Use creams, not lotions. While they feel greasier, they work better to seal in moisture. Avoid creams with fragrances because they can further irritate dry skin. Look for ammonium lactate on the list of ingredients: it helps the skin retain moisture.
While you may enjoy a nice hot shower or bath on a cold winter’s day, your skin may suffer. Try to avoid baths, and take short showers with warm, not hot water.
After leaving the shower, pat your skin gently to dry, then apply cream while your skin is still moist. This is the best time to apply a moisturizer.
Use mild skin cleaners that do not contain fragrances.
If you enjoy indoor swimming pools or Jacuzzis, remember the chlorine can dry your skin. Rinse off with warm water and moisturize afterward.
Humidifiers are recommended, especially ultrasonic ones. Even if you have one attached to your furnace, it’s a good idea to keep one in your bedroom and keep the door closed during the day.
Avoid sitting close to fires and space heaters.
To avoid dry, cracked hands, wear gloves whenever outside and moisturize after washing your hands every time. At night, you can apply a thick emollient such as Vaseline or Aquaphor, wrap in plastic wrap or apply plastic (not latex) gloves, and in the morning your hands should be softer.