Woman putting lotion on her leg
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Dry skin doesn't have to be part of your life, even if you live in a hot or cold climate with low humidity. After trying random products that promise to keep your skin hydrated but don't live up to the hype, it is easy to lose hope that you'll ever find a solution to your dry skin problems. Fight back by discovering the products dermatological experts commonly recommend for dry skin.

Strike Oil

The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology suggests that while it may be easier to apply a water-based lotion, oil-based creams are better at trapping moisture in the skin. Whatever product you choose, professionals suggest that you apply it immediately after bathing and reapply it during the day for maximum hydration. Using an oil-based cream along with being mindful of your daily routine, including bathing habits, soaps, perfumes, sunscreens, detergents and humidifiers, should restore your skin’s moisture to a healthy balance.

Skin Protectants

According to Harvard Medical School, the thicker and greasier the better when it comes to hydrating products, such as petroleum jelly and moisturizing oils. They are not mixed with water and are effective at sealing in moisture. Petroleum jelly is often the main ingredient in other moisturizers and is comparatively inexpensive. The National Eczema Association and The University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics recommend skin protectants such as Vaseline, Aquaphor and Crisco All-Vegetable Shortening. As crazy as it may seem, the same product you use to bake cookies is also one of the best at relieving severely dry skin.

Barrier Creams

When your skin is dry, you lose the natural protection of your outer layer of skin. A barrier cream creates a virtual barrier between you and any harmful contaminants while locking in your skin’s natural moisture and oils. Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin and The Nima Skin Institute in Chicago, Illinois, both suggest using barrier creams such as CeraVe Moisturizing Cream, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream and Eucerin Calming Creme to repair dry and damaged skin. These creams are thick and tend to be on the greasy side.

Shielding Lotions

Functioning much like a barrier cream, a shielding lotion absorbs into your skin’s outer layer and creates an invisible shield that protects you from environmental toxins. The product does not wash or rub off. Dr. Peter Helton of the Helton Skin & Laser Institute in Newport Beach, California, recommends the use of shielding lotions such as Gloves in a Bottle and Skin MD Natural, which tend to be less greasy than the skin protectants and barrier creams.