Dry Skin Relief

Dry, cracked, stinging, bleeding.  That describes my hands during the winter.  Dry, flaky and itchy describes most other areas of my skin.  Ick!

What do you do for dry skin relief?

The method to my madness generally includes

  • running a humidifier day and night
  • applying lotion immediately after taking a bath or shower
  • limiting my hot bubble baths… so sad
  • trying to keep the water notsohot in the shower
  • an occasional hand dip in my parafin wax spa (one of my all-time favorite Christmas gifts from hubby!)
  • a lame attempt at remembering to apply lotion after each time I wash my hands, which is approximately 93 times a day

And still… dry, flaky, itchy.

Something I hadn’t tried until recently was a shielding lotionSkin MD offered me a bottle, and I happily took them up on it.

“Skin MD Natural is made in the US and is specially formulated using high quality natural ingredients making it over 90% all natural with all ingredients being of food grade and on the FDA’s most safe list. It is free of harmful fragrances, parabens, and colorants making it hypoallergenic. We don’t participate in animal testing nor does the lotion contain any animal products.”

All good stuff in my book!

This is a thinner lotion with all natural ingredients that I could slather on both my body and my face. My problem with the product, though, is that it was to be applied frequently. That didn’t work well with my inconsistency issues.  Applying Skin MD once or twice a day didn’t do much for my dry, rough skin.  I’m thinking it might work better on my summer skin, which is completely different than my current crocodile-flesh.

Would you like to try a bottle of Skin MD Natural?  They’ve offered a giveaway to my readers, so this is your chance.  All you have to do is tell me:  How do you treat dry, cracked, flaky, rough skin?! I’ll let random.org choose a winner Sunday evening, January 10, around 8:00 central time.

For extra entries: (leave a separate comment for each)

If you’re already a subscriber, follower, and/or a fan, let me know!

Visit Works for Me Wednesday for a special backwards edition and get all your burning questions answered!

** Skin MD sent me a free bottle of lotion for review and will send one of you a free bottle, too.  I received no other compensation for an honest review.**

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.


  1. Ooh, I have been wanting to try that lotion! I have the same skin issues. My skin is naturally dry anyway, but the eternal handwashing is murder (someone once asked my if I was OCD. I was all, Um no, I have two babies). Sometimes I look at my hands and there is actual BLOOD in the cracks. Gross.

    Anyway, what I do is use Aquipher. It is a very thick, vaseline-y lotion and I put it on before bed. It works wonders by morning. My other fave for during-the-day use is Aveeno lotion. It soaks in and does not sit on my skin feeling greasy. I put the Aquipher on the kids’ lips at night too. My son in particular gets very dry lips but does not like lip balm during the day.

  2. I discovered Aquaphor for my little one’s diaper rash, and if my hands get too bad, I slather some of that on. I have mostly cut out using lotion after taking a shower and I can tell my skin is dry, but it doesn’t get itchy like it used to… Thanks for the chance!

  3. My skin is so dry too!! I use gloves to wash dishes and as I’m cleaning house which has helped some. I also have lotion in the kitchen and living room and try to put it on often. I’ve found that if I only use a little bit, it doesn’t leave my hands slimy and still mosturizes them.

  4. I’m subscribed through Google Reader!

  5. i use Neutrogena Hand Cream…best thing I’ve found…and I try to limit washing dishes by hand…and it’s a pity ’cause that truly is a stress reliever for me. 🙂

  6. i subscribe in google reader

  7. i just became a fan! 🙂

  8. i’ve been a follower. 🙂

  9. I really like Eucerin’s skin cream. Everybody in our house slathers it on their hands right before bed.

  10. I’m mostly just doing the lotion diet. Or anti-diet, I guess. Lotion after showers, lotion during the day, lotion when I get up, lotion when I wash my hands, lotion when I feel so dry I can’t stand it. You get the picture 🙂

    I’d love something that actually totally hydrated my dry Wisconsin skin!

  11. What works for me is Vaseline Petroleum Jelly *Lotion*. I usually find it in the baby aisle. I’d like to try this lotion, though, particularly for my daughter who seems to be sensitive to the lotion that works for me.

  12. I’m also an RSS subscriber

  13. I have really dry skin too. What helps mine is a product called Vanicream. It’s what pharmacists use as a base to mix prescription creams. Walgreens carries it and it’s behind the pharmacy counter at Target.

    Another thing that helps me is to cut back on cow’s milk. Dairy aggravates eczema and this is really apparent on my son.

  14. I also have extremely dry skin during the winter months. I try to use lotion more frequently. I am using Dove go fresh body lotion at the moment. It seems to be helping when I remember and take the time to use it. It would be great to try this lotion.

  15. I like a skin cream called Working hands. But it is really sticky so it works best to just put on at night, but by morning your hands are really soft!

  16. Vaseline Baby! Old school, I know. But it works!

  17. Oh, I soooo need something for mine. My hands have been super dry, cracking and bleeding. 🙁 Soooo painful! I’ve just put regular lotion on them, but I think I need something more. I’d love to win this. Thanks for the great giveaway!

  18. I’m a twitter follower.

  19. I’m also a Facebook fan. 😀

  20. You are in my RSS reader and blog list on my site. 😀

  21. Victoria O'Berry says:

    I use a wonderful product called Renew. It is like Eucerin only not at all greasy, and it is 7X more affective. I get it from an online compnay of natural products and I love it!! Even my sister in New England who is outside even in winter says it’s awesome, and last winter is the first year she did not have cracked, bleeding hands.

  22. I slather my hands in vasaline at night before bed. Then I put socks or gloves on my hands. by morning it’s all soaked into my skin and my hands are so smooth, soft, and crack-free!

  23. I have super dry skin and to top it off I wash a lot each day because I’m a preschool teacher.I use creams with cocoa butter or petroleum jelly that work somewhat. I’d love to try this lotion to see how well it works.

  24. I follw you on Twitter.

  25. I follow you via google reader.

  26. I do all the things you said but I also try to work from the inside. I drink lots of water and take cod liver oil daily. I won’t lie, the cod liver oil is not my favorite “snack” of the day but I do think it helps.

  27. Same as a previous poster, I put on vasaline and socks before bed. I recently read the suggestion to use coconut oil during the day since you won’t get that soapy taste if you touch food after putting it on your hands. I plan to try that soon.

  28. I just became a fan on facebook.

  29. My hands get SO bad in the winter, especially living in such a low humidity place. My biggest help is actually a preventative, rather than a treatment. I try to only let my hands touch water if I’m actually washing them. I wear my Playtex dish washing gloves anytime I will be washing, rinsing, etc. (even when I’m just rinsing a cleaning towel or something). It’s a pain at the time, but I definitely reap the benefits when my hands aren’t cracked open and bleeding.

    However, I do keep hand cream in several rooms for after hand washing and try to use Shea Butter at least a few times a day.

  30. I’m subscribed to your feed.

  31. Follow you on Twitter.

  32. I’m a fan on Facebook.

  33. Marianne G says:

    I am a dry skin sufferer as well. For my hands, I’ve been using Avon Moisture Therapy hand cream for the last 10+ years. It’s a thicker cream and holds up through a hand washing. I love this so much, I keep a stash of about 10 tubes on hand. I’ve given this to several repair men we had work on the house and they’re hooked now too. For the rest of my body, I use Jergen’s on any reasonbly priced lotion. I apply it liberally immediately after my shower—I also bought a lotion applicator from Harriet Carter that looks like a back scrubber, but has a lotion applicator as a head so I can reach my back and not have to beg my hubby for help. These things have made my winters so much easier. I would like to try the Skin MD too!

  34. Marianne G says:

    I am also a follower!

  35. I’ve tried all sorts of lotions and I hated them all. I hate that greasy sticky feeling. I would much prefer the itching and dryness than grease any day. But I was desperate one day and got some Walgreens brand lotion and it works so good. Not greasy and easy to rub in. And it doesn’t stink, just a light pleasant fragrance.
    Would love to try this out too, though!

  36. I am now following you on twitter.

  37. I subscribe via google reader.

  38. Living in CO, dry skin is always an issue. We slather on tons of lotions as much as possible!

  39. How did you get that picture of my skin!? 😀 Mine are so bad they bleed at times, I have tried almost everything out there. With one still in diapers and the amount of home made cooking I do, I am constantly washing my hands…AND I forget to wear gloves every single time I go outside (which really helps) — I would love to try this. Thanks for the opportunity and advice!

  40. I tried cortisone shots – which worked for two weeks. After that, I put on lotion and sleep with gloves on. That works until the next night.

  41. I really don’t need the lotion, but you might try Cetaphil. It doesn’t have any extra junk and does work. It seems expensive at first, but if you compare it to Bath and Body, it is still a bargain. When my kids were little and their hands got really bad (think Wyoming and North Dakota), I would put straight Vaseline or even Bag Balm on their hands before bed and then put on those super cheap stretchy gloves. It really did do wonders overnight. I just bought some Vaseline intensive rescue unscented at Sam’s and it seems to be working pretty well for the daily over and over applying.

  42. sara loud says:

    No solutions found for me so far! I’ve tried nearly everything!

  43. Avon has some great hand lotions that help with my dry skin. Right now I’m using Vaseline Cocoa Butter lotion for my body right after the shower. I have very sensitive skin and ezcema so I have to be pretty careful about what I use.

    One other thing that I like to use in the summertime when my skin isn’t so dry is coconut oil. It smells great and is completely natural, and is easy since I usually have it on hand in the kitchen.

  44. I think the key is finding the right lotion that actually works. Ask a nurse in your area…they have to wash a million times a day:-) I personally like Gold Bond but that’s me:-)

  45. Coconut oil works well for me. I also like to mix a little almond oil with my lotion to make it more moisturizing.

  46. I put lotion beside my hand soap at the sink and keep cuticle cream in my purse and hand lotion in my bedside drawer. Next step is wearing gloves 24/7!

  47. Olive oil or just good old butter on your hands!! Apply a small amount let it soak in for just a few minutes and rinse off the excess.

  48. Lubriderm lotion helps for the daily washings. Eucerin is the only thing that really helps though. It actually heals. I put a ton on my hands before bed and then sleep with gloves on and in the morning my hands are so much better.

  49. I mainly have the dry skin on my hands and have tried several different lotions – would love to try this one!!

  50. I subscribe in Google.

  51. I use good old Vaseline. I’m sure it’s not the best so I would love to try this!

  52. I LOVE my parafin hot wax dip. I just wish that I had the time to sit down and do it more often. And it works wonders on my flip flop wearing, AZ dry feet. And since I am always on the go at home I leave a bottle of lotion in my car to put on my hands while I am stopped at a light. Whew, finally a minute or two to lotion my dry hands.

  53. I follow your blog every day. Thank you so much for your work. 🙂

  54. My skin is dry every winter, but being pregnant this year hasn’t helped things at all!
    I would love to give this a try

  55. I would love to try that. Aquaphor for me and my kids all winter long!

  56. Baby oil! I generally shower at night and moisturize with baby oil afterwards. Wal-Mart’s generic version is just a couple dollars, and since a little goes a long way it lasts a looking time. I realize some must get absorbed by my pjs and sheets, but I’ve been doing this a couple years and have noticed my skin’s tone/texture has improved.

    My dermatologist is a HUGE fan of Cetaphil; she recommends its cleansers/lotions before prescribing any products. I’ve found Lubriderm/Eucerin to better lotions, but Cetaphil has a great cleansing bar that doesn’t contain soap so it’s not nearly as drying.

    So to sum it all up – Cetaphil cleansing bar in the shower, follow with baby oil, and Lubriderm as needed throughout the day. I also never go out without gloves in the winter!!

  57. I was signing my receipt at the store the other day and the cashier said to me, “Wow–are you an artist?” I asked why she thought that and she told me I had “Potters Hands” just like her mothers–so calloused. I just chuckled and said, “Well, I do have mother’s hands”… Since then I have been dipping into my son’s Aquaphor which is helping tremendously, but I would love to try this!
    maybe if I kept it at the kitchen sink, I’d remember to use it 🙂

  58. I have hand eczema and it got so bad one year that it completely ruined my nail beds on a few fingers for almost a year and I had blister-like things all over one of my hands.

    The thing that helps me the most (besides my prescription steroid cream and constantly applying lotion) is wearing gloves while washing dishes. I get the disposable vinyl gloves and use them every time I have to even rinse a dish. I can’t do the reusable playtex gloves. They feel super gross to me! ” )

    I don’t need the lotion either, just thought I’d share.

  59. I would love to try this lotion. The best thing I’ve done so far to keep the scaly winter skin monster at bay is to keep lotion EVERYWHERE. Even so, my hands are still cracking…

  60. Chocolate Chip says:

    Olive oil, then vaseline. Put on at bedtime and wear gloves. If you don’t want to mess with gloves, then just use enough to rub in as best you can. Paying attention to dry cuticle area.

  61. Living up north, I also have terrible cracking in the winter, but I have noticed it helps when I make sure our hand soap is moisturizing soap.

  62. I am a subscriber.

  63. Wilma Prochaska says:

    I use Neutrogena Swiss Formula hand cream…even on my face and it does work. It is kind of thick; but it dries fast. Just be gentle putting it on your face. I also slather on a little bit of baby oil gel. Walmart has a really nice one.

  64. Anne Marie says:

    I have a real problem with dry skin. I find that applying a think lotion or cream on my hands and feet and then wearing gloves and socks to bed is a real help.

  65. Anne Marie says:

    I am an email subscriber.

  66. I get your posts by email.

  67. I get your posts through Bloglines.

  68. My husband and I both have horrible winter hands. We have tried so many things. We both have bleeding places on our hands from time to time. Thanks for the opportunity.

  69. I have the WORST crocodile skin…to top it off, I work in a coffee shop so I’m constantly doing extra dishes and using the health code grade sanitizer – not the best for your hands! The only thing that works is using either Aquaphor or good ol petroleum jelly and slathering it on at night. I then put socks over my hands so it doesn’t rub off in my sleep. When the cracks bleed I put New Skin liquid bandage on them before lotions. It helps them to not split open!

  70. I’m a twitter follower 🙂

  71. I put lotion on and then socks or gloves to get my feet and hands nice and smooth. The winter gives me bad dry skin patches on my arms, I still haven’t found a great fix! Maybe this would help

  72. Aquaphor works great!

  73. The skin on my hands start cracking in late October and don’t stop till April. I have tried everything…nothing works great. What does feel good is coating my hands with Aquaphor then putting on socks at bedtime. Problem is the next morning after taking a shower it’s back to zero. The sad thing is my 4 year old has my skin. Would love to try something new…especially if it doens’t cost $$. Spent alot of money on things that don’t work.

  74. We use aquaphor, though it is super greasy. It works pretty good for my 2 kids who have eczema.

  75. I try to put lotion on as many times as I can during the day and every night before bed. I also use gloves to wash dishes.

  76. Straight vitamin E oil will heal your hands.
    I also use a homemade totally natural balm made from beeswax, cocoa butter, sweet almond oil, and vitamin E. It’s the only thing my husband will use and it really works — it’s thick like a lip balm but melts into your skin.
    Another friend swears by Gold Bond Ultimate.

    • I like gold bond, too, but am not real fond of paying for it. 🙂 Your homemade concoction sounds very soothing.

  77. Oh – I’m with you, I feel like I have tried EVERYTHING! I have eczema, so mine is like this year-round, but winter is worst. I mostly try to put Eucerin on right after washing my hands (with small kids, is every 5 minutes!) I also use “bag balm” a smelly greasy ointment used for cows 🙂 – I put that on at bed and put cotton gloves on. I also use a Mary Kay product – fragrance free extra emollient night cream.

  78. Brenda Henneberg says:

    Working in a hospital requires me to wash my hands approximately 5,673 times a day. I have yet to find anything that will cure my dry, cracked and bleeding hands. HELP!

  79. Besides slathering my hands with any unscented lotion I can find, I drink a lot of water. I always forget to drink water in the winter months. Once I remember to start drinking water again, my skin thanks me.

  80. I have the same problem, in fact this winter my hands are the worst they’ve ever been. I had been using (and loved!) Restoration Hardware’s no-crack super hand creme, but I ran out and I don’t think they make it anymore. 🙁 So I’ve been experimenting. Right now I use Cetaphil during the day (I try to apply it throughout the day but it’s tough) and at night I slather on Vaseline and sleep with socks on my hands (nice to see from the comments I’m not the only one!).

  81. Claudia F. says:

    We do a lot of Vaseline and then put sox on our hand to sleep.
    Claudia F.

  82. I do lots of things to help my dry skin. All these ladies talk about dry hands, but when you have dry skin flaking off your belly you know its bad. Anyway, I use a humidifier, drink lots of water, and slather on the Vasoline Intensive Care lotion. It works rather well and the smell doesn’t bother me unlike many lotions.

  83. I subscribe to your RSS feed

  84. I tend to do nighttime lotion when my hands get too dry to ignore any more. So, I slather it on, put on some gloves, and sleep that way.
    Recently I’ve been doing the same thing when I have to take the kids out to play in the snow – I figure, I’m wearing gloves anyway, I might as well do lotion and get something constructive done while I’m stuck outside watching them! I do put on a thin pair of gloves before my snow gloves to keep the lotion a little more contained. 🙂

  85. I live in Utah and it has given me lots of wonderful things I enjoy, but the dry skin from living in a desert is not one of the things I enjoy! I plaster myself with lotion every morning and evening, but I still feel dryed out!

  86. I’m following you via Google Reader! Thanks for doing such a helpful giveaway!

  87. I use lots of lotion and sometimes vasoline on my hands before bed.

  88. Lots of lotion, and turn on the humidifier once I start shocking the cats every time I pet them… 🙂

  89. I use a beeswax type of cream to treat dry cracked skin.

  90. I use hand lotion after I wash my hands. I also slather on Burt’s Bees lotion on my hands and feet at night before going to bed.

  91. I use coconut oil on my dry, cracked skin. It’s nice because it doesn’t sting like lotion does when your hands are already too dry.

  92. I subscribe in Google Reader too.

  93. this stuff is pretty good for your skin. i use it and all my dry skin has gone away. i have like… this patch of skin on my ankle. I guess it’s scoriasis (sp?) and it cracks and bleeds sometimes. this stuff helped it. it’s almost gone.

  94. I put creme (not lotion) on my skin all winter long. The dermatologist said creme is thicker. It’s still a fight though. I’m just trying to keep it from cracking a bleeding at this point! I would love to try this new lotion!

  95. i actually posted on this topic here: soft winter skin

    most commerical moisturizers don’t work because they contain ingredients that either dry the skin (like alcohol) or are unable to be absorbed (like petroleum).

    i do well with jojoba oil and handmade products containing ingredients like shea butter. the same goes for lip balms–natural stuff, like straight lanolin–beats chap stick any day.

  96. I take shorter showers and use ALOT of lotion. It gets very dry here.

  97. Connie Corey says:

    I live where it’s cold, so I try to be very cognizant of wearing my gloves when I am outside NO MATTER WHAT! Sometimes I’m tempted not to put them on ‘for just a minute’ and my hands/skin truly ends up paying for it later.

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