i've never found a problem with using handcream and testing..then again, i rarely wash my hands before testing unless i've just been eating or doing something that would make them dirty!
i don't buy those expensive handcreams you get at the make-up counters, i usually just get used the regular shelf stuff.
a little trick i have for dy skin..cuz i get dry legs as well, is Baby Lotion! I always have a bottle of Baby lotion in the shower, and before i get out of the shower, I put it on my arms, legs, stomach, back(whatever i can reach of it haha) and butt...it works soooo well. my legs no longer get really dry and gross in the summer and its easier than using lotion..also helps my hands cuz i get it on them. my whole body feels like a baby's bottom haha. just make sure you do it at the very end..you dont wanna have that stuff on your hands and then go to wash your hair!!
I actually find with the baby lotion trick in the shower, last winter i had to use hand lotion a lot less!
You just reminded me of something else...Baby Oil! I use this a lot and it also works pretty well for me. It doesn't snow where I live though so I don't know how helpful this will be for those who do live in much colder climates.