According to Jennifer MacGregor, M.D., a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology, it's that slick, greasy feel-the byproduct of a key ingredient called petrolatum-that's essential for treating overly dry skin. "But that's not practical during the day," she admits. MacGregor urges her patients to follow an intense nighttime ritual (like applying a layer of Vaseline and wearing cotton gloves) and to use something lighter for day, preferably with an SPF.
Thankfully, plenty of skin-care brands offer lightweight, nutrient-packed options: Feathery formulas from Chanel and Lancôme are rich but fast-absorbing; vitamin C-spiked potions from Clinique and Dermalogica tackle dark spots and brighten skin tone. And in terms of application, it doesn't get much easier than Rodan+Fields's Age Shield Hand Balm SPF 30, an anhydrous glide-on stick that delivers firming peptides, and UV protection in one smooth stroke.