MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As the Minnesota weather turns cold, the air gets dry, and our skin starts to crack. So, what is the best way to treat dry skin?

“I think this year has been worse, less rain, haven’t had snow, that all contributes to the lack of moisture,” said Dr. Rehana Ahmed, a dermatologist at Uptown Dermatology and Skinspa in Minneapolis.

“I always say to patients, thicker is better,” said Ahmed, “if you were to open a jar, put a spoon inside, it shouldn’t fall over. It should stay there.”

Ahmed said there’s no perfect product for everyone.

Still: “I prefer a cream to a lotion. If you can pump it out, it’s really ‘liquidy,’ and it dries right away on your skin, it’s not moisturizing,” she said.

Ahmed recommends creams with no fragrances and no preservatives, like Vanicream, which is made in Minnesota.

Also, if there’s one ingredient she looks for, it’s something called ceramides.

“They add back lipids to the skin that decrease in wintertime and certain people are predisposed to making less of,” she said.

CeraVe moisturizing cream has ceramides. So does Cetaphil Restoraderm moisturizing lotion. You can get both of these at any drugstore.

Many people believe the best way to moisturize the skin outside, is by drinking more water, moisturizing from the inside out. Ahmed said, “I think it’s a helpful addition,” pointing out that people tend to drink less water in the winter because it’s not hot out.

Still, it’s not enough to compensate for the moisture lost because of the dry air.

“You probably still need a moisturizing cream if your skin is feeling dry,” she said.

And even though bathing feels great, your biggest enemy to moist skin, is actually water. Well, a certain kind and duration of hot water.

“Be careful of taking hot showers, hot baths, and using harsh soaps while washing, that can strip moisture from the skin,” she said.

She recommends a lip balm.

“There’s no evidence using a lip balm regularly will dry out your lips, no truth. I think there’s something helpful to have something on your lips,” she said. “It prevents people from licking their lips, which can really dry out the lips and lead to rashes.”

There are some natural, cheap remedies that work too. Olive oil is a great moisturizer. However, it can stain your clothes, so be careful.

One last tip: After you take a short, lukewarm shower, pat your skin dry instead of scrubbing yourself with a towel. That lets you keep some moisture in your skin.

Jason DeRusha

Comments (11)
  1. Diedre says:

    The best was not mentioned and ALSO made in Minnesota. AMLACTIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The stuff is AMAZING and also fragrance free. You have to ask for it from a Pharmacist but its non-prescription, so you don’t need to see a Dr. I have seen it in a few stores on the shelf, but I always get mine from my Pharmacist. It’s a little more expensive than your other shelf lotions, but WORTH every penny! Trust me, I had severe dry skin and I tried numerous creams, including some of the creams mentioned in this story and they are not NEAR as good as the Amlactin. It was a miracle for me!

  2. Lee says:

    After I take a shower I use baby oil and then pat dry – goodbye dry skin

  3. Judy says:

    Like many others, I too have VERY dry skin. If I didnt put moisturizer on after my shower, Id scratch myself until I bleed. A popular online site reported a study pitting most namebarands up against store brands to determine for the money and quality of effefctiveness which was the best value, yet performed the same, or better. One of those tested was Equate Moisturizing Lotion priced at a little over $6 having just as good, if not better results than the more expensive namebrand. Ive been using Equate now for a couple of months and have noticed quite a difference in how my skin feels and looks. Other favorites are Ponds Dry Skin Cream and Olay Moisturizing Lotion. Baby Oil isnt at all effective on me, plus, it hangs up in the drain pipes and contributes to clogs.

  4. Bubba says:

    Another excellent thing to use for dry skin is Avon’s Naturals lotions. They have VERY little alcohol in them. I have been using these lotions and have done me a world of good. At one point, my skin got so dry before I started using Avon’s Naturals that it would litterally hurt. Once I started using these
    lotions, it cleared things up. There are different scents with these lotions but
    are excellent for dry skin. Most if not all lotions you can get over the counter contain alot of alcohol in them and, that is what dries out your skin too.

  5. Journeyone says:

    When I went to the podiatrist for planters’ fasciitis my heels were cracked. He wrote down GOLD BOND FOOT CREAM. The magic ingredient according my Doctor is the UREA which is listed second ingredient. Don’t waste your money like I did on all the other products.

    1. Judy says:

      There is NO WAY Id use Gold Bond lotion or cream on my body again! OMG the SMELL alone is enough to kill a maget. Smells just like cow urine, which is that second ingredient. The man in this house complained I literally stunk after I applied it.

  6. Sheri says:

    after washing my face with an apricot scrub,I do the back of my hands for a few seconds, 3x’s a wk at night i use vasiline intensive rescue therapy moisturizer & wear gloves

  7. Sheri says:

    another thought to treating dry hands is Pairin Bath, I disagree about not taking a hot shower, haot shower creates a humid enviornment in your bathroom like a suna would. Use a humidifier to increse the humidity level in your home.

  8. Sheri says:

    that should be Parifin Bath

  9. Mickeal says:

    Great stuff from you, I want to say thanks i really take pleasure in your posts,I am glad I found it.Keep doing great job! You make it entertaining and you still manage to keep it smart