Winter is tough in New York City and skin can dry out quickly.Your mom and grandmother probably used petrolatum or Vaseline. The new standard of care is creams that contains a lipid called ceramide. We find that creams that are enriched with natural lipids do a much better job at helping the skin retain moisture.
There are other ways to keep cuticles and skin of the hands from chapping. I find patients who are doing a lot of hand washing or a lot of “Purel-ling,” especially with agents that contain alcohol as a disinfectant, end up with hands and cuticles that are really dried out and jagged. Over-washing pulls away some of your natural protective lipids on the surface of the skin.
Make sure if you do wash your hands more often than just before eating and after going to the bathroom, moisturize as soon as possible after you wash your hands so you can lock in the moisture and not get chapped!