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Cleaning

I tried this lotion to protect my hands while house cleaning—and it works!

Gloves in a Bottle shields sensitive skin

Person using hands to rub moisturizer into skin. Credit: Getty Images / Alvarez

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Touching cleaning products can feel irritating or uncomfortable, even for people with healthy skin. But, for those of us with dry, sensitive, cracked, itchy, or flaky skin, daily chores can prove to be downright painful. I’ve suffered from eczema on my hands for decades.

Over the years, I’ve been a regular at several dermatology offices and tried countless creams, steroids, and lotions, and yet my hands have still continually cracked at the slightest touch of any irritants. So, when Gloves in a Bottle caught my attention while scrolling through my favorite cleaning accounts on Instagram, I had to wonder if a product that promises to both moisturize and shield your skin would actually work for someone with hands like mine.

Years of experience have made me both wary and excited about any product that promises relief for your skin. My curiosity piqued, I ordered Gloves in a Bottle and tested it out.

About Gloves in a Bottle

Person smiling while holding bottle of lotion.
Credit: Gloves in a Bottle

This dermatologist approved moisturizer gives your skin an extra layer of protection against harsh hand soaps and sanitizers.

The Gloves in a Bottle brand has been operating for nearly three decades. Its signature product—also named Gloves in a Bottle—is advertised as a “shielding lotion,” safe to use on your hands, body, and face. The product is backed by dermatologists, and the company says it’s hypoallergenic, color and odor-free, and waterproof.

Gloves in a Bottle bonds to the outermost layer of your skin, serving as an invisible, protective shield. Because the lotion is bonded to those outer cells, it comes off as that external layer of skin naturally exfoliates. Several ingredients in the lotion include dimethicone, stearic acid, and purified water.

I purchased the 8-ounce bottle of lotion directly from Amazon for just under $18.

How to apply Gloves in a Bottle

Person rubbing moisturizer into hands.
Credit: Getty Images / FreshSplash

A small amount of Gloves in a Bottle lotion goes a long way.

Learn from my mistake: To correctly apply Gloves in a Bottle, the company recommends thoroughly washing and drying your hands first. Then, on clean hands, you can apply a small dollop of lotion into your palm. I used a quarter-sized amount, but you can go larger or smaller depending on the amount of skin you want to cover. The lotion is safe to use on your hands, body, or face (although steer clear of your eyes and mouth).

After rubbing in the lotion, let it completely dry. If you’ve used the correct amount and applied it in a thin layer over your skin, the lotion should dry within a couple of minutes. At that point, you’re good to go. The company recommends reapplying every four hours.

What I like about Gloves in a Bottle

The gloves help stop irritants’ sting

Assorted cleaning products and moisturizer sitting on wooden surface
Credit: Reviewed / Kylie Sheaffer

We tested the product against household dish soaps, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, Magic Erasers, and while handling food products like peppers.

We’ve all been there—you’ve reached for the hand sanitizer and part of it seeps into a cut on your hand. For a few seconds, that sanitizer really stings and you scream a little inside.

While testing Gloves in a Bottle, I had a crack on my fingertip. At the time, I was afraid to use hand sanitizer, wipe with Clorox wipes, or handle particularly “spicy” foods (like jalapenos), out of fear that something irritable would find its way into the cut. This fear quickly diminished after trying Gloves in a Bottle. Once I let the product fully dry on my hands, I tested hand sanitizer and there was zero burning sensation.

The lotion’s shield duration

Person washing dishes in kitchen sink.
Credit: Getty Images / Gilaxia

Gloves in a Bottle dries quickly and can be used to protect your skin while doing household chores.

“Shield duration” may seem like a funny way to describe this feature, but I was surprised by how long Gloves in a Bottle lasted on my hands. The company advises that users reapply every four hours or so, as the lotion is sloughed off by any work you're doing. Even after multiple hours of use, I felt like my hands were protected.

I spent several hours hand washing dishes, repeatedly waving my palms in and out of the water and submerging them in suds. My skin didn’t crack or burn at any point. On top of that, even after a particularly long dishwashing ordeal, when I tested my shielded hands against a Clorox wipe, they held up. I didn’t experience the redness or drying that I’ve gotten before while using cleaning wipes.

The feel of the lotion

From my very first impression of Gloves in a Bottle to the 30th time I applied it, I enjoyed the feel of this lotion. As an eczema sufferer, I’ve tried more creams, ointments, and lotions than I care to admit. Many of these products can be greasy, gunky, or often resemble a thick paste. The lotion in Gloves in a Bottle is the exact opposite.

The product appears to be more like a water-based solution. It can be spread pretty thin during your application, and it dries quickly. It doesn’t feel thick or heavy, and I never once worried that it would leave behind a grease stain if I touched my shirt or a wall. It felt genuinely breathable and lightyears better than stuffing my hands into actual gloves.

The scent

Gloves in a Bottle advertises the product as unscented. While no additional scents have been added to the lotion (you won’t find it in warm vanilla sugar, or anything like that), it’s also not completely unscented. There’s a slight fragrance that almost smells like diluted cucumber water to me. It’s pleasant and smells clean.

I was only able to smell the scent when the lotion was in a dollop on my hand. As soon as it dried, there was no scent left.

What I don’t like

Lotion can be slippery

The first time I tested Gloves in a Bottle, I attempted to hand wash dishes. There was a slight learning curve as I was getting used to the product, and this was proof of it. I applied too much lotion initially, and it wasn’t completely dry before I started washing dishes. The water and the lotion together made handling glassware tricky.

I later found that if you only apply the lotion in small amounts and wait for it to dry, washing dishes feels far less slippery.

It initially dried out my hands

Hands with dry and flaking skin.
Credit: Reviewed / Kylie Sheaffer / Gloves in a Bottle

After initial testing, you can spot that there were a few dry patches on my hand.

I expected Gloves in a Bottle to have a moisturizing effect, like most lotions and creams I’ve tried before. This product operates a little differently, though. One of the product claims made by Gloves in a Bottle is that this particular lotion helps your skin retain its natural moisture, instead of manufacturing artificial moisture.

When I first started using the product, my skin was already going through a rough eczema episode and wasn’t naturally producing much moisture on its own. I discovered that I still needed to be using my prescribed lotions in unison with Gloves in a Bottle to prevent my hands from drying out.

I’m confident that Gloves in a Bottle can have some positive effects on my skin long-term, but it didn’t provide immediate moisturizing relief.

Should you buy Gloves in a Bottle?

Person holding moisturizer in hand. On right, blue bottle of Gloves in a Bottle sitting on countertop in kitchen.
Credit: Gloves in a Bottle / Reviewed / Kylie Sheaffer

Gloves in a Bottle is a promising investment that your skin will thank you for later.

Yes! If you’re the kind of person who is frequently washing or sanitizing your hands, often handles cleaning products, or finds that your skin just gets easily irritated, then yes, you should absolutely try Gloves in a Bottle. For less than $20, consider it a well-made investment.

If its affordability isn’t enough to convince you to buy it, consider checking out the mountain of positive testimonials and reviews online. Of course, I recommend that you talk to your doctor before making any major skin care changes, but I was excited to see that the majority of people using this lotion appear to love it.

While Gloves in a Bottle didn’t prove to be an overnight miracle worker for my skin (it isn’t going to replace my prescribed skin care at the moment), the instant benefits I experienced were enough to sway me. Seriously—the lack of stinging from chemicals and sanitizer is huge.

The feel of the lotion and the fact that I didn’t have to let my hands sweat in some latex or plastic gloves just to knock out a few simple chores has me hooked.

Get Gloves in a Bottle at Amazon for $17.95

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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