CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Every winter it happens, the air dries out leaving many hands and lips chapped, sore, and painful.

Walking through Charlotte's Freedom Park Tuesday, you'll find many sufferers of the dry air.

"Dry, dry, dry," said Anne Harris. "Couldn't be any worse. Lots of lotion, hands like sandpaper and I always have my lip balm."

"Always," she added.

Harris asked NBC Charlotte to find out the best ingredient to look for in hand lotions.

"Dimethicone," said Theresa Gray, a Physician Assistant and skincare expert for Novant Health.

"That is going to be the number-one ingredient you're going to look for and it's in most hand creams right now, but specifically in hand creams," Gray said.

Gray says dimethicone works as a sealant helping skin to repair itself and even creates a barrier to prevent new damage. Gray even recommends wearing a pair of cotton socks over chapped hands to further help moisture to go deeper.

"Definitely. Especially while they're sleeping. I do recommend that for my patients," she added.

As for hot showers? That is a no.

"Your showers should be cool, and they should be quick," Gray said. "The water is the culprit."

Gray says lip balm is different for her patients, so she said it's important to try many kinds to find the one that works best.

Also, never lick your lips. Gray says that makes it worse.

As for washing hands, Gray says to use hand sanitizer five times for every time you use soap and water. She says the water is what dries out the skin more so than the soap.

Bottom line: use skin, and lip care products daily.

For Harris, spring can't come soon enough.

"Can't wait," Harris said. "Can't wait."