over your favorite hand cream.
Price at time of publish: $8
Active Ingredients: Aloe vera, vitamin E | Benefits: Moisturizing, nourishing | Cruelty-Free: Yes
ManiGlovz Anti-UV/LED Fingerless Gloves
With a rating of UPF 50+, these gloves are designed to protect your hands from the UV exposure you get during a gel manicure. Honestly, though, you’ll find yourself wearing them well beyond your salon visits—you can truly rock them everywhere (they’re great for staving off sun damage while driving)! Beyond preventing dryness caused by the stripping effects of UV, the fabric of some pairs of these gloves are created with aloe vera microcapsules to keep skin extra hydrated.
Price at time of publish: $18
Active Ingredients: Aloe vera | Benefits: UV protection, hydration | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Omnilux Contour Glove
Sure, this may not be your average moisturizing glove—it’s not super comfy, and it’s pretty high tech! But studies show that red light therapy actually improves skin barrier function, promoting lasting hydration with less transepidermal water loss.1 Red light also offers impressive anti-aging benefits, including a reduction in fine lines and wrinkles and increased collagen production.2 While this purchase is a true splurge, you won’t need to repurchase it like you might with a pair of fabric gloves.
Price at time of publish: $345
Active Ingredients: Red and infrared light | Benefits: Anti-aging, improved skin barrier function | Byrdie Clean: Not listed | Cruelty-Free: Not listed
Best for Dry Skin
ZenToes Moisturizing Gloves with Gel Lining
If your skin is especially dry, reach for these ingredient-packed gloves. The gel lining, which contours nicely to the hand, features jojoba and olive oils to help repair and comfort parched skin. Dr. Shamban recommends wearing these overnight for intensive nourishment. Bonus: They come in multiple fabric textures and color options so you can find the style that suits you best.
Price at time of publish: $13
Active Ingredients: Jojoba seed oil, olive oil, vitamin E | Benefits: Deep moisture | Cruelty-Free: Not listed
Burt’s Bees Hand Repair Gift Set
Burt’s Bees is known for its reparative, good-for-skin formulas, and this kit is no exception, which comes recommended by Dr. Shamban. You’ll get a pair of cotton gloves and three different hand nourishing treatments—cuticle cream, hand cream, and an intensive repair hand cream—to treat hands and nails with care. It’s all packed in a little organza bag, making it a lovely gift for teachers, mothers-in-law, and more people who deserve a moment of self care.
Price at time of publish: $15
Active Ingredients: Sweet almond oil, vitamin E, shea butter | Benefits: Rich nourishment, revitalizing | Cruelty-Free: Cruelty free
Best for Sensitive Skin
CARA Moisturizing Eczema Cotton Gloves
If you’re dealing with eczema, psoriasis, or simply very sensitive skin, this set of gloves is worth a look. You get 24 pairs of cotton gloves (making this a very budget-friendly purchase), which help seal in moisturizing creams applied beforehand. Just keep in mind that while they’re machine washable, the gloves aren’t as high quality as some of the others on this list and loosen up easily; you’ll have to commit to regular purchases to ensure you have well-fitting gloves.
Price at time of publish: $24
Active Ingredients: Cotton | Benefits: Seals in moisture | Cruelty-Free: Not listed
These cotton gloves from clean nail brand Londontown are meant to be paired with a rich hand cream to lock in hydration, whether you wear them for a few hours or overnight. While not all gloves are snug yet soft enough to be comfortable while sleeping, these are—and reviewers say they last for years before wearing out.
Price at time of publish: $10
Active Ingredients: Cotton | Benefits: Seals in moisture | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Salon Care Pink Pearl Nitrile Gloves With Aloe Vera
If you’re in need of rubber gloves when gardening, coloring your hair, or just trying to keep clean, these are a rare latex-free pair that are not only kind of chic, but won’t strip your hands. The lining is made with aloe vera that activates with the warmth of your skin to deliver ongoing hydration.
Price at time of publish: $3
Active Ingredients: Aloe vera | Benefits: Hydrating, protective | Cruelty-Free: Not listed
Iluminage Skin Rejuvenating Gloves with Anti-Aging Copper Technology
Unhealthy skin is often dry, affecting elasticity as well as texture. Fabric woven with copper is clinically proven to improve skin quality,3 making it look and function in a more healthy way. That’s why we love Iluminage’s collection of copper-infused textiles, including these fingerless gloves. Regular use leaves skin looking fresh and youthful with a firmer, more even appearance, which is only enhanced by pairing them with a moisturizing cream.
Price at time of publish: $45
Active Ingredients: Copper ions | Benefits: Cellular renewal, improvement to skin quality | Cruelty-Free: Yes
Paume Hydrate Trio
Paume exclusively makes luxury hand care products, so—dare we say it?—you’re in good hands with this kit. You can use the products individually, but for the ultimate indulgent experience, you’ll want to try out the whole trio at once: After applying the rich cuticle cream, slather your hands with the probiotic-rich balm, then protect the whole package by slipping into the organic cotton gloves. Whether you wear them for a few hours or overnight (we recommend the latter), they’ll seal in all the goodness, so you can take them off to reveal soft, hydrated, and youthful-looking hands.
Price at time of publish: $58
Active Ingredients: Organic cotton, glycerin, shea butter | Benefits: Moisturizing, nourishing| Cruelty-Free: Yes
When selecting a pair of moisturizing gloves, you want to look for a pair that will seriously seal in nourishment. While it’s always good practice to apply a hand cream first, a moisturizing glove with a gel or ingredient-infused lining will help give you the most bang for your buck. Kitsch Moisturizing Spa Gloves are lined with gel to seal in moisture and boast touchscreen-friendly fingertips, which will increase your likelihood of wearing them often. The comfy Earth Therapeutics Aloe Infused Gloves are made with hydrating and nourishing ingredients so even if you forget to apply your hand cream, you’ll still see more moisturized hands by the AM.
What to Look for in Moisturizing Gloves
Considering that the whole purpose of using these gloves is to achieve well-moisturized hands, you want to seek out ingredients that help restore nourishment to skin, whether they’re in the gloves themselves or in the hand cream you apply underneath. “Our hands are one of the two parts of our body that don’t have significant vein systems, no sebaceous network, or highway transport to move moisture and nutrition, as well as a thinner dermis,” says Dr. Shamban. That means your hands need extra help in the way of skincare. She recommends looking for ingredients like humectants and emollients to help provide much-needed hydration and moisture to skin. The most well-known example of a humectant is hyaluronic acid, which helps bind water to skin. Emollients, such as vitamin E, jojoba oil, and ceramides, support the skin’s lipid layer, which helps prevent moisture from escaping and promotes lasting nourishment.
Again, you want to reap moisturizing benefits from your moisturizing gloves—as well as a glove that helps seal ‘em all in. “Moisturizing gloves are designed to keep ceramides, nutrition, and moisture on the skin to coat, adhere, soften, penetrate and permeate our often overworked, overwashed, dry, and dehydrated skin on the hands, fingernails, and cuticles,” says Dr. Shamban. Generally speaking, if your gloves have gel lining or you’re pairing them with a favorite hand cream, those aspects will be doing the heavy lifting when it comes to moisturization. But even if you’re wearing plain gloves, the choice of fabric can also make a difference. Cotton is recommended by most dermatologists, including Dr. Shamban. Waterproof fabrics, which prevent moisture from getting through a glove, can also help block it from escaping, sealing in any nourishment underneath.
Fit is important when selecting your gloves. “The Goldielocks rule applies here—you want a ‘just right’ fit,” quips Dr. Shamban, “a not too tight; a slightly snug fit so they stay on during the night.” She warns that a too-tight glove could cause circulation issues over long periods of time with a glove that is too tight. Most on the market are one size fits all, there are some brands offering multiple sizing options with their gloves. If you have larger hands, keep this in mind—the majority of the gloves offered tend to have a smaller fit.
What are moisturizing gloves?
They’re exactly what they sound like—gloves that help keep the wearer’s hands moisturized. “In the past, we derms would have people buy plain old cotton gloves for overnight use to enhance absorption, but now technological advances have given us high-performance gloves with newer ingredients that moisturize and repair as well as anti-age,” says Dr. Shamban. There are two types of gloves, both of which help max out moisture levels in your skin. “Sometimes, it is a glove with a special pre-treated fabric or one with a silicone lining that functions as the sealant,” explains Dr. Shamban. The other option is more basic, but still plenty effective—a simple cotton glove worn over moisturized hands. “Both types essentially hold the hands hostage, forcing them to make the most of moisturizing moments.”
Do moisturizing gloves work?
Yes, moisturizing gloves work—but only when you use products with the right ingredients and you use them consistently and correctly, as is the case with all skincare. “They are often best used overnight over freshly-moisturized hands when hands will not be in use for an extended period of time,” recommends Dr. Shamban. “Remaining on the skin for a longer time gives the treatment product the best chance to move through the stratum corneum layer to the actual epidermis.”
How do you store moisturizing gloves?
Storing moisturizing gloves correctly is essential. They’ll also only work well if they’re in their best condition. Dr. Shamban notes that while glove selection is more about preference and budget, hygiene is paramount. That’s why many derms prefer single-use gloves, but if you find that wasteful (and would prefer to get more out of your purchase, you need to properly clean and store them. “They can be left inside out or stored in a dry place with light,” she says, “Never put them away damp and dark as bacteria within the gloves can develop.”
How do you use moisturizing gloves?
According to Dr. Shamban, when it comes to using moisturizing gloves, “Always follow best practices, including a good, breathable fit, clean hands, and gloves with plenty of nourishing ingredients,” she says. To really see returns on your glove investment, follow this hand cream application tip from Dr. Shamban, which you should do before applying any moisturizing glove for more intensive nourishment. “While hands are still damp, apply lotion or moisturizer to hands in a liberal layer, with a rubbing motion massaging both palmar and dorsal sides, paying close attention to cuticles and nails, knuckles, and in between fingers,” she suggests.
When do you wear moisturizing gloves?
You don’t have to restrict your wear to overnight. “The great thing about these gloves is that they can be worn everywhere!” says Dr. Shamban. “We can all look like Audrey Hepburn—any time wearing them is time well spent!”