Growing up in South Florida I never had to really worry about dry skin. Fast forward a few decades and I'm the cold winter climate of Chicago for many months out of the year.
Being the dad I'm constantly outside even when the weather is chilled. I walk the dog first thing in the morning and at night when it's the coldest. I take out the trash. Break down the cardboard boxes for the recycling bin. Install car seats about once a week.
That means besides the normal exposure to the cold my hands get extremely dry. Sometimes the skin gets so cracked it becomes a cut and bleeds.
My wife uses lotion regularly but I always find it too slimy.
I’ve used the Jack Black hand healer a few winters with good results. It smells good too but it's expensive and you need to get it at a department store.
Last year I tried O'Keefe's because it was at the checkout of Bed Bath & Beyond. You can also find it at Home Depot and other hardware stores.
Unlike the hand healer and other creams the O'Keefe's is in a tub and comes out more like spackle. It also gets absorbed better than lotion so you don’t get that slimy feeling.
Here's a before and after shot of the area around my right thumb after coming back from a business trip to equally dry but not nearly as cold California.
Above: Before and after two applications in 12 hours.
It costs about $8 a container but I think it's definitely worth it. A container usually lasts me a good month or two.