Alison Bowen
Chicago Tribune

Dry hands can seem an inevitable part of winter. But keeping a few things in mind while choosing lotions can help keep your skin moisturized.

Dr. Bethanee Schlosser, a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, says to target lotions that moisturize and protect the skin.

“People really need to kind of ramp it up when it comes to moisturizing,” said Schlosser, who is also assistant professor of dermatology and the director of Northwestern University’s Women’s Skin Health Program.

People might be hesitant to use a thicker lotion, assuming it will be greasy, she said. But a thicker cream or ointment, something that “feels a little bit heavier,” is best.

“People really need to try first before they turn their nose up at something,” she said.

Look for a skin-protecting ingredient, like dimethicone, and something that will attract moisture, like glycerine.

Some people opt to use coconut oil or olive oil, maybe under gloves overnight. Shea is another option, but a concern for those with nut allergies.

Products Schlosser mentioned that have these ingredients include Eucerin Intensive Repair Hand Creme and Neutrogena’s Norwegian Formula Hand Cream.

Other precautions include dialing down the temperature of water, avoiding exposure to chemicals and always wearing gloves. And beware if hands are damp.

“Damp cold can cause more harm as opposed to dry cold,” she said.

The tops of the hands often get driest, so you can apply lotion to the back of the hands and then rub those together. Especially for people who type or don’t want fingertips slick, this is an option.

And use lotion any time you’re washing your hands. “The wet-to-dry cycle can be very destructive,” Schlosser said.